Amore Eterno is an editorial shoot conceived to re-tell the history of one of Oxfordshire's most beautiful stately homes, Newington House. Newington House's story is impossibly romantic. Newington House hosts a small number of exclusive weddings each year allowing guests to have full use of the gardens and some of the beautiful spaces inside the house itself.... ~ Kim Balasubramaniam Wedding Design + Zosia Zacharia Photography
Newington House was built in the 17th Century as a gift for a homesick Italian princess by her British husband. The design was based on Reuben's collection of engravings called "The Palaces of Genoa" and is therefore Italianate in design, and has been brought back to life by the current owners. Our editorial re-tells this story for the modern wedding. A tale of a young couple who met traveling Europe. She is Italian, he British and they have chosen to celebrate their marriage at this countryside estate.
Our bride was dressed in a Jesus Peiro gown which featured a lace bodice, long sleeves and pockets! A classic ballgown skirt, which fitted such an incredible venue was complimented by a bouquet of peonies, jasmine and my favourite Margaret Merril roses - so fragrant and so beautiful. Bespoke heirloom jewelery, imagined to be borrowed from the groom's family collection, set off the ivory tones of the gown and featured deep burgundy and diamond stones. A pair of black lace Jimmy Choo heels completed her bridal look. The groom, effortlessly handsome in his dinner suit featured black patent shoes and a silk bow tie.
Inspired by the venue's incredible gardens and interiors we chose a colour palette of dark blush pink, blackberry, gold and ebony which set the tone for this understatedly elegant look.
Our tablescape, set on the lush lawns at the back of the house had a backdrop of the stone steps and featured gold and black baroque charger plates, hand dyed silk bamboo napkins and wildly beautiful flowers including prunus foliage, peonies, sweet peas, astrantia and romantic antique roses. Cut glass stemware, gold rimmed flatware and cutlery added to the glamorous feel and a sprinkling of blackberries foraged from the gardens finished it to perfection.
The stationery was simple but oh so stylish. Classic black on which the white ink really popped. An olive leaf detail, wax seals and beautiful hand dyed silk ribbons complemented the suite. Hand written signage and tags adorned every element.
The wedding cake featured frangipani and delicate peonies both crafted expertly from sugarpaste. It nestled beautifully within the rose garden at Newington House. Each tier more delicious than the next - flavours included earl grey, lavender and honey, chocolate with rosemary and red-wine poached pear and lemon, blueberry & cream cheese.
At each place setting sat a gold leaf edged cotton pouch containing golden sugared almonds - a nod to the traditional Italian bonbonniere. These were finished with sugar frangipani flowers and hand lettered placement cards.
The staircase, mezzanine dressing room and antique furniture provided the perfect setting for the bridal preparations and is the most incredible light filled space. The staircase was bedecked with fragrant florals including roses, peonies, jasmine and beech foliage. Guests were greeted at the door with home made blackberry liqueur in miniature bottles, next to a giant stone urn containing beautiful blooms including hornbeam, olive, roses, peonies and ivy. A welcome basket containing almonds, chocolates and limoncello was given to each guest as they arrived.
The grounds are expansive and feature a small church, lake and views to die for over the Oxfordshire countryside. It is a very special venue and we were honoured to have been allowed to create this editorial there and tell the story of a unique piece of English history in our own way.