Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

a modern monroe. a styled bridal portrait shoot

March 4th, 2015 | Julia Braime

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (38)

To me, Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate Hollywood icon – all curves, pout and platinum locks – so when a talented North West collective of wedding industry suppliers asked me to share these styled bridal images of a modern day Marilyn, it was lights, camera, action

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (19)

Photographer Julie from Julie Lomax Photography has been running her own business in Bolton for 10 years. As well as weddings she does a lot of portrait work so really enjoys working with people to ensure they’re comfortable and at ease so that she gets the best shots possible.

julie says: When we first started to plan this photo-shoot we’d been inspired by the undeniable and timeless beauty of the fabulous Marilyn Monroe. Our model, Melissa Jade Cheetham has that enviable petite figure, killer smile and cropped blond hair and was the inspiration behind the look that we eventually created. However, Melissa’s classic features were brought up to date with a more edgy side complete with tattoos and piercings, elements that really showcased her personality and made us want to bring Miss Monroe bang up to date!

After doing some research and creating some inspirational mood boards on Pinterest, we decided that to achieve a more up-to-date, on-trend bridal look we would have to add in some sparkle and chose gold metallics combined with black to create our look.

My style of photography requires plenty of natural light which is why The Dance Mill, Halifax was perfect, it has fabulous big industrial windows and a large mirrored wall for the students to practice in which reflected all the light beautifully, enabling me to really show off the details on the dress and capture the colours perfectly.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (40)

With over 10 years of designing and dressmaking experience, Charlotte Yates and the team at Legend Bridal, Lancashire have a spectacular reputation with customers travelling from all over the UK. As well as designing and creating fabulously unique, made-to-measure wedding dresses, Legend Bridal also create all manner of dresses, costumes, ball gowns, mother of the bride outfits and a wide range of accessories from bridal head pieces to corsages, bags and hats. Between them, the team have a wide range of training and disciplines, from design and couture, to embroidery, beading and millinery.

charlotte says: We thought of the iconic ‘Marilyn’ dresses; the signature empire cut and nipped in waistline. We took those elements, updated it with gold sequins and added a Legend twist teaming it up with jagged tulle and black petticoats.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (4)

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (6)

Hair and Make Up was by Debra Schofield at Ruby Red Lips and Lucinda at Lucinda Kay Hair Design.

Debra opened Bolton’s first make-up studio and works with her team of talented make-up artists at Bolton’s Last Drop Village. The team have a loyal customer base for weddings, special events and proms and work with their clients to achieve their desired make-up look whether that be a natural look or full-on glam.

debra says: We wanted to work with Melissa’s natural pale skin tone but add some classic Marilyn elements by giving her statement eyebrows, fabulous long fluttery eyelashes, bold rep lips and of course that iconic beauty spot!

Lucinda is a freelance hair-stylist based in the North West but travels all over the country creating spectacular hair styles. With over seven years of experience, Lucinda started the business two years ago and has seen it go from strength to strength, even styling the hair for the prestigious Miss World Competition last year. As well as bridal hair, Lucinda specialises in colouring, cutting, and styling for photo-shoots and shows.

lucinda says: I used heated tongs to create the curls and then set the hair to get that retro look. Once cooled, I brushed the hair out and created volume using a backcomb spray before setting with hairspray to make sure it held throughout the shoot. The look was finished with a shine spray to make sure it looked perfectly glamorous, just like Marilyn!

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (42)

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (46)

The styling for the shoot was done using a selection of props including some on-trend giant lit letter M’s courtesy of Hollywood Letters, fabulous florals from Victoria at Lancashire Floristry and beautiful cakes created by Rachel at Marie Antoinette Cakes.

Phil Ingram started Hollywood Letters in 2014, based in the North West, they supply giant lit letters for any occasion or event. Whether you want individual initials, full words, giant love hearts, or even smaller table top letters, the team at Hollywood Letters can help. Their large white M and smaller black M were perfect for the shoot and really helped bring that classic Marilyn look up to date.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (27)

The team asked Victoria from Lancashire Floristry to create some beautiful floral arrangements for the shoot and she didn’t disappoint. Embracing the colour scheme, Victoria, who works from her shop in Bolton, supplied arrangements in a selection of rose gold vases teamed up with whites, pale pink and black to complete the look.

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (9)

The cakes were designed and created by the photo-shoot’s co-organiser Rachel from Marie Antoinette Cakes. Based in South Manchester, Rachel has been creating people’s wedding cakes for the last three years and has quickly developed her own signature style.

rachel says: The colour scheme and theme were a dream for me, pastels, gold and black are just so popular right now and styled shoots like this really give me the opportunity to show clients what can be done when it comes to their wedding cake. Cake decorating has really come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there’s just so much possibility. We used a selection of techniques to create three stunning cakes, including edible gold leaf, edible gold sequins, sugar ruffles, and a selection of handmade sugar flowers. The whole look really came together when teamed with the other elements of the shoot, we’re really pleased!

a styled shoot inspired by Marilyn Monroe (c) Julie Lomax Photography (36)

the big picture

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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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