The historical venue and its details were the strongest design elements of the styled shoot. I wanted the details to accentuate the story that is being told through the ruins. Based on that, I chose to focus on the vintage and strong architectural aspect of the ruins, and made choices such as the use of calligraphed paper invitations and vintage estate jewelry.

I played off the existing beauty of the gardens just outside the Manor House ruins instead of competing with them. By doing so, the design didn’t upstage the glorious natural beauty just outside the windows. The design complimented the natural beauty of the Barnsley Resort with a few simple, but elegant and classic touches.

10 design tips extracted from the Barnsley Resort Styled Shoot:

1)      The tablescape design was kept simple. I added a beautiful greenery runner combined with a Cinderella blue chiffon runner.

2)     A rectangular rustic heavy wooden table was used to accentuated the living room space and stand out from the tall brick walls inside the ruins.  The table was surrounded by overstuffed neutral color high back dining chairs.

3)     The final tablescape touches included antique brass candlesticks with gray candles and a gorgeous vintage dinner and tea set.

4)     The Color Palettes: Green, different shades of blue, gray, white and gold. The color palette added coolness to the warm red of the bricks.

5)     Our bride/model dress and hair style were intentionally chosen to meet the romantic and vintage roots of this venue. The elegant cut of the dress just made it perfect for the occasion.  

6)     Our Groom/model was impeccably dressed in a “Mystic Blue” peak lapel suit, white shirt, and a royal blue diagonal dobby tie.   

7)     The vintage estate jewelry was an exciting addition. We photographed a five-carat diamond ring and a stunning Edwardian necklace and earrings. Certainly, the caliber of jewelry that Godfrey Barnsley would have presented his lovely bride and wife, Julia Barnsley.  

8)    The invitations were 100% handmade, including the paper. The design included watercolor painting to bring the vintage emotions to life.

9)     The marble cake with gold leaf patches and exotic floral cake topper magnified and embraced the design.  

10) The bridal bouquet was medium/large size and was beautifully made with Protea, Peonies, blue Delphinium, and different types of greenery.

Today the land of Godfrey and Julia Barnsley offers a beautiful resort with many amenities including, horseback riding, English-style cottages, literature, history, museum, restaurants, a golf course designed by Jim Fazio, saltwater pool, a gym, and a spa. Barnsley Resort has been repeatedly named as one of the most luxurious resorts of the South.

If like me, you are fascinated by historical sites and would like to consider a historical venue to host your dream wedding, here are 6 considerations to keep in mind:

1)      Take your time to do a research of the history behind the venue. Make sure it connects with you and your fiancé. Don’t choose a historical venue solely because it is the latest trend. Make sure it’s compatible with yours and your finance’s personalities. While looking for historical venues, be aware, you might need to book a historical venue well in advance, possibly as much as 18 months in advance!

2)     Before you book a historical venue, you will need to understand and be willing to accept their restrictions. You and your wedding planner need to carefully review the contract.  Historical places naturally have some restrictions to maintain the site for future generations. Therefore, it is important to ask as many questions as you can to avoid surprises. 

3)     Be certain to review with your wedding planner the venue’s design policy “CANs and CAN’Ts”.  For instance, many historical venues don’t allow things to be hung on either the ceiling or walls or modify the existing design due to possible damage. 

4)     Remind your family and guests the importance to preserve and protect the current state of the venue.  Keep in mind, you will be personally responsible for any damages to the historic site. There are some aspects of a historical venue that if damaged, can never be repaired or replaced. Havin a wedding insurance is certainly something to consider. 

5)     Many historical places are open to the public. Check their “Open to the Public” schedule and policies, and make sure it will work with your wedding timeline. 

6)     Be mindful that some potential modern conveniences might not be available. For example: Some places don’t have elevators or air conditioning. Think about your wedding party and guests who might be affected by this. Usually the venues will have different options to compensate for it and try to accommodate your needs.

Check it out the images of Barnsley Resort Stylized Wedding, and all the vendors that contributed their creativity to this design. 

Photo: Mike Moreland