Bridal Inspiration Board #69 ~ Gourmet Grandeur Wedding

Hello!  It's the Pocketful of Dreams girls here!  After a brief hiatus where we've been busying ourselves working on some very exciting projects, we are thrilled to be back gracing these fine pages.  If you've not seen our most recent bridal inspiration posts, then we've been showcasing some fabulous UK venues and sharing our own design concepts to help you bring a little bit of Pocketful of Dreams magic to your wedding day.

So far we've covered edgy warehouseslaidback tent affairscountry house weddings and now we're moving on to look at the type of venue that you might consider if you are truly passionate about your food and want to treat your guests to a gourmet feast they will never forget…Yes, today is the turn of the restaurant wedding…

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Image Credits: 1-5. Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons 6. Photography by Catherine

THE VENUE… Long gone are the days where all wedding breakfasts tasted the same and tended to feature uninspiring dishes where the only thing served warm was the gravy.  Instead, venues and caterers are getting more daring and creative whilst couples are getting more discerning.  And hurrah to that we say!  Food and drink will comprise one of the most expensive elements of your day and so expectations and demands are being set increasingly high.  

For couples who have a shared passion for great food and fine wines then it stands to reason that your wedding breakfast is going to be a real focal point for your day and what better place to choose to get married than a restaurant and if you really want to spoil your friends and family, opt for a true gourmet hideaway.  Somewhere slightly out of the hustle and bustle of the city, where guests can share your passion for fine dining whilst revelling in the most sublime of surroundings; we're talking Michelin star quality food and breathtakingly elegant surroundings.  Restaurant weddings tend to cater for the more intimate affair, with parties typically up to around 50 guests and so allow you to truly spoil your guests.

One of our favourite examples of this type of venue and one that we've been lucky enough to work with recently, is Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.  Based in Oxfordshire, this two Michelin star restaurant and hotel is the vision of Raymond Blanc and effortlessly combines culinary excellence with luxury accommodations and some of the most stunning working and decorative gardens we have ever seen, creating a high end wedding celebrating the very best of…well, everything really.

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Image Credits: 1. Jose Villa 2. Elizabeth Messina 3. Indochine 4. Cora Ginsburgh 5. Vicki Grafton 6. Total Wall Covering 7. Haute Look 8. Wanelo 9. Neither Snow 10. Mark Brooke 11. Jose Villa

THE INSPIRATION… It stands to reason that the key driver for booking somewhere like Le Manoir for your wedding day is the undeniably fabulous cuisine.  But if that is your main point of consideration then you might be left wondering how to approach the overall style and design of your wedding.  Well one of our favourite elements of Le Manoir is the hidden-away Japanese Tea Gardens and it was this little space that inspired our Gourmet Grandeur look.  So working from those gardens and the beautiful tea room there, we created a design concept that subtly and creatively portrays a Far East influence.  And one that looked oh-so-beautiful when we had the opportunity to bring this look to life at a recent shoot at the venue.  Stylish and thoughtful details and decor are used throughout the design, creating an overall look that is neither themed or contrived.  

The trick for a venue like this is to recognise that the food is going to be the star of the show, so our aim is to create a beautiful and thoughtfully presented setting within which that food can shine.

Our colour palette is rich and warm, perfect for these end-of-Autumn days.  Think burgundy, wine, mauve, soft pinks and peach with a grounding base of oyster silk, all offset by some stunning blue shades for an added punch of interest which subtly references back to the classic blue found in Chinoiserie patterns.  Adding in brass and antique gold tones and materials add a luxe and old world feel to the look helping to establish an overall effect of refined luxury.  

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Image Credits: 1. Halfpenny London 2. Elle 3. October House 4. Religion 5. Chanel 6. Manolo Blahnik 7. LeiVanKash Feather 8. Alden 9. Marc Jacobs

THE LOOK… our Gourmet Grandeur Bride demands a luxurious and refined look.  And we've found just the perfect dress in this beautiful gown from stylist and dress designer Kate Halfpenny.  The luxurious materials, delicate details and infinitely flattering cut create a look that is just perfect for our design concept; no bride wearing this is going to look out of place in a Michelin star venue…We'd pair with these striking Manolo Blahnik Lace Tayler Shoes in an eyecatching burgundy and beautiful luxe jewellery and accessories such as these Chanel Flower Earings and this delicate LeiVanKash Feather Bracelet.

