August already wow, I cannot believe how quickly this year is disappearing. I had intended to write about this much sooner but I could not have predicted how busy this summer would be for me. Now that I sit by the pool on holiday with my husband I finally have the chance to tell you all about the awesome styling workshop I was lucky enough to attend earlier this year.

The workshop itself was organised by the incredibly talented duo Jessie Thompson wedding planner from Jessie Thompson Weddings and Louise Beukes, stylist and founder of top wedding blog B.Loved. It was an opportunity for those of us in the wedding industry to learn how to style our work first hand from the professionals. It also happened to be held at the utterly spectacular, and more than a little bit intriguing, Aynhoe Park. How could I possibly refuse?

It took place on April the 27th, (which also happened to be my birthday). As predicted the venue itself was breathtaking. Owned by James Perkins, not only is the architecture itself beautiful but it is also home to his incredibly eclectic collection of curiosities and taxidermy. The juxtaposition of artefacts and animals is unexpectedly playful and the whole house is packed full of interesting objects, every room telling story in a witty and humorous way.

We started the workshop by introducing ourselves to the other faces around the room. I met some fantastic people including Sarah from Sarah Wants, Penny from The Little Lending Co, Elizabeth from Elizabeth Hall Event Design, Sophie from SC Event Styling, Charlotte from Charlotte Balbier Brides and the very talented Judy Broad from Judy Broad Calligraphy, someone I was already a huge fan of.

During the morning we listened to Maxine Briggs, the editor of You and Your Wedding and speakers from Not On The High Street giving us an insight into the commercial side of the industry. Jessie then took us through the do’s and don’ts of styling shoots and how best to go about submitting your work to magazines and blogs. After lunch we watched as models were styled in beautiful gowns by Luella's Boudoir and hair and make-up by Heidi Vince. The final talk was by Ashley from Taylor Barnes Photography who took us through the best way to capture those perfect shots until finally it was our turn to put all this theory into practice. We all come prepared with samples of our own work or products and a selection of props to use so we set about styling all items to maximum effect, while Alethiea from Xander & Thea Photography busily captured it all as we worked. To end Jessie created a stunning tablescape in front of us from scratch, taking us through each stage as she went, a true master class.

It was a totally fantastic day and I learnt such a lot picking up some top tips throughout the day. Probably the one that stands out the most is to ensure you always have elements of pattern, texture, movement, light and shade in every look in order to create the perfect shot. It has certainly left me full of enthusiasm and eager to start work styling some of my new ranges due to launch very soon, watch this space! In the meantime though if you’ve not been to Aynhoe Park you absolutely must it’s well worth a visit.