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.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

coastal drama. an ethereal styled shoot in seaham

August 1st, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Coastal Styled Shoot (c) Hannah Joy (8)

The wild and rugged North East coastline provides the dramatic backdrop to today’s stunning styled shoot, crafted by the talented Hannah Picken of Hannah Joy Photography.

After stumbling across Blast Beach in Seaham on Instagram, Hannah knew this was the perfect location for her shoot. Putting her very own wedding dress into the spotlight – Hannah opted for an earthy grey and metallic palette that offsets beautifully against the location’s magnificent rock formations, high cliffs and crashing waves. Add in some driftwood, glass bottles and a smoke bomb or two, and you’ve got an atmospheric shoot that really shows off this captivating beach setting with aplomb.

And then there’s the burnished lagoon of red water that seemingly transports the bride into another celestial setting altogether. We’re mesmerised to say the least!

Hannah’s here now to explain how she and her team of local suppliers, pulled the look together…

With images by Hannah Joy Photography

Coastal Styled Shoot (c) Hannah Joy (30)

hannah says: The styled shoot took place on Blast Beach in Seaham on the Durham coast. I wanted to create an ethereal styled bridal shoot primarily for my own knowledge and experience and because I just love to be creative. This style suits me best and is where my passion lies with my photography.

The location of the shoot came about when I was browsing Instagram. Seaham Hall had posted an image of this beach and as soon as I saw it – I knew it would be a great location for the shoot and just what I was looking for. I had never been to this beach before, so one evening, my family and I headed over to check it out.

Coastal Styled Shoot (c) Hannah Joy (24)

It was exactly what I had imagined! It’s a very unusual place with dramatic rock formations and an iron lake of luminous red coloured water. Upon further reading about the beach, I discovered it was used for the opening scenes of the film Alien 3; this added to the weird and dramatic feel of the location and it was just perfect for my shoot as I wanted something a bit different.

Coastal Styled Shoot (c) Hannah Joy (7)

For the styling of the shoot, my model wore my own personal wedding dress and it fit her just perfectly! My dress came from The Bridal Factory Outlet in Northallerton. It was lovely to re-use my dress rather than have it just sitting in a cupboard never to be seen again (even if it was a little strange seeing someone else wearing it!).

The dress is pretty simple by design and I decided to accessorise it with a rustic fur coat and silver accessories, bangles and rings etc to create a boho vibe and match it up with the pretty waistband detailing. The Irregular Choice shoes were my actual wedding shoes, too, and just so pretty – they were screaming to be photographed again!

Coastal Styled Shoot (c) Hannah Joy (34)

With the help of The Green Florist, a lovely local supplier just on my doorstep, we created a beautiful bouquet and headpiece. The brief was natural rustic and wild and I think they delivered this perfectly. I chose white and green to keep things simple and elegant whilst also working nicely with the dress and the surrounding landscape.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

blushing gold. a stylish wedding at wylam brewery – chelsea & steven

July 26th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (30)

The exquisitely unique venue of Wylam Brewery in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park provides the quirky setting for today’s beautiful wedding which, as it happens, is just a stone’s throw from our bride’s childhood home.

Chelsea and Steven tied the knot in May of this year and were after a venue a little bit unconventional – and Wylam Brewery certainly has this quality in spades. Prettifying the space with gorgeous blooms and a blush, navy and rose gold palette, this is a wedding beaming in all things contemporary, stylish and ever so elegant.

So, grab yourself a tipple and join us as Chelsea reminisces about their special day – from her princess ball gown dress to the handmade sweetie favours and magical photos by the lake.

With images by Bethany Whittaker.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (18)

chelsea says: We got engaged on 21st December 2015. Steven had been planning to recreate our first date but I was really hungry and kept moaning about needing to be fed, so I kind of ruined it. Steven had been acting shifty all day and wouldn’t take his coat off whilst we were out. While we were on the Metro home, his mam and dad kept texting him too (which I now know was to tell him to do it anyway regardless of it not going to plan!). We live near the beach and Steven asked if we could go for a walk to the sea front. I said it was too cold but he kept saying please, so I gave in eventually. We walked down to the sea front and he hugged me tight and started saying some really nice things – and then he got down on one knee with a Fenwick’s bag in one hand (from our Christmas shopping) and the ring in the other and asked me to marry him. I remember laughing so much at the Fenwick’s bag but eventually said yes!

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (38)

We tied the knot on 29th April 2017. This date had no particular significance, although Steven had started telling people that was the date (with nothing actually arranged) so we had to go with it in the end!