Wear hair down in loose and bouncy barrel curls and inject some high octane glamour to your grandeur look with a rich berry lip that is guaranteed to leave your mark on all your guests' cheeks!  That rich burgundy tone is brought through again in the bridesmaid dresses; we love this simple but oh-so-elegant Religion Maxi Dress.

Bringing that stunning midnight blue from our colour palette to life, our groom cuts a dashing figure in a bespoke tailored navy suit such as this one from our favourite tailors, October House.

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Fallen for this look?  We have created a round-up of bridesmaid dresses, accessories, shoes and make-up to fit with our Gourmet Grandeur wedding design so you can shop the style just by clicking on the image above.

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Image Credits: 1. Gemma Milly 2. Cakes by Krishanthi 3. Sweet Violet Bride 4. Brollies Galore 5. The Pink Pagoda 6. Sweet Violet Bride 7. Selling Antiques 8. Farley 9. Amy Merrick 10 & 11. Amara 12. Zara Home 13. Art of Bead on Etsy 14 & 15. Amara 16. Gemma Milly 17 & 18. Vintage Style Hire

THE DESIGN… Our goal with the design is to create the ultimate luxurious backdrop to your fabulous dining experience.  Show your cuisine off to full effect with stunning jacquard table linens and luxury tableware.  We'd opt for gold patterned charger plates set beneath delicately patterned plates introducing a soft blue.  Look to Chinoiserie style patterns for inspiration but if these are too harsh a blue, don't be afraid to experiment with more European style designs.  Source intricate gold and brass toned urns to create overflowing displays of flowers, interspersed with seasonal and edible elements to reflect your gourmet setting such as rosehips and raspberries.

With a more intimate wedding party, you really can afford to go all out with these details so invest in charming, luxe details like this stunning swan salt dish from Amara.  And of course such fine dining deserves the best possible introduction so create a wow factor table plan with scrolls displaying names in handwritten flowing calligraphy and floral garlands to turn this into something far beyond just a practical sign.

Vintage furniture can be used in stylish set ups in the gorgeous grounds at Le Manoir and also as a stylish but unexpected seating option for the wedding breakfast.  Interesting tassels in ombre shades or vintage keys would look stunning hanging from vintage dresser drawers or chair backs.  Meanwhile, we'd create a real impact overhead with an eye-catching installation of antique style lanterns and pagoda umbrellas.

For our paper goods, we'd look to one of our favourite stationery designers, Gemma Milly to design us a unique pattern featuring painterly effects.  Just because you're going for a luxurious look, don't be afraid to have a little fun with your bespoke design work.  The pattern we feature here references back to the oriental elements that first inspired this look but presented in a slightly whimsical way with oversized fish and quirky pagodas nestling in amongst the flowers.  This design can be used not just in your stationery elements but also carried across onto a wow factor tiered cake and stops the overall look veering too far into a stuffy affair.  We're looking for luxury and high end but presented in an unexpected way with little details and touches that really surprise and delight your guests.

Our Gourmet Grandeur design was designed specifically with Le Manoir in mind but of course, this look would work for any couple getting married in a luxurious, restaurant venue set in stunning grounds.  It really is the perfect choice for any couple with a true passion for good food who are looking to really spoil their guests.  So if you love this look and are yet to pick a venue, then make sure you check out these other foodie heaven venues across the UK:

The North: The award winning Samling in the Lake District is a true luxury hotel set in 67 acres of stunning landscape and a restaurant awarded a Michelin star in the 2014 Michelin Guide.  Suitable for intimate weddings of up to 22 people, this will give you exclusive use of this breathtaking venue.

The South: L'Ortolan is a stunning Michelin starred restaurant serving contemporary French cuisine in a grand old house and catering for intimate weddings.  Or for those who want the most incredible gourmet experience but without quite so much grandeur, then consider the famous River Cottage in Devon for a more relaxed and laidback setting.

Or of course, look to your own favourite restaurant which might already have special memories from your relationship together; think back to where you've enjoyed your first dinner date, anniversary meals and even perhaps the venue for your proposal.

Do let us know what you think in the comments box below; we loved this look so much that we set about creating it at Le Manoir in a recent photo shoot – keep your eyes peeled as we'll be sharing details of the fabulous team that we worked with and the finished images from the shoot, very soon!

And don't forget we offer a design service to wedding planning couples to create wedding mood boards just like these.  We can work with you to help you refine your ideas, adding our extensive knowledge of what we know works and providing you with a set of comprehensive mood boards that you can use to brief your own team of suppliers.  Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Michelle & Vicki xx

Creative Event Designers at Pocketful of Dreams



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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, 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.