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Simple Sophistication | Rustic Cotswold Barn Wedding

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Whenever I get the chance to design a dress a for a countryside wedding, there are many factors to consider, such as the venue, whether it be quaint or stately or a vineyard. I want to know the in's and out of how the couple met and fell in love and why they have chosen the location.  On occasion, if given the chance, I love to visit it for myself, to examine in detail the space, the architecture, the lighting, is it natural or well lit, how the light falls in various rooms, where will the bride be standing during the ceremony, where will the couple dance and so on.  

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” —Leonardo da Vinci

The chance to create a dress that would look at home in the heart of the Cotswold with its breath-taking views across the countryside, conjures up images of a dreamy, romance oozing with poetic freedom. 


Simple and Sophisticated Styling

The sense of unconfined freedom that you only ever appreciate as an adult remembering a childhood spent rambling across fields; or, of secret rendezvous at sunset to walk hand in hand with a loved one, pausing only to admire the fleeting light of the sun before escaping to the lovers' cove hidden beneath the dense woodland. 

And so, sketch pad in hand, Merris Court Barn, in the heart of the Cotswolds on the border of Oxfordshire and Gloucester, set the perfect backdrop for a wedding dress that oozed with elegance yet was every bit unrestricting and comfortable.

A simple sophisticated wedding dress design that was every bit as modern as fashion would allow, yet stylishly, laid back and understated, so as not to be imposing on the urban landscape. 

On the day of the shoot, I selected three romantic, summery gowns from the separates collection.  Each with its own signature, style and flair and plenty of scope for a last minute restyle after meeting the model couple for the first time on the day. 


After a brief meeting with the photographer - and taking into consideration the extremely hot weather - we decided to go with the simplest of gowns, very little detailing and one that was as light as possible.

Merging together the 'Gloria' gold feather embroidered bodice with a sumptuously soft, light and airy tulle 'Zaha' skirt. The resulting design was simple, summery, effortless and fun to wear in the hot outdoor setting of a English countryside wedding.

The impromptu styling was a quite hit with the bride and the team.matching perfectly the laid back personality of the bride and groom amidst the warm coral colors of the chosen theme.



Location | Merris Court Barn Oxfordshire

Photographer | Suzy Elizabeth

Brides Dress | Cynthia Grafton-Holt Couture

Hair and Make |

Accessories |

Venue Stylist |

Groomswear | The Cotswold Tailor

Cake Maker |

Stationery |

Marketing Strategist and Professional Writing Consultant | @thecopywordshop

Want more inspiration? See the full shoot HERE Featured on

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