“She…threw passion and spark into every aspect of the shoot!”

“She…threw passion and spark into every aspect of the shoot!”


“I loved every moment of working with Hanami Dream, [with] Nicola’s creativity mixed with her laid back approach to the styled shoot at the Old Swan and Minster Mill.

She made me feel as though ‘no’ was never an answer and threw passion and spark into every aspect of the shoot!

I am really proud of what we achieved in such a short space of time and look forward to seeing what the future brings for Hanami Dream.”

Hannah, The Old Swan & Minster Mill – January 2017

Inspiration: autumnal marsala & gold Wind in the Willows wedding

Inspiration: autumnal marsala & gold Wind in the Willows wedding

Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside of the Cotswolds, this Wind in the Willows styled bridal shoot is an outdoor, autumnal adventure. Complete with vintage transport alongside a picturesque river, followed by a celebration in a grand hall dressed in marsala and gold, with chalk board and marble design features plus tactile fabrics like tweed, corduroy and suede. Planned and designed by Hanami Dream and wonderfully captured by Farrow Photography.

img_1352It is a true celebration of the beauty of nature and encapsulates the sense of an outdoors adventure as typified by the Wind in the Willows book by Kenneth Grahame. This is a chance to get away from the hectic, crowded city to a stunning and tranquil setting. Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger would be proud to attend this relaxed bohemian wedding. Bride & groom on bridge | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

The Old Swan and Minster Mill was a perfect location for this wedding where the bride and groom gazed at one another during their wedding ceremony whilst on the love seats under the Temple Garden. This had the amazing backdrop of a splendid willow tree draping it’s branches in to the River Windrush, flowing on it’s way to join the River Thames. Couple under temple garden | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

The couple moored their rowing boat by a disused boat house, explored the peaceful setting with treks down the river, over bridges, carefree on a tree swing and enjoyed a sumptuous, rustic picnic sat on a blanket with their hamper on the riverbank.Bride & groom picnic by boat | Mae Bridal | Keates of Witney | Classic Flowers | The Pretty Cake Company | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

Mr Toad would have approved of the vintage Humber car (from British Classic Car Hire) to experience the open road before entering the Great Hall through a paper floral archway (by Paper Tree Design) to feast on a mouthwatering banquet.

Couple by car | British Classic Car Hire | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

Once inside the happy couple sat in pride of place at the top table, in front of an impressive fireplace with a mantelpiece adorned with swashes of forest green foliage (from Classic Flowers) and fairy lights. The table was luxurious and tactile complete with a suede cream table cloth, copious amounts of marsala coloured candles in gold candlesticks and geometric copper tea light holders (from Talking Tables). Gold beaded charger plates were topped with gold vintage crockery (from Vintage Gold China), marsala coloured silk napkins and a chalk board design menu card (by Paper Tree Design), besides gold vintage cutlery (from Vintage Gold China).

Couple at banquet in grand hall | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

Guests found their places by referencing the chalk board style table plan and name cards (with guest names paying homage to the character names and table were named after chapters from the book by Paper Tree Design) and were given an opulent, marsala marbled soap as their fragrant favour (by Stonesfield Soap Company).

Place setting | Menu by Paper Tree Design | Cutlery & Crockery by Vintage Gold China | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

The top table was swathed in a striking floral table runner with a loose relaxed vibe containing lots of greenery along with burgundy dahlias, flowing amaranthus (mirroring the weeping willow tree outside), ranunculas, hypericum berries, snow berries, skimmia and bombastic roses. These flowers (from Classic Flowers) featured in the remarkable bouquet that the bride cradled, as well as in her loose braided hair (by Lucy Beesley Bridal), her corsage and the groom’s buttonhole. Bouquet by couple next to river | Classic Flowers | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

These florals were beautiful replicated on the cake (by The Pretty Cake Company) which also combined other on trend themes such as marbling, metallic gold lustre, drip effects and a chalkboard tier, which was sympathetic to the stationery and a nod to the author of the book. img_1206

The gorgeous bride braved the cold autumnal weather, with a beautiful smile complete with marsala coloured lipstick (with makeup by Lucy Beesley Bridal) and perfectly fitted the romantic A line wedding gown with lace sleeves, sweeping net train and floral appliqued bodice by Watters (provided by Mae Bridal). She completed her look with a short veil (by Richard Designs) worn low below a delicate hair vine (by Miranda Templeton) and gold coloured Blake shoes (by Benjamin Adams). Bride with bouquet by river | Mae Bridal | Classic Flowers | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

Our handsome, bearded groom suited the countryside surroundings with the dapper tweed jacket and waistcoat, coupled with a checked shirt, marsala bow tie and plush red corduroy trousers that he wore (from Keates of Witney). Groom on swing | Keates of Witney | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – ‘Keeping it local with suppliers for the Wind in the Willows shoot’

And take a glimpse behind the scenes at the how the theme and designs came to life – Behind the scenes: Wind in the Willows shoot

#keepitlocal

Planning & Design | Hanami Dream | www.hanamidream.co.uk
Location | Old Swan & Minster Mill | www.oldswanminstermill.co.uk
Photographer | Farrow Photography | www.farrowphotography.com
Models | Jess & Henry
Hair & Make up | Lucy Beesley Bridal | www.lucybeesleybridal.co.uk
Bridal dress and accessories | Mae Bridal | http://maebridal.co.uk
Groom clothing | Keates of Witney | www.keatesmenswear.co.uk
Florist | Classic Flowers | www.witneyflorist.co.uk
Cake | The Pretty Cake Company | www.theprettycakecompany.com
Stationery (including paper floral arch) | Paper Tree Design | www.papertreedesign.co.uk
Cutlery & Crockery | Vintage Gold China | www.vintagegoldchina.com
Copper geometric tea lights | Talking Tables | www.talkingtables.co.uk | sourced by Lark Rise Flowers | http://larkriseflowers.com
Favours | Stonesfield Soap Company | www.stonesfieldsoap.com
Transport | British Classic Car Hire | www.britishclassiccarhire.co.uk

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Wind in the Willows shoot

Keeping it local with suppliers for the Wind in the Willows shoot

Set in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside of the Cotswolds, Hanami Dream’s Wind in the Willows styled bridal shoot is an outdoor, autumnal adventure. Complete with vintage transport alongside a picturesque river, followed by a celebration in a grand hall dressed in marsala and gold, with chalk board and marble design features.

Couple at banquet in grand hall | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

It’s the little details that bring any event to life and this was made possible by the wonderful local suppliers who provided their time, services, venue and products for free. Together we have showcased the amazing talent that our part of the UK has to offer the wedding industry.

Thanks to all these wonderful suppliers #keepitlocal


LocationOld Swan & Minster Mill

Old Swan Minster Mill logo

An enchanting blend of romantic riverside gardens and stunning wildflower meadows, traditional Cotswold stone buildings, superb fresh local food and outstanding service, the Old Swan & Minster Mill offers the ultimate wedding experience.

Enjoy a timeless atmosphere in this unique rural setting set across 60 acres of idyllic grounds that form a perfect backdrop for your wedding celebrations.

They can host a maximum of 50 guests for your formal ceremony in one of our true historic reception rooms or for the ultimate romantic ceremony why not get married in the riverside setting of the Garden Temple; licenced for outdoor ceremonies. Framed by the weeping willows, creeping roses or in Spring surrounded by thousands of early blooms, it is hard to think of a more bucolic location for your wedding ceremony.

