From London to Marrakech...

Alana and Will met amongst the bight lights and vibrant night life in New York. Effortless rock-and-roll candour surrounds them, and their understated and style and powerful connection made them a dream to capture. Their relationship was inspiring to witness. Both creative in the way they have chosen to make their way in the world, they have mutual respect and reverie that they encourage and inspire in each other.

I had the pleasure of capturing two ceremonies for these special ones that straddled two contrasting gatherings.  An intimate registy office wedding to get the formalities neatly arranged, and then a vibrant and bespoke blessing in at the stunning Riad Mena in Marrakech.

This dual apsect seems to be growing in popularity, especially when you are getting married abroad. It frees you up to get formalities taken care of, then allows you to interpret and grow the occasion in sunnier climes to suit your personality- creating very unique nuptial ceremony.

Tucked away near the hustle and bustle of the Medina is the exquisitely restored Riad Mena. A tranquil and contemporary morsel of Marrakech life, the Riad has been featured in many glossy travel magazines as a diamond amongst many rough and ready riads in the city. The wedding was planned by Philomena, the owner and hotelier, who imagined and pieced together this stunning and secluded sanctuary.

The enchanting Philomena knows the winding streets of Marrakech like the back of her hand and along with her companion, the charming ginger cat Fritzi, she makes you feel at home as soon as you cross the threshold of her Riad idyll. As a local of Marrakech she has a black book full of the brightest and most intriguing places to visit. She is closely connected to the top artisans that can turn any celebration in to an occassion you will never forget.

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The heady scent of Morrocan roses filled the air and the the warm breeze carried the the call to prayer, soon after which the courtyard became the perfect ceremonial space to hold the blessing for Alana and Will. Tears, laughter and hand written words from the heart were shared in a touching and profound moment of matrimony.

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All Things Bright and Beautiful...

On a late August afternoon I drive my little car through the winding lanes of Hampshire to find a lovely couple, Rosie and Ed. The sun was blazing and the summer stayed for just long enough for the gardens of Houghton Lodge to host this happy, vibrant gathering.

Houghton Lodge is a beautiful venue. The celebration happened amongst wild flowers and walled gardens, dovecotes and Victorian glasshouses, with the River Test meandering by.

This was a wedding of personal touches and flourishes- cake by mum, flowers by friends and the bride’s home-steeped liquor. We were surrounded by a rainbow of colour and loving gestures. Laughter was the name of day and even when the British weather eventually gave way to rain, sunny smiles won out.

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The Moments in Between...

Wow! 

What a year it has been since Mandorla opened her doors last year!

I have been so inspired by the wonderful couples I have had the pleasure of working with in 2015. Time really does fly when your enjoying your work. Last year was a blur of opportunity, new horizons and wonderful new clients.

What I love about this work is that I never know where I will end up and I have been lucky enough to land in Morocco, Ibiza, France and some idyllic places in the English countryside too. I am always non stop, from the moment my feet hit the grounds of the wedding venue until the sun goes down - and the dance floor is full of the final flourishes of the festivities.

In amongst the hive of activity I adore finding those moments in between that bind the day together, because life is made up of so many small moments which are all equal parts of our beautiful journeys- the cake that holds the fruit together and when we can stop to savor these then we are living fully.  Here are some of my favourites; some postcards gathered from 2015's gorgeous wedding gatherings I was lucky enough to capture.

Stay tuned for more of the wonderful celebrations I have been lucky enough to photograph as over the next few weeks I will be sharing stories and images of some of the highlights of last year's portfolio. Until then, here are some of those moments in between that I would like to share with you.

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Christmas Catwalk Report with Les Trois Soeurs

The tongs were twirling and blusher brushes were in full flow when I arrived to photograph the recent catwalk show that the team at Les Trois Soeurs were part of for the Christmas celebrations at Canary Wharf. Inspired by frosted ice queens, glacier chic and mystifying winter maidens, gowns were being steamed to perfection, hair intricately braided and cheeks powdered with an exquisite frost like finish to prepare the girls for their winter runway moment. 

