Osea Island is a small, privately owned island located off the Essex coast and accessible via a tidal causeway. The island is offered exclusive hire for weddings and special events. This includes using its four event spaces, outdoor spaces and accommodation in a selection of small and more significant self-catering properties, including The Manor House (often taken by the bridal party) and The Captains House (usually the base for the groom’s party).
So for couples in the UK who would like all of the pros of a destination wedding but close to home, with no flying involved, it’s a great option. And for non-UK residents, it offers a fantastic destination wedding experience.
The Shoot Concept:
Osea Island is reminiscent of The Hamptons in the US, with its relaxed, casual vibe and Hamptons-style interiors in many of the properties.
The blue palette chosen for the shoot is “very Hamptons”, but more than that, it emulates the coastal setting. We added white and a pale blush peach but generally kept the palette very soft and muted. We teamed the colour palette with an elegant, sophisticated, yet understated design scheme. This includes beautiful florals, lush linens, high-class furniture and luxury tableware. We also added crystal accessories to showcase the sophistication of the design without making it too glitzy.
As a wedding planner and designer, I have always loved the idea of a serpentine dinner table, and it just seemed the right fit for this styled shoot. I felt it reflected the coastline, the waves, and the ridges in the sand caused by the tide. Couple that with a dreamy pergola dressed in voile and the most epic fairy light canopy, and we had the most spectacular setting for our wedding dinner table.
Our florals showcased the hydrangea flower; it’s a floral that I love but more than that, it’s the unofficial flower of The Hamptons.
The island’s event spaces include “The Bomb Factory” (yes, they built bombs on the island during WW2). This large building has been fantastically repurposed and can now accommodate upwards towards 300 guests for a wedding reception. We were keen to showcase this space (after all, if planning an outdoor wedding reception in the UK, it’s essential to have a plan B (wet weather plan). So the shoot features an indoor dinner set up inside the Bomb Factory and the outdoor serpentine table.
We have featured two ceremonies in this shoot, including a Jewish chuppah (marriage canopy).
For our Chuppah, we incorporated the blue theming and the dreamy fabric, and the seating just had to be the island’s classic Adirondack chairs.
We staged our Chuppah (and serpentine wedding dinner table) in a garden bordering the beachfront whilst the tide was in and watched the scene come to life as we progressed from daylight through the golden hour into darkness. It was truly a spectacular and romantic setting for a Jewish wedding on a UK island.
The bride wore a beautiful Pronovias dress from Mirror Mirror London for the Chuppah. Following the ceremony, she changed into a silk crepe bias-cut gown with a silk organza cape from Mirror Mirror Couture.
Our second ceremony – a non-denominational symbolic service – was staged in another of the island’s historic buildings, its repurposed “Power House”. The bride wore another Pronovias dress for this ceremony, and we featured a ceremony arch and lots of candles.
The groom wore a statement blue suit from TuxLux London for the symbolic ceremony and a blue tux from Tux Lux London for the Jewish ceremony.
The design inspiration and the detailed scheme were the work of Elegante by Michelle J, but could not have been brought to fruition without a successful collaboration with a fantastic team of talented and passionate wedding industry suppliers.
Osea Island is a privately owned island located in the estuary of the Blackwater River in Essex, England. It is approximately 380 acres in size and is accessible by a causeway that is only passable during low tide.
The island’s long and exciting history dates back to the Bronze Age. In the 12th century, it was owned by the Knights Templar; in the 16th century, it was owned by Henry VIII. During World War II, the island was used by the Royal Navy as a secret weapons testing site.
Today, Osea Island is primarily a luxury retreat and event space. It has several luxurious villas and cottages available for rent, as well as a private beach, tennis court, and other amenities. The island is also famous for weddings and corporate events and has been used as a filming location for movies and television shows.
In recent years, the island has become known for its eco-friendly practices. It is powered by renewable energy sources and has its water treatment plant. The island also has a farm that produces organic vegetables and eggs used in the island’s restaurant.