When destination wedding photographer Stacie Marshall of Marshall Arts Photography decided to create a new styled concept for her portfolio, she drew inspiration from an unlikely source: her grandmother’s blue and white china collection. She also teamed up with an A-list cast of vendors, including friend and former wedding planner Carrie Moe, whose West Coast business, Type A Society, styles and produces photo shoots and ad campaigns for a noteworthy clientele of wedding-world professionals. In discussing the design concept and the sort of bride Stacie was hoping to attract, they landed on the very romantic, classic look of chinoiserie, which is the 17th- and 18th-century French adaptation of Asian decorative arts. And Middleton Place’s idyllic landscape and historic manor proved the perfect place for setting the scene.
To create a cohesive look, they picked a pattern they loved and tied it through the whole theme, from the tablescape and portrait backdrop to a pair of Gucci pumps. Floraison Design Co. pulled the pattern into hand-sketched stationery. They also drew inspiration from the peacocks that roam the grounds of Middleton Place by incorporating them into the custom crests. Feathers and bows, sapphires and emeralds, a swoon-worthy gown in moody blue, elegant cloches, and flowers in a delicate spray of pastels were among the myriad thoughtful French and classic vintage elements that really captured the fanciful beauty of chinoiserie.
Style Your Wedding Like a Pro
• Don’t overcomplicate it. Carrie Moe advises finding just one source of inspiration as a consistent baseline for your design, whether it’s a lace element from your mom’s eyelet curtains, a china pattern from your grandmother, or a wallpaper motif you love. Whatever it is that inspires you, you’ll create a cohesive look by threading that pattern throughout your wedding day decor.
• Make it personal. “You make your wedding based off of your story,” says Moe. So make it meaningful by choosing a design or patterned piece of your history as the main element.
• Lean into your style. “If you’re truly a classic person, don’t be afraid to really lean into it,” says Moe, who notes this shoot wouldn’t have been as successful if they’d tried to incorporate modern elements. Sticking with all classic details will give you a rich and timeless look. She recommends not mixing traditional with modern when designing your big day, though if you do, she advises hiring a wedding designer who can help you strike the right balance.
Images: Marshall Arts Photography
Producer: Type A Society
Venue: Middleton Place
Florist: Festoon Charleston
Beauty: Wild Ivory Beauty
Rentals: Ooh! Events
Blue Gown: Styled Gowns
Jewelry: EraGem (rings), Nicola Bathie (earrings)
Chinoiserie-inspired fan: Erin Rhyne
Ring box: The Mrs Box
Stationery: Floraison Design Co.
Styling mats: Chasing Stone, JRD Art Shop, Locust Collection