The idea behind the shoots was to create some beautiful ideas for what couples can do during the uncertainty of the current global situation. With there being so many questions surrounding venues opening, guest number and weddings in general, we wanted to show what could be done to keep the romance alive! I was certain that I wanted to show three very different shoots and important stages within a relationship, the engagement, the wedding and the anniversary.
It was also important that they looked real and relatable when couples look to them for ideas. I wanted to use real couples, in real situations in their own clothes and doing their own hair and makeup. Not only was this to ensure everybody could stay at a safe distance, but to me, it just made the whole day feel more romantic.
The Summery Engagement Picnic
The current global pandemic has forced people to spend more time outside and more time together. As I was walking about the park one day, I thought about how special it would be, and what an incredibly positive moment it would be to have a really beautiful picnic engagement. Using the brightest colours we could find, pinks, yellows and peach flowers surrounding a low table dressed with the most gorgeous cushions and love signs to create the perfect summer proposal. My favourite colour is also yellow, so it made this an extremely fun shoot to play with!
The Autumnal Anniversary Dinner
The anniversary dinner felt very special to me. I feel in love with the Drawing Room at Four Seasons Hampshire as soon as I saw it, and I know that it would be the perfect space for a romantic dinner, with the feature fireplace and gorgeous wood panelling. I opted for the deep intense, autumnal colours, green foliage, deep red roses and deep purple hydrangeas which created a gorgeous backdrop to the dinner. I love all things romance (being a wedding planner) and felt this would be the perfect Anniversary dinner for any couple!
The Intimate Summer Wedding
Being in such a beautiful country house venue, I wanted the wedding theme to follow suit. We kept the flowers very loose and whimsical in beautiful white and ivory colours. Being the perfect season, we took advantage and used the gorgeous peonies for each place setting along with the forget-me-nots to symbolise the remembrance of good memories and true love. The detail is very important to me, especially when it came to showing the story of the wedding, from the welcome gifts in the rooms, through to the reserved signs at the ceremony and the gorgeous choice of flowers.
MILLIE STONE STATIONERY
Wedding stationery for Wedding Anniversary Dinner:
The wedding stationery for the anniversary dinner combines luxury alternative elegance by bringing together black and gold. Hannah and I were particularly inspired by the contrast between the bright red and pink tones of the flowers and the subtle shine of the gold in the stationery and the effect are particularly striking.
I absolutely love this scheme coordinated by Maple Rose; the happy colours and combination of textures are what transforms this al fresco dining experience into a cosy romantic picnic. The setting is stunning with the backdrop of the Four Seasons and the crisp white stationery against the bright warm tones really lighten the table.
Working together with Hannah on this scheme was so lovely because her vision to bring together subtle blues, the use of green and white in the floral arrangements and natural neutral colours for the wedding stationery makes it an incredibly versatile scheme. My favourite idea Hannah had for this scheme was to add the vinyl ‘to have… …and to hold’ sticker onto the back of the ghost chairs. The layout of my invitation suite was particularly inventive, with the use of silk ribbon, ring box, lovely florals and stamps which pulled the whole scheme together perfectly. Also, the suggestion to add the Four Seasons building illustration to the envelope liner and invitation was a great way to make the most of the stunning building. I really appreciate all the hard work that Hannah from Maple Rose and Anneli Marinovich’s beautiful photography has captured into making my stationery products look beautiful.
DAVID & JESS – The Anniversary
How they met & the engagement:
David and I are what you may call childhood sweethearts. We met back in 2004 when I was 16 and he was 19, and we spent 5 years together. We got engaged in 2008 but soon realised it was all too much too young and parted ways a year later; I stayed living in Edinburgh and he moved to London. Thereafter we had zero contact for 7 years until an impromptu meet up in 2016, following which we began dating again. I then moved to London and during an East Coast America road trip in September 2018, David proposed to me on a beach in Martha’s Vineyard, with my original engagement ring. Our wedding was then 10 months later.
Their wedding (5th of July 2019):
David and I have both always liked simple elegance and old Hollywood glamour. Neither of us wanted a theme, as such, or any cliché gimmicks but our Black Tie dress code was our way of incorporating a ‘timeless’ style. I didn’t tie myself in knots making sure everything matched perfectly; I just picked everything according to our style, knowing it would all complement the overall look.
A few words from Jess on why they did this shoot and their experience:
“The shoot was a lovely day out for us. It gave us a chance to get dressed up and spend the afternoon at this beautiful Four Seasons property, which we’ve been meaning to visit for some time. We were also delighted to be photographed by Anneli again, especially so close to our first wedding anniversary as it brought back such fond memories for us both.”
