Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

through the looking glass: an alice in wonderland wedding shoot

April 9th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (11)

This year marks the 150th anniversary of one of my all-time favourite fairy tales – Lewis Carrolls’ alice in wonderland.

The weird and wonderful story featuring a talking White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and feisty Queen of Hearts is so far off the wall some questioned whether Carroll was actually high when he put pen to paper. I just like to think he had an amazing imagination and in doing so gave us a magical tale that will live on for many more years to come.

My fascination with Alice makes it easy to understand why I immediately fell head over heels myself (narrowly avoiding the rabbit hole) when this captivating styled shoot landed in the Brides Up North inbox.

Put together by a talented Yorkshire collective of wedding industry suppliers and shot by our fabulous blog sponsor Sarah of Sarah Beth Photography, this Alice in Wonderland wedding shoot combines enchanting blooms, whimsical styling and gorgeous rustic décor to create one marvellous tea party.

So let’s pull up a pew and join Sarah as she takes us through the looking glass…

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (28)

sarah says: I first met Shannon of Evelyn Taylor Bridal, based in Holmfirth, Yorkshire, in 2013 when I photographed her wedding to husband James. Ever since that point we have stayed friends and now work closely together on various projects, which includes organising a photo shoot every season to produce new imagery for her bridal shop – and also to work with new and exciting local suppliers.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (4)

Shannon approached me this time with the idea of a tea party themed shoot as she wanted to celebrate the first birthday of the opening of Evelyn Taylor Bridal. Our inspiration was taken from the classic fairy tale Alice in Wonderland. We wanted to set the shoot in a forest or woodland area imaging Alice was lost, looking for the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

We were inspired by rustic styling influenced by nature and old antique curios. We used two girls in our shoot wearing two dresses both available to buy at Evelyn Taylor Bridal, which sells beautiful off the peg dresses from many well-known designers and also has a large choice of bridal accessories, including stunning headpieces from Ophelia May. Shannon works closely with her in-house seamstress to ensure a bride’s chosen dress fits perfectly.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (31)

The styling for our shoot was supplied by Sophie Bennett of Weddings by Sophie, who organises weddings at Oaklands, a unique wedding venue set in the largest woodland in East Yorkshire. Here Sophie works alongside couples to create entirely bespoke, beautiful weddings individual to them, from festival celebrations to Moroccan feasts, she ensures the venue is dressed to perfection.

Along with styling by Sophie, we also handmade some of the items, such as the wooden signpost. We used old glass bottles and moss to decorate our table along with old curios, such as antique pocket watches. The Oaklands, which is spread over 200 acres of grass glades and lakes, was the ideal location for the theme of our shoot with its surrounding woodland proving a wonderful backdrop that complemented our vision perfectly.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (1)

Oliver from Oliver James Sugar Craft Creations made a selection of sweet treats to adorn the table including flapjack, cupcakes and shortbread along with a chocolate cake coated with ganache to give a bark like finish to fit in with the woodland rustic theme. Based in Holmfirth, Oliver specialises in bespoke wedding cakes designed and created to suit the bride and groom’s dream cake for their big day. Oliver prides himself on the taste of his hand-baked cakes as well as a flawless finish – which is clearly demonstrated in the shoot.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (22)

Amy and her assistant Unity from Bows salon based in Anlaby, Hull, created a whimsical look for our models with pretty undone hair and subtle make-up, including smouldering eyes and lips to suit the girls’ colours and complexions. Bows is a young vibrant company specialising in hair and beauty for any occasion, creating on-trend and inspiring looks. We were certainly pleased with their work on the day.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (15)

The wonderful flowers were provided by Stems Design who specialise in wedding floristry and offer a bespoke service to make a wedding truly magical. Stems pride themselves on a friendly and professional service designed specifically around the individual.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (32)

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (12)

The girls wore dresses from Evelyn Taylor bridal. Our model Casey wore the short blush pink dress by House of Mooshki and Sarah modelled a beautiful lace gown by Intuzuri. Their shoes are by Custom Kicks Shoe Design. Originally based in the UK and now Western Australia, Custom Kicks believe every girl deserves a unique pair of ‘kicks’ for any occasion. They hand design all shoes in any design a girl desires!

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (29)

We weren’t blessed with the best weather on the shoot, fluctuating between snow and sun throughout the cold March day. Our models however were very brave and withstood the cold! We had planned for more elaborate styling for our shoot but unfortunately the fluctuating weather conditions affected the amount of styling we could do outdoors.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (9)

That said, we are really happy with the outcome of our shoot. The aim was to have fun and create some interesting imagery to accompany the first anniversary of Evelyn Taylor, which I think it’s safe to say we achieved. It was an absolute joy working with all the suppliers involved and I’m sure there will be more to come.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (10)

Sarah of Sarah Beth Photography is based in Hull, East Yorkshire, and specialises in alternative and natural wedding photography. She aims to document a couple’s big day exactly as it happens creating beautiful natural imagery for brides and grooms to remember and treasure for years to come.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (3)

Sarah will be attending the Brides Up North luxury wedding fair this Sunday at Nostell Priory and will be offering 15 discount vouchers  on the day entitling recipients to a massive £100 off her wedding photography services.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal will also be attending our Nostell Priory event, which will be held between 11am and 3pm. Click here to register.

Evelyn Taylor Bridal - Woodland Shoot (c) Sarah Beth Photography (5)

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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