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We are taking you to the shores of Camber Sands on our festival pages today with a gorgeous beach shoot inspired by the desert and full of pretty colours, bohemian patterns, botanical succulents, a very impressive wedding cake and a bit of bridal sparkle too!

Put together by Gwenda of The Vintage Floral Design Company and captured by Kat Forsyth Photography, the shoot’s aim was to combine Gwenda’s love for the desert with her love for weddings by creating a beach theme that is accessible and relatively easy for couples to replicate. Taking a step away from shells and driftwood, Gwenda focused on metallic and pastel colours, props with geometric patterns and shapes and used desert inspired succulents within the flowers and as inspiration for the invitations. The result is a very pretty shoot and one that has me yearning for the summer even more…….and some new cushions!

Gwenda talks us through the shoot and the awesome suppliers involved….

Daily, my Pinterest feed features stunning imagery from shoots in the deserts of far flung climes – sadly, the budget wouldn’t quite extend to a destination shoot, so we hit the South coast of Kent instead! This shoot was positively breath-taking – both aesthetically and literally – as despite the serenity of the imagery, it was blowing a very abrasive gale! Sand storm aside, I’m thrilled with what our small team was able to create whilst battling the forces of Nature!

The theme allowed me to use flowers and plants that don’t often feature in my wedding work. Eremurus (also knows as ‘desert candles’), Helenium, Jatropha and Leucospermum, Limonium, and Mentha, as well as the now familiar Succulent and the less conventional Cacti! For the stationery, I continued the theme of the succulent, with a little coral lettering to link with the rest of the colour scheme, which also included red, yellow and peach, with touches of turquoise, copper and gold.

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Anne-Marie created a suitably youthful make-up look with a subtle shimmer and informal beachy waves for Laura’s fabulous long locks. The dress that Karen created had a boho feel but with a touch of sparkle, designed to make the most of the amazing sunlight on the beach; its loose, relaxed silhouette was perfect for the laid-back theme. Marsha’s fabulous beaded leather sandals added an additional burst of colour.

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Lucie’s stunning cake brought together many of the key elements of the look – desert colours, some awesome geometric shapes and of course, some amazing succulents. Overall, the styling was low-key and easy to replicate for anyone seeking to achieve the look. Not being located in standard desert territory, we sought something of a balance, without too many of the standard clichés. We went a little luxe with the metallic foliage and containers – the potted succulents and cacti would also make great gifts for wedding guests! The wind limited a few of out initial ideas, but Kat summed up the day perfectly:

“It was summery, with beautiful blue skies and desert-like sunniness… unfortunately we didn’t reckon with the wind, which nearly blew us off our feet and got sand into every crevice! Deciding to roll with it, we gave our model – the incredibly stalwart-in-the-face-of-sand-storms Laura – a pair of sunglasses (hey, it’s the desert, right?), and she rocked it! And the wind did aid us in some beautiful flowing dress shots, so it was all worth it in the end.”

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The Line Up

Photographer: Kat Forsyth Photography
Hair & Make-Up: Lawsons of London
Dress: Karen Dornellie
Sandals: Marsha Hall Handmade Shoes
Cake: Wonderland Bakery
Styling & Flowers: The Vintage Floral Design Company
Stationery: The Vintage Floral Design Studio

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