A beautiful selection of dresses had been brought together from the selection at Les Trois Soeurs and with the help of Siouxsie a wonder in the world of fashion styling. An extra dose of drama had been added by finishing the looks with some incredible head pieces by the talented Zoe Sherwood and elegant veils by Homa.

From top to toe the girls were decadently dressed and these once in a lifetime bridal shoes were provided courtesy of the imagination and craftsmen-ship of Badgley Mischka....you shall go to the ball!

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With dresses by Temperley, Lazaro, Via Klave and the Israeli designer Zahavit Tshuba were brought together to present the wide range of designers available at the Les Trois Soeurs collection. Whether it was intricate embellishment or smooth and minimal silhouettes, both styles were expressed to showcase the contrasting selection that brides can discover amongst the fairy tale rails at the Canary Wharf boutique.

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The clock's hand moved closer to show time and as the last adjustments were made the girls gathered up their veils and skirts and headed backstage to get ready to open the catwalk. Creating quite a stir as they went these urban angels swept through the busy walkways of Canary Wharf to take their places on the runway.

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Dazzling in all different shades of white the girls took to the stage

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Thanks to all at Les Trois Soeurs for having me back to shoot again and I cannot recommend this warm and welcoming team enough if you are on the hunt for the perfect wedding gown. Thanks to the skills of Holy Silius, Siouxsie and all the fabulous models who worked so hard and looked absolutely stunning on the day! 

Wishing you all a warm wintery wishes for the festive season with love from Mandorla!

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Chasing Eternal Horizons at Hostal La Torre

On the south western tip of Ibiza sits Cape Negret, here nestled on the hill side of the dramatic rocky coast lies the well established sunset spot of Hostal La Torre. This peaceful hotel rests on the side of Ibiza that is blessed with the most beautiful sunsets.  As the sun dipped slowly from the sky at the end of yet another perfect day we caught the last of the dreamy light that graced us. Press play and take a look at our Balearic bridal collaboration.

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Hostal La Torre is an established hotel and wedding venue on the island that has been give a new lease of life by the fabulous team at Mambo Weddings. All of the super talented women who worked on this shoot are available to add their skillful touch to your wedding day, whether it is organising your day, making you a dress or fixing your hair and make up they have it all covered. A special thanks goes out to all at Hostal La Torre for making us so welcome and for collaborating to make this shoot possible.

Location - Hostal La Torre, Cape Negret, Ibiza

Shoot Production - Lucy Dyer @ Mambo Weddings

Make up - Katie Gill

Styling - Zoey Evans

Florist - Ses Flor

Model - Lauren Bull

Ibiza inspiration at La Galeria Elefante

So the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to call the Island of Ibiza home and I have been adventuring under the bright blue skies and sun filled days here on this magical island. On my travels I stumbled across La Galeria Elefante an incredible emporium piled high with jewellery, clothes and all sorts of treasures and delights from around the globe. A visit to this unique treasure trove inspired a bridal shoot with the spirit of Ibiza at its heart, take a look...

I love this outfit for a flamboyant yet earthy celebration. Our barefoot bride Anna wears a beautiful embroidered silk Jacket and skirt by Victoria Ibiza, the designs are based on vintage originals that are re-imagined with an Ibiza twist. Victoria Durer Gasse is a designer and part owner of La Galeria Elefante. Victoria travels the globe hand picking beautiful antiques and curiosities to bring back to La Galeria and sources inspiration for her clothing designs all over the world. She works closely with NGO's in India, Nepal and South East Asia to make sure the pieces she commissions are beneficial and give back to the women who sew, dye and embroider her beautiful designs.

