Bridal inspiration for late summer

A quirky and magical Sussex wedding venue - Woodfords

Bridal photo shoots are always exciting as you get to indulge your creativity in all sorts of ways. Last autumn I was contacted by Lucy from Weddings at Woodfords a wedding venue very local to me, to join their team of wedding suppliers for an open day. The open day was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather but we still went ahead with a styled photo shoot a few days later when it was a hot sunny day.

Woodfords sign on farmgate

Weddings at Woodfords

Woodfords is a magical woodland wonderland nestled in West Sussex just north of Brighton and it belongs to sculptor Johnny Woodford. Johnny creates incredible gigantic timber sculptures and he built all the structures, quirky cabins, giant swings, olympic podium and countless amazing structures at his woodland home at Woodfords, mainly carving on a large scale with a chainsaw. Johnny also created an impressive sculpture for the Chelsea Flower Show this year that can be seen very very soon as part of Andy Sturgeon’s show garden. Johnny’s place is available to hire on a few select dates each year and makes for a wonderful intimate, magical and totally unique place to celebrate a wedding or special occasion.

Woodland cabin and bride with flowers

Late summer wedding inspiration

I will list below all the wonderful suppliers and professionals took part in this styled shoot. All of them being established and local to Woodfords in Sussex, we had a wonderful model, a hair and make-up artist, a vintage bridal dress shop, event organiser, wedding photographer and myself as wedding florist contributing to the shoot. The aim was to capture the spirit of Woodfords and create a scene that would fit the best outdoor weddings and special parties in style, outfits, florals to complement the natural and unique surroundings.

Bride having make up by the lake
Bride on giant woodland swing with flowers
Boho bride on rope swing wearing lace dress and flowers

Bridal outfits for romantic outdoor weddings

Throughout the day model Scarlett was dressed in beautiful vintage gowns supplied by Louise from Hope and Harlequin in Brighton, a vintage dress shop on Sydney street, and Gill from Gill East Hair and Makeup created an amazing variety of bridal hair and stunning make up to suit each outfit and also the time of day from ceremony to evening party dresses. It started with make up by the beautiful pond and Scarlett getting ready in one of the cabins couples can choose for their wedding night. There were shots styled on giant swings, rope swings, romantic outdoor daybeds around the grounds. The shoot started with a stunning lace bridal dress and an incredible plaited bridal hair.

Boho bride on woodland daybed with flowers and bunting
Woodland field with playground, benches and tent for weddings

The second bridal outfit was a plain soft silk gown and Scarlett was wearing a full floral crown with it. She walked through Johnny’s fantastic outdoor kitchen on her way to the giant rope swing I decorated with flowers, which is perfect for romantic floral swing images at weddings.

Bride walking through outdoor woodland kitchen
Bride getting ready in woodland cabin
Bride with flowers sitting on rustic woodland cabin bench
Bride on rope swing with flowers
Bride in woodland ceremony stage with flowers

Woodland wedding ceremony

For a woodland wedding at Woodfords I decorated a covered secluded stage/podium sunk in a natural amphitheatre area with natural branches, foliages and seasonal autumn flowers which gave the bridal images an autumnal feel, using sustainable techniques for the installation. To learn how to create similar large foam free designs, I am teaching a floristry class at Ballywalter Park in Northern Ireland September 2019 where we will be creating event flowers on a similar scale.

Bride wearing flower crown looking at foliage ceremony arch
Woodland bride with flowers and dog on ceremony stage
Woodland bride surrounded by woodland ceremony arch flowers

Woodland wedding evening party

Scarlett’s evening outfit was an amazingly sparkly dress which fitted the setting sun and light levels beautifully. With a more relaxed hairdo and some champagne on hand strolling through Woodfords’ secluded natural areas, woodland sculpture park, outdoor daybed and of course the bar, it makes for a fantastically unique party location not just for weddings but any special celebration party.

Bride with bouquet in woodland sculpture park
Bride wearing sparkling evening dress with champagne in woodland meadow
Bride in sparkly evening gown with flower arch at wedding party

Model: Scarlett Rose @scarlettascope

Photography: Stephanie Maciuk Photography

Hair and make up: Gill East

Vintage bridal outfits: Hope and Harlequin

Flowers: Botanika

Venue: Weddings at Woodfords