‘Regency Era’ wedding ideas at Holdenby House

January 17, 2012

We go ga-ga for pretty things here so were very excited to work with Holdenby House on this photo shoot for Image Magazine.

The thing that strikes us most about Holdenby House is its’ history, so a concept with a period feel seemed fitting. Vintage is still a big trend in weddings but to put a fresh approach on it we decided to pick a specific era – the Regency period, which was the time of Jane Austen’s novels.

No other era is as romantic as the Regency period which, in literature at least, was all about romance, refinement, lace, rosebuds, fine floral china, afternoon tea and strolls in the gardens of grand country houses. So very Holdenby.

We didn’t want to recreate the past in the styling; it was more about celebrating the time in a modern way. So we took elements of the period such as soft, feminine dresses; the use of traditional wild flowers and lots of romantic dusky pink.

The writing desk and all the old books in the Library were perfect to bring a literary feel to these pictures of George.

We had a bit of fun with a genuine period equestrian outfit which was loaned from a private collection. Very Mr Darcy! The suit in the second image is from Panters.

All the stationery was created by Nothing But Lovely. The text of the invitation is written as if it were a section from a novel. The envelope lining is designed as the pages of a book. And a personalised wax seal sets the period drama tone perfectly.

The Dining Room, which is licensed for civil wedding ceremonies, photographs  dramatically with the rich wood panelling, warm lighting, paintings and silk wall covering.

Abby is wearing ‘Callie’ by Jenny Packham, from Fairytale Weddings. The cap sleeves are very ‘Regency’ and the fabric and sequin detail are delicate but sooo stylish.

No self-respecting lady of the Regency era would be seen at an important event without a bonnet and tightly pinned curls. So curls were a must but hair and make-up maestro Toni Creative styled Abby’s hair with a more modern edge by keeping the curls loose and pinning them off Abby’s face. Then we brought back a traditional element with delicate fresh flowers pinned into the hair.

This dress is ‘Flora’ by Enzoani from Fairytale Weddings. The look is very fitting of the time but without being old-fashioned. The tulle layers on the dress have a very soft, romantic feel and the jacket adds a more modern edge.

A Regency themed wedding breakfast will be right at home in the Ballroom, which is used for  dinner and evening entertainment. The light just floods in through those big windows which look out to miles of countryside.

Abby is wearing ‘Jewel’ by Suzanne Neville from The Bridal Gallery Finedon (sadly now closed). It has lots of gorgeous sparkle on the bodice and layer upon layer of tulle.

Small delicate posies have become popular since the Royal Wedding of William and Catherine. Julie Anna Flowers gave this one a romantic, just picked from the garden feel by using a variety of traditional, wild flowers and foliage such as roses, lavender, rosemary and wax flower.

The Regency era was a very glamorous period in the history of food so Portfolio Events styled the desserts with that in mind; both in the design and the presentation on vintage crockery. These scrummy looking desserts use ingredients that would have been available back in the early 1800s, such as lavender shortbread, strawberries, rhubarb and trifle. Even the colours fitted with our theme!

We went understated but glamorous for the table centres. A more polished, elegant version of vintage. Romantic candlelight is a must!

Edward & Emma proved that table stationery can be beautiful as well as practical. The bookmark placenames use an excerpt from an Austen novel and would double as a lovely keepsake for your guests. And then the table names have been presented in classic cream frames for a pretty alternative to the more often seen metal holders.

I love how gentlemanly this photo of George in the Entrance Hall feels. A tall top hat is a must and perfect for mysterious Mr Darcy style portraits!

Thank you to Abby and to George, my wonderful and patient models, who look utterly beautiful. They’re not pros by the way. And to everyone who worked so so SO hard to make this shoot happen.

Is Holdenby House your wedding venue?

If it is, then you might want to check out this page about what makes Holdenby House so amazing for wedding photos. You’ll find links to some other weddings I’ve shot at Holdenby on that page too :)

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