“I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU ARE SO FAMILIAR TO ME—
OR WHY IT FEELS LESS LIKE I AM GETTING TO KNOW
YOU AND MORE AS THOUGH I AM REMEMBERING WHO YOU ARE.
HOW EVERY SMILE, EVERY WHISPER BRINGS ME CLOSER
TO THE IMPOSSIBLE CONCLUSION THAT I HAVE KNOWN YOU BEFORE,
I HAVE LOVED YOU BEFORE—IN ANOTHER TIME, A DIFFERENT PLACE, SOME OTHER EXISTENCE”
LANG LEAV – SOUL MATES
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.
THE TEAM :
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