This Debbie Lourens and Green Goddess Flower Studio collaboration shoot is a vision in red. The deep ruby is just so mesmerizing and definitely screams French countryside when you see how this rich color is woven and worked into this editorial. It’s such a strong color on its own and adding a delightful punch of pale blue to the mix of colors is the icing on the cake. Not only does it bring out the red even more, it softens the whole look, giving it a nice touch of whimsy. There are so many treats to see with this wedding inspiration!
From the floral designer and stylist, Green Goddess Flower Studio: The inspiration for this shoot was a French banquet in a relaxed country setting. Reminiscent of traditional family dining around a big table in an old Loire Valley chateau. The overall look of the table is one that is relaxed, but elegant without being overly rustic – a little bit of French country botanical. We wanted a table that looked warm and inviting, particularly for couples who want to consider a cooler weather wedding. It can be a wonderful time of year to get married and really enjoy those rich, decadent winter meals, with great wine and a roaring fire. We opted for warm, rich colours of reds, peach and coral, with hints of mint and deep purple for some added drama. We chose large opulent, heavily petalled blooms to convey the sense of understated elegance and to off-set the rich textures of the finer berries. We chose to do a swag style arrangement which is very on-trend and suits the French banquet style of dining.
Langverwagt is a historic farm with beautiful heritage buildings. As the reception cellars were built for practical use of storing wine, they are quite dark – which invites filling the rooms with lots of warm candlelight and rich warm colours. The farm has beautiful gardens around every corner and it was lovely to bring some of the garden into the venue as part of this shoot. And to make use of the venue’s permanent fairy light installations to add some romance to the look.
We wanted to use items that were effortlessly elegant, as if you had been invited to a French country chateau for this celebration. Almost as if the village had all rallied and lent all of their best family crystal, flatware and candlesticks to help the couple celebrate amongst those who had watched them grow up. The slight colour on the flatware added an interesting perspective instead of going for more neutral crockery. It also had a slightly raised pattern on it that gave it a more relaxed feel than if we had chosen something with a gold rim for example. The glasses from Woolworths were ideal they were very classic shapes with beautiful etching that conveys old tradition without the heaviness of a cut crystal glass.
We used a stone coloured linen tablecloth to keep the look relaxed and added a striped linen runner to give it a more French feel. The lighter coloured linen also served as a great backdrop for the deeper coloured flowers and complemented them, rather than competing with them. The gold cutlery was a little nod to some opulence and completed the look by adding to the warm colours of the décor.
We also chose the clear perspex Victoria chairs, which are based on the design of Louis chairs, again the French connection. But we opted for clear chairs, to let the opulence of the table do the talking, rather than confusing the look with more detail in the chairs. We considered using wooden chairs, but the clear perspex added a more contemporary feel, that was too old-world.
We call this type of arrangement a swag or a floral runner. It is often made with mostly greenery, but in our case given the season and the abundance of beautiful berries (in red, purple, brown, green and pink tones), we used the berries as the main ingredient of the swag, with a little greenery for some definition. This was complemented with coral charm peonies (from Holland as they are in season in the Northern Hemisphere between May and August), but peonies are available locally at the end of October, but not necessarily in this colour), red tulips (these are in season in South Africa between June and October), red ranunculus (in season in South Africa from June to November), cream, red and peach roses (available all year round), foliage, all complemented by a mix of seasonal berries.