Monday 10 October 2011

A Downton Abbey Wedding

I have a confession to make. In the beginning, I didn't get Downton Abbey, finding it a little cloying and missing some of the sumptuous nuances or playfulness of other period dramas such as Cranford or Gosford Park. But now, I am just one more swelling the ranks of those who have become caught up in the opulent world of Downton Abbey and its pleasingly English charms, the perfect sanctuary for a Sunday night. Now, I simply can't get enough.

With grand, lavish lawns that sweep up to a Victorian pile that is of equal measures devastatingly majestic and romantically otherwordly, Downton Abbey is a lovely glimpse into a lost world of exquisite elegance and pageantry. Perfectly capturing the refinement of the early twentieth century with crystalline chandeliers, Persian rugs, fringed lamps, mint julep coloured walls and silver trays overflowing with classic libations, Downton packs an irresistible punch. Add a colourful cast of characters who seem thoroughly stuck in the mud of the early twentieth century, but so right for now - with all their heartache, irritations, simmering sexual tension, glamour and spirit – and you have more than a mere period drama, but an unexpectedly rich source of inspiration for a wedding - and some lovely bridal muses.

Which is why I'm dreaming of a Downton Abbey wedding: with a setting of Highclere Castle - the show’s imposing, ravishing home – a wedding supper of 1916 favourites such as roast quail  - and some vintage Downton moodboard nostalgia. It is a wedding that nods to the fancy for all things historic and British, cosy and reasurringly eccentric, but has grace, romance and gilding in all the right places.

Credits: photo of recreation of Cecil Beaton’s image of Debutantes (find similar gowns at Ian Stuart and Angelina Colarusso), similar chandeliers from A & M Hire, Headpiece similar from Olivier Laudus, flowers Absolute Flowers, Aspen lace detail and silk wedding gown by Jenny Packham, faux pearl and crystal bracelet by St Erasmus, vintage Rose invitation similar from Ditsy Chic, Highclere Castle, Place Cards similar from Paul Antonio, Macarons by Laduree, table lamp by House of Hackney, engraved star Champagne coupes from The Vintage Wedding List, The Satine hand-beaded wedding gown by Johanna Johnson, wedding cake byLittle Venice Cake Company, chevron tray from Up in the Air Somewhere, Rouge Volupte lipstick YSL, antique diamond engagement ring from Kaizen, Crystal necklace by Nocturne, photo from Vogue of Downton Abbey stars in Bottega Veneta gowns, Jimmy Choo Lace shoes, flowers as before.

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