We got married at Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park. We picked this venue as I had lived in the bungalow situated in the park (where my parents still live) so it was particularly special to get married so close to their house. We also loved the quirkiness of the venue and had been looking for something non-traditional.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (48)

We didn’t have a specific theme; we just wanted it to be relaxed and fun. We had a navy, blush pink and rose gold colour scheme – I love these colours and think they work really well together.

A Pretty Blush Wedding at Wylam Brewery (c) Bethany Whittaker (5)

I went for a classic ball gown style dress by Ronald Joyce. As soon as I put it on, I fell in love – it was everything I thought I didn’t want but couldn’t help but love. Joanne from House of Bellas Bridal actually picked the dress for me so it wasn’t one of my initial choices. I knew it was the one when my mam cried.

Steven and the grooms all hired their suits from Waltons. They wore tailored three-piece navy blue suits with pink ties and pocket squares.

My bridesmaids wore blush pink, floor length dresses from Monsoon. I loved the jewels around the waistline and they looked so beautiful on all five of my bridesmaids.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

midsummer magic: a wild woodland-styled shoot at alnwick garden

July 20th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (6)

If you’re planning a wedding with any kind of wild woodland element – natural flowers, untamed hair or foliage and greenery, for instance –  then this stunning styled shoot at Alnwick’s Treehouse Restaurant, part of the Alnwick Garden, will be inspo overload.

Talented photographer Rachael Fraser brought together a group of innovative suppliers to display the very best of the North East, including the beautiful surroundings of her hometown, Alnwick. We adore the use of warm coppery metallics, which sit perfectly against the lush greenery of the gardens and create a super-gorgeous, slightly frenzied Midsummer Madness-feel. Even the cake is on the wild side, with a delicate floral design that’s (almost) too good to eat.

If you want to see more from Rachael, head over to her newly-updated website for more details or get yourself to the Brides Up North Big Bridal Super Show at Ramside Hall on Sunday 24th September, where she’ll be exhibiting along with a whole host of other luxury bridal suppliers.

So, it’s over to Rachael to tell us more about the inspiration behind the shoot and her feelings about the results…

With images by Rachael Fraser Photography. Model Melissa Steven at Tyne Tees Models.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (24)

rachael says: My reasons for doing the shoot was that I really wanted to bring together local suppliers in a collaborative way to showcase some of the beautiful work that I’d seen at wedding fairs and on their individual websites. I wanted to create an inspirational shoot that was quite light and natural with blush, grey and cream tones – all super-popular at the moment. And, of course, the vibrant lush greens of the surrounding area!

The Treehouse Restaurant is part of the Duchess of Northumberland’s stunning Alnwick Gardens, in the town where I grew up and where I still live today. It’s a completely unique venue which, with the surrounding woodland, offered a variety of creative opportunities in terms of settings for the shoot. We started on the rope bridges and then made our way down onto the woodland walk where wild garlic and flowers bloom on either side of the path.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (29)

The Wedding Dress Company provided the gorgeous dress by Maggie Sottero, which was a beautiful blush dress with a sheer lace overlay. I’d seen the gown on display at Brides Up North’s Luxury Wedding Fair at the Alnwick Gardens and knew it would look perfect in the pictures.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (19)

Hair and makeup was styled by Tina Elliot who created a beautiful natural look with some simple foliage in the hair to keep in with the wild, whimsical feel.

A Woodland Styled Shoot at Alnwick Garden (c) Rachael Fraser Photography (23)

The Finishing Touch Company provided a stunning bouquet with white and cream flowers and trailing grey ribbons. For the table settings, they also created a stunning display with a floral garland on the table and copper details which worked perfectly alongside Amanda Michelle’s copper and pastel scripted stationery and table plan.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

work it out. a quirky & colourful wedding at the wellbeing farm – lainey & lex

July 17th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (26)

Fitness vloggers Lainey and her beau Lex are no strangers to the limelight, but Lainey confesses in today’s real wedding that the couple had considered eloping. All we can say is praise the wedding gods they didn’t, as instead we have this super-quirky and colourful big day full of rustic-themed inspiration to obsess over.

With almost half a million Instagram followers between them, not to mention their epic YouTube following, it’s no surprise that the couple turned to the social media platform for big day inspiration. More used to donning gym gear than formalwear, Lainey admits that the idea of dress shopping was “a bit of a nightmare” – however, Instagram saved the day and led her to the one: a simple and slinky lace number which accentuated her gym-honed curves.

