Blue Romance: A Provençal Inspired and Elegant Bridal Editorial

Elsie Joe Photography 39

Happy Friday afternoon darlings, and how are you today? What a crazy week so far, weather extremes, the launch of our gorgeous brand spanking new directory and a dear industry friends incredible wedding over in Marrakech, which we were were able to enjoy from afar via Instagram. Just, wow!

This charming editorial shoot was dreamt up by Jacquie Lawes of Elsie Joe Photography and White Olive Designs, and brought to life by wedding planner and designer Charlotte Nichols. Jacquie wanted to inspire country-loving brides with a luxurious yet natural and rustic setting with lots of botanical details, and incorporating elements and styling from the gorgeous architecture and surroundings of Provence.

“When you think of Provence you think painted doors, french blue tones, heaps of foliage, stone walls and beautiful gardens. To try and recreate a Provençal style wedding in the English countryside, there was no better choice than Caswell House.”

Film by Clementine Cusack Films

Caswell House is a beautiful historic 15th century manor house with stunning medieval barns set in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, offering a stylish and romantic setting for couples. It features beautiful flagstone floors, honey-coloured Cotswold stone walls and oak beams, as well as gorgeous grounds including an ancient orchard, walled gardens and extensive lawns stretching down to the picturesque moat. Being a farm it also had the option to incorporate rustic elements and backdrops that added so much character to the shoot.

Images by Elsie Joe Photography

9 Romantic Blue and Provençal Inspired Bridal Editorial

Colour Palette and Design

Taking inspiration from provencal style and the natural landscape, the colour palette focussed around a deep french blue, lighter dusty blue shades, grey, sage green and touches of white. The design was inspired by French Romance, beautiful light coloured stone architecture, lush botanicals and lots of greenery. We incorporated lots of drapey linens, very ‘on trend’ tassels details and handwritten calligraphy running through the paper goods, cake, cotton backdrop and mirror.

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The tablescape incorporated lots of the deep and dusty blue tones, and elegant touches of silver, as well as reflected the natural and romantic feel of the surroundings. We used an array of gorgeous linens by Silk & Purl including a drapey grey tablecloth, a deeper grey cotton table runner and french blue napkins. The tableware was sourced from China & Co and included handmade stone plates in dusty blue tones, antique silver cutlery and elegant crystal stem glassware.

We had an assortment of candlesticks from Daisy Says I Do including glass and silver mercury and beautiful tall tapered dining candles by Ester & Erik.

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The Flowers

Our wonderful florist Chantal of Twiggy Thistle is known for creating wild and woodsy floral arrangements. To emulate the refined and elegant French country style, she used classic avalanche roses, elegant stems of white Lisianthus, and textural elements like dusky blue eryngium and ivory waxflower. The final bouquet had a wild, untamed beauty and also incorporated a few stems of antirrhinum to add some form and line to the windswept shape.

A mix of foliage, including olive and soft ruscus, was used in abundance to decorate the mirrored table plan, the lovers swing, and the table itself – which was also finished off with a white and green arrangement in a simple white footed bowl from Chantal’s own vintage collection, with the addition of a little dried lavender to tie in with the Provençal theme.

For the ceremony area, she created a very natural deconstructed arch to mimic the lines of the beautiful stone archway at the venue, and to complement the natural beauty of the setting. For this she used tall stems of contoniaster and soft ruscus, and added sprigs of waxflower for an understated elegance.

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For the stationery pieces, Jacquie wanted to complement the tablescape and surroundings by designing something very elegant yet still with a natural feel. Kate Cullen’s grey handmade paper worked perfectly for this and Jacquie then incorporated handwritten white calligraphy on vellum, copper eyelets and grey tassel details to finish off the on-the-day pieces.

The invitation suite had soft blue watercolour tones and elegant calligraphy typography. Subtle details such as hot foiled botanicals and a bee, as well as a copper wax seal, tied in perfectly with the Provençal inspired lavender fields.

For the signage we wanted to have something elegant and natural, keeping to the theme of luxurious draping linens, yet still retaining a modern feel. Jacquie created both a welcome sign and quote banner with elegant designs printed onto organic cotton. She also used a large French vintage style mirror to write the table plan in a romantic calligraphy style.

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Our lovely bride showcased two different dresses both with a boho-luxe feel. The first was a handmade gown by unique and elegant designer Lucy Can’t Dance, incorporating their signature details including bold laces, dip dye silk skirts, breathtaking back details and buttons. The dress had a bohemian and vintage feel yet with a fresh modern twist. The base layer was called pulp fiction with a grey dip dye effect and that was paired with a gorgeous lace top.

The second look featured the slightly more dramatic ‘Mae’ dress by Rock The Frock Bridal.

For the free-spirited bride this gown was effortless, modern and oozing with unique style. With soft flowing skirts and ombré blue and grey tones, both of these gowns worked really well to complement the colour palette of French blue, white and grey and added a modern and dramatic feel to the shoot.

We are all head over heels for tassels this season and so to tie in with the other tassel details on the name places and handmade earrings, we featured a gorgeous pair of shoes called ‘Valentina’ from the new Meadow Dreaming collection by Emmy London. All the intricate detailing on this gorgeous pair would really add that something extra special to you bridal look.

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Hair and Makeup

Our wonderful hair and make up artist, Jo Cable, wanted to create a very natural glossy look for the bride to tie in with the simple and natural feel of the shoot. She went with an almost makeup free look on the face and then went big, loose and natural with the hair, decorating with some beautiful white porcelain flowers by Eden B Studio.

For the first look the hair was worn down and given lots of texture before being pinned up to give a half up half down look. Some loose white porcelain flowers were then scattered throughout to give a feminine and simply elegant feel. For the second look, Jo went all out couture French Bride. Starting with a French pleat to give a classic feel but then to add a slight twist, Jo left a good section of hair out of the pleat and loose on the top. It was tonged into beautiful tousled hair and placed over to one side, finished with a vertical vine of porcelain flowers placed along the pleat to emphasise. Finally to finish off the look and balance the other side of the hair, Jo placed a cluster of further flowers on the side that was sleek.

For the makeup Jo used Charlotte Tilbury for the foundation base, and strobe cream by Mac Cosmetics to give the gloss effect for the highlight to the cheeks. For a natural glossy glow to the apple of the cheek, she used Dr Paw Paw (red). The eyeshadow was a light gold beige tone and a slightly darker tone in the eye socket, achieving a shadow rather than colour. A dark brown eyeliner was blended very close to the eyelashes to give thickness and depth, and also placed on the waterline to define. The eyebrows were also extremely natural, although enhanced with a taupe matte eyeshadow lightly to give thickness. Finally for the lip she used a nude lip pencil all over followed by Dr Paw Paw again.

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The cake, designed by Claire Owen Cakes, was covered with fondant, dusted in powder greys and French blue with a trim of gold leaf, accented by a garland of handmade sugar gold berries and leaves around the central tier. The bottom tier carries a beautiful quote in modern calligraphy to match the quote on the cotton banner sign.

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The photography and edit is Elsie Joe Photography’s signature bohemian style, capturing the storytelling moments with natural, warm tones.

Credits & Thanks


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.

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