A few words from Anneli about the wedding anniversary shoot:
“Having captured Jess & David’s wedding in 2019, it was an absolute pleasure working with them again to create their first wedding anniversary story! Much like their wedding day, the style of the wedding anniversary was effortlessly elegant. Jess looked gorgeous in a chic floor-length black gown and David wore his tuxedo from the wedding…and he wears it so well! We picked up right where we left off after the wedding and it was so lovely to create these memories for them to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary. Jess & David are a dream couple to photograph, and with a little bit of light direction, gorgeous styling by Hannah from Maple Rose and breath-taking floral design by Paula Rooney, we captured their incredibly romantic wedding anniversary dinner story at The Four Seasons Hampshire.”
Kerry & Leon – Wedding Shoot
How you and Leon met & the proposal?
“We were only 21 when we found one another. We met at one of my (Kerry’s) family friends 50th birthday parties. They had hired Leon as a barman and I was taken with him immediately. We hit it off after he made me several perfectly concocted Cosmopolitans and we have been inseparable ever since. The proposal was absolutely beautiful; we were on holiday in Croatia and Leon had planned a trip to a wonderful island called Lokrum, which had rabbits and peacocks roaming free. Leon took me up to a secluded point near the old fort with a stunning view of the sea and the other islands and began flying his drone, pretending he wanted videos of the surroundings. In reality, Leon was secretly filming in anticipation of getting down on one knee. The proposal was perfect and so completely ‘us’.”
Why you agreed to do the Four Seasons Hampshire shoot?
“We thought it was a unique opportunity to get some much-needed posing practice and to have a fun day out after so long in quarantine. We also loved the idea of building a rapport with our wonderful wedding photographer Anneli Marinovich ahead of the big day”
Your experience of having to postpone your wedding due to Covid-19
“When the threat of postponing first arose, we were distraught and were convinced that we didn’t want to go ahead with a big wedding at all. We had put our heart and souls into creating our dream day and the idea of starting again was too painful to bear. Luckily, our fantastic wedding planner (Samantha from The Best Events Co.) stepped in and convinced us that all was not lost. She made postponing so simple by speaking with all of our suppliers who all so kindly agreed to move their services with us to May 2021. From our photographer Anneli to our ice cream vendor, people have shown so much kindness and compassion amongst all of the chaos and we are eternally grateful. The countdown has now begun for our second big day and we have no doubt it’ll be bigger and better than we could have ever hoped.”
A few words from Anneli on the shoot:
“I’m so glad Hannah asked me to be involved in this wedding editorial. Lockdown has been tough for us all and as a creative, I’ve struggled with not being able to do what I love most – capture beautiful weddings with wonderful couples. The Four Seasons Hampshire was a safe space for us to come together to create this wedding story in the walled garden. Only a handful of suppliers were involved and we all did our best to create a story that would inspire future couples to consider an intimate wedding at the hotel. My couple, Kerry & Leon had to postpone their wedding in France to May 2021, so I asked them whether they wanted to model for us as bride & groom for this wedding editorial. They jumped at the chance and we had so much fun on the day! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get to know Kerry & Leon before their wedding next year and to create a lovely experience for them to ‘cheer them up’ after nearly deciding to cancel their wedding in France altogether. These photos will always be a memory of a time when things were tough, but we all came together to create something beautiful despite the sadness in the world.”
Steve & Claire – Wedding Shoot
How we met.
Steve and I met in Rhodes in July 2016, I was on holiday with my two best friends at the time. We met in a cocktail bar whilst a live band were playing and we hit it off straight away; Steve caught my eye from the get-go. We then spent the whole of our holidays together as a group, day and night; beach days, boat trips, dinners and nights out. We were actually on the same flight home to Gatwick and got to sit together and watch a film. We only lived an hour away from each other; I did however think I would potentially never see him again.
When we had got back to England, Steve organised a first date weekend for us. We went to Whitstable beach for the day then stayed in a beautiful hotel in Canterbury, we went to an old prison that has been turned into a restaurant! The next day we were real tourists and went on the gondolas that go through the middle of Canterbury.
We were on a long weekend break to Nice where we went over to Monaco for the day. After exploring, we had some lunch and were walking around the Monaco palace gardens, when no one was around and we were overlooking the sea, Steve got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him! I didn’t actually say yes I just jumped up and down with excitement, he had to ask me if that meant a yes!
Why did you do the shoot?
We thought it would be a bit of fun, where we’ve been engaged for a while and haven’t made wedding plans yet. It’s nice to have something to look back on from being engaged. And having some time for just us, as with life (with a baby) it’s not always possible.
A few words from Anneli on the shoot:
“I adored capturing this beautiful engagement picnic editorial at The Four Seasons Hampshire. Hannah from Maple Rose, created a dream setting for a proposal to take place and with the Four Seasons as a backdrop, I was spoilt for choice when it came to creating beautiful images. As a fan of vibrant colours, I loved the bold floral design by Paula Rooney and pops of colour used throughout. Steve & Claire’s initial reactions when they saw the beautiful picnic laid out for them, was great! This editorial is the perfect inspiration for guys looking for ideas to propose to their girlfriends. What better backdrop than The Four Seasons Hampshire and a beautiful picnic like this one created by Maple Rose, to ask your best friend to marry you?”