For the celebration wedding breakfast that follows, move on to the Minster Room in the 600 year old, Old Swan. With its oak beamed ceilings and original Cotswold stone fireplace it provides the perfect setting for a relaxed and intimate celebration with family and friends.

The restored Malthouse provides an outstanding location and setting for your evening reception. Alongside the River Windrush and with stunning views of the wildflower meadows and rose gardens, enjoy a night of dancing and merriment in the newly refurbished barn (maximum of 80 guests).

For larger wedding parties, they can accommodate a marquee in our magical gardens.

Couple under temple garden | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

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Hair & Make up – Lucy Beesley Bridal 

Lucy Beesley logo

Bespoke wedding hair styling & make up artistry tailored to your individual style
Getting ready | Lucy Beesley Bridal | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

 


 

Bridal dress and accessories – Mae Bridal

Mae Bridal logo

Mae Bridal is a beautiful bridal boutique located in the Oxfordshire town of Witney, just 12 miles west of Oxford. A little haven filled with vintage elegance and timeless collections that will capture the heart of any bride.

Prepare to fall in love all over again in our appointment only designer boutique, with gorgeous gowns from a range of designers, as well as accessories and shoes that will ensure you are styled from head to toe.


Groom clothing – Keates of Witney

Keates of Witney logo

We are situated in the town of Witney on Market Square opposite the Butter Cross, and comprise of three floors, Keates Menswear, Men’s Hire-wear and Blossom Bridal.

We represent a landmark for quality and service and offer formal suits and accessories with a wide range of casual wear to suit all styles, taste, and occasions.

Groom in tweed jacket | Keates of Witney | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.ukfacebook logo@blossombridal.co.uk

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Florist – Classic Flowers

At Classic Flowers, they offer fresh, quirky and innovative ideas for all occasions from Weddings to Funerals or just saying ‘With Love‘. Their fully qualified and talented team of floral designers can help turn your next occasion into a gorgeous floral affair.

Bouquet on plinth | Classic Flowers | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uktwitter-1@WitneyFlorist

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Cake – The Pretty Cake Company

Pretty Cake Company logo

The Pretty Cake Company offers a friendly, personal and bespoke wedding cake design service to produce breath taking wedding cakes that will be remembered for years to come. Our aim is to produce a wedding cake that is individual to the bride and groom – always focusing on the attention to detail that makes all the difference. We have over 10 years of experience in designing and creating wedding cakes and work closely with numerous prestigious wedding venues in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.  We will work with you and take your ideas and inspirations in order to create a truly memorable wedding cake. We pride ourselves on using the finest quality and freshest ingredients available.

Unlike many other cake companies, we now specialise only in wedding cakes, as this is our true passion.  Now we are able to focus on keeping up to date with current bridal trends and ensuring that our clients receive expert advice in the wedding cake field.

Clients are guaranteed a friendly, efficient service where quality is never compromised. Consultations by appointment only. We are based in Minster Lovell, Witney, West Oxfordshire and can deliver to a wide area.

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Stationery (including paper floral arch) – Paper Tree Design

Paper Tree Design | Logo | stationery

Paper Tree Design was created through a love of paper and a desire to produce beautiful and personal stationery and decorations. Thoughtfully designed, we focus on quality and attention to detail to make your stationery truly individual. With a background in Fashion and Textile Design, and 15 years experience in retail buying and product development Suzanne has a wealth of experience to draw on and is passionate about delivering design with little personal touches that reflect the clients loves and interests.

Living in rural Oxfordshire Suzanne cannot help but be inspired by the beauty of the natural world and the changing seasons, and can frequently be found in lanes and hedgerows with her camera and a sketchbook. Specialising in paper cutting, at Paper Tree Design we create your handcrafted wedding stationery to order. Choose to personalise a card from one of our ranges or commission a bespoke design. I am at my best working with your theme and ideas for a truly personal invitation and welcome you to come and have a chat and a cuppa in my Oxfordshire studio to discuss plans for your wedding.

Chalkboard stationery | Paper Tree Design | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uktwitter-1@PaperTreeOxon

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Cutlery & Crockery – Vintage Gold China

Vintage Gold China logo

Vintage Gold China is a boutique vintage china and gold cutlery hire company based in Gloucestershire. We specialise in hiring elegant, fine china, bronze candlesticks and genuine vintage gold cutlery. From small tea parties, village hall get-togethers, hen party evenings, showy dinner parties, wedding breakfast or celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, Vintage Gold China will help you create the perfect, glamourous vintage setting.

With access to our beautiful collection of elegant tableware consisting of quality vintage English fine bone china, French porcelain, vintage bronze gold cutlery, Victorian style glass dessert plates, bronze and glass candlesticks and many styles of votive – you will find all the tableware accessories you need to tastefully style your event. We can also supply luxury table linens from our sister company, Table to Dine For.

We supply to events in the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Avon and Wiltshire areas.  For weddings, parties and events, contact us for your tailored quote.

Place setting | Menu by Paper Tree Design | Cutlery & Crockery by Vintage Gold China | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

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Copper geometric tea light holders – Talking Tables

Talking Tables logo

Essential Party supplies for any Occasion

Geo Copper Tea Light Holders | Talking Tables | sourced by Larkrise Flowers | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

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Copper geometric tea light holders – sourced by Lark Rise Flowers

Lark Rise logo

Lark Rise Flowers, are professionally qualified florists, based in the rolling countryside of North Oxfordshire. They provide flowers for weddings and events throughout Oxon, Bucks, Northants, and beyond.

Stock is sourced from the major flower markets, and if seasonally available from an expanding group of British growers. The Eco commitment continues with a policy of recycling waste packaging and surplus green material.

Sandra, the Proprietor, is happy to meet with you for personal consultations and site visits. She will work with your brief, budget, or theme, to create a unique day for you both.

The Lark Rise team have a wealth of experience, having provided many wedding flowers, and decorated most of the major wedding venues in the area. They take pride and care in their work, from the simplest buttonhole through to beautiful bridal bouquets and venue décor.

“Surrounded by nature – working with nature”


Favours – Stonesfield Soap Company

Stonesfield Soap Company logo

Stonesfield Soap Company is a small, family-run business based in in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. It started off as a hobby, following on from our daughter’s 9th birthday party (a ‘spa science’ party, making bath fizzies, melt & pour soap etc), and as a concerned response to the huge number of unnecessary chemicals found in toiletries today. Since then, it has grown into a business driven by a passion for the manufacture of natural, artisan cold-process soap with an emphasis on design. The maxim that ‘beautiful skin deserves beautiful soap’ is at the forefront of what we do, with a firm belief that a good, natural soap should not only leave the skin feeling gently cleansed and perfectly conditioned but should also provide a positive visual experience, with the design of the soap playing an important role. The inclusion of various botanicals, clays, milks and a wide range of pure nutrient and essential oils, all carefully chosen for their individual properties, helps us create a very special soap indeed. We employ a strong ‘no palm oil’ policy and actively support a local conservation charity that works out in Sumatra. As well as soap, we are continually expanding our range of bath and skincare products, such as balms, bath bombs, salts and oils.

