As a UK based Wedding Planner no two days are ever the same, it’s the joy of running a wedding planning and styling business and I love nothing more than sharing it. The behind the scenes, the insider info. and the planning and detail that go in to running a successful wedding business are all accessible to my gorgeous team of interns. I am so fortunate to have seven ambitious and hugely talented wedding planners of the future to mentor and they love nothing more than soaking up the real life training. By far the most popular of all opportunities available to the team at Pamella Dunn Weddings are the photo shoots.
“Lavender is for Lovers True” – Clement Robinson, 1584
Once upon a time, it was par for the course to receive a bundle of lavender potpourri as a wedding favour, to liven up your linen drawer. A look back in time also reveals that Cleopatra used lavender oil to seduce Mark Antony, and Empress Josephine plied her husband, Napoleon Bonaparte, with lavender tea when she was looking for some romance.
So there was not a more appropriate place for a romantic wedding photoshoot, than the Lavender Farm in the Cotswolds, which is where I found myself with Pamella Dunn on Tuesday 5th July.
As an intern, this was my first ever wedding photoshoot and I couldn’t have been more excited! Not even the 7am start in Leeds could dampen my enthusiasm. Especially not when I realised I would be spending the next two hours driving South with one of the UK’s most talented makeup artists, Cat from Catherine Elizabeth Wedding Hair and Makeup Upon finding out she had worked on Brief Encounters, Hollyoaks and The King’s Speech, I knew I was in the presence of someone special.
Luckily, the lavender field was lit with glorious sunshine when we arrived; truly bringing the lilac hues to life. As Catherine whisked the gorgeous model, Sheree Dannielle, off for hair and makeup, my fellow intern Ellie and I got to work maneuvering the props for the shoot. A job which was a lot easier said than done given that there was not an easy parking spot near our shoot location. Cue the hilarious view of Pam lifting a vintage white sweetheart table and chairs over a fence to Ellie and myself. These photoshoots ain’t all glamour!
We worked closely with Jane Beadnell, the photographer, for the next couple of hours to ensure our styling matched her vision. I have never been more impressed with someone’s eye for design and positioning, and watching her move a prop a fraction of an inch to produce a perfect picture was a real lesson in itself. Pam, ever the professional, was making bouquets in the boot of her car – I mean who else would be able to do that! And, FYI, the bouquets were stunning. Cakes decorated in bonbons by Zoe from Zoe’s Fancy Cakes, luxurious purple silks by Sophie at Pompom Blossom, and accessories by Bespoke Vintage Castle really brought the shoot to life.
As our model arrived back, romantic curls and lavender smokey eye complete, the bridal shoot could commence. Visitors to the Lavender field, and tourists alike, were utterly enthralled as Sheree posed in her dress by The Bridal Gown, looking like the perfect bride. Under Jane’s direction, we moved around the field, making sure to take in different backdrops and colour contrasts. It was like watching magic happen right in front of my eyes.
Arriving back to our sweetheart table at the top of the hill, Pam had turned mine and Ellie’s first effort at styling into a table setting of dreams. This is where I learnt my first lesson of styling: always make sure a colour runs out of the shot, she explained, demonstrating with the layers of gold cutlery and adornments. It is something that I have tried to incorporate into all of my work since.
The day had passed in a blur of excitement, camera flashes and purple and soon it was time to pack up and leave before the field closed for the day. You guessed it; at 4:55pm we were hauling bags of props and bouquets of flowers back over the fence. Sunburnt, tired, and thrilled, it was a hopeful drive back North as we dared to dream about where the photos might end up. And Rock My Wedding made our dreams come true with this fabulous piece Rock My Wedding Feature. Who needs forget-me-nots when I have pictures of a lavender photoshoot I will always remember.
Huge congratulations to Charlotte and a wonderful blog post, and for being super amazing.
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Have a fabulous weekend