This stunning gypsy-esque dress is by Péro a unique and refreshing label from India that produces incredible hand crafted pieces that carry with them tradition at the same time a unique sense of the contemporary. The finishing and detail on these dresses is exquisite and would make an eclectic and stand out choice for an Ibizan bride.  It was so hard to choose which dress to feature from this label as each one was so stunning, I wanted to take them all home with me! The Head dresses we used are all hand made in the UK and are reimagined from original vintage pieces.

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The billowing skirt and lace details on this gorgeous dress make it perfect for a beach wedding here on Ibiza, the dress is by Mes Damoiselles a beautiful label from Paris and would be a laid back look for a bride who wants to dance the night away with her feet in the sand! The animal pendants are hand crafted by Bold and each one raises money for an endangered species so you can give back while you indulge.

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Thank you so much for the skills and talents of the amazing Katy Gill who styled the hair and make up for our collaboration she is available for commission for weddings and events here in Ibiza.  Also thank you to our beautiful model Anna. The final thank you must go to all at La Galeria Elefante for hosting us it was such a joy to shoot amongst the cornucopia of curiosities and inspiring to be surrounded by such beauty. If you are here on Ibiza you must drop in to find that special piece that has Ibiza at its heart.

To Browse their collections in more detail visit their web site : www.lagaleriaelefante.com or call +34 971 19 70 17 to find out more. If you are on Ibiza the you can find La Galeria Elefante on the road to Santa Getrudis De Fruitera, keep an eye out for the white flags with pink elephant's on!

Behind the scenes at Les Trois Soeurs & Zahavit Tshuba Trunk show...

A feast for the eyes greeted us at the exclusive Zahavit Tshuba trunk show hosted by Les Trois Soeurs Bridal Boutique. A cascade of netting and a flurry of steam and hairspray filled the room as the team prepped the gowns and models ready for the arrival of guests for their recent trunk show, I was lucky enough to join them for the day to capture the magic unfolding...

My inspirations comes from many things which rarely comes from bridal world. I love street wear, rock stars, Italian and French movies from the 70’s and all things that looks bohemian to me, things which are free of trends, where you can See the individual.
— Zahabit Tshuba
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There was plenty to do backstage to get the girls ready and Katie Coward was on hand to primp and preen the girls to get them looking catwalk ready for the show. Katie works both commercially and does bridal hair and make up we met a few years back when we both worked with a lovely couple getting married in Hackney and it was a lovely surprise to see her again!

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Embellished head pieces, ethereal crystal studded net capes and stunning and original beaded detail were some of the stand out elements of these charismatic bridal gowns. Zahavit has managed to blend influences from the past and effortlessly fused them with a very contemporary look and feel making her collection as dramatic as it is delicate.

Les Trois Soeurs prides itself on offering both big industry names such as Amanda Wakeley, Jenny Packham and Badgley Mischka but also supports and hand picks rising stars from around the globe who will be future classics.  Zahavit Tshuba is Les Trois Soeurs newest designer and they discovered her recently while she was showing at New York Bridal week.  I had a chance to ask Zahavit what makes her tick when it comes to design and this is what she said...

In a few words how would you describe a Zahavit Tshuba bride?

ZT bride is usually a free spiritual personality with a specific taste of her own. She has an obsession for being special and very fashion forward woman.

What drew you to bridal design?

 The idea that it's the most challenging work in terms of making clothing. It's the most important dress for a woman and It gives me a huge satisfaction, knowing that I have made such an important dress for someone.  

How do you find your inspirations for your collections?

My inspirations comes from many things which rarely come from the bridal world. I love street wear, rock stars, Italian and French movies from the 70's and all things that looks bohemian to me, things which are free of trends, where you can see the individual. I'm a person who loves contrasts, there is a lot of humor in contrast and I bring it to my world of design. 

What do you think are the most current trends for bridal gowns in 2015?

I believe that the heavy beaded fabrics, heavy lace and mermaid cut open backline and long train designs, will still be very popular in bridal dresses. We will see a lot of two pieces gowns, short tops with big skirts. Personally, I prefer to "break" the trends and to bring something else to my brides. Trends can be sometime tricky because you keep seeing the same things again and again and it seems like the individuality of a bride can get lost in trends. My goal is to create new ideas and fresh combinations, using fabrics and cuts which are not very common in bridal. I miss the simplicity that use to be in bridal dresses, and hope that the next trend will bring back the simplicity and delicateness to bridal.