Mr Toad's place | Stationery by Paper Tree Design | Soap favour by Stonesfield Soap Company | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uktwitter-1@StonesfieldSoap

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Transport – Angela Martin – British Classic Car Hire

British Classic Car Hire logo

A trip in a classic car provides a whole new experience in road travel.  The smell of the leather seats, the lovely clunk of the solid door and the admiring smiles from those you pass; they provide a picturesque touch to your wedding day photos, and will make you feel like you are the stars of a vintage movie as you are driven to your wedding reception!
Every car in our fleet is an original, vintage vehicle, so by hiring one for your wedding, you’ll instantly become part of its history.  A full chauffeur service is provided with each car hire and discounts are available if you wish to hire more than one.
The company is run by Angela Martin, a classic car enthusiast, and she is well equipped to advise you on which model will best suit your needs, and her enthusiasm is infectious!   Whether you prefer the 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I or you are drawn to the retro style of the 1938 Daimler or 1935 Humber, all models are safe and comfortable to ride in.
Ribbons can be added in your preferred colour scheme and your chauffeur (usually Angela) is happy to stop off for a photo-shoot so if you have a favourite backdrop which you’d like to be photographed against, Angela is more than happy to oblige!
Whether or not you have a passion for cars, classic cars have a beauty about them that everyone can appreciate and as soon as you step aboard one, you won’t stop smiling.  The whole experience is one that will stay with you forever, so its a perfect treat for such a special day.
If you would like to meet the cars, contact Angela on 01865 301701 or visit http://www.britishclassiccarhire.co.uk/ for more information.
Couple by car | British Classic Car Hire | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk
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Take a look at a behind the scenes look at the briefs that were given to these fabulous suppliers and how the Wind in the Willows theme came to life with their designs and products.
Behind the scenes: Wind in the Willows shoot

Behind the scenes: Wind in the Willows shoot

I was really pleased to work with Farrow Photography on another styled shoot this autumn. We first joined forces in 2014 to bring to life some inspirational themes to show how you can enhance your milestone events. Following the success of our previous themed photo shoots, we collaborated once again to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot based around another well known story, The Wind in the Willows. It was also an honour to be able to showcase some amazing products from some fantastic local suppliers.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | Wind in the Willows | Farrow Photography
Theme
I choose the Wind in the Willows theme as it is another classic story with it’s roots firmly based in and around Oxfordshire. The book by Kenneth Grahame was written 108 years ago (published on 15th June 1908) and he took inspiration from the River Thames from his child hood and also from when he lived in Oxford when he was at school. In later life, he lived in Blewbury with his own family and The Wind in the Willows was based on stories that he used to tell to his son Alistair. It is even claimed that Mapeldurham was the vision for Toad Hall.

This book evokes such beautiful natural scenes of being beside the riverbank – a relaxing setting, which allows characters rustic picnics and peaceful treks down the river, all to contrast with hectic, crowded city life. Many cite that the book has a common theme of struggling with a sense of place. Whether it’s being comfortable with where you are or facing things that need to be changed.

For me, it typifies a sense of adventure and the great open road. So initially, I really wanted to focus on getting as many different modes of transport involved in this bridal shoot, including a rowing boat, a vintage car (poop poop!), a colourful old fashioned bow top caravan and even a barge, if possible.

There’s also a running theme of hospitality in the book, so I wanted to get across the feel of a decadent banquet in the Grand Hall as well as a sumptuous picnic.

I wanted to hint at the theme with slight nods to the book in place names, the table plan and on the cake. I certainly didn’t want to focus on the weasels at Toad Hall as their laughs and noises used to scare me when I listened to the cassette story as a child!

The final thing that I really wanted to capture was stunning, rich autumnal colours.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | Wind in the Willows | Farrow Photography
Styled shoot
A styled shoot takes almost as much time and effort to produce as a wedding day and entails bringing together the theme from many different suppliers.

The beauty of styled shoots (versus a real life wedding) is that it is a great opportunity to be a little more extravagant and really show off what you’ve always wanted to do. You can indulge your fantasies with new trends or products that couples may not have seen yet or something really unusual.

This styled shoot is a collaboration of like minded people that can create great things together but perhaps don’t have the budgets to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

Hanami Dream | inspiration | Wind in the Willows | Farrow Photography

Brief
I am very lucky to live in a beautiful part of the UK and am surrounded by some seriously talented wedding venues, professionals and suppliers. I was honoured that so many wanted to be involved in this shoot and they certainly didn’t disappoint with the products that they provided.

I gave them all the same brief that I was trying to achieve:

an outdoors adventure with vintage transport along the beautiful riverside, followed by celebrations in a grand hall dressed in marsala and tweed with chalk board signs

I also provided them with my collated vision and ideas on my Pinterest board.

The themes I wanted to encapsulate included:

  • Transportation
  • Autumn
  • Bo-ho / 1970s
  • Chalk board
  • Marbling
  • Greenery

I wanted to focus on the following autumnal colours:

  • Marsala (colour of the year in 2015 and still going strong)
  • Pale pink/coral (Rose Quartaz is one of the colours of the year in 2016 and I wanted to have a dress that wasn’t a traditional white dress)
  • Gold (using the current metallic trend along with copper and a welcome alternative to silver)
  • Tweed (casual men’s wear perfect for the country setting)
  • Forest Green (focusing on lots of greenery and foliage)

marsala

Designs
The creative suppliers worked wonders in transforming my overflowing pot of ideas and pairing it down in to realistic and achievable products for us to showcase.

  • Stationery designsOne of the first ideas for this shoot came from an image that I saw of a floral archway bursting with rich dark coloured flowers. Having spoken to Paper Tree Design about my vision, they were excited about making this floral arch from paper and card including lots of dark green foliage and some metallic and pearlised paper. The stationery had to synchronise up with lots of other elements such as the font and date of the wedding used on the invitation and cake, the flower illustrations used are ladies smock, wild rose and pink, and white campion, the menu used is a sample from the venue, plus the envelope liner was tweed inside a marsala coloured envelope.Then the theme came alive with the inclusion of the author and character names on the place cards (Mr Grahame, Mrs Grahame, Mr Toad, Mr Badger, Mr Mole, Mr Rat), and the seating plan had table names displayed on a chalk board which were named after the first 9 chapters of the book (1. The River Bank, 2. The Open Road, 3. The Wild Wood, 4. Mr Badger, 5. Dulce Domum, 6. Mr Toad, 7. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 8. Toad’s Adventures, 9. Wayfarers All).

Paper Tree Design | stationery | design | Wind in the Willows shoot

  • Cake designThe Pretty Cake Company helped to combine a few ‘on trend’ themes for this photo shoot, whilst combining the floral themes too. Marble wedding cakes are a revived trend that are becoming very popular and combined with the ongoing popularity of metallic effects, this shoot  was perfect to experiment with both. The top and bottom tier were covered using a hand mixed grey marbled sugarpaste. The top tier had a subtle splattering of edible gold lustre paint and the bottom tier had the gold drip effect which looked like it poured from the second gold lustred tier. The chalkboard effect on the third tier was sympathetic to the stationery used and with a nod to Kenneth Grahame whose book ‘The Wind in The Willows’ inspired this shoot. The cake was finished with a selection of arrangements of sugar flowers such as burgundy dahlias, coral ranunculus, sweet avalanche roses, snowberries and green viburnum.

