Charlotte Balbier

a world of imagination: a contemporary wedding styled shoot in the north east

August 7th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (15)

Creativity lies at the heart of today’s captivating bridal shoot, showcasing what it really means to take a blank canvas of a venue and make it your own on your contemporary wedding day.

Led by wedding planner Faye Darcy of Faye Darcy Events, the shoot takes place at arts and cultural space, the Thought Foundation, located in Gateshead – and as Faye and her team of suppliers beautifully demonstrate – the possibilities are endless!

Gorgeous props (look out for the peacock chair and mirror ball heart), atmospheric pendant lighting, colourful balloons and copper decorations set the scene, offering up a kitsch-come-industrial edge to the styling.

We’ll now hand the blog over to Faye to tell us more about this alluring backdrop and all the fabulous details behind her stunning concept for the shoot. Enjoy!

With images from Gavin Forster Photography.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (17)

faye says: The Thought Foundation is fairly new venue – a creative space and a blank canvas with core values of being a community interest space. I was so excited when I first heard that this venue was in the process of being renovated. I just love open spaces that allow me to use my creativity to its greatest potential and which enable couples to choose a style that truly reflects them and their personalities, rather than being restricted by a venue’s décor.

From the first time I entered the venue my face lit up and my mind went into overdrive imagining all of the possibilities. The husband and wife team behind Thought Foundation held their own wedding celebrations in the venue last year and decided they would love couples to be able to share and create happy memories in their space too, the way they did with their loved ones. I was so inspired by their story, values and aspirations for the space that I immediately knew I would love to work alongside the venue.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (5)

The main reason for the shoot was to showcase the venue as a wedding space, and not just for workshops and art exhibitions, and to be creative with an alternative wedding style, stepping away from tradition to showcase my own and other local suppliers’ fabulous work.

Being a creative myself, I can walk in to an empty room and get excited, imagining ways in which it can be styled. For some couples searching for their perfect venue, this may not be the case. Often, they can’t see the potential unless it is furnished already or set up for a wedding. I wanted to create something fun and colourful to contrast against the white brick walls and encourage couples to use their imagination rather than sticking to the ‘norms’ of wedding styling.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (7)

I gain a lot of my inspiration from current interior trends. I love to travel and pull together elements from different places and cultures too. Having previously worked in the Australian wedding industry, I still draw most of my inspiration from there and the creatives I worked alongside from the beginning of my wedding planner career. I love their laid-back style and their current wedding and interior trends; there’s always something so much fresher and creative than the likes of standard chair covers and sashes, although these still work great for traditional styles.

Trends I was seeing over there two years ago are slowly appearing here in the UK and it’s great to finally see a shift in the industry. Couples are becoming much more creative and going with themes that reflect them and their personalities.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (3)

I went for a relaxed bridal style with a gorgeous floor length, blush tulle skirt, coupled with an ivory sequin crop top which suited the style of our model Phoebe beautifully, both of which were high street brands. We have been seeing more and more two-piece bridal sets over the past couple of years; they are so versatile and allow brides to choose something that’s slightly more modern and relaxed rather than a traditional gown.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (12)

For Phoebe’s makeup, created by the talented Helen Paisley, we went for a natural glow with a contrast of rich red lips which was gorgeous against her dark hair and pale skin.

Again, with the groom, I went for a much more relaxed style of granddad shirt and smart, casual trousers, rather than a full suit.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (4)

For the bridal bouquet – created by Ruby Tuesday Events – I wanted something a bit different that showed other options for brides when selecting their flowers. We went for a gorgeous hoop bouquet of eucalyptus and ruscus, with a couple of bright roses and softer spray roses.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (30)

In terms of the styling, we went for some soft blush tones, greenery with pops of colour and copper elements.

I love peacock chairs, they create so much impact and can be styled in different ways and have a number of uses throughout a wedding day – from being used at a signing table, in front of a photo backdrop – to being used as the bride and groom’s seating at their wedding breakfast. In this shoot, Karen from Ruby Tuesday Events styled the chair using foliage and incorporated some delicate spray roses and a few gorgeous bright orange and pink roses for that extra wow!

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (18)

My vision of a colourful balloon arch was brought to life by mixing different brightly coloured balloons of different sizes, hung in one corner of the venue behind the peacock chair and with the cake next to it which created a dreamy setting for the bride and groom to have some shots taken in front of.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (1)

Sharon from Sadie May Cakes created three separate cakes of different sizes to step slightly away from the conventional tiered cake. They were plain white iced with a very subtle pastel watercolour effect, complimented by copper leaf and styled with bright pink flowers and greenery.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (31)

For the ceremony set up, we went with mismatched wooden chairs, a scaffold arch and festoon lighting which complemented the industrial feel of the venue. The scaffold arch is extremely versatile and can be styled in so many ways. For this particular shoot, we kept it quite simple with some eucalyptus and pink ginster. On either side of the arch we used a couple of rustic fruit crates to create different heights and styled these with lanterns, copper bottles and tins filled with bright flowers and greenery, as well as a fishbowl vase filled with beautiful blooms.

The top table set up was a beautiful rustic, industrial wooden table, again in keeping with the theme. Bare reclaimed wood tables are becoming increasingly popular and they worked perfectly in the Thought Foundation setting. We styled the table with a fabulous runner made from ruscus foliage, adding a few copper bottles and tins as previously used in the ceremony area. In addition, laser cut elements of the table décor were designed by Etch + Cut, a laser cutting studio based in Northumberland.

Copper cutlery flattered the wooden table top and greenery along with beautifully designed stationery from Amanda Michelle. Amanda created menus of pastel colours with a watercolour effect accentuated by copper leaf.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (37)

Festoon pendant lighting of different shapes and heights draped across the ceremony area and top table really added to the industrial feel (provided by lighting designers Festoon Lighting) and also created a warm ambiance in such a large open space.

In the dance floor area we used gorgeous rose gold sequin bunting from Emma Bunting, which complemented the amazing huge mirror ball heart from Lux Lumina. Gavin Forster got the perfect shot of that ‘first dance moment’ with the light bouncing off the heart and bunting.

A Rustic Styled Shoot at The Thought Foundation (c) Gavin Forster Photography (28)

Our shoot day went extremely smoothly. It is always a great bonus when you have such an amazing team of suppliers to work alongside who fuse their services and creativity together seamlessly. My aim was to pull together different elements of a wedding day and capture those moments to show what can be achieved in such a versatile venue and I think we managed this this really well.

the big picture

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about the author

Alexis Forsyth
Originally from north of the border, Alexis has lived in the North East for the past 15 years and considers herself officially an adopted Geordie. A qualified journalist - Alexis took up the position of editor at the region’s longest running business publication in 2015 before moving into a marketing role for one of the UK’s largest independent arts and craft galleries. Alexis currently edits her own lifestyle blog, where you can find her latest musings on all things Newcastle-related, together with a smattering of her Instagram-worthy cocktail and foodie pics. Yet to find Mr Right herself, Alexis sees this as a mere formality when it comes to tying the knot, as she’s already picked out her dream wedding dress, theme and venue...

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