Secret Garden, Outdoor Wedding Inspiration…

A couple of weeks ago, I featured an article by 'One Life Ceremonies' which talked about how British couples can have the wedding of their dreams – be it outside, in the pool scuba-diving or hand-fasting on the top of a hill in the middle of no-where.  There is a way around the current UK law and legislation that prevent ceremonies from taking place in anywhere other than a licensed venue that means you can still have the day of your dreams – read more about it here.

Having been blogging about weddings for not far off 2 years now, I have observed a subtle shift in attitudes here in the UK – a shift I feel is now gathering pace and encouraging more and more couples to do their wedding their way, rather than just settle for the formality of a traditional wedding ceremony. 

These beautiful photographs were sent in by upcoming UK Photographer James Melia, who worked with a team led by Abbey of wedding and event stylists Beau Collections, to create this inspirational photoshoot. Abbey talks us through the concept and how they set out to inspire Love My Dress readers and Brides to be and offer encouragement for couples looking for a stylish outdoor wedding…

"There is something about The Secret Garden that I find truly magical and from the first time I visited it I knew it would be the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding.

As I walked around the countless gardens I got lost in the magic of it all; my imagination was running wild with images of chandeliers in the trees, kisses on the balcony and Pimms on the terrace…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, James Melia

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secret garden outdoor wedding secret garden outdoor wedding

secret garden outdoor wedding

secret garden outdoor wedding

"My own wedding is next year and from seeing so many beautiful outdoor weddings on the American wedding blogs I knew this was the style I wanted to create, but after lots of searching all I could find peacock feather centre pieces, balloon arches and hotel receptions – my worst nightmare!  

I decided that to get exactly the look I wanted for my wedding, I would have to buy and make everything, so I had a tree swing built, collected chandeliers and started restoring vintage dressers… steadily my collection began to grow and grow, and it is now so big that I am now hiring my collection to other brides and helping to style outdoor weddings through my business Beau Collections…"

secret garden outdoor wedding

"Outdoor weddings are becoming very popular thanks to wedding blogs like Love My Dress, brides are seeing much more inspiration and style tips from places like America and want to replicate the style over here…."

secret garden outdoor wedding

secret garden outdoor wedding


secret garden outdoor wedding


"We knew we wanted our wedding ceremony outdoors, not just the reception and photographs so we found Maria and Laurra from One Life Ceremonies who specialise in outdoor weddings. It was such a breath of fresh air knowing that by using them to write and conduct our wedding we could have the ceremony that we wanted and forgo the stuffy licensed hotel!"

Between us and with the help of  James Melia, who is going to be out wedding photographer we knew that we had to bring all these elements together to show that you can have a beautiful outdoor wedding in the UK!"

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"I enlisted the help of my beautiful friend Becky and her boyfriend Jason to become our bride and groom and Maria from One Life Ceremonies to perform the outdoor wedding ceremony.

The look for the shoot was very whimsical and romantic, Becky our bride was dressed in a beautiful Ellis gown from Cinderella's Bridal House in Doncaster who also provided the flowers and did a lovely job dressing the rose arch and the flower garland for Becky’s hair to fit in perfectly with the theme.

Makeup Artist,  Jo-Anne Bilham did a great job of transforming Becky into a beautiful garden fairy, she looked so magical with her bare feet and flowers in her hair…"





























"Becky and Jason are such a great couple, they had lots of laughs during the shoot! Especially when the cupcakes came out!  Sugar Rose Cakes provided the beautiful, yummy cupcakes, they fitted the theme so well and I will definitely be ordering these for my wedding next year! The little heart cake was too cute for words!

And we had some stunning wedding stationary from the very talented Natalie Ramsell from i am Nat.
The whole shoot was captured perfectly by  James Melia I just love his style and knew he would help me create the perfect look for the day and show brides just how beautiful and stylish an outdoor wedding can be!"












Photography – James Melia
Stylists – Beau Collections
Outdoor Wedding Ceremony Advisor – One Life Ceremonies
Makeup Artist – Jo Bilham
Cakes – Sugar Rose
Brides Dress & Flowers – Cinderella's Bridal House
Stationery – i am Nat
Venue – Secret Garden

♥    ♥    ♥


How gorgeous is THIS?? I completely adore it and have taken lots of lovely stying inspiration from it myself {hmm, I'm planning a Soiree for 2012, you heard it here first ;)}

Huge thanks to the whole team above but special thanks to James Melia and Beau Collections for creating this inspirational vision for Love My Dress.

See more from James Melia on Love My Dress here.

I'd love to know if any of my readers are planning an outdoor wedding in the UK?

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, getting in the sea, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.