Styled Shoot

Country Collective. A Rustic Wedding Shoot at The Barn at Yew Tree Farm

Sarah Symonds

We’ve got some country perfection coming up today, with heaps of fruit, florals, gold accents and big, classic red roses against a rustic farm backdrop.

We’re heading down to a real working farm with today’s featured shoot at the newly licenced Yew Tree Farm, who unfortunately haven’t exactly landed on the best year for launching a wedding venue business in a global pandemic. With a true, cosy, rustic barn space on offer, not to mention the chickens, goats, donkeys and (our favourite!) alpacas, you couldn’t get more country casual than The Barn at Yew Tree Farm for your celebration.

The planning and concept behind the shoot is none other than Gem from Real Heart Weddings. Gem specialises in the planning and management of barn, farm, and garden weddings across Merseyside and Lancashire. She loves to bring together local suppliers to create unique and personalised celebrations for wedding couples – particularly for those who have decided to celebrate on their own private property, or at a dry hire venue.

Gem’s been chatting to us about how the planned shoot was very nearly cancelled, like so many of our lovely couple’s real weddings, but how it all came together in the end. We do love a happy ending!

With images by SJM Photography


Gem says: In March 2020, I approached The Barn at Yew Tree Farm as they had just secured the licence that would allow them to host weddings at their new venue. The original plan was to create a summer themed styled shoot in May, to showcase their barn and farm to engaged couples. Katie and Rachel from Yew Tree Farm were super excited to begin welcoming new couples, and had started filling their diary with viewings and bookings.

Very soon after arranging our May date for the styled shoot, the full nationwide lockdown was announced and it unfortunately had to be cancelled. The following months were tough for all, but as a new wedding venue, The Barn at Yew Tree Farm didn’t quite have the first opening months that they would have hoped for.

Once the restrictions began to ease off in August, I began to plan a new shoot for the venue, this time to take place with suppliers that were very local to us, and with a theme that would reflect the sunny and hopeful start of autumn in September.

I wanted to bring the warm, abundant feel of the early autumn season together with lots of fruits on the table, big red roses, and gold accents.


The Barn at Yew Tree Farm, managed by sisters Katie and Rachel, is a brand new wedding venue in Halewood, Liverpool. Situated on a family farm, and surrounded by chickens, alpacas, goats, and a cheeky donkey, The Barn has been newly renovated with a lovely rustic style. With lots of original barn features and the chance to meet and greet alpacas, it’s a lovely venue for both small and large weddings, and the perfect location for weddings taking place during the current restrictions we face.

The Barn was the perfect venue for our shoot. The main area features big wooden cross beams, a mezzanine with a cosy lounge area, and big wooden double doors that can open up the space even further if needed. It’s the perfect venue for both large and intimate celebrations, and will be very appreciated by younger guests too!

Meeting and greeting Yew Tree Farm’s alpacas puts the icing on the cake for wedding couples and their guests! They even have the sweetest little baby alpacas, and will make the perfect photo opportunity.


At Real Heart Weddings, I love warm and relaxed weddings, and wanted to reflect that with our early autumn styling. Big pink and red roses featured throughout – romantic and timeless against the wood and stone of the barn. UNVEILED Network Member Ling of Dragonfly Couture Stationery created matching stationery that featured pairs of alpacas, in natural colours with modern lettering to complement the rustic newness of our barn venue. Yew Tree Farm also has the opportunity for wedding couples to have their photographs taken with the alpacas, and we loved the little nod to the venue’s character by featuring them on the invites.

Wirral Table and Chair Hire, covering the Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire, and North Wales, are Simon and Sharron, who run their business with their two teenage sons, and have a wide range of furniture for hire, including a new rustic collection. They pride themselves on their professionalism and high standards, and love hiring equally to big events and small parties. The wooden furniture that Wirral Table and Chair Hire have in their collection is beautiful, and we chose burgundy seat cushions to carry the warm, deep red colours through into the furniture. They also have 5ft LOVE letters available to hire, something a little softer than the white signs that might suit a different venue. We also utilised some of Simon’s stackable wooden cable reels as a cake table.

Mandy and Peter offer unique wedding and event styling, and are well known for their stunning designs across the North West. From floral design through to offering large hire items like dancefloors, Wachadoin Events ensure that every detail has been covered, and have flexible design packages for wedding couples. Whachadoin Events set a gorgeous rustic backdrop up in the outside area of the barn. They had recently created decorated hoops out of a repurposed tree trunk, which looked amazing dressed with roses, and gold terrarium candles. We carried this theme through to the table setting, with driftwood down the centre decorated using gold terrarium candles, and so much fruit provided and prepared by Cheeky Chilli Events. Scented candles were from Candle Collective. Carol offers her clients the chance to scent their wedding with her range of hand poured scented candles. Made with soy wax, vegan, and eco friendly.

Bernie from 48 Bakes decorated her semi-naked cake design with red and orange roses, and berries foraged from her garden. Creating everything from celebration cupcakes to three-tier wedding cake designs, Bernie works with her clients to design something unique to them. Her cakes are homemade and delicious, and her Biscoff cupcakes are just amazing!

Tracey creates the most beautiful luxury flower crowns with matching bouquets for her wedding couples. Made from silk flowers, they can be custom designed to suit any wedding theme or colours and can be kept long after the celebrations are finished. Tracey also offers matching bridesmaids and flower girl crowns, buttonholes, and corsages. I wanted our model to have a day through to night time look for our styled shoot, and so Carol at Bridal Reloved Liverpool brought along romantic floral and lace dresses for the beginning of our shoot, which Laura matched with toned down makeup and a pink flower crown from Rusty Rose.


Bridal Reloved Liverpool are bright and airy, with a spacious dressing room. Carol’s boutique offers a relaxed and welcoming environment for her brides. Bridal Reloved specialise in high quality pre-owned and ex-sample wedding dresses, allowing brides to find their dream dress for a lower cost. Veils and accessories are also available to complete the look.


Lisa’s natural afro hair paired with Tracey’s floral crowns were the perfect match for our relaxed and rustic autumn style, and so we didn’t style Lisa’s hair at all for our shoot. I did want her to have a day through to night time look however, and so Carol at Bridal Reloved Liverpool brought along romantic floral and lace dresses for the beginning of the day, which Laura from Kilfoyle Makeup matched with toned down makeup and a pink flower crown from Rusty Rose. A fully qualified make up artist with a wide range of skills, Laura knows how to create fresh wedding day looks that are long lasting and look good on camera.

As we moved through the day and into the evening, Laura added darker lipstick and makeup to Lisa, and we switched to a more fitted off the shoulder dress and red roses.


We were grateful that it didn’t rain so we could take a lot of outdoor images, but the day of our styled shoot was super sunny for the middle of September! Lisa did so well to cope with the full sun and heat for so long, and her makeup fully stayed in place.

At one point during the day, Katie and Rachel’s mum kindly shut the donkey and goats away in their shelter whilst we took a few photographs of Lisa in their field under the apple trees. We didn’t get many shots before the goats burst out of the shelter and chased us out of their field! Serves us right for taking photos without them!

I ordered catering for our suppliers from Cheeky Chilli Events, and it was absolutely amazing! I’d highly recommend them for any events, big or small.

I’d just like to send out all of my best wishes and love to the couples and wedding business owners who’ve found themselves postponing and cancelling their weddings throughout this year and next. 2020 has been a tough one, and I hope that whether you find yourselves cancelling, postponing, or downsizing your wedding, you’re able to celebrate your love together and create memories that will be cherished for many years to come.

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