'An Enchanted Evening' featured in the Winter edition of Modern Wedding earlier this year. Modern Wedding DIY editor Gail MacDiarmid set off with a team of wedding experts to create the ultimate outdoor wedding celebration in NSW's Southern Highlands. Many couples feel daunted about the idea of planning their own wedding, but this shoot was designed to encourage couples and show them how they can create and style a relaxed outdoor celebration full of romance, fun, love and laughter that is in perfect harmony with the surroundings.
Start with a magnificent location. We chose Summerlees Estate and having a location so rich in natural beauty was a dream come true. The towering rows of old pine trees form the perfect backdrop for an afternoon tea buffet table, with the natural light streaming through the branches creating a magical ambience. The table is laden with vintage-inspired touches and a display of fresh local and homemade produce, creating a feeling of abundance. Vintage influences continue with old bedspreads and lace tablecloths randomly draped over the trestle table for an opulent effect.
TIP: On the day take time out to step back and marvel at the beauty of it all. Your day will be over all too soon.
Loose flowing flowers make the prettiest of bouquets for a casual outdoor wedding.
Eclectic styling is perfect for a country-vintage look. Leading up to the wedding, start collecting miss-matched crockery, cutlery, glassware, doilies, candelabras, old books, tea canisters and cake stands from markets, second-hand stores and online.
TIP: Call on loved ones for their special recipes and create a spread with personal meaning.
For guests with a savoury palate, make a miniature cheese tower and adorn it with fresh figs and local honey.
On the left a quaint cloche is made with moss from the garden and a small bird's nest found in the fields. Chocolate eggs are used to fill the nest. Make delicious foodie wedding favours as gifts for guests. Simply cut rounds of a firm cake with a cookie cutter, place one round in a suitably sized jar, top with cream and repeat until the jar is filled. Attach cute wooden spoons and gift tags with a raffia bow.
Don't be bound by tradition if an ornate wedding cake doesn't suit your theme. A stunning Victoria sponge tower decorated with fresh strawberries is sure to impress and is perfect with a refreshing cup of tea.
Make no mistake, your wedding photos are important. Photographers love the effect of natural light, so take the time to get the romantic pictures you will cherish forever. Couples look their best when naturally interacting and being themselves. Plan the timing on your day to get those epic shots against the jaw-dropping scenery in your photographs. Remember why you are there and enjoy yourself.
Hang quirky details from branches like the doily globes made from doilies soaked in PVA glue and attached to a round balloon mould. Once dry, deflate the balloon and remove it. Attach some string and hang from branches.
A great use for an old window pane "” write up the guests' table seating plan so they can easily find their seats! Reminiscent of a grander era Masses of crystal pieces surround a spectacular oversized crystal candelabra that dazzles in the sunlight, creating a special place for the bride and groom to have their first meal together "” pure indulgence.
Set up TEA stations on rustic metal tables in the shade of trees so guests have easy access to refreshments throughout the day.
TIP: Larger pieces of furniture are best hired, unless you plan to use them in your home after the wedding.
Night time with romantic lighting adds atmosphere and glamour to your event. Invest in lighting effects; whether it be candles, lanterns, chandeliers, candelabras or fairy lights. The effect will really make your photos pop. Define the tablescape with festoon or party lights, which can be easily hung between trees or on poles staked in the ground. It is impossible not to be mesmerised by the dancing candle flames as they bathe the evening in a warm romantic light. The striking candle holders are made from old glass vases and bowls turned upside down and glued together with hot glue.
Photography James Frost Concept and Styling Gail MacDiarmid Shoot Assistant Tonya Morgan Venue Summerlees Estate Wedding Decorator & Stylist She Designs Events Hair & Makeup Total Bliss Hair + Body Spa Flowers Blooms By Bethan Bride's Gown & Accessories Lilli Marcs Groom outfitted by T.M.Lewin Vintage Crockery & Accessories Teacups and Roses