I was charmed and enchanted by this styled shoot when it landed in my inbox recently, not least because of the dreamy ethereal images, but also because of the location. It looks like a secret garden somewhere in the depths of the English countryside, but it is within my postcode in East London!
I’ve been a Londoner for nearly 10 years, and an East Londoner for over half of that time, and I had no idea about this hidden gem of a photo opportunity. I scoured blogs high and low when I was researching my own wedding, for venues, features, photo opportunities, anything really, and not once did this place come up. Had I have come across this place, I think my wedding photos may have turned out differently! It’s just… dreamy!
Just a skip away from Monument or Tower Hill tube, St Dunstan’s in the East Church would have been totally doable for me on my wedding day (in about 12 mins on the tube to be precise, according to Citymapper!). The derelict remains of this gorgeous church sleeps hidden behind the bustling heights of the city skyscrapers, nestled away from the offices of Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street. I have now learned the church is a grade 2 listed Victorian ruin, and was completely gutted by the Blitz of the Second World War. The City of London incorporated the ruins into a garden in 1967, and it was opened to the public in 1971. I can see from some Googling and a few Instagram searches that it is very well kept and looks like a popular lunchtime haven for city workers – who knew?!
The photographer, Inna from And Your Story Photogaphy, sets the scene for the shoot:
“Within faded remains of a medieval church, lays a garden that time has seemingly forgot. Plants and exotic flowers have taken over its bones. Climbers and shrubs now cover its moss-stained walls. Exotic plants and flowers grow among the arches, lending an air of romance and quiet.
For my bridal story, we took advantage of the gentle light filtered through the majestic windows and the foliage. My bride, young and carefree dreamer, walked between the walls, slick and slippery with moss, exploring the mysterious and untamed garden.”
gown, by bespoke bridal designer Audrey Ashley Couture, offers graceful, simple, and modern texture. The clean, flowing lines and cascading
layers suit the whimsical mood of the location. It is also quite angelic, which is also very fitting.
having your photoshoot here, imagine a blessing or a celebration on a
warm summers day? I’m fantasising about a scattering of fairy lights
and Pimms cocktails, then dancing on a river cruise afterwards.
Strangely though, I have images in my head somewhere between Henry VIII
and Ross and Emily’s wedding from Friends…!
CONTACTS AND SUPPLIERS
Photography – Inna Kostukovsky www.andyourstory.com
Model – Maria, BMA Models
Makeup & Hair – Vickie Ellis at vickie-ellis.co.uk
Planning – Aisha at Sassy A La Mode Wedding Agency
Dress – Audrey Ashley Couture www.audreyashleycouture.com
Ring – Vintage, stylist’s own
Location – St Dunstan’s in the East Church, London EC3R 5DD
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