Downton Abbey Fans, This Photo Shoot’s For You
As any Downton Abbey fan will happily reminisce over, the wedding scene when Lady Mary finally marries Matthew Crawley is easily the most beautiful wedding scene in all of TV history. With the perfect amount of light flooding into...
by Alyssa Brown

As any Downton Abbey fan will happily reminisce over, the wedding scene when Lady Mary finally marries Matthew Crawley is easily the most beautiful wedding scene in all of TV history. With the perfect amount of light flooding into the big, airy mansion, and the abundance of gorgeous flowers in an otherwise dark and moody setting, there’s an air of old English gloominess that makes the celebration that much sweeter. You can imagine our excitement when we got our hands on this photo shoot with a similar vibe.

We recently had a fill-us-in session with the shoot’s creative director Amanda Rose of Oak and Cypress and photographer Kristen Marie Parker. The dream team gave us all the details of the inspiration behind this stunning photo series and the incredible property. Spoiler alert: there may or may not have been a sighting of a ghost.

Words + Photos by Kristen Marie Parker


This gorgeous photo session took place at Port Eliot Estate, a manor in the Cornwall countryside that’s been around for over a millennium (!!!). With more than a hundred rooms in the mansion, the architecture wows with a variety of moods and settings, every room designed impeccably over the ages. Beautiful old tapestries and crusty oil paintings line the walls inside, while outside the grounds are impeccably manicured with sprawling lawns, gardens, a park, and a Georgian Orangery. Even Lady Edith would jump at the opportunity to be Lady of this manor.


Tell us how this shoot came about and how you became involved.

I was approached by Amanda Rose of Oak and Cypress events to put document a concept that she'd had in mind out in England. It was an idea at first and then a few months before our planned departure, we made official yes's and bought tickets. Amanda had Port Eliot set in her mind as the location and everything else came into place centered around the old world setting. 


Tell us some of the highlights of your experience at the venue.

The moment we pulled in to estate, we had actually taken a wrong turn and got a complete view of all of the acreage and residents of the estate. We drove over hills and through puddles, and got to see a beautiful fall scene as the leaves had been changing. We even had to wait for pheasants crossed in front of our car to continue on through the sheep fields and turn into the driveway of the estate. The moment we opened the door and walked into the foyer was truly unlike anything we've experienced. The wall paper to the ornate frames and moldings... it came together to form such a powerful structure and home. 


Is there anything special you incorporated from the surrounding area into the day?

We ended up reaching out to Becca and Maz of Garden Gate Flower Company who live in Cornwall and cut the last of the season's flowers from their garden and made a bouquet and centerpiece for us. They were so giving and kind and we were incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them and the foliage and floral from the nearby land.


Any fun stories or moments that stand out from the day?

We cannot confirm or deny that we may have seen a ghost :) Again, cannot confirm or deny. 


The below is from Amanda Rose of Oak & Cypress Weddings, the creator of the whole shoot: 

There isn’t, arguably, a more magical place in the world than the english countryside of Cornwall, surrounded by the Celtic Sea. At it’s heart, set on the River Tiddy and in the small and historic village town of St Germans, lies the stately home and wedding venue, Port Eliot. The Port Eliot estate, home to the aristocratic Eliot family since the 16th Century, includes 6,000 acres of breathtaking scenery. 

Our shoot inspiration came not only from the estate but from the spirit of the land with it’s moody autumn fog and endless green pastures. We wanted to capture the contrasts and rawness of the season while staying true to the richness of the landscapes deep and hushed hues. It was important for the design to reflect a modern, yet genuine wedding of a current bride in a historical setting, so rather than creating a ‘mood board’ to determine the design, we relied on the story that developed through the relationships we formed locally: We were incredibly fortunate to work with a talented local florist, Becca at The Garden Gate Flower Company, who not only designed our arrangements but provided the florals and foliage grown on her farm. And then we met Emily, our model and our ‘bride’, who embodied the vulnerability and grace that only an heir to a great estate can. It was as if modern-day Downton Abbey had manifested when Emily wore the Claire Pettibone gown generously provided by the area’s very special boutique, The Bridal House of Cornwall.


While we can totally appreciate the tried-and-true design approach of using inspiration boards to bring an idea to life, we love Amanda’s way of telling a story naturally by connecting with the right vendors and developing a cohesive look based on the setting and what was available in Cornwall. As the photos in this shoot tell a story, the setting wows with its dramatic architecture and perfect light. This venue has old world romance written all over it, and we're pretty sure that even the Crawley family would appreciate this manse.



Venue: Port Eliot Estate | Photographer: Kristen Marie Parker | Design + Styling: Amanda Rose of Oak & Cypress Weddings | Florals: The Garden Gate Flower Company | Floral Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Paper Goods: Michelle Mercado | Linen: La Tavola Linen | Dress: Claire Pettibone’s Cheyenne Ivory



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about the correspondent
Kristen Marie Parker
Seattle, Washington, USA
I am Kristen. I try to shoot a bit differently than your traditional post-ceremony altar photos. There's no need for those. I reside in Seattle with my wonderful other half, Michael. My favorite album of all time is 'Daydream' by Mariah Carey and I enjoy articulating my feelings to gifs. I appreciate delicious and diverse food, crossing international borders and the smell of clean laundry. I want to know you two lovebirds and find out what makes you stand out from the rest. Let's start a friendship and create something beautiful. - Website

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