Charlotte Balbier

natural beauty: a styled bridal shoot in west cumbria

July 14th, 2017 | Julia Braime

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (32)

The weekend is almost here, but before you slope off for a post-work pinot, we’re bringing you this sweet styled shoot.

Fine art wedding photographer Allison Leigh, who is based in Toronto, approached a local venue stylist to get the ball rolling, and together, they masterminded this lovely collection of images.

Delicate and understated, with pastel bouquets and a whimsical ruffle or two – there’s lots of beautiful flourishes to look out for – think a rose gold palette, vintage glassware and rustic centre pieces, and that’s before we even mention the venue’s exquisite gardens. Prepare to be inspired as Allison explains how the pretty came together…

With images by Allison Leigh. Models Saoirse Brown and Pippa Bell.

allison says: I reached out to Jane Donaldson from I Do Cumbria Wedding Hire, who specialises in creating bespoke venue styling, and asked if she would be open to collaborating on a shoot. She replied immediately, saying that it would be ‘magical’. We then planned every detail and sourced other talented vendors we could work with.

The inspiration for Jane came in part from looking at my photography work. Jane loved my bright, airy and natural photos, and decided to go for a feminine and romantic theme with delicate natural touches.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (8)

With regards to the location for the shoot, I was keen to find a hotel that I felt was under-utilised as a wedding venue. Broughton Craggs Hotel is West Cumbria’s hidden gem and was the perfect backdrop for our theme. It is located in a beautiful setting within exquisite gardens. The house is tastefully decorated too, in keeping with the period, but with modern touches.

Jane wanted the feel of the shoot to be feminine, simple, romantic and pretty. She designed individual table centrepieces with a minimalist style, using gold, rose gold, whites, pearls and beautiful vintage glassware. Jane shared her beautiful vision with the other vendors and they created their pieces with that in mind.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (14)

Suzi Smith from Enchanted Florist Cumbria did the same with her florals – ensuring the colours complemented the shoot and even matched the button hole perfectly to calligrapher Jill Liley’s colours. She created a beautiful bouquet and button hole that tied together beautifully.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (28)

Our model, Pippa, wore Esperanza – a two-piece bridal gown – from a new boutique in Carlisle called Bridal Wishes. The top is a corset back with a sweet heart neck and it’s detailed with dramatic beading using Swarovski crystals.

In terms of hairstyling, which was created by Adele at RL Hair Studio, Pippa had lovely loose curls. The style was complemented with a headpiece, designed by the talented Rebecca Williams. We opted for pared back makeup, created by Shauna from Hot Mess Studio.

A Pretty Styled Shoot (c) Allison Leigh Photography (21)

The day of the shoot was simply magical. Each of the talented vendors created such beautiful work that matched the theme perfectly. As the photographer, I wanted to ensure that each vendor had their work showcased. We all worked together to make sure everything ran smoothly and it was wonderful to see everyone helping each other out. We couldn’t have had a more wonderful group of girl-bosses!

I’m already planning my next trip back to England with my husband and daughter, as we completely fell in love with the Lake District. And when we visit, of course, we’ll have to do another shoot! I would so love to be able to spend my summers photographing weddings in England. It would be an absolute dream!

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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