Charlotte Balbier

Boho & Country: A Styled Bridal Shoot In The North West

July 30th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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Sam Clayton Photography

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It’s often the way in the World of weddings, that a small idea snowballs into something huge.  The Brides Up North Wedding Exhibitions, anyone?  Exhibit A.  A good thing.  Those 200 hand knitted favours that you are currently spending every evening crafting?  Exhibit B.  Not so much.  

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Knitting cramps aside, I love this industry for it’s all inclusive, positive, lets create something beautiful together attitude.  That’s why when Laura of Perfect Choice Planning asked me if I would like to feature this beautiful styled shoot by a really rather talented collective of North West Suppliers and photographers, that had started small and become something rather special, I was right behind it!

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And before I hand you over to Laura, let’s address those favours. Ladies only.  The guys don’t care and it’ll cut your knitting time in half, leaving you free to browse today’s blog features at your leisure.  See?  Problem solved. 

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Enjoy this…

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Laura of Perfect Choice Planning says:  Our Boho & Country feature was born from an enquiry from Boho Brides – Classic VW Hire about styling a photo-shoot to promote their new business. Being a huge VW fan, I jumped at the chance and set about the organisation.

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Not long after, I was at a supplier network where I met Sam from Sam Clayton Photography, and Adele and Roger, who own The Great Hall at Mains. Along with Emma from Emma B Photography we talked about creating a styled shoot to work together, as not many of us had worked together before. Knowing what a stunning country venue The Great Hall at Mains is, I mentioned Boho Brides, and the shoot was born!

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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It was then I set about thinking of what styling to use and other suppliers to bring on board. Choosing the right suppliers and venue for the shoot is just as important as if choosing it for your own wedding or special event – you have to be sure that you have suppliers you can trust to deliver what you want, that the venue emulates the feel of the shoot that you’re aiming for and that everything works perfectly together to create amazing final images.

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This shoot shows exactly what happens when you get this right: the images speak volumes for themselves and, even with a four month postponement of the shoot and slight change of original suppliers due to the date change and unpredictable weather, everyone was a pleasure to work with.

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I wanted the shoot to have a relaxed and care-free feel but I wanted to bring an additional style of country to it that would both compliment and contrast the bohemian vibe. With this, I introduced styling like tweed and wellies to provide an understated and subtle hint at this.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Our photographers on the day were Emma B Photography, Sam Clayton Photography and Shutterleaf Photography. Following our initial meeting, Sam, Emma and I decided it would be beneficial and fun to have an additional photographer on board, especially with three models, plenty of gorgeous props and a wealth of areas at the venue to use.

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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I’d met Anurag of Shutterleaf Photography at another wedding supplier social occasion and loved his energy and personality. Looking at his work, his style is distinctive and different to both Emma’s and Sam’s so I thought it would be a perfect complimentary contrast to the other images. On the day, his boundless energy was ever-more obvious and also infectious, contorting himself as all photographers do it the most uncomfortable positions. He was wonderful to work with and I have to say I was so tired by the end of the day from just watching him work!

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Emma from Emma B Photography is a lovely friend of mine, both in and outside of the wedding industry. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on a few shoots now, as well as having known her for over 20 years, and she never fails to deliver beautiful images, time after time. She is a lovely person and very talented photographer; anyone booking her for their wedding will definitely not be disappointed.

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Even though I had met Sam previously, I hadn’t had the chance of actually working with her so I was really excited to have the opportunity. I was not disappointed! Her images took my breath away, she had captured so much detail and natural looks that it’s so difficult to choose my favourites. I was so pleased and look forward to working with her again, and would definitely recommend her to any prospective bride.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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What can I say about the venue except gorgeous! It was everything that we needed for the shoot and just the perfect setting for any wedding or event. The hosts, Adele and Roger are so accommodating and even let us traipse around the house they live in to get some gorgeous shots. The house will be available as part of the 2014 packages for the bridal party to use on the night of the weddings, and with corridors and stairs here, there and everywhere, this quirky accommodation and venue will not leave you disappointed.

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Planning a photo-shoot is just like planning a wedding or any other event; there is a time limit to contact and confirm all your suppliers, there is the main theme (or not) to think about and style, relationships to build, emails to send, and the result that takes place on the day is just as exciting. Photo-shoots are a great way for industry suppliers to network, gain new contacts and work together to create amazing images for promotion, and I’m always on the look-out for exciting shoot ideas to bring to life and inspire suppliers and brides-to-be alike!

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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The hair & make up was done by the lovely Sarah Green MUA. I met Sarah when I was modelling for another photo-shoot (as I always say, never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t!) and was so impressed with her styling and personality that I knew she would be perfect for the Boho & Country shoot. I wanted the styling to reflect the relaxed, care-free styling of the shoot but also needed to work with the dresses and accessories, which Sarah totally delivered. It was great to have her on board and it was brilliant to work with her again.

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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The dresses and accessories were provided by the lovely Nicole from Pearl Bridal Boutique, who I have worked with on several occasions. Her dresses suited the country and relaxed style we were aiming for, lifted by gorgeous headpieces, belts and my favourite accessory of the day, the backwards jacket (styled with Luna dress in the croquet shots). If you haven’t yet chosen your perfect dress for your special day, head over to Nicole’s shop for stunning dresses from top bridal designers at reasonable and affordable prices.