The guests were welcomed to Plateau with a champagne reception, it was Friday so bubbly before 10am was allowed..I only had one glass, I promise! 

Fashion editors from You and Your Wedding, Brides Magazine and The wedding Diary gathered along with, wedding bloggers and brides to be filled the stunning light filled restaurant to take in the views of the city before the show commenced.

This 'Ella' dress was one of my favourite gowns on show it moved so fluidly and mixed stunning bead work with the light as a feather netting. I loved the hint of blush on the upper hem too, just a touch of colour that gave it a wonderfully diaphonous finish.

Guests were seated to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast of pastries and fresh fruit and it gave everyone a chance to settle in and to hear about the new web site launch from Les Trois Soeurs who are also nearing the launch of their e-commerce site which will make purchasing the incredible pieces they stock even easier! 

After an introduction to the work of Zahavit Tshuba the show began to the sultry sounds of a middle eastern beat...

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I loved the fabulous fringing on the 'Rebecca' gown, you would be sure to turn heads as you shimmy down the aisle in this one and light up the dance floor at the end of the night.

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We are very excited to have Zahavit Tshuba as one of our new exclusive designers at Les Trois Soeurs. Finding up and coming designers from all over the world forms a huge part of our buying process and I know that the Zahavit collection offers something utterly unique for our brides.
We discovered Zahavit in New York and fell in love when her designs at first sight! These are dresses that transform the figure, with high waistlines, hugely flattering tulle silhouettes, elegant silks and unique embellishments. We launched the collection with our champagne press breakfast and were fully booked the following weekend with brides excited to meet Zahavit in person and many placed their orders over the weekend. We can’t wait to see our first Zahavit brides on their big day.

We are delighted to be working with Zahavit as her exclusive stockist here in the UK!
— Sophie Muskett -LTS

Zahavit won over her audience with her bold designs and enchanting detail choices and had brides to be who were watching dashing to the boutique to try on her beautiful bridal gowns. She is definitely one to watch!

Thank you so much to the team at Les Trois Soeurs, to  Zahavit Tshuba and the team at Plateau for working to make such a beautiful showcase happen.

For bookings to view the Zahavit Tshuba collection at Les Trois Soeurs Click here

Polly Wales & The Art of Imperfect Beauty

A veritable treasure trove of jewels and precious metals greeted me on arrival at Polly's workshop in rural Gloucestershire where all of her jewellery is created. The quiet landscape that holds her space is a vivid juxtaposition to the infectious creative buzz that runs through her team and studio.  Polly is one of the UK's top jewellery designers and I spent an afternoon finding out more about how she works and her philosophy behind her practice.

An innate maker Polly at the RCA and had a stint at prop making and sculpture before she settled upon making jewellery. Polly made wearable one off sculptural pieces for galleries and exhibitions, then Polly fashioned pieces in gold and people began to connect with her work with a much more familiar and intimate way leading her to make future heirloom pieces and selling to the bridal market globally.

The appeal or Polly's Jewellery is that not two pieces are the same and the nature of the stones and the unique casting process her and her partner have adapted create this exquisite final aesthetic. Previously having made more conceptual pieces where objects were imbeded in the precious metal band so that as you wear the rings they evolve with you. Polly does not aim for the classical perfection she explained... 

The piece is in constant flux from creation through to when it is worn and beyond, the pieces are finished by those that wear them.
— Polly Wales
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I asked Polly who a quintessential 'Polly Wales Bride' was and she answered " Brides that like my work are on the whole creative with a hands on approach to life".

Within her collection rings are designed to 'stack' and come in many styles so you can build original parings of larger statement pieces with delicate bands or go all the way and wear multiple statement pieces for real wow factor. This builds the opportunity for a life long relationship with her clients who once they have one of her rings return time and time again.

