BURNED GOLDEN | A story of love








I am overwhelmingly emotional to share with you this true passion project of mine. “Burned Golden” was a story I had inside of my mind after building together all of the monumental love stories and people I read about in books, poetry, seen in paintings and even met in my own life time in my couples. It comes from a raw place, somewhere I delved deep into my own relationships to pull together something that felt steeped in history but also could connect with those appreciative of spectacular tactile details.

From the gold flecked parchment paper to the soft flowing fabrics of the bridal attire, every single detail was derived from my and the dream team’s imagination.


In my mind, I saw her, I saw him and I saw their families.

I saw her struggling to make her way through life and I saw him guiding her.

I saw his mother being their strength and I saw their wedding day being an extension of their love and a tribute to the closeness of the relationship they had built.

It was magic, it was honest, they had overcome so much together. She was vulnerable but strong. His Mother became her own Mother and welcoming her so closely into her life – it was as if she had always been there. Her own daughter.

Getting married is just one part of the story when you decide to take that step with your partner. The saying goes “you don’t just marry a person, you marry into a family.” In many cases this runs true and in particular for me, was something that I adored and looked forward to when I became engaged to Andy in 2014. I relished in closeness I already shared with my Mother-in-law to be but this was also something I craved and dreamt of when I was younger, having that closeness with my husband’s Mother because let’s be honest, it’s not often in the movies when the girl marries the boy, the relationship between Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law is depicted as exactly smooth. One of the things that will forever stand out for me was how easy it was to join my husband’s family; it was as if I was always apart of their little Ferris bubble. I relished in weekend visits, evening phone call catch-up or Sunday meals together and I spent a lot of alone time with my Mother-in-law to be, it was something I found very special. She is funny, incredibly intelligent and above all so loving. She’s held me when I’ve cried out of frustration, always taken a huge interest in my work and loved me as if her I were her own. I love her and she loves me.

As a human, acceptance is one of those moments you find yourself looking for in many places in your life, particularly when you are getting married. There’s always some sort of hostility in your mind like “you’re not good enough” or “you’re making it difficult for his family”. For me, this was never the case. Now, one year and a half into my marriage, my relationship with my Mother-in-law is one of the most important to me. My Mother-in-law offered me security, the nurturing care of a true Mother not just by relation but as something she treasures. For me, my Mother-in-law has been my champion of me personally and my relationship with her youngest son.

So, now I take you to this editorial I created with an incredible group of women. I wanted to depict this with an in-depth story about not only the couple but also a family. It’s an intimate celebration that has come together to uphold one another; they have their new daughter now and wanted to keep the celebration small and close, as if it was just an extra special family weekend. Together, the family picked a place close to home where they could just relax and feel “at home”. The Mother-in-law creating the beautiful celebration for her son and daughter-in-law by arranging flowers, cooking their favourite meals (as she has done for them many times before) and being with the Bride before she walks down the aisle to marry her son. There’s movement, emotion and beauty in these calming moments in the middle of the English countryside.

Every family has their own stories, pitfalls or struggles, as does every couple. I wanted this celebration to feel monumental in the emotion the bride and groom feel to one another. The poetry words of Lang Leav represent their own personal love story along side the intricacy of the Mother-in-law bringing them both together by being such an integral part of their own love story. She upholds their love for one another and wants to do everything in her power to strength and shower her love on it.

The table in itself is a celebration of the humble meal, painstakingly prepared by the Bride and her Mother-in-law to be. Our Sunday meal is sympathetic to its surroundings with all the elements handmade from the ceramics to the tapered candles within the walls of one of the oldest buildings in the Somerset countryside. It doesn’t boast elegance but tells the story of a setting brought together in love of two families becoming one.

In our particular story, the women are our champions and for centuries they have been in art and history. We took inspiration from the artist Vermeer, who more often than not, used woman in movement as his inspiration in simple performing daily tasks. His eye always drawn to the detail of her clothing, her actions and her emotion. Our woman and champion of this story is the Mother. She is taking the time to dress her daughter-in-law to be, she is preparing the ingredients with her, she is the one dressing the table with foraged florals for the wedding guests and couple to enjoy and celebrate at after the ceremony. She truly is the champion of this couple’s relationship and you can feel the excitement and anticipation.

Often in wedding planning things get crazy busy and you are balancing the emotions of not only yourself, but your parents, family and even bridal party at times. It really is a challenge and a jenga like game of whom is at the top of your priority list. Weddings become a time for everyone’s preferences to seem of most importance and it can be overwhelming but a wedding isn’t just an event; it is another chapter of a love story you are creating with your beloved. It’s warmth; moments and quirks will fill the pages for others to look back on fondly. You want to look back on it as a beautiful moment in time where you were able to put difficulty aside and just bask in the joyous occasion of your marriage and newfound family.



Photography Taylor & Porter | Planning & Coordination Always Andri Wedding Design     | Design & Styling The Wedding Stylist | Hair & Makeup Emma Jane Walsh| Florist Jo Flowers| Paperie Design Bureau Design| Poem Lang Leav| Cake Maker Wildflower Cakes | Tableware Nom Living| Cutlery Helene Millot| Dress Cortana via Morgan Davies| Bridal Accessories Nicola Ruby| Model Camillaa Moraes via Leni’s Model Management | Silk ribbon Silk and Purl| Shoot assistant Occasion Queens


how to design your wedding

Designing your wedding seems like a rather huge task but it’s perfectly achievable if you set down good foundations. Even for me, it felt like a rather impossible task to narrow down my ideas and truly set the direction for our 3 weddings. (yes three – we milked it for all it was worth with our mixed cultural backgrounds)

There are lots of considerations when creating the “look” of your wedding – much like designing a space in your own home, it’s about collating a cohesive atmosphere with complimentary pieces and elements. The difference is that your wedding day is a space that isn’t yours day to day so it might feel daunting on putting your own personal stamp.

