A palace celebration fit for a princess

A palace celebration fit for a princess
Designed by Cranberry Blue against the stunning backdrop of Blenheim Palace, this special photoshoot married old and new with the theme of marble luxe

This stunning photoshoot designed by luxury wedding and event planner Cranberry Blue captures the glamour of Blenheim Palace, bringing together a stellar team of British wedding suppliers to showcase its timeless interiors using the contemporary wedding theme of marble luxe


Styling and design: Melanie Helen of Cranberry Blue

Photography: John Nassari

Blenheim Palace is, quite simply, one of the jewels of European architecture. Once home to Winston Churchill and now the setting for many sparkling events, it is the perfect location for a wedding party on a grand scale. Leading luxury wedding and events planner Cranberry Blue designed this inspiring shoot to showcase its opulent interiors and glamorous grounds.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
With its opulent interiors, Blenheim Palace offer endless scope for elegant banquets and receptions


Melanie Helen, director of Cranberry Blue, says: “We very rarely undertake photoshoots unless it’s a commission, purely due to the time it takes and work involved – we’re too busy designing and planning real events!” But this was one of those rare moments when the opportunity arose to showcase one of Cranberry Blue’s favourite venues, Blenheim Palace, by creating a luxury styled shoot.

The design concept for the shoot was based around the idea of marble luxury, giving the team at Cranberry Blue the scope to explore fresh and contemporary takes on a timeless theme. As Melanie explains: “We used different ideas we felt were coming through quite strongly in the wedding industry, but also looked closely at the incredible event space within the Palace and used this as inspiration to blend the old and the new together”.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, one of European’s finest country houses, was once home to Winston Churchill and now hosts the grandest parties and events.


With the concept in place, it was time to assemble the talents and Melanie Helen and the team at Cranberry Blue brought in a stellar cast of wedding and event specialists to assist in realising the vision. Melanie says: “We were delighted to partner with some of the best suppliers in the industry and come up with something really stunning that we feel works effortlessly with the venue”.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
For photographer John Nassari, this was an opportunity to capture the splendour of the setting and interiors at Blenheim


Melanie Helen of Cranberry Blue says luxury photographer John Nassari was the natural choice to capture the shoot. “He is always an absolute pleasure to work with and a true master at what he does.” For John, this was a rare opportunity to explore the grounds of the Palace and the incredible event spaces, with their rich colours and textures.

A palace celebration fit for a princess
Wild About Flowers created a lavish floral design incorporating a canopy and runner, with the runner cascading from table to stone floor


Leanne at Wild About Flowers created the table décor in close collaboration with Cranberry Blue. The lavish design consisted of a canopy of flowers and soft grey foliage, both echoing the soft palette of the marble pillars and stone floor. The canopy was illuminated from below with masses of tealights set within a compact floral runner design. The runner cascaded dramatically over the end of the mirrored-top table and onto the stone floor, bringing a lush botanical theme right into the heart of the grand banqueting space.

A palace celebration fit for a princess
Elegant white tables were from Great Hire, which also provided the silver and white padded chairs – with black and white chairs for bride and groom. That Event Company incorporated uplighting and pin-spotting, all adding to the drama


For the tableware, Cranberry Blue chose a mixture of striking glass charger plates, silver-edged dinner plates and opaque black and white glasses, all from Options Hire. This combination worked beautifully with the elegant white tables from Great Hire, which also provided the statement silver and white padded chairs. Black and white chairs were selected for guests of honour – the bride and groom. Melanie says: “To really accentuate the whole look, That Event Company provided uplighting and pin-spotting, which certainly added to the drama of the shoot”.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
Glass charger plates were combined with silver-edged dinner plates and opaque glasses, all from Options Hire. The striking marble acrylic menus with laser-cut monogram were the perfect finishing touch and were designed by Intricate Creations


Intricate Creations designed the unique menus, which were made from marble acrylic with a laser-cut monogram and black foiling. Underneath each place setting was a black, geometric laser-cut place mat to pull together the overall look. To complete the stationery suite, Intricate Creations designed a three-dimensional box invitation containing a laser-cut image of Blenheim Palace against a mirrored setting.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
Rosalind Miller designed a sumptuous dessert station featuring sweet confections, some featuring soft marbled decoration


