Styled Shoot

Colour clash – a styled bridal shoot at Holmes Mill

Alexis Forsyth

Today’s styled shoot is all about the alternative big day, brimming with a whole lotta colour, personality and – pom poms!

As a talented stationery designer, Emma from Burnley-based Alf and Alba Design was keen to get involved in a shoot that would showcase something a little bit different from the norm. It wasn’t long before she decided to take the lead and organise one herself, bringing on-board plenty of fabulous suppliers too. And boy, we’re glad she did!

The result? A bold and funky shoot popping with rainbow-bright colours, floral displays and ultra-cool props for wedding day inspo that’s bursting with the fun factor. Set at the charming Holmes Mill in Clitheroe – this characterful venue proved to be the perfect canvas for such a vibrant, edgy shoot. We think you’re gonna love it! Here’s Emma with all the details – enjoy!

With images by Sarah Maria Photography


Emma says

: As a stationery designer with a relatively niche style, I had been on the lookout for a shoot that was directed at a more alternative bride; focusing on colour, bold décor and styling, and interesting flower choices. Unfortunately, I was struggling to find anyone organising this type of shoot anywhere near me and so felt encouraged to organise my own. As it turned out, there were a number of fellow wedding suppliers in my local area also offering unique services and products that were keen to be involved.

I created a few direction boards to inform everyone of the style of shoot I wanted to create, with references to colourful altar backdrops, paper flowers, colour blocked stationery, grazing tables and funky accessories.


Holmes Mill had always been on my shortlist for venues to approach, having had visited their beer and food halls with my family in the past. I really love their clean, fresh décor style whilst remaining sympathetic to the history and identity of the building.

On securing our photographer, Sarah, who also encouraged the Mill as a choice, I approached Stacey at the venue to enquire about using the function room for the shoot. She was interested by our theme and so supportive in helping the shoot to become a reality.


Typical Type provided lighting backdrops and canopy tables with large Edison light bulbs – these were so suited to the traditional, rustic look of the venue.

A combination of paper, artificial and real flowers from Bloom Box were used to decorate an altar arch, sweetheart table, welcome signage and aisle chairs. Decorative touches were also supplied by the talented Lemon Blossom Events, Make It Stand Out and Adamapple.

Bold splashes of colour came from the table styling, layered with chiffons, multi-coloured bottles, vases and pom poms.

This multi coloured theme translated into the stationery too, with an angular colour block design, and the cake, supplied by Rosebird Bakery, which used these shades, marbled with accents of gold leaf.


Two of the dresses that featured in the shoot were Leanne Marshall designs, selected by Helen at Rock the Frock Cheshire for their unique colour and alternative styling. The geometric lace dress, by Lucy Can’t Dance, has the option of being worn with either an ivory slip dress underneath, or a grey version. Beautiful shoes, meanwhile, were supplied by the lovely Sasha Archer Shoes.

Bridgewater Menswear provided one of the suits in dark blue wool. This was accented with a splash of colour in the form of a burgundy pocket square. The second suit was supplied by Amelia’s Bridal Boutique, who stock a fabulous range of attire for grooms, too.

The bridal accessories and veils, by Natalie at Peacock and Pearl – many of which were created specifically for this shoot – followed the bold and colourful theme of the shoot really well, not least a cathedral length fuchsia pink veil complete with multi-coloured pom poms! We also had beautiful jewellery from Megan Brown Jewellery.


As the general styling of the shoot was relatively bold, Laura (Beauty by Laura Jane) suggested emulating this through the make up, whilst still being sympathetic to each individual’s skin type.

We went for full coverage, with a warm toned eye and a bold lip. We had three ‘bride’ models on the day, each with varying skin tones and hair colour, however this look was used in some variation on all of them, to great success.

With regards to hair, Lauren (aka Hair by Lauren) created one low bun up-do, a soft beachy wave look and a partial up and down style with loose, relaxed curls. The latter of these was particularly suited to Luna & Wild’s flower hair clip, and Peacock and Pearl’s fascinators.


Shoot day went really well, other than one small hiccup regarding the postcode… I had inadvertently put my own house postcode on the call sheet rather than the venue one! Luckily most of the suppliers knew where they were going, and there were only a few people who unfortunately ended up at my house, 15 miles from Holmes Mill!!

A particular highlight was lunch – once Kay of Salute Catering had set up her grazing table and it had been shot, everyone else spent the day picking at all the tasty bites! We also had wonderful cookies from Wookie Cookie and chocolate bars from The Candylicious Company.

A little shout out goes to our celebrant on the day – the lovely Hazel from Sunkissed Ceremonies.

Our main aim was to ensure that everyone involved got the shots they needed which would highlight their work to its full potential, whilst maintaining continuity of the images and keeping them in line with the theme.

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