Cutty Sark Nautical Fine Art Wedding Inspiration

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Photography by Natasha Hurley

Beautiful fine art wedding inspiration with a touch of drama, inspired by Turner’s oil paintings and swirling skies, aboard the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. 

Cutty Sark Wedding London Inspiration Shoot by Natasha Hurley Photography

You’ll have by now seen my post on some of my ‘hidden’ places in London to enjoy, and one of them being Greenwich, an area that I’m really fond of in London. 

Steeped in history and nautical inspiration, one of the main attractions to Greenwich is the Cutty Sark. A 19th century legendary British (tea) clipper ship, that recently underwent a huge restoration after a fire, and you may or may not realise but it’s actually an event space and a wedding venue!

This beautiful fine art Cutty Sark wedding and nautical editorial shoot, inspired by painter Turner’s swirling skies and a touch of drama inspired by the novel Jamaica Inn, offers such gorgeous soft painterly inspiration with a wonderful historic backdrop. You almost wouldn’t believe it was London would you? I love how you can see the tall city skyscrapers in the distance, reminding you of the urban backdrop. 

With a focus on the craft and history of the boat, the details tied together perfectly; handwritten notes, a tea station, the dining table with pastel flowers and patterned teacups, a delicate but stunning cake and of course the incredible dresses that got swept away by the breeze….

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Below is photographer Natasha Hurley’s explanation and inspiration behind the shoot. 

I wanted to stay true to capturing the freedom of the feeling you have when you are on the Cutty Sark as well as its beauty – you really are on a ship with the grey decks, coils of rope and masts stretching into the sky. Because of its elevated position next to the Thames it feels as though you are floating on water, and with the wide skies I wanted to really capture those elements. Shot primarily on film (Contax 645 using film portra400 and Canon MarkII).

Turner Oils and Jamaica Inn Inspiriation

The look was inspired by the beautiful colours and swirls of the classic painter J M W Turner. With shades of pink, dusty grey, as well as the feeling of drama inspired by the novel Jamaica Inn. We wanted to stay true to the history of the Cutty Sark and so used crockery in the style that would have been on the captain’s table, such as the copper jugs, iron wrought condiments and cutlery.

The Inspirational Cutty Sark

Steeped in history, having been built in the 1800’s to carry tea around the world, recently having survived two fires the Cutty Sark is a true landmark of London. It is also part of the Greenwich Maritime UNESCO World Heritage site and has just opened its doors to being able to conduct weddings. It was really important therefore to remain honest to the ship’s beautiful craftmanship, there was no ‘dressing’ of the background. The wooden panelling, the masts that disappeared into the sky, the coils of rope, the ash wood decking and all seemingly floating in the water on the Thames remained a very integral part to the look and feel for the shoot.

WINDSWEPT BRIDE

The dresses are bespoke and were made specifically for the shoot by an incredible dress designer Kate Edmondson based in London. She designed, cut and hand-stitched these absolutely stunning dresses. We discussed the idea of freedom, of being windswept as well as having some drama to seemingly ‘float’. Modern, yet still retaining a classic beauty with that wild, carefree feel.

NAUTICAL Styling

Makeup by Sanni Sorma was kept natural, fresh with a blush feel, and hair was celebrated in being natural and windswept, with a half up, half-down look which worked perfectly for the windy, stormy feel of Turner’s oil paintings and the weather on board the Cutty Sark on the day!

Other details including all the stationery by The Little North Sea Studio stayed true to the idea of Turner oils as well as a simple, parchment feel. The cake was an elegant tower reaching up to the skies decorated in the Turner colours using fresh flowers and fruit by the incredibly talented and creative Lily Vanilli cake designer. It was both beautiful, yet modern. 

Tea Station

It was also important to listen to what the Cutty Sark was built for, and create a Tea Station (equally important on a wedding day with a nation of tea drinkers). Rarely is this tradition of teas after the wedding breakfast truly celebrated, and yet it is mandatory event. We wanted to put the focus back on this moment during every English wedding and create a beautifully curated tea station. The tea caddy dating back to the mid 1800’s, with tea from the Cutty Sark, antique cups and saucers and a selection of beautiful tea pots for brewing the tea.

Thank you to photographer Natasha and to the team involved in the shoot for sharing their beautiful work.