The Pretty Cake Company | cake | design | Wind in the Willows shoot

  • Flowers Classic Flowers really went to town with my brief of having loose and flowing displays along with the colour themes running throughout the shoot. The green amaranthus especially in the bouquet worked in beautiful harmony with the weeping willow at the venue.Here are the flowers that were used in the shoot:
    • Brides bouquet – Mustard roses, Astrantia, Green and Coral Hypericum, Bombastic spray roses, Green Amaranthus, Burgundy Dahlia, Skimmia, flowering eucalyptus, ivy and fatsia leaves.
    • Buttonhole – Mustard rose, Bombastic spray roses, Burgundy Dahlia, Green and coral hypericum, flowering eucalyptus and skimmia leaves.
    • Table arrangement – flowers as brides bouquet PLUS green orchids and soft ruscus.
    • Swag on fireplace – Flowering eucalyptus, ivy, skimmia and soft ruscus.
    • Temple – Peach roses
    • Love Seat – ivy, flowering eucalyptus and skimmia

Despite getting stuck in Calais (due to the migrant camp closing), the flowers thankfully made their way from the Dutch supplier in time for the shoot!

Bouquet on plinth | Classic Flowers | Wind in the Willows | marsala & gold | autumnal | Old Swan & Minster Mill | Witney | October 2016 | Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.co.uk

  • Soap favours – the beautiful Marsala Peacock soap favours were an equistite addition to the beautifully laid tablescape in the banquet scene. Stonesfield Soap Company were amazing at making these bespoke soaps to match the colour theme of the shoot and they added a great aroma to the room whilst we were shooting! They are all made by hand and these images give an idea of the amount of processes that go in to making these favours. Here are the ingredients of the soaps that were used on this shoot:
    • Oils used: olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, shea butter (raw), rapeseed oil (UK cold-pressed), cocoa butter
    • Essential oil blend: Lavender, mandarin, patchouli
    • Other inclusions: goat milk yogurt, tapioca starch, kaolin clay

Suppliers
I couldn’t have been happier (and luckily) with the products that all the suppliers produced and provided.

  • Venue – I picked the Old Swan and Minster Mill based on it’s riverside location and it’s glorious weeping willow tree. How fortuitous that we also discovered that they had an old disused boat house and moored rowing boat that just so happened to be painted in red to match our theme perfectly! Also the chairs in the dining room were also a perfect colour match. It seemed like fate to bring the venue and colour palettes together in one amazing venue.
  • Hair – I was incredibily pleased that Lucy Beesley Bridal were available to do the bride’s hair and make up for this shoot. She actually did my hair at my own wedding 5 years – surely you can’t get a better recommendation! She brilliantly included the colour theme in the marsala lipstick and green/black eye liner and ensured the braided hair followed the loose and flowing themes.
  • Dress – Originally, I really wanted to use a non-white dress for this shoot – like a pale pink or coral colour. Plus I wanted to get away from the strapless dresses we see all too often. So I briefed Mae Bridal that I wanted to use something that covered the shoulders (which I think our cold bride was appreciative on the day!) and that had embroidery on it. The Watters Amelia dress hit the brief bang on with a nude coloured under skirt, amazing embroidered back and sleeves, plus a nice bo-ho vibe to fit in with the laid back theme.
  • Menswear – Keates of Witney provided a brilliant tweed jacket and waistcoat with pops of red to bring together the bow tie, cords and red of the checked shirt. Our groom looked like a proper country gent!
  • Cutlery – I wanted to get away from all the silver cutlery adorning tables and push towards the mixed metallic trends that are appearing. I was also really keen to use local suppliers for this shoot and searched extensively for gold cutlery. I was delighted to find the Vintage Gold China whilst networking on a wedding Twitter hour one night. They seem to be the only supplier locally to have an extensive selection of modern and traditional styled gold cutlery as well as crockery to hire. Plus they were a font of knowledge and extremely happy to help with my quest for finding marsala coloured candles to go in their lovely selection of gold coloured candlesticks. Even after a tiring night washing up the products from the night before, they turned up with such enthusiasm and encouragement that it was a delight to have them involved in the shoot.
  • Tea light holders – Another trend I wanted to include an element of geometric terrariums or candle holders. Just by chance, I was talking to Larkrise Flowers at the Cogges Wedding Open Day about my search and they were able to very kindly source some brilliant geometric copper candle holders from Talking Tables on my behalf.
  • Car – The shoot’s main inspiration was always about different modes of transport, so it wouldn’t have been complete without the stunning Humber from British Classic Car Hire. And a stroke of luck that the interior of ‘Hester’ was a luxurious marsala coloured leather – it was meant to be! ‘Hester’ is stunning in Black and White, with her beautiful, almost Art Deco lines, lots of chrome detailing and huge headlights, Hester turns heads wherever she goes. A comfortable ride, sliding sun-roof and lovely drop down tables in the rear, she’s a real beauty.
  • Models – And lastly the shoot was brought beautifully to life by the stunning models. I advertised for waves and beards and was so pleased that Jess and Henry were not only able to play our bride and groom but fitted the bill perfectly (his beard was so well coiffured!) They are a real life couple and this really showed in the way that they interacted and came across on camera. Not yet married, but very much in love, they were just right as the happy couple (even if it was a fake wedding!) I, for one, can’t wait to hear if playing the parts has sown any seeds and I look forward to hearing any engagement news in due course!

See more about our Wind in the Willows shoot – Inspiration: autumnal marsala & gold Wind in the Willows wedding

And take a look at the fabulous suppliers that were involved in this styled shoot – ‘Keeping it local with suppliers for the Wind in the Willows shoot’

#keepitlocal

 

WANTED: beards & waves

WANTED: beards & waves

Not disguises by the seaside but some lovely models are required for a bohemian styled bridal shoot with a literature theme.

The shoot will take place at a stunning venue by the River Windrush in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside this October half term.

This project is supporting and showcasing local, independent wedding businesses – everyone provides their services and products for free and in return gets some wonderful lifestyle shots to use at a later date. This is a collaboration of like minded people that create great things together though don’t have the budgets to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

The shoot will be approximately 2-3 hours in the afternoon of Tuesday 25th October (weather permitting) and will provide some fantastic lifestyle shots for your portfolio. One fitting prior to the date may be necessary. Own transport is required to Minster Lovell, Witney, OX29 0RN.

We are looking for models fitting the following description:

WAVES – Female with long blonde/brown wavy hair, approximately 20-30 years old, 170 cms tall, size 10-14

BEARDS – Male with dark hair and beard, taller than the bride, approximately 25-35 years old, 40” chest, 32” waist

If you’re available and would like to be involved in this fantastic styled bridal shoot then please email Hanami Dream

  • by Friday 14th October 2016
  • on info@www.hanamidream.co.uk
  • including a quick intro, your stats, a contact number and 2 images of yourself (1 x face shoot, 1 x full length)

For more information on the shoot take a look at Hanami Dream’s wedding blog

Wizard of Oz styled shoot toddler cast featuring Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow & Lion with balloons on straw bales

Want to be involved in our next styled photo shoot?

Want to be involved in our next styled photo shoot?

After a short hiatus (and a couple more babies between us!), Hanami Dream and Farrow Photography are proud to announce that they will be doing another styled shoot later this year.

Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream

Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream

They first joined forces in 2014 to bring to life some inspirational themes to show how you can enhance your milestone events (whatever the age of the guest). Their first shoot was based on Alice in Wonderland and they held a cute tea party to mark Alice Day (4th July).

Their next shoot followed shortly afterwards in August to mark the 75th anniversary of the release of the Wizard of Oz film. They were honoured to be able to showcase some amazing products from local suppliers in their Wizard of Oz themed children’s party.

Photography by Farrow Photography

Photography by Farrow Photography

Following the success of their previous themed photo shoots, they will collaborate once again to produce an amazing bridal styled shoot based around another well known story, The Wind in the Willows.

