Rise of the Phoenix

2020 for the wedding and hospitality industry has been full of ups, down and everything in between. Yet like the phoenix we will rise again. This shoot symbolises all that a phoenix represents, an eternity of hope, forgiveness, renewal, rebirth, and immortality. 

I, Amy from Amy Lauren Weddings, wanted to encapsulate the incredible industry we are part of with a shoot full of glamour, intimacy, love and laughter, whilst showcasing an abundance of skills,  talent, beauty, passion, and hope. Weddings in themselves symbolise, much like the phoenix, a new beginning. The wedding industry is going through a transformation, not just for suppliers and venues, but for couples alike. The redevelopment of intimate weddings, which traditionally where what weddings identified as, the coming together of two families have left many couples feeling confused and unsure on how to progress with their wedding plans that where initially centred around a guest list of 80+ guests. The option couples are having to face is postponing their days, but to exactly when is a slight mind field, or stripping right back and minimalizing their guest list. Many couples are opting to hold two separate days, an intimate affair with family and close friends, followed by a celebration of love sometime later, an option which I fully advocate. 

I have always been in favour of the ‘two-day wedding’, me myself chose to hold two days for my own wedding. With our church ceremony held on Christmas Eve with 13 guests, concluding with an afternoon tea; followed by a vow renewal a few days later, orchestrated by the vicar that married us on Christmas Eve, followed by food and dancing with dozens of guests, alongside bridesmaids, groomsmen, speeches and toasts. 

Although this year, and no doubt part of next, will be a rare and once again a very different year that any of us had ever expected or have ever experienced, the opportunity for couples to rediscover themselves and what is held dear to them is immense; and in fact the option to hold two very different days, or even one very personal day, days without compromise in love, beauty, style, laughter and togetherness, is, in my opinion, idealistic for the times we are living in. 

We wanted the shoot, held with members from Lincs Weddings to symbolise the pure radiance of love, opportunity and of strength. As a wedding industry we are not going anywhere, and couples can rest assured that their happiness is of our most paramount importance. Healing Manor is one of the most beautiful venues I have had the pleasure of working with, the grounds, cobbled courtyard and wedding barn are idyllic spaces for couples to hold their day. Also offering COVID-secure wedding receptions, Healing Manor sets the scene for a fabulous day, and as can been seen from the shoot, the most beautiful venue for an intimate wedding party. 

The table was one of the most important aspects of the day, lots of couples find table plans and arrangements the hardest part of their wedding planning decisions, we wanted to share a moment in time with you, emphasizing the beauty of a small table, whilst still having formal aspects, such as seating plans and place cards, created by Nicky from Polkadot creations.

With a table scape you really can make an intimate set up a showstopping affair, adding different elements, such as the most intricate and delightfully styled handcrafted chocolates by The Chocolat Story. Combining style, colours, and floral sprays, Jess from Love in the Limelight captured the moment, the style, and the theme perfectly. Complimented by Gina from the Enchanted Garden, the flowers worked perfectly, an autumnal spray, full of character and beauty. 

Steve, from SSmailes photography captured the table scape and the whole shoot perfectly, lending to the intimacy and the character of the venue, which is so important when highlighting a story of love, beauty, and togetherness.

One of the most mesmerising parts of any wedding day must be the cake. Hannah from So Sweet Cakery captured the concept through the creation of a showstopping cake that complimented the theme and design of the table, incorporating the flowers and colours. Lots of couples worry that having a full-sized wedding cake for their intimate reception could be a waste of cake (which of course no one wants to do), but there are options. Chat to your cake designer about options of incorporating ‘fake’ tiers so that you can still have the concept you want but without abundance of cake. 

Now on to our showstopper for the day, the incredibly beautiful Amber. 2020 has been a very odd year, so we wanted to share a little glamour and flare. Megan from Coates Couture styled Amber in a wow factor of a dress, ‘Aphrodite’ by Randy Fenoli, alongside Stuart, our groom, who wore ‘Uppington’ by Peter Posh. Both the dress and suit complimented the colour theme and vibe of the day, with the dress, ‘goddess of love’ stealing the show, intensified by flawless makeup and hair styling from the exceptionally talented Jade Clay. 

Due to the nature of our current situation with COVID and the significance of families coming together during these close intimate weddings we wanted to incorporate the mums, Julie, and Sue. Styled by Jade Clay for hair and makeup, and Jalousie Boutique with the most beautiful attire, hat, and fascinator, both the mother of the bride and mother of the groom where perfectly placed to enhance this shoot, centralising around family, intimacy, and small weddings. 

We wanted to really celebrate the beauty of love and celebration, with the Mr and Mrs balloons signifying our celebration, created by Studio7 Creative. 2020 may have burnt our industry to the ground yet, just like the phoenix we will rise from the ashes, stronger and more beautiful than ever before. 

SUPPLIERS

COORDINATED BY US – AMY LAUREN WEDDINGS

VENUE – HEALING MANOR

PHOTOGRAPHER – STEVE SMAILES PHOTOGRAPHER

DRESS – COATES COUTURE

HAIR AND MAKEUP – JADE CLAY

MOTHER OF THE BRIDE OUTFITS – JALOUSIE

STYLING – LOVE IN THE LIMELIGHT

FLOWERS – ENCHANTED GARDEN

CHOCOLATES – THE CHOCOLAT STORY

CAKE – SO SWEET CAKERY

STATIONERY – POLKA A DOT

BALLOONS – STUDIO 7 CREATIVE

MODELS – AMBER, STUART, JULIE AND SUE

Amy Lauren
Author: Amy Lauren

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