Emma Whicher, our incredible florist in the village - https://www.marthaandthemeadow.com - was contacted by the American photographer, Mariel Hannah, to ask if she could use her as the florist for the UK shoot she was planning as part of her European tour. Emma very generously suggested that the shoot take place at Shillingstone House! See Mariel's other amazing photographs at https://www.instagram.com/marielhannah
They came in July and it was a wonderful experience - it was fascinating being able to watch how the shoot developped from the original ideas. We have had to keep the photographs under wraps but can now share some of them with you. The blog has some in-house pictures too but marked with a dot.
Emma had suggested that we use our summer house for one of the tableaux and she created in seconds a stunning pillar of flowers up one side. She had sourced many of her flowers from our local trail way and even a few weeds from Lidl's car park - this foraged look is why Mariel sort her out. She also made a beautiful tied bouquet for the bride to carry.
Victoria Fergusson had been brought in as makeup artist and hairstylist She is very experienced in this field covering Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and further afield and was not put off by being asked to work her magic in the dining room of Shillingstone House. She had made some stunning jewellery specially for the shoot. www.victoriafergusson.co.uk
She was so lovely and seemed to work really well with Mariel and her husband Abe, understanding immediately what they wanted. The dress was amazing and just perfect for the setting. (https://joanneflemingdesign.com)
The sun was still too high to take photographs in much of the garden so Mariel and Abe started with the summer house shots where the sun coming in at an angle was perfect.
In the heatwave, Shillingstone House was surrounded by browned grass and scorched flowers, not the green grass and cow parsley that Mariel had originally wanted but she really embraced the surroundings. I will never look at our long grass in the same way again!
And now for the amazing photographs that they took.
When Mariel suggested using an apple tree in the shoot, our's only had tiny apples on it but on the day it was perfect. During the filming here they used some Shillingstone props - my grandmother's 1937 straw hat, her flower basket and Monty, my daughter's working cocker spaniel!
And now for the real ones.
One of the scenes that Mariel wanted to create was a fully laid table. Our weathered garden table and chairs were perfect and Emma and Victoria produced the props along with some of our plates. The result, placed in the long grass by the Ha-Ha, looked stunning.
The shoot finished with some shots in the walled garden and by the big urn at the end of the White Walk. Once again Monty was included. We had enjoyed every moment of the day and felt very privileged to be included. Now we share the finished photographs with you.