Such a perfect day captures beautiful moments from real weddings. Here Erica and Will explain why they decided to celebrate their roots at a traditional English celebration in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside
Photo: Anne Schwarz
The wedding of Will and Erica was a traditional celebration in the heart of the Worcestershire countryside, at beautiful Birtsmorton Court. But their day had special significance in also celebrating their respective roots – Japan and America for Erica and, for Will, a proud Scottish lineage. Having married in white, and with a tartan-clad groom, Erica then changed into a treasured family kimono. She takes up the story with photographer Anne Schwarz.
ERICA: Our desire to have a garden wedding landed us at Birtsmorton Court. While the setting was a 12th century English manor house and gardens, it was important for Will and I to wear our respective traditional attire to represent our family history, culture and ancestry. The kimono belonged to my mother. She wore it on her wedding day and it was passed down to me to wear on my wedding day. My grandmother bought it for her daughters in a famous Kyoto kimono shop. The peonies are hand-drawn and the colours are hand-dyed and this style is called a furisode, which indicates the long sleeves that can only be worn by unmarried women. This makes it symbolic to wear at your wedding, since it is the last day you can wear it. Putting on a kimono takes a lot of skill. Usually you need a licence, as there are many layers, ways of folding and strings to tie in order for the kimono to look elegant. As it would have been very expensive to hire someone to do this, my grandmother taught my mother before the wedding so that I would be able to wear it. Hopefully this skill will be passed down to me, and my children, to continue the tradition. Will’s grandmother is Scottish and comes from clans MacKay and Ross. He chose the MacKay modern tartan as his kilt, wearing the traditional Argyle jacket, sgian dubh, sporran, flashes and ghillie brogues.
ANNE: The photo of Erica and Will was taken just before dinner. It had been raining on and off all afternoon and we seized a moment of sunshine to take a few photos around the beautiful grounds at Birtsmorton Court. Then we came across this lovely overgrown wall inside the courtyard. The tropical-looking foliage provided the ideal backdrop to showcase Erica’s kimono and it was such a perfect foil to Will’s kilt. The photo opportunity was just perfect!
Photo: Anne Schwarz; anne-schwarz.com