There are some things in this world that make me rather proud to be British. Picnics whatever the weather spring to mind (relocated to the car my entire childhood when the rain moved from downfall to deluge). Yorkshire puddings. Cheese boards (in particular those featuring Stilton and Yarg); Digestive biscuits (eaten with aforementioned Stilton – what can I say – I like cheese). Fish and Chips. Queuing also makes me proud, though often a little frustrated at its apparent inability to transcend nationalities – there is something uniquely, well British about it. Country houses. History. Spring in the countryside (Kent ideally, but that’s my roots coming through). Bluebells, daffs and strawberries. Cider (not Cidre). Beer. Camel Estuary Sparkling Wine (anyone would think I had given up booze for Lent and could think of nothing else…).
That said, my love affair with all things British has been in something of a stasis this winter due in large, to the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining. I’ve never been happier to live in a house at the top of the hill. I’m making light of it now but goodness me winter was, just a little bit more than soggy this year. I think that my hair will in fact remember the damp conditions, possibly permanently, and be untameable from the frizz that has quite frankly, been my life for the last few months.
But all that faded into a distant memory when we received a Dropbox containing a celebration of all things very British in a styled wedding shoot. And there’s not a Union Jack or hint of red white and blue in sight (unless you count a statement lip, which we don’t). When we say British we’re not talking clichés, we’re talking, well style… From the beautiful British made and designed dresses from Eliza Jane Howell the nod to one of Love Scarlett’s favourite programmes, Downton Abbey, with one of our favourite pieces aptly named the “Lady Mary” tiara, no less. To the unused Squash court (come on, squash is SO British) that featured as the backdrop for much of the shoot at the wonderful St Clere Estate in Kent (now also a wedding venue, but only four weddings a year as it’s very much a lived in home).
Sometimes bouquets feel, well they feel a little bit ‘for the sake of tradition’. Katherine, also known as Florist in the Forest (she literally lives in a cottage in a wood and, when not in quagmire-ic conditions grows most of her own flowers) proved that she’s not about bouquets for the sake of bouquets. She combined Roses, Anemones, Astrantia, Thistle, Brunia, Eucalyptus, Tulips, Tuberose, Jasmine, Ranunculus, Fritillaries, Narcissi, Lilac and Hellebores (and yes she did email me those over – I was pretty much at the end of my horticultural knowledge with Roses and Anemones – the latter of which I still struggle to actually say). She created two beautiful strong bouquets to complement the Vintage look with deep colour, and created abandoned structure with the English Rose styling – the trailing Jasmine and Garden Roses not simply looking immense, but also smelling really rather lovely.
And the accessories, which, like your wedding day just pull everything together and finish the look are also British designed and British made from established bridal accessory designer, Chez Bec.
“We really wanted to have a proper styled shoot without having to focus too closely on our accessories: we wanted to make them a part of the picture but not our soul reason for having a shoot. We were, without doubt incredibly lucky with the weather and the light which made all the elements come together, and Claudine Hartzel our photographer uses natural light with such beauty that we knew we were onto a winner. St Clere as a venue as well, was perfect for the aesthetic we wanted to achieve. There is a real elegance about every aspect of the Estate, and while the formal rooms are stunning, we found ourselves wandering around the Garden Room and Squash Court which are used for storage during winter… A little bit of pushing tables to one side and we couldn’t get over the light flooding in and the atmosphere it created. Our beautiful models Sophie and Lauren transformed on film, the dresses just fitting the styling to perfection, and as Claudine was taking the pictures we were all realising that everything had just come together on the day making it feel really very special.
“Chez Bec may be known for its classic bridal jewellery, the use of freshwater pearls, the timeless elegance, but with our new collections we took things back to basics. the team decided that they wanted to showcase two very distinct looks: Vintage Glamour, and the English Rose. For the first time prior to their shoot they employed the use of Pinterest to make boards for their two different looks: the amazing hair was done by Liz at Simply Beautiful wedding hair she took their vintage pins and created the most incredible 1920s hair with statement finger waves which just looked incredible. For the English Garden look Liz created a flowing fishtail plait with soft curls and waves. Ellie from The Beauty Aisle used liquid liner and statement lips for one look and a soft muted natural make-up for the other. By planning the looks it meant that the team all knew what they wanted to achieve, but every one of them still had ownership over each element of the shoot. They wanted to take people’s breath away with the styling, the light and the overall effect of the shoot, and almost as a PS say ‘oh and the accessories are Chez Bec.’
“We don’t think it’s what the press would expect from us , and we feel that it really shows where
we want to go with our future collections: handmade, British, responsive, high fashion but wearable, and, as has always been important to Chez Bec, affordable.”
Here at Love Scarlett, we just think we’ll let the images do the talking and welcome in Spring with a very stylish smile.
The Competition & Discount
So new are the collections you’ve seen today, they won’t be available online for another couple of weeks. The Chez Bec team have some serious admin ahead of them! But they have offered us a £100.00 voucher for one lucky reader, and a 20% off code for all the rest of you (valid for a month, so once they’ve got the new pieces loaded online you can still get your tasty discount use LOVESCARLETT at checkout to get your discount).
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Venue St Clere
Photography – Claudine Hartzel
Accessories Chez Bec
Make-up Ellie Gill
Flowers Florist in the Forest
Models Sophie and Lauren