The shoot is planned for this autumn in the Oxfordshire countryside of the Cotswolds and we’re excited to offer the opportunity for local suppliers to join with us. So let us know if you’d like to provide products to bring our creative ideas to life in a wonderful new inspirational shoot.

The beauty of styled shoots (versus a real life wedding) is that this is your opportunity to be a little more extravagant and really show off what you’ve always wanted to do. You can indulge your fantasies. Maybe you’ve got a new product that couples won’t have seen yet or you want to create something really unusual that you wouldn’t normally do.

Styled shoots are a collaboration of like minded people that can create great things together but perhaps don’t have the budgets to produce this kind of work if they all worked independently.

Everyone works pro bono, so it is just your products that you’d need to provide to be involved. Nicola from Hanami Dream organises and styles the shoots and Sandra from Farrow Photography takes the shots. And the rewards are amazing with great imagery of your products in an amazing lifestyle surrounding, plus inclusion in all our promotion of the shoot and a feature on Hanami Dream’s blog, which is a UK Blog Awards finalist this year. So there’d be plenty of exposure of your beautiful products.

This is an inspirational and aspirational wedding styled shoot to provide images that we want to share with the whole wedding world. We live in a beautiful part of the UK and have some wonderful talented suppliers in the wedding industry right on our doorstep. So let’s show what our part of the world is truly capable of producing!

If you’re local and think you’d be interested in showcasing your products in our shoot then please email Nicola from Hanami Dream and outline what your product is and how you think it would fit in and enhance our theme. We’ve put together a mood board on Pinterest so you can get an idea of the kind of things that we’re after.

We are looking for some of the following (although this list isn’t exhaustive – if you can offer something we’ve not thought of we’d love to hear from you too):

  • Accessories
  • Bridalwear
  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Cakes
  • Catering
  • Décor
  • Favours
  • Florist
  • Hair & Make Up
  • Models
  • Shoes
  • Signage
  • Suits
  • Tableware
  • Transport (including a vintage car, a colourful old fashioned caravan and a barge!)

We’ll only be including one supplier from each category (ie only one florist will be used for the whole shoot) to provide clarity and clear communication.

You can see from our previous shoots that we really like close up detail shots which show off everyone’s products that have contributed very nicely – it is all about the little details that bring any event to life.

We look forward to sharing more news as plans unfold for this colloboration.

http://www.farrowphotography.com

Photography by Farrow Photography

 

How we went somewhere over the rainbow with our Wizard of Oz party

How we went somewhere over the rainbow with our Wizard of Oz party

Photography by Farrow Photography

Photography by Farrow Photography

We decided to follow the yellow brick road as the next theme in our series of joint ventures to bring to life some inspirational themes for special occasions. These are to showcase how you can use a theme to enhance your milestone events, whatever the age of the guest.

1. red – follow your heart
Our inspiration was sparked this time with the build up to the 75th anniversary of the film release of the Wizard of Oz. We also learnt that apparently L. Frank Braum (who wrote the Wonderful Wizard of Oz book in 1900) was inspired by Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so it seemed like a natural progression in our journey.

We loved the idea of lots of fun, friendship and camaraderie in our event and as we were using children as our models again we wanted to ensure we had lots of things to entertain them and keep their attention. Plus we wanted to capture a sunny summer vibe with bright on trend rainbow colours and we wanted to include sunflowers, balloons and emerald city inspired décor.

Other things that inspired this shoot included:Photography by Farrow Photography
• Tin cans – it seems that my obsession with all the things you can do with tin cans has led my husband to worry that I’ll soon appear on the Hoarder Next Door programme on television. Yes, I saved A LOT of used tin cans in the build up to this event. But they are so versatile and really add to any rustic décor scheme – as lanterns, flower pots, adorned with tassels, with holes punched in or painted to suit any colour palette.
• Posters – we’ve recently been decorating our son’s bedroom and spotted a poster of a lion that we loved in a home decorating magazine. We searched high and low and eventually found the exact one from The Kid Who. So our son is now the proud owner of the lion poster by Ingela P Arrhenius, a great Swedish graphic designer and illustrator, and we are trying to decide what our next lovely purchase will be by Ingela.
• Strawberries – you might wonder how strawberries inspired this shoot. Well, it was actually in the act of trying to protect our strawberries from naughty birds scrumping our lovely fruit in the early summer. We were searching for netting to buy to put over the strawberries and came across various sizes of smiling scarecrows to buy. Hope we have more success protecting the blueberries from the predators this month!Photography by Farrow Photography
• Paint – I’m currently in love with the chalk coloured paints by Annie Sloane (who incidentally resides in our part of the country). Some beautifully painted stools in the Old Pill Factory, in Witney, ignited my fascination with rainbow colours.
• Vogue – another fabulous shoot by Annie Leibovitz in Vogue in 2005 featured Keira Knightley as Dorothy and shows how subtle theming of the characters can still give a great affect.
• Scottie Dogs – okay so the dog in the film version of the Wizard of Oz was a Cairn Terrier, but how could we not love the dogs used in the recent Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow and wish there was a way to use them in this shoot?
• Old fashioned sweet shops – the Shake Shop in Witney is an awesome place to visit and, as well as shakes and smoothies, has loads of great sweets to chose from like giant rainbow lolly pops.
• Cakes – these are never far from my thoughts at the best of times but recently I’ve loved all the cake pops that are so popular and amazing rainbow layer cakes. We had a slice at a Photography by Farrow Photographyrecent christening and were fascinated by the time and effort gone in to making a wonderfully impressive cake.
• Emerald green – this was Pantone colour of the year in 2013 and still seems to be everywhere (or is it just because we’re thinking about the Emerald City that we’re seeing it more?!) and we really liked the emerald furniture in the Relics of Witney recently.

We also read the Wonderful Wizard of Oz book by L. Frank Braum and realised how many differences there were between the book and the 1939 film adaption. This made us realise that whatever the theme, we could adjust it to suit our occasion anyway.

You can see more of our inspiration for this party and follow Hanami Dream’s Wizard of Oz board on Pinterest.

 

2. orange – good communication
For this event we also involved a great team of local suppliers to showcase their products and enhance our theme further. So as well as partnering with the wonderful Farrow Photography, we also shared our vision to go somewhere over the rainbow with 8 other suppliers each offering different products.

Our partners for this shoot were:

Caked in it logo

Caked In It – who supplied the rainbow layer cake and rainbow push pops
www.facebook.com/pages/Caked-In-It/159983567354526
@cakeditin

 

Cotswold Kids colour logo

Cotswold Kids – who provided the ruby red sequin shoes worn by Dorothy
www.facebook.com/cotswold.kids
@cotswoldkids

 

Distinctive Petals logo

Distinctive Petals – who gave the flowers in a sunflower bouquet, on the table, hanging in trees and in the hot air balloon basket
www.facebook.com/#!/distinctivepetals.florist
@D_Petals

 

Fairford balloons logo

Fairford Balloons – who offered the bunches of latex balloons, rainbow balloon arch and the hot air balloon
www.facebook.com/fairfordballoons
@fairfordballoon

 

Mrs W Tutus logo

Mrs W Tutus – who made the white tutu and blue gingham apron that Dorothy wore
www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-W-Tutus/199071030217068
@MrsWTutus

 

Pedal Car logo

Pedal Car Parties – who lent the vintage pedal tractor for the Kansas farm scene
www.facebook.com/PedalCarParties
@pedalcarparties

 

Teddy Bears of Witney – who loaned us the Toto and Mini Dorothy Steiff bears
http://www.teddybears.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/pages/Teddy-Bears-of-Witney/107426666094204

 

New stationery company launching soon – who produced the name place cards
Contact Hanami Dream for more details.