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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Sam Clayton Photography

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The brilliant VW transport was provided by John from Boho Brides – Classic VW Hire, based in Southport and lovingly restored by John himself. As I said, I am a huge VW fan and was particularly excited by the blue VW Beetle when it arrived, as I vow to own one just like that at some point! When John first got in contact, I was super excited to feature these in a shoot and was so pleased to be able to style around them. The cute cushions inside the camper vans were even made by his talented future daughter-in-law, Zara. I think you’ll agree that they made a perfect edition to the shoot, and John, Zara, Mark and Chris were brilliant to work with. If VW’s are what you love, get booking them now!

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With the venue being surrounded by gorgeous countryside and having the VW transport, I thought it would be a lovely idea to have an almost storyline to the day, married couple going for a picnic after the wedding, just the two of them enjoying the tranquillity of each other’s company. We had two female models, Michelle and Lauren who had contrasting looks; Michelle has a fair complexion with blonde hair and gorgeous structured features, and Lauren has the English Rose look, again with a fair complexion, brunette hair and naturally at ease in front of the camera.

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Mark was our male model for the day, having to split himself between our two stunning brides. As there are not many places you can get this style of suit or wedding clothes that isn’t off the high street, I styled Mark in his own clothes, adding a few extra details such as cap, tie and neckerchief. The shoot graduated slowly from relaxed country styling to wedding in a country setting, showing the numerous ways to use the accessories, props, venue and products in any type of country or outdoor wedding.

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All our models on the day are just real people like me and you, not professional models, just normal people who at times felt as uncomfortable in front of the camera as you might feel thinking about having your wedding pictures taken. Both of the girls are engaged so it was lovely for them to be able to explore the wedding industry in an unconventional way but gave them a bit of practice ready for their big days. My advice to anyone out there is to definitely try and book an engagement or portrait shoot with your chosen photographers, not just to ease you into being in front of the camera but to also get to know your photographer too. It also helps the photographer get to know you better too!

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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The final pieces of the styling, including the cakes and crockery were provided by some wonderful companies, most who I have worked with before.  The perfect bouquets and buttonholes were provided by Flower Design. You can’t fault these products in any way – the quality and beauty captures your attention from the moment you see them. Jane and Jason are based not far from the venue so another local supplier for the shoot. As I had only met Jane briefly at the same network I met Adele and Roger at, it was a great opportunity to work with them and definitely look forward to doing so again in the future.

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The cakes were provided were a very good friend of mine, Sarah from Rocky Road Cakes. As most wedding suppliers start out, Sarah bakes in her own time outside of her full time career and specialises (but is not limited to) delectable cupcakes in many flavours. She has been making my birthday cakes for years so I can personally vouch that they are delicious – but so can the other suppliers from the shoot as they very much enjoyed tucking into them after the shoot was over!

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The umbrellas were provided by Klair from Love Umbrellas, another company I have had the pleasure of working with several times. Her products just fit in so well with so many different styles and themes, they can be made bespoke to order and are also super versatile – waterproof so perfect for the unpredictable British weather!

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Emma B Photography

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Last but most definitely not least, the fabulous vintage crockery, croquet set, basket, books, suitcases and pretty much most of the additional props were provided by the wonderful Rebecca at Pretty Little Trio. I was very excited to be working with Rebecca, and having a love of anything vintage or tea-related, I couldn’t wait to style the products into the shoot. When she arrived and told me about all the other lovely props and items that she had brought with her, I was even more excited – we didn’t even use half of what Rebecca brought with her, and what was there on the day wasn’t even all of the items she has – her house must look like a vintage treasure trove! It was wonderful to work with her and she was great help on the day, getting stuck in helping with styling, carrying and ideas from start to finish.

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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Shutterleaf Photography

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I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part on the day – it was so much fun and everyone worked really hard and brilliantly together to help create the fantastic final images that you can see here. I hope you all love them as much as I do, and please feel free to leave any comments for myself and the suppliers involved.

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Little Black Book

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Styling & Organisation: Perfect Choice Planning

Venue: The Great Hall at Mains

Dresses & Accessories: Pearl Bridal Boutique

VW Transport: Boho Brides – Classic VW Hire

Hair & Make-Up: Sarah Green MUA

Bouquets & Buttonholes: Flower Design

Crockery & Props: Pretty Little Trio

Cupcakes: Rocky Road Cakes

Umbrellas: Love Umbrellas

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Photographers

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Emma B Photography

Sam Clayton Photography

Shutterleaf Photography

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Models: Lauren, Mark & Michelle (male attire – models own)

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Emma B Photography, Sam Clayton Photography and Shutterleaf Photography as tagged

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comments

  • July 30, 2013 | Permalink | Reply

    Great to have worked with such talented people.

    Sam & Emma, your work is fabulous.

    Well done all. Hi5s all round.

  • July 31, 2013 | Permalink | Reply

    Such a lovely shoot to be a part of! Well done everyone… it looks beautiful :) And thank you Julia! xx

  • July 31, 2013 | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely beautiful work guys, stunning :)

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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