Polly's creations are in constant development as she does not work in collection's but collaborates with her design team to build and push concepts continually. As she casts everything in studio she can test ideas as they come, keeping the passion and immediacy of her design in tact. Each of her designs are created with a finger print that occurs from the process they go through in the cast and these imperfections and individual marks and textures become the personality of each piece.

My inspiration comes from evolving the language my process and materials have created
— Polly Wales
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These rings carry an ethical element too as Polly uses where possible, recycled hand cut antique stones and also recycled gold. Finding one off and antique stones brings a different look and feel to modern manufactured precious stones and it has less impact on the environment. Each stone is hand picked for its characteristics, tone and shape and the imperfections are highly prized as features which give so much charm to these bespoke rings. This bespoke approach carries through to Polly's service to transform heirlooms for some of her lucky clients. She re- appropriates and re-design heirlooms that brides bring to her and using the stones and precious metal from these cherished pieces she creates something up to date with her clients changing tastes, a lovely way of adding a chapter to the life on an heirloom.

I asked Polly what predictions she had for trends within 2015 she replied with " Finer pieces, lighter bands  and more delicate stones are becoming favourites. Also more geometric cuts are becoming popular especially baguette cut diamonds, they are having a renaissance"

Polly has her sights on a colourful and expansive future for her and her brand. She is quickly becoming a firm favourite in the American market and is heading out to L.A. next year with her team to set up shop on the west coast so catch her while you can before she leaves our blustery shores for palm trees and the boulevards of tinsel town.

I was so impressed with not only Polly's beautiful work but the life she has carved around her. Juggling her creative business, a young family and building a solid team around her, she is a shining example of tuning a creative practice in to a sustainable lifestyle. She has an incredible creative drive with an authentically artisan approach and uses her highly skilled team to translate her ideas in to reality. She is working towards building her business but also creating more time to get back to the bench and take on more personal commissions.

Find more of Polly's work here

Thank you so much to Polly, Lucy and all the team who allowed me to watch and learn at an inspiring day in the studio!

 

 

Behind the scenes with Sammy Aki

Spring is in the air and the sun is shining on the streets of this fair city again. The days are  longer and lighter and they are leading us swiftly towards the beginning of wedding season!  Before this year's rhythm ramps up I had the pleasure of joining the wonderful Sammy Aki for a day to see what makes her Groom Style Consultancy tick.

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Groom Style consulting is a niche that Sammy spotted and has been carving out for the last three years, she is a trail blazer in an industry that typically focuses all of its attention on the bride. But with men's style becoming much more established in the wardrobes of our favourite chaps it was a natural progression for Sammy after many years working in the in the men's luxury fashion industry. I met her at home to discuss how she found her way to this unique business and what are her secrets on how she gets dressed in the morning...

How did you come to create your Groom Styling consultancy?

With over 15 years in luxury Menswear, I've helped a fair few men with their tailoring including wedding suits and accessories. I had a brief but very insightful job when I took a position in PR for a bridal company. They produced dresses for the bride, bridesmaids and mother of the bride but there was a group long forgotten not just by them but the whole industry...The Groom. This was in 2009 and since launching my business I'm proud to say that a lot has changed both in the menswear and wedding industry and its great to be in the forefront of this. The recent release of The Wedding Bible has a chapter dedicated to the Groom and I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this.

What in a nutshell do you offer?

I enable grooms to gain a relevant overview in preparation for their wedding and ensure they are looking sharp next to their bride. I concentrate not only on the fit of the clothing but also on the finer touches bringing together my "menswear family" some of the names you know as well as those you haven't yet come across, as well as making one off pieces especially for my clients. My made to measure tailoring has gained a great response. 

 

How do you decide what to wear in the morning?

