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Modern Vintage. A styled wedding shoot at Holmes Mill

12th May 2020 | Julia Braime

We are returning back to one of our favourite North West venues for another beautiful styled bridal shoot, though this time influenced by the glamour and beauty of the 1920s.

Super stylish and wonderfully luxe, the much-loved era is often reflected upon to draw big day ideas from…for everything from the décor, to the dress. Though today the look has been brought bang up to date with clever contemporary twists.

The mastermind behind the editorial is wedding stylist & UNVEILED Network Founding Member Sarah Pearson, of Stories Of Events, who along with her daughter, was keen to collaborate with talented and likeminded North West suppliers to deliver uber gorgeous and divinely different inspo to you brides-to-be.

And we have to say… they’ve totally nailed it! The overall vision is undoubtedly high end luxe, and although working with the 1920s theme that has been done many times before, it’s not in the slightest bit predictable or ‘try-hard’. Instead the beauty is effortless throughout, and each detail surprises and excites! From the opulent yet clean-cut tablesacpe to the muted and metallic florals, and the times bridal attire and beauty. As we say…it’s divinely different!

With images by Emma Ryan Photography. Model Anita Cannon.


Sarah says: Having recently launched a wedding and event styling business with my daughter, we knew we needed high quality, cohesive images that would showcase our style, expertise and skills. We were also keen to build on our growing connections within the industry to find likeminded professionals to work with and recommend in the future. We knew styled shoots work perfectly for this, and so set about designing, and organising one.

We wanted the shoot to allow us to be able to reflect our vision and skillset whilst also showcasing something a little different to brides-to-be. As such, we chose a 1920s theme. This was not only a time where women started to feel empowered and to express themselves, vocally and visually, but they were also starting to have equal rights, and a little bit of fun!

This shoot is the story of the 1920s wedding for the 2020s bride – an era so timeless that over a century on, we are still taking inspiration from its glamour, beauty and style, but adding a modern twist.

We really wanted the shoot to exude glamour, sophistication, and understated class, with a little bit of fun…which I think we achieved! The brief I gave the suppliers was “tasteful, luxurious 1920s” we wanted a true reflection of a 1920s wedding, but not a typical Great Gatsby style. Colour-wise, I was keen to incorporate a deep emerald green and gold palette, as I felt this was not as harsh as black and gold, but still true to the era, and gave a feeling of luxury.


Holmes Mill in Clitheroe was chosen as the venue for the shoot. We felt its art deco styled bistro would complement the vision, giving us a beautiful backdrop, including stunning 1920s lighting and furniture, that coupled with the recently opened Everyman theatre (who kindly allowed us to shoot there), made Holmes Mill the perfect choice.

The exposed walls emitting an industrial feel gave us an additional look and feel to the shoot, offering the perfect atmosphere for the dramatic paper moon we had created. We knew we wanted a paper moon as part of the shoot, as these were extremely popular at weddings during the 1920s, but again, we wanted to create this for the modern bride.


The stunning gold foiled stationery was created by Stacey at Love Paper Co, who used a modern font, incorporating art deco styling, whilst using modern methods. This set the scene of the shoot, along with a stunning cake delivered by Elizabeth Anna Cake Design which was stylishly simple with a modern nod to the 1920s. A total showstopper, it was so beautiful  and blended perfectly into to the setting.

The flowers were again a true reflection of the 1920s – a time of wild abandonment, a time where florists used wildflowers and grasses, and the beginning of wedding bouquets as we know them now. The tear drop shape began in the 1920s, usually adorned with ribbon, and this is exactly what Jaymie at Forge Events created! An impactful cascading cloud of fresh and dried flowers and grasses continued into the table centrepiece too.

We knew we wanted the table to be simple, but luxurious. To achieve this, we at Stories Of Events made a deep emerald velvet runner with matching napkins. We selected gold rimmed wine and champagne glasses along with gold and black cutlery, coupled with art deco edged plates. We then added in the stunning foiled menus and place settings. Once the candles were lit on the vintage brass candle sticks the table was perfect.

Other styling points included a vintage drinks trolly dressed with decanters and art deco styled glasses, with a gorgeous gold foil drinks menu. A fully staged table plan was created using vintage pieces from the 1920s, including a vintage typewriter, printer drawers and candle sticks, and art deco accessories which made an interesting focal point.


Our stunning model Anita was so professional and brought the shoot to life. Daniella, of Daniella Makeup & Hair, who styled Anita’s (naturally long, curly) hair wanted to give the effect of a bob, which were popular in the 1920s,  achieving this by creating a fake bob – AKA ‘fob’ – this style also allowed the stunning detail of the Catherine Deane bodice to be shown fully. The elegant Catherine Deane separates were loaned to us from Kimberly Anne Bridal Boutique, and were chosen for their modern, but vintage feel.  A delicate and intricate lace top sat perfectly over the cut slip dress. This is an ideal combination for a day to evening transition, which is so popular for the modern bride. Transforming Anita’s hair by allowing her curls to fall freely, held to the side with a beautiful art deco style clip, gave her an alternative evening look that was sassy yet sophisticated.

I had worked with our makeup artist, Andrea Baines, on previous shoots and knew that she would create the most perfect look, which she did! It was modern yet with timeless appeal and totally flawless with beautiful gold shimmering eyes, finished with the essential slick of deep red lipstick,  then adding a little more definition to the eyes, and a little more blush for the evening look.

The stunning headdress provided by Honey V pulled the whole look together, creating our 1920s bride in 2020.  The headand was a real statement piece, and although heavily jewelled, it was delicate enough against the lace of the dress.

Finally, the absolutely gorgeous art deco ring was loaned to us from The London Victorian Ring Co, a truly beautiful diamond and emerald ring, which matched the theme perfectly – it was so beautiful, Anita didn’t want to return it.


The highlight of the day was seeing our vision coming to life, through the suppliers working together to create a stylish cohesive look, whilst having fun.  One of the nicest things to see is how the suppliers ‘mucked in’ together, understood the directive and had fun. Some of the suppliers have since gone on to do other styled shoots together and have built great industry relationships, which is a wonderful achievement.

Of course, a photoshoot without a photographer is useless…and choosing the right photographer to capture your vision is essential.  I had had a number of photographers contact me to be part of this shoot, but when I saw Emma’s work I knew she would be perfect for the shoot – and she was! The images she captured were nothing short of magical.  Giving all the suppliers hundreds of beautiful photographs, and a wonderful story of the day.

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