September Dahlias – Elegant Garden Wedding Inspiration at Hurst Farm Wedding Venue in Kent

garden wedding

Captured at the beautiful Hurst Farm, in the heart of the Kentish countryside, this elegant editorial brilliant sets out to inspire couples who are looking to celebrate their wedding outdoors.

Multiple Love My Dress directory members and recommended suppliers participated in this editorial, which was conceived and styled by one of our newest members, Susannah Parker of Couture Events. You will also spot delicious headpiece designs by Hermione Harbutt, shoes to die for by Emmy London and beautiful stationery by Emily & Jo.

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“The idyllic setting for our shoot was Hurst Farm in the South of England, complete with an iconic Oast house (a  former hop kiln for the making of beer) which are unique to Kent and parts of Sussex.”

“Kent is often fondly  referred to as ‘The Garden of England’ due to its rolling green hills and beautiful scenery, host to fertile farmland  and cultivated country estates with fruit filled orchards. The date was late September 2020, a warm and  beautifully balmy day, blessed with beautifully soft light.”

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“I wanted to use this shoot to inspire newly engaged couples to look differently at options which they might  traditionally have rejected but which now, in these uncertain times, may well become a feasible and desirable  alternative – namely a non-peak season, outdoor wedding, hosted at home, simply done but strikingly beautiful.”

“The objective was to demonstrate that you don’t need an expensive, high end venue to have a unique and stylish  wedding, but a garden or orchard can be equally as unforgettable and is also a practical outdoor solution given  the current pandemic.”

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“Also, with venues and suppliers being so heavily booked for next summer due to  postponements, September should not be discounted and indeed is a wonderful month in which to get married – the South of England’s September climate offers lingering warmth and long hazy days without the uncomfortable  heat of summer.”

“Moving on to the design of the day, I was heavily influenced by two factors. Firstly, as dahlias are in season in  September, I developed the motif and wove it through various touchpoint of the day such as the stationery designs  and also the tableware.”

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“Secondly, every bride has an iconic accessory that she has lusted after and then treasures  as part of her wedding styling and for this shoot, I chose an epic pair of blush suede mules by designer Emmy London.”

I threaded this sensory signature through various touchpoints for example, the beautiful blush velvet sofa,  blush detailing in the jewellery and hair vine, the sugar flowers on the 3 tier wedding cake and of course the blush  Champagne.”

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“With cafe au lait dahlias the inspiration for our stationery, Emily & Jo designed the most beautiful invitation  suite and accompanying day stationery – my favourite pieces were the gorgeous dahlia illustrated envelope lining and the huge welcome sign.”

“Our envelope and escort cards were scripted by the lovely calligrapher Nyree at Paint and Ink Studio.” 

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“For this country garden wedding at home, the bride’s gown had to reflect her desire for a sleek contemporary and  versatile look whilst being appropriate for a country garden wedding.”

“This exquisite one shoulder gown with its  incredible embroidered tulle, embellished with 3D laser cut flowers, glass beads and sequins, by Anna Campbell  from Blackburn Bridal achieved that perfectly.”

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“We kept the groom looking modern and unfussy with this crisp  navy ensemble from Stephen Bishop Suiting. Our hair and make up artiste Hannah Monk styled the bride with  light and natural make up and created a beautifully timeless hair style which really showed off the bride’s elegant  neck and the gorgeous bridal hair vine and earrings from Hermione Harbutt.”

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“For the ceremony, I chose natural linen directors chairs which looked equally at home in the orchard environment  and then later, around the dining table.”

“The integration of the floral designs themselves into 4 areas I styled was key to the design concept, but not only  that, they had to be used more than once where possible so show value for money.”

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“I was very keen that the floral  installations should look like a natural extension of the setting rather than temporary fixed arrangements – my florist Ali from Bloomologie flowers took this concept and came up with the most beautiful designs for the ceremony and lounge area where the ancient apple tree had seemingly ‘bloomed’, all around the tablescape where the existing grape vine morphs into the most incredible asymmetrical floral arch and the floral cloud over the bar which  appears as a natural extension of the huge branch overhead.”

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“All the other flowers were movable and were  repurposed as much as possible – the ceremony aisle meadows were used to frame the lounge area and the front of the bar and the table bud vases were relocated to the coffee tables, the bar and the sanitising station before in  principle they could be finally given away to guests at the end.”

“The flowers we used were English roses,  delphiniums, and dahlias, with some meadowy flowers such as Queen Anne’s Lace, Japanese anemone, astilbe, and  foliage including jasmine for a look that was natural, stylish, luxe and wild.”

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“For my country luxe tablescape, I purposefully didn’t want the tableware to look overly formal, or so obviously  hired, so I specifically wanted to source china which looked almost homely – when I found the floral dahlia plate  at Maison Margaux, a new rental company in London, I knew it would be perfect for this concept.”

“Similarly, I wanted the lounge area to be styled as if the family’s own heritage furniture had been lifted from the  drawing room and set out in the orchard for the comfort of guests, and the stunning pieces I selected from The W Collection captured this vibe perfectly.”

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“In terms of the wedding cake, I knew that Lindsay Pemberton’s signature exquisite miniature sugar flowers,  delicate detailing and perfectly smooth finish would be the perfect design for this setting.”

“I was keen to explore  with Lindsay some guest favours which were a move away from the norm – she came up with an innovative  solution of an inverted macaron on a delicate lollystick at each place setting, finished with the tiniest iced rose.”

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“As no English wedding is complete without a Champagne afternoon tea in the sunshine, her miniature afternoon  cake, luxury cupcakes and iced biscuits finished the sweet treat offering perfectly.”

“I hope that Love My Dress readers will enjoy our inspiration as much as we enjoyed creating it.” 

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.