I’m very decisive when it comes to clothing. My clients come to me for this, as I’m able to filter out the rubbish and then give them the options that matter. So I guess that’s what happens to me in the morning, as I can get ready in record speed.  I do have staples that I draw upon, silk shirting, cashmere jumpers and tailored trousers. The aim is to feel elegant yet comfortable, and this comes from the fabrics I choose to wear. My main considerations are how far will I be walking, how cold is it and when will I be back home. I find that layering is the key.  It keeps me warm and means I’m actually wearing three outfits for every eventuality.

 

I followed Sammy into the the heart of London as she showed me the ins and outs of her well worn style trail. What I discovered is Sammy is a bridge between both the highstreet and incredible craftsmen and women that still create garments by hand and her Grooms. She has a well tended black book of some of the most accomplished tailors, shoemakers and fabric merchants in London and a wealth of knowledge of how to tune in with her clients and express and translate their very own personal style.

 What are the biggest trends for Grooms in 2015?

As much as I enjoy finding new trends within menswear and seeing them develop I don’t necessarily enforce them when creating outfits for my clients. Fashions tend to come and go and I believe it is important to wear something that is true to you and what you are about, especially for your wedding. This means I work with my clients character and build and from there see what “trends” actually suit them. As I am able to create something that is specifically for my client it means they do not have to rely on what is available in the shops due to trends.

But seeing as you asked...2015 sees a prevalence of botanicals within menswear and I believe this can be incorporated within most outfits through either beautiful prints on ties as well as interesting yet subtle jacquard weaves on tailoring fabrics for dinner jackets.

Who would be your dream client?

Interesting question, I really enjoy getting to know my clients and seeing cultures and ideas come together. I want my clients to express themselves. I meet men who have zero idea of what they want, and those who know exactly what they are after but just can't find it anywhere.  It's all about having fun in this part of the planning. So my dream client... I guess I would have to say my future husband! 

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What is the most rewarding element of what you do?

For me it’s seeing my client stand tall and proud next to his partner. Throughout the whole process this is at the forefront of both my Grooms and my decisions. He wants to make sure she is happy and in turn that makes him happy. I also love sharing my knowledge and also learning from both  my clients and suppliers. Each comes up with a new proposition and I love spending the time to achieve the best for them with the experts at my side. 

 

I was fascinated, intrigued and inspired to see how Sammy works, her unique vision and effortless sense of style shone through and I love her dedication to guiding her grooms towards real investment pieces that will not only see them down the aisle in style, but will be classic statement pieces that will be the pillars of their wardrobe for years to come. To find out more about Sammy's Groom consultancy take a look here

Thank you so much  Sammy, and to all that allowed us to look in to their beautiful worlds for the day!

An Appointment With Pearl

I followed the river to Richmond last Sunday and ambled along the banks of the Thames, a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I did however have an aim to my amble and that was to reach the gardens of Bingham a historical Georgian residence now a boutique hotel with a rich literary history.  Nestled in this riverside garden I found the palatial canvas swathes of Katherine Hudson's Pearl Tents,  at the heart of the gentle bustle of Bingham's wedding fair.

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The Pearl tents are elegant and poised, spacious and well dressed. They summon up the feeling  of an age of discreet decadence and frivolity and bring a bucket load of beauty to rival the classic wedding marquee. 

Katherine Hudson who is the female force behind the award winning Arabian tent company (the bigger more eclectic sister of the Pearl Tent Company) is passionate about parties and creating the most incredible spaces for people to enjoy themselves, a great vocation in life I think you may agree! She found her passion through the freedom and immersive environments of festivals and has grown this rapture in to an award winning business.

Katherine has taken inspiration from all over the world and infused her tents with this international flavour.  After finding a gap in the market in 2004 she has travelled widely to find inspiration and technique from Bedouins to Moghuls. Looking at the refined Pearl Tents ,traditional Indian tent design has been fused with German engineering to create this beautiful hybrid.  Along with the tent designs Katherine works with the interior details too, offer different fabrics and furniture to create unique settings to suit any occasion. As a seasoned party pro she knows exactly the right ingredients to set the scene for the ultimate celebration. I caught up with her to ask her the tricks of the trade to putting on the ultimate party...you heard it here first.

