English Garden Wedding Decor Styled Shoot at The Oakwood at Ryther

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

It's the first day of spring and we can't think of a more appropriate time to share this gorgeous English Garden inspired styled shoot. Full of inspiration for a modern luxe ceremony and fresh reception decor, this shoot shows that barn venues don't always require rustic decor. Hayley, from the venue The Oakwood at Ryther, tells us all about the concept for the shoot.


The Theme for this shoot was ‘English Garden’ and we wanted to create two different looks, one for a Ceremony, and the other for the Reception, which told the story of a classic English summer garden and all the beauty and joy that brings. We wanted to create a really clean look for the ceremony so opted for lots of clear glassware and acrylic pedestals in varying heights to add depth to the styling. The polished tiles on the floor in the barn looked simply magical when the candlelight reflected off them and really defined the aisle. We then highlighted the back wall with further candlelight. 


For the chairs, we added sage green chiffon drapes that worked in perfect harmony with the rest of the styling and really pulled the shades of green out from Victoria’s floristry. Letting them fall to the floor effortlessly provided a beautiful feminine feel that contrasted with the textures of the foliage. To coordinate with the modern, luxurious design of the venue, we wanted to incorporate some modern statement pieces, so we opted for a black calligraphy font on white gloss acrylic for the wedding signage. 


The Oakwood at Ryther is a brand-new wedding venue nestled in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside. Boasting a beautiful Ceremony Hall and separate Wedding Barn, this shoot was a creative’s dream, as the design scope was limitless. The team were excited to be amongst some of the first to bring the venue to life through florals and styling. 


Surrounded by the open countryside, Oakwood is the perfect example of how structure and modernity can work hand in hand with nature. The warming natural materials championed across the venue, from the hand carved, solid oak arches and natural stone flooring in the Ceremony Hall, to the rustic brick, and original wooden beams in the Wedding Barn, sit effortlessly against more modern and luxurious elements, namely statement chandeliers, glass balustrades and soft draping. Oakwood is the epitome of rustic-luxe and leaves a really lasting impression on all who visit.  


All flowers used were British grown, with the majority grown just outside of York by Sally at Pickers Cut Flowers. British blooms were so important to the floral creation, as it’s showcasing not only local nurtured and grown stems, but embracing the seasons, showcasing what Mother Nature gifts us and what you typically would see growing in your gardens, surrounding meadows and countryside in the summer months. From cornflowers to sweet William, with the gentle dance of the grasses and the delicate detail of the ammi, made this design bespoke and a nod to the gift we are given from the earth. 

Victoria has worked with Sally at Pickers Cut Flowers for around 18 months now, and developed a real respect for the incredible job that she and the rest of our talented growers within the UK do. Lining the aisle with the most beautiful scent of white stocks and sweet peas, lining the aisle through the soft candlelight provided by Ambience Styling. It was important to Laura and me to include height, texture and detail to the design, allowing the eye to move through the detail. 


Cath from Raspberry Toast to designed some stationery pieces to coincide with the more modern and stylistic look of the venue. She created some fantastic place names, table names, menu cards and invitations with a minimalist feel, clean font, wax seals and beautiful tracing paper details which complemented the florals and styling perfectly.  


The inspiration behind the shoot was to showcase Mother Nature at her best, working with the beautiful interiors of Oakwood and creating a seamless transition, bringing the outdoor countryside in. Creating a seasonal styling and embracing the prettiness of what a June garden can give us. 

In the Wedding Barn, each table was designed to specifically celebrate and showcase a garden. From the ‘Herb Patch’, which gave the most incredible smell of mint, lavender, sage and rosemary, sitting in stone plant pots, sitting on a silk organza sage sash, accompanied with the elegance of tapered white candles, to a moss wreath, which had the beautiful scent of white lavender wafting from the top, with the dancing of cornflowers and grasses. Victoria is a real advocate for couples enjoying their centerpieces and taking a piece of their day home, which can be planted and in years to come remind them of the day, from the smell, look and feel. There was also the delicate ammi creating a see through effect, working beautifully with the surrounding of the oak staircase, to the beautiful drapes and twinkle of chandeliers peeping through the dancing stems of ammi. 

Emphasising the grand central staircase was a feature we wanted to really give focus to in the Wedding Barn. Creating a banquet table, trailing a sea of florals from the floor, in softest tones of pinks, peaches, with beautiful undertones of coral and lilac appearing through. Losing yourself in the sheer romance of the styling, then flowing up the stairs through dreamy candle light and again being greeted by the joy of Mother Nature. 


Laura, of Ambience Venue Styling UK & York, wanted to use the stunning backdrop that the team have created at Oakwood, and ensure the design worked in partnership with the venue, whilst using the natural beauty the farm sits amongst. Ambience specialise in creating the most beautiful and ethereal spaces using soft colour palettes, warm candlelight and delicate textures to produce a real feast for all the senses.  


For the wedding reception images we wanted to achieve a striking look that used the stunning exposed staircase as a backdrop. We brought the top table into the centre of the room with round guest tables to surround it in order to combine both banquet style dining and traditional dining. We then framed the end of the top table with florals and candlelight. Contrasting usage of white and sage green fabrics throughout the styling added definition and an abundance of candlelight provided an inviting glow, despite it being a beautiful summer day. 


Most styled shoots, as with weddings, have such a huge team behind them and everyone comes together on that special day to create real magic and something so stunning. This shoot however was a little different. Due to Covid and the restrictions that placed on us, we wanted to keep the creative team small and thus really showcase each supplier’s talents. Victoria worked closely with Laura from Ambience to ensure the styling and florals tied in perfectly and choosing to work with Hayley Baxter, the incredible photographer was the easiest decision ever. She is absolutely brilliant, and her style meant that while we didn’t have a model couple on the day (for obvious reasons at the time), Hayley was able to capture a real sense of magic and movement and tranquillity which we were all over the moon about. 


Venue: The Oakwood at Ryther

Styling: Ambience Venue Styling York

Florist: Victoria Ivy Floral Design 

Flowers: Pickers Cut Flowers

Photographer: Hayley Baxter Photography

Stationery: Raspberry Toast

From Brides, With Love

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