t5Now, if you’re a keen Festival Brides fan (high fives, hugs and kisses to all of you!) then you’ll already know that we are in love, and when I say in love I mean totally besotted/obsessed, with all things dark and atmospheric in the bridal world right now.

We’ve made no secret of this, our instagram page is littered with decadent shots of tableware, shadowed bridal portraits, and moody black accents and if you hop on over to our Pinterest page you find an entire board dedicated to the cause too!

The bridal world is changing: styles and ideas once labelled as ‘gothic’ or ‘inappropriate’ (and might still be thought of as such by your Grandma!) are quickly becoming very popular; in essence, black is becoming the new white.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourites from this luxurious wintery trend for you today: from the wildest of blooms, to the sparkliest of dresses and, of course, dessert…

Dessert: The Darkest Indulgence

I kinda feel like if this trend was to centre around a single element, an element that personified all that this luxurious trend stands for, it’d be chocolate. Deep, dark chocolate.

Satiating all the senses; true luxury. Tempered to a high gloss finish, with it’s depth of warm colour and alluring scent dark chocolate cakes and desserts are the epitome of this Winter trend.

Combined with punchy seasonal fruits, a twist of bitter orange or syruped Morello cherries; there’s no indulgence like it.

c2 c7 c6 c5 c4 c3 c1Whether it’s a double dose of chocolate with an oozing drizzle of chocolate icing, or a simple fine dusting of chocolate shavings, this ingredient is a must in your Winter wedding menu.

Decor: Decadent Details

If your wedding decor hasn’t got at least a subtle hint of ‘Addams Family’ about it, then you’re missing out this winter!

I’m kidding, of course, well kinda!

Black is the colour when it comes to Winter wedding decor. Flashes of matte black in table decor (look out for the incredible place name plates!), a subtle dark hint with deep maroon rose petal champagne toppers, black and gold geode coasters… It’s everywhere and never is it overwhelming! Combinined with fresh florals and mixed textures, this trend for matte black blends seamlessly and oh-so-elegantly into the wedding tablescape.

If black’s just a little too far on to the dark side for you, try incorporating deep jewelled tones, again embracing more matte textures: soft velvet or the wonderfully faceted effect of crushed velvet, adding depth to your wedding colour way.

t1 t4 t8 t2 t5 t7 t9 t3I like to think of event styling as a good photograph, it’s all about the balance between light and shade, try enhancing the shade a little!

Bridal Style: The Shimming Cold Sun

Ok, so how has this trend translated across to bridal style? I mean, of course there’s been an influx of black bridal and bridesmaid dresses that we’re totally into, but I thought I’d show you guys another *super on trend* way to embrace all things wintery and decadent for your wedding…

Shimmer, shimmer.

(Yup, so much so I had to say it twice!)

Inspired by Odylyne the Ceremony’s incredible Icarus gown, fully sequinned and beaded bridal pieces have been appearing (and bringing us to our knees) across many of the Fall ’17 designer lines.

Set against dark matte decor, head to toe in a dress covered in cool-toned pearlescent sequins that shimmer in that cold winter sun… Need I say any more!?

d3 d2 d7d4 d1 d5 d6We couldn’t be anymore on board with this trend. For real, douse me in sequins and serve me up, for I am DONE.

Florals: Wild Depth

Occasionally, and I think much mistakenly, ‘wild’ styled flowers can be tarred with the same brush as ‘carefree’ or ‘sweet country’ flowers.

Allow us to present a case to the contrary (!)

Winter florals have never been so hedonistic. They’re hypnotic; the depth of their texture unfathomable and the richness of their colours opulent. The wildness of their arrangement only adding to their story, these blooms are alive, twisting and winding a delicate while imposing picture.

f2 f8 f4 f7 f6 f1 f3 f5Aren’t they just glorious?! Shifting into a slightly darker palette than Autumnal blooms, the hints of dark velvet-like roses and lushious deep-toned dahlias creates a lavish, sumptuous bouquet.

Bridal Hair: Luxuriously Low Slung

Move over full braids, and head-topping up-dos, there’s a new ‘it girl’ in town.

Bridal hair is lowered to the sensual nape of the neck in loosely woven, yet sleek braids and beautifully twisted knots. There’s a very luxurious sense of incompletetion with these new styles; an elegant nonchalance as impossibly glossy locks are simply tied with a black chanel ribbon at the base of the head.

It’s carefree elegance, that’s quite clearly not carefree at all! It’s delicately teased-out wisps of hair, perfectly crisp straight partings and hair woven to conceal any fastenings.

It’s an aloof, mellow look, but nothng like what we’ve seen before.

h1 h8 h7 h5 h4 h3 h6 h2We just adore that final knotted style, paired with the doubled up chokers. So on trend, and yet so timeless.

Photography: Shadow Play

And finally, this sense of Winter lushiousness is certainly translating into the world of wedding photography.

If you follow us on instagram, you’ll have seen a wealth of shots like this (their definiely my current favourites!) from the likes of the incredible India Earl, and one of all time faves James Frost

They play with shadow. The luxury of elements being left unseen. Of soft, warm shadows allowing for a heightened sense of focus. Dramatic use of shadow in the darker winter light, highlighting only elements of an embrace.

The depth of these shadows, their hidden aspects, adds a real profundity to the photograph.

The luxury is in not seeing all.

p5 p4 p6 p2 p3 p1So atmospheric, aren’t they? We’re toally in love.

As much as I adore all the wonderful Summer trends we’ve seen this year, I have to say that, in terms of bridal and event styling, 2016 has been a year that has really opened my eyes to the possibilty of darker elements, of playing with shadow and depth to create a sophisticated and really quite refined look, while still doing something a little near the edge, if you know what I mean!


Peace + Love


Clare XO


Wedding beauty on its way!

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