  • What is the passion that led you to creating your business?

I love parties! They can create memories that last a life-time, make friendships and bonds that are never forgotten, and are quite simply the thing I enjoy most in life.  I’ve noticed that good parties are full of relaxed people, and a way of relaxing people is to inspire and delight them.  Your surroundings are a powerful way of influencing your mood and beauty is inspiring to all – it is a form of genius as it needs no explanation – hence parties in beautiful/ curious/ inspiring surroundings create a better experience for people.  And who wouldn’t want that!

  • With many years of experience under your belt, what are the golden rules of planning an unforgettable wedding party?

Think about your guests and how to make them as comfortable and relaxed as possible (they’ll let their hair down and enjoy themselves more) and make sure you involve as many of your friends and family as possible with the finishing touches of your wedding.  You can always have the whole set-up completely styled immaculately, but there’s nothing that brings a glow of warmth to the heart, than knowing that all the flower displays were made by the godmother, or Aunt Maude made the table favours everyone’s taking away, and the cake that looks like a tower was cooked by the best friend.  It’s about injecting as much love and heart into the occasion as possible and your friends and family can do this for you in spades.

  • You must have provided tents for some incredible events what are some of your more memorable parties and clients you have worked with?

We’ve done some mind-blowing events including a rather amazing 18th birthday party last year where Nick Grimshaw was the headline DJ (what a cool Dad for organising that one!) and a wedding in a wild valley where all the equipment had to be driven on a fork-lift along a river to get it there and the tent built on a platform, a wedding where helicopters flew in the A-list guests to a castle in Scotland, the time when I turned up to see how a tent was going only to be greeted by Gillian Anderson at the door – I hadn’t realised it was her daughter’s 18th we were doing(!) and it’s always quite a funny surprise when the person at the end of the phone says ‘hi, it’s Davina McCall and I wonder if you’ve got your La Rouge tent available for my summer party?’  One to say ‘yes’ to!

  • What are the top wedding trends you predict for 2015?

Getting back to nature is where it’s at this year so whether it’s having your wedding in a woodland or bringing the outside in, by using lots of greenery to decorate your venue as well as flowers, or having a rustic-style canvas tent – anything that creates a rustic, down-to-earth and natural feeling for a wedding are proving really popular.  The three-course meal is out, and multiple snack-stations are in, as are food vans instead of an evening buffet and substantial canapes rather than starters.  And finally for city-do’s the ‘Industrial Chic’ look is in –so taking a warehouse space and accenting the exposed brickwork with interesting lighting, softly draping the ceiling or using statement pieces such as Edison bulb chandeliers or giant letters.  Oh, and LED is out, and warm-white old-fashioned lighting is most definitely in!

·         Where in the world would you pitch a Pearl Tent and throw the ultimate Party?

I think, having just spent New Year in South Africa, that the top of Table Mountain would make a rather spectacular position for the Mini Pearl tent – preferably laid with dinner for two, following a successful marriage proposal up there!

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Whether you are looking for a refined and demure setting for a minimal and intimate wedding brunch or a tent filled with a riot of colour and pattern for friends and family to kick of their shoes and dance until dawn The House of Hud will have a tent to suit you and your party needs. 

Take a closer look here - The Pearl Tents Company http://www.thepearltentcompany.com/

                                            The Arabian Tent Company http://www.arabiantents.com   

                                                                   

Thank you so much to all at The Bingham for making me feel so welcome, massive thanks to Katherine Hudson from House of Hud for all of your insider info and thanks to Susie from The Little Top for tasting the Macaroons for me ;)              

 

A Visit to Coworth Park

In these last weeks of winter before spring, when the English countryside coyly drops her gown her gown to reveal all. The landscape lies sleepy, calm and resting before her big reveal. It was in this gentle state of recline I was invited to join the team at Coworth Park for their winter wedding photo shoot. Coworth Park is the peaceful country cousin of the world famous Dorchester ; the grande dame of London's five star hotels. Tucked away in the Ascot countryside Coworth is a stunning Georgian Manor set amongst mature woodlands, mirrored lakes, enchanted gardens and a swathe of polo fields.