So, over to Lainey to tell us more about a celebration featuring donkeys, llamas and vintage tractors, plus some great advice on how to DIY your socks off.

With images by Rustic Lovebirds Photography.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (21)

lainey says: We got engaged in New York. I surprised Lex with a trip to NYC for his birthday in November 2016. I‘d planned a number of surprises on the trip: nice restaurants, tickets for The Lion King on Broadway and, of course, tickets to go up the Empire State Building – and we decided it would be fun to dress like complete tourists to head up the famous tower. I had no idea he planned to surprise me, getting down on one knee at the top of the Empire State. I was in complete shock!

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (52)

We booked our wedding as soon as we returned to the UK. I‘d waited three years for him to propose and didn’t want to wait to get married! I knew I wanted an intimate but quirky wedding and started researching barns in the area that could host our day. We visited The Wellbeing Farm, in Lancashire, and fell in love; Celia and all the staff were so helpful and enthusiastic about all the crazv ideas we had.

I wanted a May wedding – I love it when all of the springtime flowers are in bloom – and so we chose 6th May.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (34)

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Wellbeing Farm. Lex’s Mum, Jane Griffin, is a wedding celebrant and she married us on the day.

We went for a rustic wedding theme. I wanted to have a lot of white lace with bright colours to contrast. My favourite colours are orange, red and yellow and, although they’re quite autumnal colours, I think they worked well on the day.

A Colourful Wedding at The Wellbeing Farm (c) Rustic Lovebirds (79)

I’ve never been a girl who dreamed of a big white wedding and, honestly, if I’d had my choice we probably would have eloped. Shopping for a wedding dress, therefore, felt like a bit of a nightmare! However, Instagram was a great source of inspiration and I came across Australian wedding dress company Grace Loves Lace. They had simple yet elegant designs – I feel like wedding dresses are moving towards simpler, more elegant lines in general. You correspond via email and get help with choosing a style you like, then you send in your exact measurements and voila – six weeks before the wedding my dress arrived and it fit like a glove! I chose to design my own shoes as I couldn’t find ones to match and I used online shoe company Shoes Of Prey. The first pair arrived and I didn’t like them – plus they didn’t fit properly – but I simply returned them, requested adjustments and they came back perfect.

Our wedding rings were designed and made by Two Become One Jewellery.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone

tweed & tea dresses. relaxed rustic romance for a wedding at healey barn – fern & andrew

July 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (22)

Fern and Andrew’s glorious barn wedding in the Northumberland countryside has us reaching for our sunnies – and maybe a glass (or two) of Pimm’s.

Healey Barn is an incredible backdrop to this couple’s laidback rustic day, with its vaulted ceilings and exposed stone decked out in fairy lights and flowers. Think ‘country chic’ and you’ve got it: tweed jackets, bunting, flower petal confetti and photographs featuring woodland walks and hay bales. Gotta love a hay bale!

With photography by Chocolate Chip Photography.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (12)

fern says: I managed to ruin the first proposal attempt by Andrew – he had put the engagement ring on our cat’s collar thinking when the cat jumped up on me I’d see it. Needless to say I didn’t, and let the cat outside with the engagement ring around her neck. I didn’t know anything about this until the second proposal!

Jump forward to the evening of 1st January 2012, when Andrew thought it’d be easier (and less likely to give him a heart attack) if he just came downstairs and got down on one knee.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (21)

We got married on 29th July 2016. We thought it would be best to get married on a Friday as a few of our guests needed to travel down from Scotland and up from Milton Keynes and we figured they’d have a longer weekend if they didn’t have to travel home the day after the wedding.

Our venue was Healey Barn, Riding Mill, Northumberland. We chose it quite simply because we thought it was absolutely stunning. We also felt it would be great to have a barn wedding and it fitted our style quite well – very ‘relaxed rustic’.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (26)

Theme-wise, we just wanted a relaxed atmosphere. This was the main drive behind everything, including the choice of our two major suppliers – the venue, Healey Barn, and our photographers, Chocolate Chip Photography. We felt they could both offer the stress-free approach we love.

Our colour scheme was green and purple: it’s all about me! They’re my favourite colours.

Pretty Wedding at Healey Barn (c) Chocolate Chip Photography (36)

I purchased my dress from I Do Bridal in Bill Quay, Gateshead. I couldn’t rate them highly enough: the staff were amazing and the alternations service was superb. It was a tea-length dress; I loved the style plus I’m super-clumsy, so no long flowing dresses. My wonderful shoes were from Ruby Shoo.

continue reading

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+share on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someone