Somerley Estate sits right on the Dorset and Hampshire borders and is the stunning backdrop for this inspiration shoot. A privately owned home and wedding venue, the house was designed in 1750 and has been in the Normanton family for five generations. Somerley is gorgeous, (very) grand and has a lot of history. With this shoot I wanted to bring a little piece of understated contemporary style to blend with the traditional luxury surroundings.
Contact & Bookings: Weddings by Jenna Hewitt
The colour palette combined grey with teal and soft apricot and I chose to blend silks by Kate Cullen with contemporary acrylic and copper materials.
The stationery was beautifully designed by Georgina Read Creative, on cotton combination paper with torn edges and featured a lovely copper seal detail. In fact this was one of my favourite details! The stamp used was THE Somerley stamp and is hundreds of years old.
The amazing florals were all down to the lovely Emma Soulsby of Ladybird Flowers and the main feature was the biggest circular ceremony backdrop of seasonal flowers. From concept through to installation, Emma worked tirelessly not only to produce the masterpiece but also ensure that the whole thing was sturdy enough to withstand the elements (we had to set up the night before and it was an exceptionally stormy evening!). The bouquets across the three different bridal looks were all different and showed off Emma’s diverse talent. I was drawn most to the bouquet of the second bridal look, bursting with greenery and long stems of eucalyptus contrasted with pops of coral from the roses and ranunculus.
And then to the cakes! Rachel Hudson worked magic and produced 3 different designs – the centerpiece being a 3-tier square cake with chinoiserie design.
For the bridal looks, the first was all about modern elegance and featured a wonderful 2-piece by Otaduy. The 2-piece is becoming a popular choice for the contemporary bride but I wanted to show it can also have a more classic feel.
The second bridal look was my favourite. Hair and make-up artists Louise Leaves and Mel Kinsman created such a glamorously stylish yet understated look. Our model looked film star-esque. The gown, from the first collection by Cherry Williams London, was incredible with a gorgeous fanned train and cut out back detail. It captured the modern, stylish bride. The final look (which you will have to wait until later today to see when Claire features the film footage from the shoot) had a slightly edgier feel. Shot in the stables, this was the most dramatic look with hair accessorised with a handmade piece by Victoria Millesime. For this look I chose a gown from Luella’s Bridal that was clean in cut with simple fine straps and a beautiful dropped back, paired with bridal mules from Emmy London.
With over 7000 acres of land, there are so many different areas to Somerley. I chose the planted wood as the setting for the tablescape. The styling here was clean and minimal and featured contemporary cut glass candlestick holders and ghost chairs from Wedhead. The colour came from Emma Soulsby’s gorgeous floral centerpieces filled with orange ranunculus. For the seating plan I used champagne filled glasses with handmade copper escort tags – luxury with a modern twist!
We couldn’t have left Somerley without capturing the essence of the grand interior and the gallery room is impressive to say the least. Walls are adorned with family portraits spanning the generations and the floor-to-ceiling mirrors are spectacular.
Shoot Planning & Styling: Jenna Hewitt
Flowers: Emma Soulsby of Ladybird Flowers
Venue: Somerley House
Photography: Kitty Wheeler Shaw
Videography: Baxter and Ted
Cake Design: Rachel Hudson Cakes
Stationery: Georgina Read Creative
Make-Up: Mel Kinsman
Hair: Louise Leaves, Love Hair by Lou
Furniture & Styling Props: Wedhead
Fashion: Luella’s Bridal
Fashion: Cherry Williams London
Groom Fashion: Adam Waite
Groom Cufflinks: Alice Made This
Shoes: Emmy London
Silks: Kate Cullen
Rings: London Victoria Ring Company
Hair Accessories: Victoria Millesime
Jewellery: Simon Wright