 

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

We love the opportunity to be able to support local independent companies and have some amazing ones right on our doorstep in and around the Cotswolds.  #indieretail

For more information on the suppliers that supported this shoot and showcased their products, take a look at our No Place Like Home blog post too.

 

3. yellow – have couragePhotography by Farrow Photography
We had to make some tough decisions whilst planning the shoot and had to be realistic with what we could deliver in the time and budget. In addition, whilst not an ideal time of year, we had chosen to do it during the peak summer months when everyone is busy with lots of events. So this meant that some suppliers were not available or couldn’t sadly commit to this project. Plus, with any event that you want to hold outside, we were once again at the mercy of the elements. Despite a glorious few weeks of amazing sunny and hot weather, the week of our shoot was when things looked like breaking. We knew that we could postpone the shoot by a few days but some of the suppliers’ products would start to fade if we couldn’t use them when we planned. We were brave and continued with our plan of shooting one Friday morning and the weather was brilliant until lunchtime. Thankfully by this time we had luckily finished and packed everything away.

 

4. green – be resourceful
As well as having some amazing products supplied by our partners for this shoot, we also produced a number of the props and decorations ourselves. Funds, availability and suitability often mean that making things yourself (or having them commissioned) will ensure that they match and are completely tailored to your occasion.
The things we made included:Photography by Farrow Photography
• Green teepees for the Emerald City – triangles of different material sewn together with a heavier duty material hexagon base, held up by inserting and tying dowels, then finished off with doors with material tie backs.
• Gingham bunting – my mum has an amazing stash of material including the blue gingham that I used to sew the bunting. This was from the remnants from my primary school summer uniform that she’d made for me!
• Pin wheels – made from card in the seven different colours of the rainbow. Relatively easy to construct with squares of card, scissors and split pins. Then hung in rainbow order for lots of impact. Photography by Farrow Photography
• Tin man – lots of sweet corn, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes were consumed to leave some different sized empty tins held together with wire and split pins to make the tin man. Finished off with a silver hat made from a circle of card and a red card heart.
• Painted tins – whilst I had a grasp on how to mix colours to achieve 6 of the 7 colours of the rainbow, I had to do research to discover the proportions for making indigo! I used a one coat, all surface paint suitable to go on a number of materials without a base coat.
• Crows – these were made with some simple origami skills of twirling birds from black card for the scarecrow to chase away.Photography by Farrow Photography
• Net for hot air balloon – we plaited some wool together and tied it around the big 16″ balloon (supplied by Fairford Balloons) at the top, middle and bottom. Then tied long strands from the top band, through the middle band and to the bottom band and then attached them to a painted tin can full of flowers (provided by Distinctive Petals).

 

5. blue – use support
Most of our band of party goers were dressed in clothing to give a subtle hint of the theme, apart from Dorothy who had an amazing outfit.

The costumes consisted of:
• Dorothy Gale – white full length tutu with blue gingham apron and red ribbons (made by Mrs W Tutus), red ruby sequin shoes (provided by Cotswold Kids), blue gingham ribbons for plaited hair, wicker basket and Toto Steiff teddy bear (borrowed from Teddy Bears of Witney).
• Tin Woodman – grey cords (from H&M), light grey t-shirt (from Next) with red felt heart sewn to pocket and silver card pointy hat with red card heart.
• Cowardly Lion – brown cords, yellow t-shirt and ribbon ‘medal’ badge.
• Scarecrow – denim dungarees, check shirt (from Baby Bird at Mothercare), straw hat (from Fat Face) and prefect’s badge.

Photography by Farrow Photography

 

6. indigo – trust your head
So with our party visualised it was then just a case of bringing everything together and coordinating all the products coming from different suppliers and sources:

• Collected shoes, teddy bears, name place cards, balloons and flowers from suppliers
• Received deliveries of the tutu, cakes and vintage pedal tractor from suppliers
• Borrowed straw bails, prefect badges and table from friends
• Made tin man, sign for Emerald City, table runners, gingham bunting, costume accessories, pin wheel decorations, black crows and hot air balloon netting
• Collated all other props and costumes
• Ironed linen (why is it I find myself doing more ironing for work than I ever do in real life?!)
• Prepared and pruned garden
• Dressed the scenes by stringing up pin wheels, flowers in tins and crows, setting the table, tying rainbow ribbons round cutlery and the most important job of creating the yellow brick road with yellow chalk on a garden path.

Photography by Farrow Photography
7. violet – enjoy your creation
With everything set up, it was time for our party to begin. Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow enjoyed playing in the following scenes:

a. No place like home – the farm in Kansas consisted of:
• Straw bails
• Wooden toy farm
• Hanging black crows
• Vintage pedal tractor (provided by Pedal Car Parties)
• Bunches of balloons (supplied by Fairford Balloons)

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

b. The Witch is dead! – the Wicked Witch of the East got crushed ‘under the house’ and all that could be seen of her was her:
• Black and white tights and
• Shiny red shoes

Photography by Farrow Photography

c. Follow the yellow brick road – off to see the wizard and along the way the friends played with:
• Chalk on the yellow brick road
• Pinwheels in the ground (from Cargo)
• Basket
• Dorothy and Toto teddy bears (borrowed from Teddy Bears of Witney)
• Rainbow balloon arch (supplied by Fairford Balloons)

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

d. Emerald city
• Two green teepees complete with ‘bell not working’ sign at the end of the yellow brick road.

Photography by Farrow Photography

e. Somewhere over the rainbow
• The party table consisted of:
○ Rainbow cups, cutlery and crockery
○ Table runner of burlap material, ‘yellow brick road’ and rainbow painted tin cans filled with gypsophila (flowers provided by Distinctive Petals)
○ Name place cards
○ Rainbow layer cake (created by Caked In It)
○ Rainbow cake push pops (created by Caked In It)
○ Heart, medal and prefect’s badge
○ Toto teddy bear (borrowed from Teddy Bears of Witney)

Photography by Farrow Photography

• The other décor included:
○ Pin wheel bunting
○ Tin man out of cans in tree
○ Lion poster
○ Scarecrow in tree
○ Hot air balloon (balloon supplied by Fairford Balloons and flowers provided by Distinctive Petals)
○ Tin cans filled with sunflowers (flowers provided by Distinctive Petals).

Then it was time to enjoy and capture our party somewhere over the rainbow.

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

To see all the photos from the shoot please go to www.hanamidream.co.uk/wizard-of-oz/

 

Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream

Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream

 

 

No place like home – supporting and showcasing amazing products from local suppliers

No place like home – supporting and showcasing amazing products from local suppliers

We love the opportunity to be able to support local independent companies and have some amazing ones right on our doorstep in and around the Cotswolds.  #indieretail

We were really pleased to work with the following fabulous suppliers that supported our Wizard of Oz shoot and showcased their products.

Caked in it logo

Caked In It – who supplied the rainbow layer cake and rainbow push pops
www.facebook.com/pages/Caked-In-It/159983567354526
@cakeditin

Making the “Edible Incredible”.  Whether you desire elegance, vintage chic, cupcakes or something more adventurous, Caked In It provide a friendly, customer focused bespoke service to achieve your deliciously dreamy cake.  Shortlisted in the 2013 Wedding Industry Awards, they really do love what they do.

