July 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
This afternoon, we’ve a styled shoot with a message. Claire Gould (and you might also know her from English Wedding Blog) of Brides Up North sponsor Calligraphy For Weddings wants you to be bold, and say no bland design. I’ll hand the soap box to her…
With images by Vickerstaff Photography.
Claire says: The inspiration for this shoot came from my secret paper fetish! I wanted to create two styled display areas for brides to recreate: a table with escort cards and cakes, and a ceremony area with a backdrop. The theme of paper and mirrors was inspired by calligraphy and creative wedding photography: I adore images with reflections and I knew the perfect photographer – lovely Jamie from Vickerstaff Photography – to create and capture them. We added mirrors and vintage props, metallics and colours to bring together lots of ideas to share with you.
We had homemade watercolour paper flowers, calligraphy, a fabulous cape made of flowers, brooch bouquets and vintage table decor, and gowns by Sassi Holford and Ritva Westenius. With three wedding cakes and one of my favourite wedding venues (Broadoaks Country House) to play in, the shoot came together beautifully, from a gentle beginning to a bit of a crazy finale…
The day began with a pretty watercolour table display. Homemade crepe paper flowers in mini milk bottles made for a lovely escort card collection (DIY tutorial here for any creative brides!) A delicious-looking cake by lovely Caroline from Caroline’s Cake Company took centre stage, surrounded by vintage props on one of the cute little tables in Broadoaks’s sunny Victorian Orangery. We added candles and mirrors, chair signs and place cards to create a romantic, homemade style with vintage flair. Our gorgeous model Kelsey wore a lace Sassi Holford wedding dress from my favourite Lakes boutique Julia Tasker Bridal Couture, and carried an exquisite pink and yellow peony bouquet by the amazing Brackens of Bowness. With elegant hair styling and a real peony at one side, and natural make up to complement her colouring, Kelsey looked stunning.
Keeping with the soft pastel look, we created a vertical display area outside using a 10ft calligraphy backdrop in pastel pinks. Beautifully Vintage provided antique stepladders decorated with doilies and the most wonderful little clay pots, and we decorated these with love quotes from the fabulous Vintage Twee. Caroline’s watercolour tiered wedding cake was the perfect addition to the setting, with four tiers in pastel shades and the most delicate paper flowers for decoration.
We took some wonderful portraits in the William Morris room at Broadoaks, where lovely Gareth from Aqua The Salon finished Kelsey’s hair with a pretty vintage accessory to complement the amazing brooch bouquet by Natasha at Pumpkin & Pye. Meanwhile, back in the Orangery and outside we were busy creating an altogether more eclectic and crazy display…
Christa from Beautifully Vintage had brought along some wonderful mirrors and picture frames, and she arranged these brilliantly outside with a bolder calligraphy backdrop – another 10ft piece handwritten by me – Claire from Calligraphy for Weddings. This display was bolder, with a smashed mirror and slashed backdrop representing the challenges wedding stationers have faced in recent years. Inside I set up a more alternative wedding display table with bright calligraphy tags and using ribbon garlands as a backdrop. The decorated mirror, love letter and typed quotes added plenty of interest to the table.
Kelsey was transformed by our genius styling team – the absolutely lovely Julia Tasker, Gareth from Aqua, and Definitions’ Helen who created the strikingly beautiful make up. Ripped tulle as an alternative wedding veil looked fabulous, and our creative wedding flower expert Kevin from Brackens of Bowness had created a cascade of silk orchids for Kelsey’s hair accessory. Wearing a glamorous Ritva Westenius couture gown, our bride played the role of wedding creatives fighting back against mass production and bland design!
For the final part of our shoot we explored the wonderful grounds at Broadoaks Country House. The star of the show was our floral stole – a million times better than flower crowns, beautiful to wear and hold and such a talking point on the day! Kelsey played on the swings while Jamie took some of my favourite images from the whole day, and a fascinated group of visiting pensioners looked on!
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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…