With Valentine’s day fast approaching WE ( I blame Ali at Go Botanica) thought it would be a fun idea to put together some inspiration for a unique proposal. Its got an elopement feel with wild bohemian styling. Obviously I would have preferred to head to Morocco in January for this concept, but that wasn’t an option this year so we headed to Devils Dyke on the South Downs instead.

 

 

Lets jump into this inspirational shoot in the South of England & see what you think ?

 

 

I totally love a wild and bohemian look & have always been head over heels in love with Morocco & wondered if this styling would work in January in the South of England ?  

Alex from  The Wild Heart Bridal was game on for the challenge & when she bought RUE DE SEINE to the mood board, It had photographer Elena Popa & myself ready to brave the temperatures and dive straight into our thermals. 

We wanted to show the adventurous & naturally wild side of our couple in the beautiful British Countryside. We started with a picnic proposal.

A picnic proposal is a lovely idea we think & can take place anywhere that is significant to you as a couple. Inexpensive & you can simply gather up all your favourite foods. 

We selected a stunning limited edition 18 carat gold, ruby & emerald engagement ring from Rosie Odette as our engagement ring. Ruby is the perfect gemstone for an engagement as it symbolises love. The added emeralds symbolise eternal love, honesty & integrity. 

 

 

Ruby symbolises Love !

 

 

ruby engagement ring

In keeping with a wild & bohemian bridal look, ADARA by Rue de Seine was the perfect dress choice from The Wild Heart Bridal Boutique. The sleeves were the perfect accessory & look beautiful against the Sussex Country side. I totally love the addition of sleeves with this dress, its such a simply fantastic accessory and brings this dress to life.

 

Adara by Rue de Seine 

Rue de Seine bridal dress

We used a full-length vintage sheepskin coat to keep our model warm, this was a great vintage find by me at a store in Brighton. We definitely recommend finding yourself an awesome coat for your winter wedding or engagement photo session they make great props & obviously will keep you toasty. This coat was so soft and just ticks so many boxes for me, double bonus when I got it home I discovered it was vintage HARRODS !! Love it even more now.

 

Vintage Harrods Sheepskin

We wrapped Ollie up in a country style jacket from high street retailer Pull & Bear. A suit would have looked totally out of place here so we kept is look informal & suited to the setting.

 

 

Effortless Hair 

Brighton based Poppy Tallulah created gorgeous long effortless hair that looks beautifully natural. We love the natural styling Poppy created for our beautiful model Lily. This effortless hair look is well suited to free spirited brides. Poppy really enhanced Lily’s natural beauty perfectly. 

 

Back to the picnic ! We love outdoor dining and jazzed the idea of a picnic on the South Downs up with Moroccan styling. Dried grasses & a few key florals added to brass vases create simple arrangements that help create the informal setting style. Vintage Moroccan rugs on the grass add warmth to the colour scheme & provide a perfect place for our couple to lounge. Naturally dyed napkins and table runner add to the natural harmony of the tablescape. 

The tablescape is eclectic with a wonderful mix of contrasts. This for me is the key to creating a bohemian style setting. 

Eclectic mix

Grazing 

We love all the grazing tables we have seen at weddings recently so had to include this concept into the picnic. Our mini grazing platter looks and tasted great!  With Valentines on our minds, we displayed the cheese on mini slate hearts as a tasty nod to the Saints special day. It was pretty cold up on the South Downs when we were setting up so I did tend to drop things in place with frozen fingers, rather than intentionally placing. But the essence of free spirited / carefree tablscape is certainly there. Check out the frozen radishes on the grazing platter !! That’s how crazy cold it was.

We love details and they do make all the difference. The tassel place names by Loupaper look fab! Always a lover of calligraphy we also had the vows written up to compliment.

When emotions take over sometimes it’s hard to get the right words out & so having your words written beautifully will serve you well and act as a lovely keep sake of the moment.

 

Calligraphy & Tassels 

Sustainability is always a consideration when we are designing & with this in mind Brighton based florist Go Botanica created this amazing floral foam free moon gate. The foliage covering blends perfectly in the setting as if it had always been there. It made a beautiful ceremony spot for our elopement session, complete with photo bombing dogs!

Logistically its not that easy to secure a structure on a frozen hill top, especially when big lumps of chalk get in the way. But Ali & her team being the pros they are , over came the obstacles thrown their way ( including the angry cyclist man in nasty lycra )

I really love this idea of popping up an amazing natural backdrop wherever you have in mind to propose ! Can someone please book the team for a styled proposal session somewhere HOT though !! Not sure we could do the freezing temperatures again (unless it was ICELAND of course / bucket list ).    

Foam Free Floristry 

 

 

The Go Botanica team created a rich and wild bouquet with dried grasses, anthuriums, protea & kangaroo paw. We love these combined textures and rich colours which really stand out against the lace detail of the Rue De Seine dress. It’s this colour palette which really does bring warmth to the overall look. These flower types work really well for a bohemian bridal look.

 

 

Elena Popa has captured the essence of wild souls & adventure beautifully throughout this session. Every image holds so much warmth, you would never guess it was below zero on shoot day. A huge warm hug goes out to our amazing models Lily & Ollie who were true hardcore souls to brave the cold, its was minus 2 at times up there !! That’s harsh when your wearing a wedding dress.

We hope this inspires more couples to be adventurous with their proposals and get creative with engagement sessions. These early parts of your story are really important and should be enjoyed and documented fully forever. Investing in a great photographer to record your engagement story is also getting yourself ready for being in front of the camera on your wedding day. If you can build a relationship with a photographer at this early stage that you know, like & trust …you will be a winner in front of the camera on your wedding day.

Huge thanks to the whole team for braving the cold weather & for proving that boho moroccan styling can totally work on the South Downs in January !!! You just have to have the right team xx
 
Claire x

Butler & White 

 

 

 

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The team

Photography Elena Popa

Concept & Styling Butler & White

Floral Design Go Botanica

Dress , Rue De Seine The Wild Heart Bridal

Hair & Makeup artist Poppy Tallulah

Jewellery Rosie Odette

Stationery Lou Paper

Models Ollie Bone Lily Aspinall

 

 

About the author

British Wedding Designer creating organic & honestly curated intimate events in the UK & Europe.