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Once inside and out of the chilly Feburary afternoon, I was greeted with a warm welcome from the team. As I stepped over the threshold in to the elegant interiors at Coworth I was instantly struck by how at home you are made to feel, and the surroundings even though polished are mixed with natural touches that welcome you instantly and inspire you to relax. As I took a deep breath and shook off the city it was time to explore before getting to work.

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Each space within the hotel has a different mood and feel, I absolutely loved the bar with it's tongue and cheek equestrian touches. It was playful and fun and the bar staff were super talented and really friendly to boot. I took photos in the Restaurant as they were setting up for dinner and the sun was setting outside. The golden light that came through the floor to ceiling windows kissed the bronze oak detailing and made the whole room glow with a beautiful autumnal light. I would have liked nothing more to sit down for a long supper but there was still much more to see!

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Next Stop was the Oak room, a private dining area in the hotel. The table had been set for an intimate winter wedding for 20. Candles burned softly in amongst bouquets of antique roses and pussy willow by Lavender Green and the room was crowned by the beautiful bronze oak wreath that is the room's namesake. The Table had been put together by Oka and dressed with beautiful place cards and table numbers from Eagle Eyed Bride finishing it beautifully.  The room felt elegant and welcoming sprinkled with  just the right amount of grandeur needed for a wedding supper. The last detail but by no means least to be put in place was the stunning three tiered cake dressed with cascading orchids created by Peggy Porschen.

Once the champagne was popped in the Oak room it was time to move on to the ceremony space at Coworth. We descended in to a candle lit winter wonderland. The aisle was studded with glowing church candles and the room was made to look like a twinkling winter forest with bare branches hung with tea light in glass baubles. The scent of Narcissi filled the room and the scene was set for a stunning winter wedding. 

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The idea of having the big house at Coworth Park filled with friends and family for a wedding celebration would be dream. Not only is the setting stunning, and atmosphere natural,  there is an award winning Spa at Coworth perfect for pre-wedding pampering which would ease away the stresses of wedding planning before the big day,  just what every couple needs to unwind in the last few moments before they say I do.

The hotel has a relaxed atmosphere that is family friendly and there is the option for you and your guests to do as little or as much as you would like. It's five star service with the feeling of being at home and all just moments from London you can feel so far away from it all. I enjoyed my time at Coworth and I am already looking for an excuse to go back!

 

 

A Very Hackney Affair

Each and every wedding I shoot has its own atmosphere and emotive tone. The couple are at the center of it all and whatever they are feeling is radiated out and reflected back by the family and guests .

I had the pleasure of shooting Miranda and Dorian's heart warming ceremony in early November and the words that sum up what they were radiating was pure loving devotion, it was beautiful and moving to witness.

The ceremony took place at the Hackney Town Hall on a soft skied Saturday in November.

The guests hopped aboard vintage buses after the ceremony and toured gently around the bustling east end, we wound through the streets of Spitalfields until we reached the stunning Four Princelet Street.  A faded early Georgian house that has just the right balance of disheveled elegance to make you feel as much at home as you are somewhere delightfully special. The house provided the stage and the wonderful girls at The Art of Dining provided performance. The fires were lit and each room was dressed and decorated with vintage glass wear, candles and cascading blooms of dusty orange and deep magenta. Vintage cocktails were the favourite at the bar, all served and coiffed from scientific beakers. As the evening rolled by guests joined Miranda and Dorian at their table and a friendly and relaxed banquet was served to celebrate the happy couple. As the speeches and ensuing laughter rang through the house the light faded, the tables were cleared and the dancing began.

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