This styled shoot at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia had a Claude Monet’s Bridge over the lily pond meets an ethereal secret garden vibe. Going into the shoot, we were looking for the right place to embody the mystique and whimsy of the secret garden theme, while providing a naturally beautiful landscape for the session. The moment we saw the Clifton Inn, we knew it was perfect!
The Clifton Inn
The Clifton Inn is nestled in the distinguished wine country in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Inn has a range of venues on their 100-acre property. We shot in the fairytale-esque garden, surrounded by cute cottages. Traveling down the pea gravel path up to the main manor house, I was totally inspired by the setting and ready for our session!
The Color Palette
When choosing a color palette for the secret garden-inspired shoot, we decided to utilize the abundant greens that were throughout the property. We used jade and chartreuse for little pops of color against the softer base of taupe, cement gray, and cameo pink to let the greens truly strike everyone’s eyes.
Details of the Secret Garden Shoot
We focused heavily on the tabletop details for this shoot. Ornate tablescapes are some of my favorite details to photograph, and I love trying my hand at designing them too! The guest tables had blush dinnerware with matte gold flatware and gold-rimmed glassware. This light pink and gold combination made for the perfect sophisticated and sultry tabletops.
The florals were lush and overflowing, with hydrangeas, garden roses, dahlias, spray roses, butterfly ranunculus, campanula, delphinium, and foxglove. They were the focal piece of our tablescapes, filled with color and texture! To top off the décor, our florist Rachel Johnson put together beautiful floral installations for the guest tables and head table.
Bride and Groom Attire
When selecting the bridal attire, we really wanted to play up the whimsical yet sophisticated feel of the secret garden theme. The bridal gown had blush and tulle hues which perfectly aligned with the color palette and stood out from the typical white and cream options. The groom’s attire, though, was the unexpected star of the show. He wore a jaw-dropping blush suit—a perfect complement to the tones in the bride’s gown.
I hope you enjoy the results of this creative collaboration. The other vendors and I worked hard to flex our creative muscle and create something ethereal and unique, showcasing everyone’s talents. If you’ve followed along for a while, you know I love a good editorial session. They really inspire me to keep making art with my work, and push my wedding photography to new heights!
Planning: Karen Duckett Events + Design
Specialty Rentals: Bride & Joy Rentals
Venue: The Clifton Inn
Cinematography: Harrison Films
Floral Design: Floral & Bloom
Stationery: Sara Lane Design
Cake: Jisoo Cake Design
Linens: LaTavola Linen
Vintage Car: Albemarle Limousine
Gown: Ava Laurenne Bride
Tux: The Black Tux
Makeup: Bridal by Sarah Khan Artistry
Agency: The Artist Agency
Jewelry: Eden Luxe Bridal
Tabletops Rentals & Linen: MS Events
Shoes: Bella Belle Shoes