The Secret Garden

A couple of weeks ago I had a VERY cool opportunity to help style and decorate a themed wedding work shop hosted by White Willow Photography. Apryl and Dave from White Willow love to tell stories through their work and one of Apryl’s favorite books/movies as a child was The Secret Garden. Apryl was really inspired by the transformation element of the story where the main character Mary emerged as a beacon of light and hope from a very dark and depressing place thanks to the magical and restorative energy of the garden she helped bring to life with her friend Dicken.

Apryl brought together a group of very talented local vendors to create her vision of continuing the story with Mary’s marriage to Dicken. Along with Miranda Murray, the Creative Director for the shoot and Jana Graham the other decorator, we spent the entire day building and creating a magical retreat at Admiralty House.

Located in Mount Pearl, Admiralty House has enclosed, intimate grounds which was perfect for the set with a lovely archway, pergola and leafy greenery. The greenery translated beautifully in photographs and despite the CRAZY rain we had that day, we managed to piece together each part of the set and showcase all of the details that made this project so very special.

I chose some of my favorite photos below from the shoot to highlight some of the staging and design myself and Jana helped create. I only met Jana 7am the morning of the shoot but we clicked instantly and I am really so very lucky to have had the experience of working with her. Jana has 10 years experience in the decorating industry with an impressive resume of different style weddings, holidays and events  She has an amazing aesthetic eye and I loved her the second I met her and am looking forward to working with her again!  You can find  Jana at 🙂

The set, cake, bouquets, paper products, hair, make up, wardrobe, models and of course, décor are all available for real weddings and events; check the list at the end to see more of their amazing products/services!

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did 🙂

There are LOTS more pictures on White Willow’s blog, as well as other work shop participants which you can explore at the bottom. Cheers!


Old books and antique silverware and brass from my collection



Behind the gorgeous model Kathryn is a door custom made for the shoot by Dave from White Willow with dry brush shaped, cut, tied and pinned on to the existing archway. How did we do it? luckily there was a drop zone right outside Admiralty House for old trees and branches!


This mirror actually hangs in my hall and the kerosene lantern featured was a wedding gift to my parent’s 27 years ago. The fresh wild hydrangeas appeared throughout the shoot to contrast with the luscious green set.


‘Mary’ takes a coy look back before reaching her waiting groom. These pews were salvaged and painted by Apryl and Dave from an old restaurant who had them thrown out on the road! Miranda made a little trip into the woods earlier in the week and snagged us some branches to use for accents.


Jana and I cut and draped leafy branches from my yard around the exterior of the pergola to create an overgrown, plush backdrop to the exchanging of the vows.


The Bride and Groom table styled on an old desk with chair’s of mine circa 1950.


Multi layers and heights add dimension to the table and when it comes to balance, you can achieve it with a mix of textures and shapes.  The colors make use of both a bright and pastel palette which lend themselves to both the garden and vintage theme. The glasses here were also a wedding present to my parents, andThe tarts? Blueberry and Bakeapple! They were so tasty; we tried them!


This amazingly delicate paper piece  featured on the Bride and Groom table was completely hand crafted along with the table numbers and other products throughout the shoot.


The interior of the pergola was the perfect area for the cake tables, both made by Pam Picco of Picco’s creations. Trunks and old record players did double duty for cake displays. The forest beyond the pergola was an amazing feature of the garden.


Going for something a little unexpected with your cake is the perfect way to incorporate some personality into a summer garden wedding. Yum!

Want to see more?  Visit  The Workshop Host White Willow Photography

and check out Jennifer Dawe Photography & Reide Photography  for more awesome shots!

Like what you saw?

Paper Products By: SanDor Custom Wedding Invitations

Hair by Eryn Wall & Patrick Walsh of The Head Room

Dresses & Suit  – the model shop

Kerri Martin – MUA

Floral : By Sharpe Design – Sue Sharpe

Cakes and desserts: Picco’s Creations

Models: Kathryn Price and Jonathan King

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