In addition to the wedding breakfast, the team at Cranberry Blue worked with top cake designer Rosalind Miller to provide a decadent dessert station. This included a selection of contemporary angular cakes, meringues and mini sweet treats with delicate marbling detail.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
The groom was outfitted by Stephen Bishop Suiting, and wore modernised tails to blend tradition with contemporary style


Steven Bishop Suiting provided the groom’s attire and the team decided to opt for classic but modernised tails to suit the surroundings and the luxe theme. For the bride’s gown, Cranberry Blue managed to narrow down to a choice of two dresses, eventually opting for a contemporary Romona Keveza design complete with metal belt. This looked stunning worn with cathedral veil, but once this was removed it was transformed into a super-chic evening-style gown. Accessories were pared back, with a simple silver cuff from Tiffany, but the heels by London designer Harriet Wilde were showstoppers.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
The bride’s gown by Romona Keveza, supplied by Browns Bride, was accessorised with metallic belt. Heels were by Harriet Wilde


The bride’s elegant low chignon was created by Severin from Hepburn Collection and the makeup styling was by Mariam Jensen. Melanie describes their work as fabulous and adds: “Mariam went for a clean, classic look with a strong brow to work effortlessly with the dress and contemporary model”.


A palace celebration fit for a princess
The bride’s hair was by Severin from Hepburn Collection, with makeup styling by Mariam Jensen


About Cranberry Blue

Cranberry Blue specialises in creating high-profile weddings and events for a global client-base. It offers a bespoke service and works in partnership with some of the best international suppliers. Founder Melanie Helen and her team maintain a hands-on personal approach, only accepting a limited number of wedding clients each year to ensure a show-stopping event. Cranberry Blue is on the recommended supplier list of a range of prestigious venues, including Blenheim Palace, Cliveden, Hedsor House and the Corinthia and Mandarin Oriental hotels, London. For more information about the services offered by Cranberry Blue, email [email protected]


A palace celebration fit for a princess
Cranberry Blue creates high-profile events and is a recommended supplier by many leading UK wedding venues, including Blenheim Palace. John Nassari is both an academic practitioner and a leading wedding and portrait photographer

About John Nassari

John Nassari’s rich and varied career began in advertising and editorial photography, before he returned to academia to complete an MA at Middlesex followed by a PhD at the University of East London. He spent many years teaching at university level. Working closely with the British Council, John has curated exhibitions on identity, exhibiting his work in the UK and around the world. John’s wedding photography career has seen him win countless awards from the WPJA, and he works very closely with luxury planners, brands and luxury venues and hotels in London including The Savoy, Landmark Hotel, Mandarin Oriental and One Events. For more information about John’s work, visit johnnassari.co.uk

Blenheim Palace photoshoot suppliers

Stylist & planner: Cranberry Blue; cranberryblue.co.uk

Photographer/videographer: John Nassari; johnnassari.co.uk

Venue: Blenheim Palace; blenheimpalace.com

Floral design: Wild About; wildabout.co.uk

Cake design: Rosalind Miller; rosalindmillercakes.com

Stationery design: Intricate Creations; intricatecreations.co.uk

Furniture hire: Great Hire;  greathire.com/uk/

Lighting: That Event Company; that-event.com

Hair stylist: Hepburn Collection; hepburncollection.com

Makeup stylist: Mariam Jensen; mariamjensen.com

Wedding gown: Romona Keveza, available exclusively at Browns Bride; brownsbride.com

Bridal shoes: Harriet Wilde; harrietwilde.com

Groom’s attire: Stephen Bishop Suiting; stephenbishopsuiting.com

Table settings: Options; options-hire.co.uk

Napkins: 88 Events; 88events.com

Now go behind the scenes at the Blenheim Palace shoot

See more of the magic that went into this stunning photoshoot organised by Cranberry Blue by watching a behind the scenes film captured by John Nassari.


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