Styled Shoot

Wild Love. A Styled Elopement Shoot at Elsecar Reservoir

11th December 2020 | Sarah Symonds

Serving you some super idyllic, wild autumn wedding styling goals today on the blog. Get ready to fall for the scenes surrounding Elsecar Reservoir, the very idea of eloping and THAT grazing table…

Hannah of Hannah Shearman Photography, weaver of documentary style wedding and lifestyle images, lover of details and capturer of natural moments, is based in South Yorkshire and passionate about her home region. Today she’s joined forces with some fellow local suppliers and created a swoon-worthy styled shoot that’ll get you giddy to start planning your own big day. Whether your plans have been derailed during The Year That Shall Not Be Named or you’re right at the beginning of your wedding planning journey, we’re here for you.

There’s so much to love here; the simplicity of the ASOS dress, the way the landscape’s reflected in the still surface of the water and the glow of the golden light keeping everything warm and pretty. The suppliers have indeed gone all out on the rustic and romantic venue styling, really accentuating the autumnal natural surroundings and, yes, crafting a grazing table that’ll have you drooling, The pallet ‘table’, laden with mouthwatering goodies and swathes of tonal fabrics for texture, is a real focal point and because it’s an elopement shoot, there’s no need for sharing! All the more reason to keep things just between the two of you, right?!

With images by Hannah Shearman Photography assisted by Rosie Kate Photography


Hannah says: I really wanted to do a super colourful shoot before winter came and drowned it all out, which is why we had to do it in autumn so there was more colour about. Autumn is my favourite season and really deserves to be celebrated with colour and captured in fabulous photos.


I suggested Elsecar Reservoir because I thought the thick trees and winding paths would set the scene perfectly for a wild elopement, with the view of the water providing an idyllic backdrop.

We utilised the wooden fishing platforms that are dotted along the water edge – one in particular was framed beautifully by foliage and trees, creating a natural altar for the ceremony.

On a personal note, this place is one I’ve grown up with and it holds a lot of memories for me so I am absolutely delighted I was able to share it with such a wonderful team!


Suzanne Oddy designs stationery and signage specialising in all things that take time; using reclaimed materials, hand finishing pieces and creating detailed illustrations. The stationery provided for this shoot is printed on handmade rag paper with deckle edges and torn fabric trims to give a rustic boho feel and look.

We also had Clare Blaylock of Bawtry Flowers, a South Yorkshire based florist creating bespoke bouquets and creative designs for all occasions. The bouquet for this shoot used wonderful rich colours, and textures. There are so many dried self-seeding flowers at this time of year that were used giving a rustic and natural look. The flowers used were hypericum berry, red naomie rose, peach avalanche rose, crocosmia berry, larkspur, green bell, spray rose, panicum grass. Many of the flowers were from the garden as they bloom and grow around this time.

As for styling, we went for a really relaxed vibe for the shoot with Tammy Howard of UNVEILED Network Member Howards Events. Howards Events are a small family run business based in Rotherham. They offer all types of styling and prop hire. We wanted to create something that was all about just the couple, as if they’d had enough of waiting to be able to have their dream day with their family and friends so decided to just elope. I wanted to really make an area for them to relax in after their vows, to enjoy the sunset together as a newly married couple, using lots of soft blankets and cushions. We wanted the table to be full of gorgeous food and sweet treats just for the happy couple to enjoy together. Ribbons were courtesy of Jenny at Ribbon and Thyme.

Helen Birkinshaw at Sweet Chic specialises in luxury cakes, dessert tables, chocolates and edible centrepieces. Covering Yorkshire and beyond, all her creations are uniquely designed to reflect couples personality, style and taste. The wild elopement vibes of this shoot and gorgeous colour palette inspired her to create a natural, rustic luxe collection. The cake was finished with pale pink textured buttercream, amaretto and white chocolate desserts encased with shards of marbled chocolate and textured cake pops, chocolate truffles and slabs. Teamed with incredible styling, florals and platters created a wild, decadent experience for two.

For the rest of the food, we had Char-cuterie boards by Charlotte, a local supplier in Barnsley providing grazing boards and tables to the Yorkshire region. She takes so much pride in her work and loves nothing more than working alongside other suppliers that do the same. Charlotte aims to make sure all ingredients are ethically and locally sourced, not only to support other local businesses, but to ensure total freshness. She created two vegetarian boards for this shoot, using a goats cheese and spinach frittata, alongside sweet potato and chickpea falafel. For cheeses, she selected a variation of seasonal mature, sharp and creamy cheeses. All meats and cheeses are sourced from local farm shops, farmers, butchers and bakeries. Charlotte also makes the bread, pork pies and quiches, which accompany any graze board beautifully. All herbs used on any of the boards are homegrown in her garden too. Amazing!


The dress was from ASOS, a gorgeous, textured, floral-patterned silky dress that tied at the back and suited the model so well! Then we added the painted jacket by UNVEILED Network Member Jenny at Rock Paper Nib for some of the shots. The suit was provided by Haworth Menswear.

Jewellery was provided by Casera Crafts. Amber McCall is based in the heart of Leeds, and creates a range of handmade jewellery and other items, with a percentage of sales going to a mental health charity. In discussion with Hannah, we decided to use garnet as the focus of the jewellery as it matched well with the red shades in the bouquet. It’s a bit of a shade-shifter. It can look almost black, but then the sun hits and it’s the most gorgeous deep red colour. It was interspersed with baby pink spacer beads in the earrings as this colour was also used in other elements of the shoot. The bracelet was all garnet to show the colour off in all its beauty, and then it was used in the centre of a freehand wire-wrapped ring to make a complete set.


Hair was done by the model herself and flowers were added by Natalie, the makeup artist. It was the perfect natural half-up hair with some gorgeous waves.

Natalie Boland offers bridal beauty treatments including makeup, lashes and brows, and is based in East Markham, rural Nottinghamshire in a specially designed beauty studio. The makeup and hair were a natural relaxed boho style to reflect the elopement style of the wedding and the natural surroundings. This makeup and hair would appeal to those brides who want a more natural, relaxed look for their day that doesn’t want the traditional or glam look.


The shoot went perfectly! It was a glorious autumn day at the most amazing outdoor location and I don’t think it could have gone any better than it did. The models were amazing and natural in front of the camera too. They were just the loveliest couple ever and they just went with the flow.

My personal highlight was when the couple did lifts on the bridge. I just love how happy they look and I absolutely love the photos that I got from it. It was perfect!

My aim was to create lots of natural moments with an amazing set up in a gorgeous location and it was exactly as I had hoped, if not better because of the gorgeous weather.

Tracy Hammond, celebrant of Boho Ceremonies, said of the day: “This beautiful elopement shoot was a dream to be part of. I wanted to help make the images as authentic as possible by getting to know the models beforehand, and creating some vows written especially for them. They kept them a secret from each other, and we were all very emotional as the words were being spoken with the stunning reservoir as their backdrop. The ancient ritual of Handfasting was also performed during the ceremony, with cords that I made to match the colours of the theme. It was easy to forget that this was a styled shoot, and not a real wedding!”

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