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castles in the sky. a romantic styled bridal shoot at carlowrie castle, scotland

June 27th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (3)

Prepare to go all starry-eyed ladies as this styled shoot is the stuff of dreams; with a spectacular castle – complete with enchanting turrets and beautiful gardens – providing all the romantic feels we could possibly wish for.

Taking place in Scotland, the shoot was led by Ashleigh, a bridal makeup artist, who is based in Edinburgh. With her heart set on organising her very own shoot, Ashleigh brought on board a selection of talented Scottish suppliers who helped bring her vision for a whimsical wedding theme to life.

What we love about this bridal shoot is that it showcases three very distinct, gorgeous bridal looks in a number of different settings at the venue, Carlowrie Castle – from the timeless to the more contemporary. The styling is exquisite, with everything from the flowers and makeup to the accessories all complementing one another beautifully. There’s lots of beauty and fashion inspo to be found further down this page – that we can promise!

So, join us as we escape north of the border and let Ashleigh take us behind the scenes to share all the day’s wonderful highlights.

With images by Karol Makula

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (21)

ashleigh says: The inspiration behind this shoot was to bring together some of the best suppliers from Edinburgh and the East of Scotland, to create beautiful images of all of our creative visions combined.

There was a very defined whimsical theme put in place early on in the planning stage that was geared towards the romantic, contemporary, effortless, bohemian inspired bride. A mood board was easily created shortly afterwards to translate this theme to the other creatives involved.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (65)

As a makeup artist and the owner of Ophelia Bridal Makeup, I also share a real passion for styling. I always look at the bigger picture when selecting images to share of my brides, on my various social media platforms. From the dress, to the hair, to the venue, I like the photos to tell a story beyond the makeup. Through working in the wedding industry, I have made some fantastic contacts and it was one of my goals this year to be more proactive and organise shoots for myself with my own chosen suppliers. Also, I was in the midst of launching Ophelia Bridal Makeup’s sister company, Ophelia Bridal Blooms and I thought it would be a great way to introduce my bouquets to prospective future clients.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (84)

The location was probably the first choice I made (along with the photographer) in terms of planning. I have been lucky enough to work at Carlowrie Castle on a few occasions and it is one of my favourite Scottish castles. Carlowrie boasts a contemporary, modern interior, with a traditional, timeless exterior. Coupled with 32 acres of formal gardens and a 150-metre tree lined drive, the decision was far from difficult.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (90)

As we were following a relaxed theme for the day, we very much wanted the bouquets to tie in and follow the same vibe. Snapdragon, Edinburgh provided the bouquet and buttonhole used in the outdoor shots. We worked closely with Cathie and Amalia from their Bruntsfield store and agreed that an oversized, hand tied bouquet with lots of foliage would be perfect for the outdoor element of the day.

The shoot was split in to three different looks, so I showcased two of the new bouquets from Ophelia Bridal Blooms. “The Airen” accompanied the second look which was more vampy, with lilac, mulberry and purple peonies. Then the third look was paired with “The Aria” which is a much more feminine bouquet with soft pinks, blush, creams and ivory peonies and roses. The groom, meanwhile, wore a smart and traditional kilt from Bathgate-based The Kilt Studio.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (8)

For the outdoor shots, we chose a beautiful Kenneth Winston gown, with a Bateau neckline and beaded trim. The detailed lace bodice featured over 20,000 crystals and was finished off with a mid-hip, drop waist, trumpet skirt.

Hairstylist Toni Johnston styled a stunning, loosely pinned, up do with a romantic feel in mind. We then paired the look with a bespoke, Swarovski pearl headpiece and one-tiered beaded veil from Rachel Scott Accessories. For the makeup, we kept the focus on the eyes with a barely-there base, nude lips and a gold/bronze eye look.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (19)

For the shots within the Castle, Nadene from Sophia Grace Couture was kind enough to let us choose one of her gowns for the day. The choice was certainly not easy given how many unique gowns the store stocks, but we finally settled on a Demetrios number, featuring all over lace, an illusion, button-up back, and the stand out element of the dress – the ethereal bell sleeves! Toni fashioned a loosely pinned side bun, and we decided against a headpiece for this look. Instead, we added a showstopper of a two-tier, cathedral length veil from Rachel Scott Accessories, which speaks for itself really. For the makeup, we built up a heavier base, added a longer lash and finished with some deep berry lipstick.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (58)

The last shoot location was in the orangery. This specific area of Carlowrie Castle helps to set it apart from other local venues. The orangery benefits from beautifully natural light, due to the windows spanning three walls, and being decorated in neutral tones. It has a quirky, unconventional feel as opposed to the rest of the Castle, so the styling for the third part of the shoot had to reflect this.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (95)

In recent years, the trend of alternative bridal styling has gone from strength to strength, and bridal separates have become a firm favourite. I was originally inspired by the structured skirt and beaded top on the Virginie dress from Temperley London. We decided to style a similar look for this final shoot. ASOS bridal range provided the champagne sequin top and ivory structured, tea length skirt. We also paired a lace cape from Debenhams bridal range and a birdcage veil from Rachel Scott Accessories to keep within the quirky vibe! Toni decided to keep the hair in a loose side bun and a bright pink lip helped to tie together the alternative look we were going for.

A Styled Shoot at Carlowrie Castle (c) Karol Makula (83)

Everything went to plan on the day of the shoot. Our overall aim was to take as many great photos of all three looks in the time frame we were given. As Carlowrie Castle is an exclusive use venue, we only had access to the grounds for a few hours, so it was important for us to utilise our time well in order to obtain a good selection of shots to report back to every supplier involved.

Since we completed our photo shoot, Ophelia Bridal Blooms has launched to the public and has received a great amount interest from upcoming brides, due to the beautiful photos solely taken from this shoot.

I enjoyed every moment working alongside these most amazing suppliers and I would love the opportunity to style more creative shoots in the future, especially with those involved. I truly believe that the Scottish wedding industry is up there with the best in the world and I am so lucky to be a part of that.

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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