 

Cotswold Kids colour logo

Cotswold Kids – who provided the ruby red sequin shoes worn by Dorothy
www.facebook.com/cotswold.kids
@cotswoldkids

Cotswold Kids opened in Witney in 2003, and specialises in baby and younger children’s fashion and gifts, toys, and nursery items, with key brands Natures Purest and Jellycat.  A new website and online shop is imminent, in the interim using Facebook as their main customer-contact tool, pending their re-launch in late summer 2014.  A big clearance sale is now underway, with classic baby and children’s fashion at great prices, Spanish shoes, Hunter boots, dress-up and occasion wear.  Brands include Mayoral, Kate Mack/Biscotti, Kanz, Boboli, D’arcy Brown, and more.  Don’t miss out!  Do visit them on Facebook and Like to be sure you’re among the first to hear about new arrivals and special offers, not least their re-launch event (date tba)! Or visit their pop-up shop in Mill Street, Wantage for a selection of new baby gifts, toys and accessories.  New permanent Wantage shop coming soon!

 

Distinctive Petals logo

Distinctive Petals – who gave the flowers in a sunflower bouquet, on the table, hanging in trees and in the hot air balloon basket
www.facebook.com/#!/distinctivepetals.florist
@D_Petals

Distinctive Petals is a fresh thinking innovative floral design company. Specialising in wedding and events. Based in Witney in the rural Cotswolds, Distinctive Petals use from flowers from the auctions in Holland to make your floral dreams come true. Contact them at info@distinctivepetals.co.uk or on 07725806756.

 

Fairford balloons logo

Fairford Balloons – who offered the bunches of latex balloons, rainbow balloon arch and the hot air balloon
www.facebook.com/fairfordballoons
@fairfordballoon

Fairford Balloons was established by Paula Marshall 3 years ago within Enntwine Gift Shop based in Fairford Gloucestershire, run as a partnership with her Mother Val Marshall. After a few changes and a move to a better location in the town, Fairford Balloons has gone from strength to strength, now providing balloons for the whole of the Cotswolds/Gloucestershire/Wiltshire/Oxfordshire and even London on a couple of occasions. Providing something different to the standard helium balloons, Fairford Balloons have been a hit for all types of parties, weddings and events. Also offering a delivery service to keep convenience and customer service to a high standard. If you are interested in knowing more then please feel free to take a look at their website or contact Paula with any questions 01285 711057.

 

Mrs W Tutus logo

Mrs W Tutus – who made the white tutu and blue gingham apron that Dorothy wore
www.facebook.com/pages/Mrs-W-Tutus/199071030217068
@MrsWTutus

Mrs W Tutus hand makes Tutus, Tutu Dresses, Tulle Crowns & Wands for Bridesmaids, Flower Girls & Fairy Princesses everywhere! With 30 colours of Tulle available, we are sure to be able to create something that fits perfectly with your chosen colour scheme or with the imagination & dreams of your Little Princess! Please do not hesitate to get in touch with your requirements.

 

Pedal Car logo

Pedal Car Parties – who lent the vintage pedal tractor for the Kansas farm scene
www.facebook.com/PedalCarParties
@pedalcarparties

Pedal Car Parties hires out a set of beautiful metal vintage-style pedal cars for children’s parties, and delivers them to village halls, sports halls, private homes and schools across the region for children’s parties. Included in the package are toy traffic cones, road signs, traffic lights and a pop-up garage, as well as coloured bunting and party game ideas to make the perfect party for the under 5’s. Pedal Car Parties was named Best Party Supplier in the South East by Netmums in 2013.
Teddy Bears of Witney – who loaned us the Toto and Mini Dorothy Steiff bears
http://www.teddybears.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/pages/Teddy-Bears-of-Witney/107426666094204

Teddy Bears of Witney has been fortunate to have handled teddy bears, new and old, for nearly thirty years. Every day they witness the joy they bring to people of all ages. They search the world for the bear-makers they most respect, love and admire, sot that they can share their bears with you. They are open seven days a week.
New stationery company launching soon – who produced the name place cards
Contact Hanami Dream for more details.

 

Photography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow PhotographyPhotography by Farrow Photography

See how we went over the rainbow with our Wizard of Oz party.

 

Hanami Dream and Farrow Photography are off to see the Wizard!

Hanami Dream and Farrow Photography are off to see the Wizard!

Hanami Dream and Farrow Photography are collaborating again. This time they will be following the yellow brick road with a Wizard of Oz themed children’s party. They will also be showcasing some amazing products from local suppliers – after all there’s no place like home.

Look out for the photos next month when they go over the rainbow and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the Wizard of Oz film.

How we organised our Alice in Wonderland tea party

How we organised our Alice in Wonderland tea party

http://www.farrowphotography.com

Photography by Farrow Photography

1. Pick a theme

We’ve found inspiration in many different areas (isn’t Pinterest great for sparking the imagination and losing a few hours in the making?!) but lots of things kept leading us back to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. So this is the theme we picked for our first joint venture. (By the way, you can see more of our inspiration on our Pinterest board.)

We are from beautiful Oxfordshire and Alice’s story has lots of connection with Oxford. There’s an Alice’s Shop in Oxford and for one day every year, the Story Museum turns Oxford into Wonderland to celebrate the first telling of the story. Alice Pleasance Liddell and her sisters enjoyed listening to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll), when she asked him to tell her a story on a boating trip in Oxford on 4th July 1862. So it’s not just the Americans who get to celebrate a special occasion on the 4th July! Other things that inspired this shoot were:

  • A fantastic installation at Burford Garden Company. One day their tea shop had lots of teacups hanging from a tree and it looked like a perfect backdrop to a mad hatter’s tea party. Tea Tree at Burford Garden CompanyI just hope they had enough teacups left over for all their thirsty customers!
  • Tim Burton’s gothic inspired Alice story. We liked that this was a different take on the usual Disney cartoon images that usually spring to mind.
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, a recent short lived US spin off show that featured modern day fairy tale characters based around the Alice story. Okay, we’re not necessarily all over the cheesier aspects of this but liked a modern day twist on the classic tale.
  • Annie Leibovitz did an Alice shoot for US Vogue in 2010 which absolutely rocks – not a stereotypical Disney character in sight!
  • US stylist Alexandria LaNier also did a wonderful shoot.
  • Ruby & Stardust do amazing inspirational wedding photo shoots to help couples visualise the day of their dreams. We love their extravagant attention to detail.
  • Whittards currently have a lovely Alice collection that attracted our attention too – it’s all about Alice right now!
  • The Old Pill Factory in Witney always has brilliant visual merchandising and we love the eclectic mix of vintage products on display. Recently we were inspired by an old kid’s top hat that we saw with some tweed jackets. So we wanted to mention it as we love this place and are big supporters of local independent retailers (especially as this month is Independent Retailer Month).

However most of the imagery that inspired us featured adult models and we wanted to do something with young children.

 

2. Set the time, place and location

We decided we wanted to be able to share our inspirational shoot with the world to coincide with Alice in Wonderland Day on the 4th July. It’s when people are celebrating thPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.come day when the story was first told. If everyone is talking about Alice on that day then we want to be too! So our shoot was planned for the week before Alice’s Day and we held it outside in a residential garden so we could maximise the wonderful green lushness that’s around at this time of year. We let the lawn grow so all the pretty daisies came through, after all Alice did debate at the beginning of the story whether to make a daisy chain or not before she saw the white rabbit. We watched as the garden changed on a daily basis praying that the red peonies would bloom in time. Annoyingly the red ones came and went and then we were stuck with only pink ones but even these had gone over by the day of the shoot. And sadly no sign of any roses in time. Not even any white ones that we could paint! But luckily we found a post on Let’s Eat Grandpa about how to make really realistic looking tissue paper flowers so our production crew sprung in to action instead.

