Having been recently cocooned in a sky of grey, that frankly felt like it might go on forever; you can only begin to imagine my jubilation when this “zesty” bit of lovely arrived in my inbox.

So this morning we have Andri Benson from Always Andri to thank for bringing the cheer and helping us re-imagine how very close those sunny times ahead, really are!

Andri a full time wedding planner and designer, whose revere for chocolate banana cake is noted amongst friends. Is just so full of inspired ideas that transcend to create beautifully designed weddings with pairings many may feel be incongruous; but with her vision and exceptional execution she utterly delivers. Her designs are both alluring and stimulating, and if you close your eyes you can almost hear the whirring of excitement amongst brides whose confidence she builds on her design journeys to strike out from the comfort of the tried and tested; to embrace the new and fabulous.

We caught up with Andri, to get the “low down” on this seasons wedding colour trends and the inspiration behind this very “zesty” styled shoot.


Where did the Always Andri dream begin?

My background is in theatre and costume design; I used to design sets and costume for the stage, I then went on to work for the BBC costume department for 7 years; running their uniform and bridal wear department. When the store was closed I decided that wedding planning would be the “perfect fit” as there were obvious parallels between my skill sets of designing a stage show and a wedding. The sense of spectacle is inherent in both!

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Where did you get your inspiration from for this amazing shoot?

The idea of layering- translucent fabrics and light filled rooms, I wanted to create a clean fresh look that could easily translate to a modern couple’s wedding day.

We began pinning our ideas and one particular bouquet cropped up in the mood board that really inspired us. So we began looking at white as our base colour but then added a bright lime green, as the shoot accent colour. We used lots of different shades of lime; this allowed the palette to not feel matchy matchy and gave a deeper scope.


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What are your favourite design/ colour palettes combinations for 2014?

I am adoring bold colour combinations and metallics this season. I love the use of a range of shades, so gold totally works really nicely as you can add accents of copper, brass and rose gold. All these colours are just so warm and complement one another beautifully.

I’m also feeling a little bewitched by moody blues, midnight blue and a range of teal’s which work so well with cross gender and period and modern wedding interiors.

Another favourite for me is the “Ice cream colour palette,” soft corals, blush and mint; equally I am also very tactile, so love adding textures into my designs like wool, leather, linen and silks.

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The shoot is so bold and bright and enticing, what guidance/ tips/ advice would you give to brides who are nervous experimenting with colour and developing a bright colour palette for their wedding?

Don’t be afraid of colour, it can really brighten up a space. If you are concerned, look to your venue for guidance, perhaps there’s a colour in the décor that you can pick up on or use with a toning shade to create a complementary palette.

Don’t feel tied to one colour; use a range and experiment. Think about complementary colours that work with your venues palette and rooms that you are using for your wedding and make a statement.

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Brides sometimes don’t know where to start when designing their wedding, what advice would you give to them?

How/where to start: initially gather visual references about everything you like/love from all types of sources; not just weddings, interiors, art, travel, your everyday life etc. Magazine clippings, photos, paint swatch cards, fabric samples/ribbons etc. –keep it personal; it’s not just about how it looks but the personal connection to you both as a couple.

Develop ideas and concepts: From your collection you then need to strip it back and refine to just the ideas that you really love. Start breaking it down into different parts of your wedding day and you will soon start to see a theme/style developing. But remember, don’t feel the whole day needs to look the same; you can create different looks/moods for the different parts of the day to stimulate and excite your guests.

Mood boards/ scrapbooks: Get a sketch book to start sticking all your favourite images, fabric /ribbon samples etc.- handy to have on you when you’re out and about, this will also be invaluable to you when sharing your ideas with your wedding suppliers.

Online tools to assist with visual design: Use Pinterest to create some mood boards for the different areas of the wedding and colour palettes that strike a chord with you. It can be all too easy to have collected too many images to work from, so I would suggest you go one step further and create individual boards of your favourite ideas; which you can create with Google Picasa collage feature to put boards together and refine your design.


Photographer Fiona Kelly

Design & Styling Andri Benson Always Andri Wedding Design

Venue Royal Geographical Society

Flowers Liz Inigo-Jones Blue Sky Flowers

Stationery Jamie Design by Bionic Stationery

Wedding Cake Little Boutique Bakery

Catering/hire Lodge catering

Hair & Make up Sjaniel Turrell

Wedding dresses Morgan-Davies Bridal

Footwear Marsha Hall

Styling assistant Wendy Smith Ginger Weddings

Model Bryony Robertson

Words by Penelope Cullen Tigerlily

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