STEP ONE | Set your wedding “style” priorities.

This is something you can do before you even pick your venue or photographer. It’s a task you can sit down over a glass of wine. Maybe it’ll take 5 minutes or 5 days but I guarantee it’s the best step. No Pinterest, no magazines, no nothing. Just you and your partner.

Making a list of the things that are important to you and your partner will give you direction and get you thinking about your vision for the day. For our ‘white wedding’, Andy and I agreed on the following:

Roman Design Influences | We got engaged in Rome and both have a love for ancient Roman history. Latin also has a strong place in Andy’s family (both his parents are Classics teachers) so we want to incorporate these influences into our wedding in some way.

Bringing The Outdoors In | Andy has a love of the outdoors and I love flowers. Lots of them. With a Florist who prides herself in beautifully British grown floral design, we knew we’d develop lots of set ups to bring the beautiful outdoors of Buckinghamshire inside.

Music | Both of us have a passion for classical and acoustic music so we agreed this was one of our top priorities. We knew that the music would influence emotions and shape the tone of the day. Using classical choices for a romantic setting but having it played on an acoustic guitar would add the rustic feel we were after and having a live band for the reception added a real meaty atmosphere for everyone dancing the night away.

STEP TWO | When you find your venue, let it guide initial decisions

Your location doesn’t need to dictate every aspect of your day, but you should let it guide you in some direction. If you chose your venue based on the prospect of having an outdoor ceremony, you can pull inspiration from the surrounding nature, or if the venue has a striking dark wall paper, pull that into your colour scheme.

For our our ceremony took place in the “Winter garden” with it’s green structure and glass, I knew we could make a feature of bringing greenery in along side the lanterns to fill the space

STEP THREE | Stepping into the realm of pinterest

Whilst it’s good to have a mood board of ideas you love for your wedding… it is ridiculously easy to get lost within the world of photographs and pin things that really don’t tie into your wedding day. Many of us begin wedding planning with massive Pinterest boards that often go neglected – it’s worth bearing in mind that what you like now may be wrong or irrelevant when you start to refine your overall look. That’s exactly what happened to me! So don’t worry, it’s normal.

TOP TIP :  When you pin an image, edit the caption and write why you’ve chosen it. This will force you to consider the real reason why you’ve chosen it – make you more intentional and also hold you accountable for your choices. It might be the tiniest detail or simply the colours within it. This way, when you’re months down the line looking back at the board you know exactly why that image was chosen and can refer to it properly when talking with your suppliers

STEP FOUR | Setting your colour palette

Don’t restrict yourself to three or four colours. For my clients, I typically set a range of at least nine colours and textures which all tie in together. This allows much more flexibility and avoids creating a look that’s ‘one dimensional’.

I often force my clients to get out of the “matchy-matchy” realm and it’s often something they want me to keep a close eye on when they start sending my options for bridesmaids and favours.

STEP FIVE | Moodboard

Whilst I do say keep caution with pinterest, creating a mood board (either online or in a scrapbook) is a brilliant way to get your ideas together and keep you inspired. It also provides a great point of reference for when you need to make visual based decisions (such as bridal party attire). Personally this really helped with my focus and gave us direction for our Sunday wedding. It made me remember the colour tones as well as the initial influences that I didn’t want to forget.

You can see part of our wedding mood board and pick out the inspiration that translated directly into the wedding design you see in our wedding photos featured in this post.

TOP TOP : Try using Photoscape to collage images together that you find. It’s a free piece of software where you can combine and create beautifully arranged mood boards.


Once you get engaged, you’ll suddenly start to notice the imagery of weddings around you – from films to magazines and even thinking back to your own friends’ weddings. You’ll begin to remember the things you liked and the things you disliked, so if you do, try writing them down. Even if it’s just a few words (e.g. massive floral arbour during ceremony) these initial ideas will help towards setting your style.

When I first meet my couples, I typically ask them how they envision their day. Sometimes it’s based on their personal tastes, for others it’s on the venue of their dreams. Both of these are great places to start and will really help to narrow your style choice. What I do find is that a lot of people tend to rein in their ideas until they’ve landed their venue – which again is fine – but there’s no harm in looking at what you like and dislike. Doing this means that when you’re venue hunting you’re already thinking about the vision for your day and what will work (such as the space for walking down the aisle or the layout for your wedding breakfast). If the venue doesn’t hit that vision, you can eliminate it from your list and move on to the next – and this will make the process a whole lot easier!

If you’d like to chat to me personally about designing your wedding please do get in touch through my contact page.

A L L  W E D D I N G  P H O T O G R A P H Y  B Y  D O M I N I Q U E  B A D E R










THE TEAM | The Wedding Stylist | Emma Pilkington Photography | Notley Abbey | Cherry Williams London | Joanna Truby Floral Design | SIlk & Purl | Classic Crockery | Always Andri Wedding Design | The Wild Rose Accessories | Opaline Films | Beautifully Lost Studio | Butter Beautiful | Maria Matakova | Ben Slade