 

3. Make a guest list and send out invitations

As mums of little ones ourselves, we know how much fun children are but we also know how quickly they can flag and their attention dwindles. So we decided on a small ensemble to encapsulate some of the most well know characters from the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland story. We had 5 brilliant models who thoroughly got in to their roles and all enjoyed pouring pretend tea (like most children seem to). So we invited:

  • Alice
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Mad Hatter
  • White Rabbit (at one point we even considered borrowing a real life white rabbit!)
  • Cheshire Cat

 

4. Source suppliers for decorations, party favours & music

For this shoot, we begged, borrowed and made a lot of our own props. However, the first of these I already had – an old vintage tea set that my Mad Nan gave to me (yes, this is the name that she has titled herself!) She bought it years ago when she first got a credit card and got a bit carried away at an auction. She hid it under her bed and never told my Grampy about it as she didn’t want to tell him how much she spent on it. So when he passed away a few years ago, I inherited the tea set. Not being a tea drinker myself, it sat unused in a box in the shed. So I was pleased that it could take pride of place in this Alice shoot.

Here some other behind the scenes snippets of how we made or sourced some of the props:Template from Next to nicx

  • Miniature door – this was one of the first things that I made for the shoot. I saw these fairy doors on Roots Nursery and knew they would look great amongst the ivy at the base of one of the tree stumps in the garden for Alice to peer through.
  • What tea party would be complete without teacups? Along with my Mad Nan’s vintage cups, we also made some paper teacups to really enhance the whole décor. We found an ingenious and really stunning template and tutorial by Next to nicx and we hear that they’re also in the process of setting up a store so you’ll soon be able to buy these nifty tea cups in kit form too.
  • My in-laws sourced the next prop when they were enjoying afternoon tea in the Mad Hatters Tea Shop in Longton, Lancastershire. (Actually this theme was perfect for them as I think they spend quite a bit of time researching this pastime!) They found a beautiful paper teapot decoration in rose by Miss Etoile.
  • Other things that we made included:
    • Chequered floor – we bought some checked flooring tiles and stuck them to a bit of ply wood
    • Hearts bunting – we stuck lots of red hearts on to fishing line (and got them tangled up too many times!)
    • Big clocks – just some cardboard and cut out printed numbers (the roman numerals really tested our GCSE maths skills!) which were perfect for the background to dress the scene
    • Various sizes of playing cards including two big ones made into a tunnel for the children to run through – again just painted cardboard and then we stuck hearts/spades on to them
    • Playing cards garland – hope that no one in our house wants to play cards any time soon as I stripped out all the hearts suits from a couple of packs to string these on fishing line
    • Queen of Hearts wand – bought a wicker looking heart from Sainsburys and painted the top red to finish off her outfit
  • Other paper decorations and lanterns were bought from Cargo out of their last year’s stock. I’m loving all the honeycomb paper décor around at the moment though.
  • The final significant prop that we used was the brass key the White Rabbit and Alice hold. This was a gift to my late father on his 21st birthday which he gave to me when I also hit that milestone age. It’s engraved with the dates when we both reached 21 so it was special to feature this in the shoot.
  • Friends and family also have to be thanked for lending us other props such as: the old clock, carriage clocks, pocket watches (we were stunned by how many of our friends owned one of these!), various cuddly animals (such as rabbits and mice), croquet set and a treasure chest.

IMG_3988 IMG_3989  IMG_4039IMG_4038

 

5. Plan party games and entertainmentPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com

With small children you need to have lots of things to entertain them lined up as their concentration doesn’t last too long for each activity. We had lots of bubbles to hand, a croquet set to play (complete with flamingos), lots of dancing, endless fun pouring glitter into teacups, running through playing card tunnels, hiding the dormouse in the teapot and eating all the lovely sweets. 

 

6. Make the food and a cake

We didn’t put on a full spread for this special occasion but no Alice party would be complete without some jam tartsPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com. The hearts theme continued with Love Heart sweets and some real fruit juice heart sweets from The Fruit Factory. They’re made from concentrated fruit juice so we thought they’d be better for our sugar deprived kids!!!

 

7. Set the table & decorate your venue

The only thing we couldn’t organise for the day was the weather. We should’ve guessed that anything set around the time of Wimbledon would have a chance of rain closing play. With the power of 10 day weather forecasts we could see that the weather might not be on our side and finally made a last minute decision to postpone by a day. It was a good call, as the day we’d planned had really heavy downpours but we had glorious sunshine for the actually day of our shoot. Everyone needs a good back up plan and thanks to all cast and crew for being so accommodating to change the day.

It was actually good that it rained before the shoot as it watered the garden and made it much greener again after all the beautiful sunny days we’ve been having. So all that was left was to:

  • cover the chairs and the rose arch with ivy and our home made flowers
  • hang all the tea cups and other decorations Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com
  • dress the table with cups, saucers, teapots, clocks, hearts, flowers, cake tins, pearls, sweets, tiny playing cards, stuffed animals and glitter
  • hang playing card bunting in rose arch and heart bunting in Cheshire Cat’s tree
  • pin up signs
  • hide fairy door
  • set up the Queen’s palace
  • get Alice’s rocking chair in place
  • arrange all props and toys for entertainment

 

8. Dress the part

As our models arrived, they each got dressed in their costumes for the day. We’d been inspired by some Handpicked Handmade girls dresses which are so sumptuous and voluminous that we had to make some similar for our Alice, Queen and Cat. We went for a no sewing route (like the Hair Bow Company ones) and simply tied strips of tulle netting around ribbons to create wonderful skirts.

The costumes consisted of:

  • Alice – daisy headband, white t-shirt, blue handmade tulle skirt, white apron
  • Queen of Hearts – gold crown (from H&M), black t-shirt, white handmade tulle skirt complete with felt hearts, red shoes, heart wand
  • Mad Hatter – top hat with 10/6 sign (actually it was really hard to source a top hat as we were getting costumes together around the time of Ascot but found a great one on Oxfam’s online store), grey waistcoat and trousers (from Florence and Fred at Tesco), check shirt, cravat
  • White Rabbit – rabbit ears (from Claire’s Accessories but these didn’t stay on for long!), cream waistcoat and trousers (from M&S), white shirt, pocket watch, white rabbit toy (from JellyCat)
  • Cheshire Cat – cat ears (also from H&M), purple t-shirt, pink and purple handmade tulle skirt, purple shoes

And no one is fully dressed without a smile, so we also made some Cheshire Cat smiles on sticks for everyone to hold although everyone seemed to be full of smiles anyway.  

Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com

 

9. Make the tea when your guests arrive Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com
Obviously we didn’t have real tea for the children to pour at our party but they still had loads of fun pouring ‘tea’ for each other.

 

 

 

10. Serve the food and enjoy spending time with your guests

Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com  Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com    Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.comPhotography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com

As you can see our tea party was lots of fun. To see all the photos from the shoot please go to www.hanamidream.co.uk/alice-in-wonderland/

Photography by Farrow Photography www.farrowphotography.com

Farrow Photography & Hanami Dream