Christmas has come early here at Brides Up North, as we delve into this winter wonderland of a creative shoot that’s brimming in festive feels, but without a cliché in sight!
Inspired by minimalist Scandi decor, this creative shoot at The Oakwood at Ryther in the heart of Yorkshire perfectly encapsulates the beauty of a winter wedding – think dainty pinecones, snowberries and Nordic firs, complemented by paper stars and snowflakes – and a fairy light or two for extra festive sparkle. The tablescapes are epic too, and if you’re a fan of all things Harry Potter – keep scrolling!
We just love the understated styling of this shoot with its cool, crisp palette, which contrasts beautifully with the venue’s grandiose Ceremony Hall and rustic Wedding Barn. And we haven’t even mentioned the princess-perfect gowns yet, characterised by soft tulle and glitter embellishments that really do capture the magic and romance of a festive wedding. Spell-bound yet? Here’s The Oakwood’s events manager, Hayley, to tell us more.
p.s. Watch our Brides Up North Wedding Shows calendar for some epic events coming up at The Oakwood in 2021! We can’t wait!
Hayley says: It might have been the middle of the summer, but we were keen to showcase The Oakwood as an all year-round wedding venue and we were so excited to get in the festive spirit. We absolutely love Christmas and wanted to offer our couples some beautiful winter wedding inspiration, whilst staying away from any traditional and perhaps cliché ideas of festive styling.
In the planning of this shoot, we were inspired by Nordic and Scandinavian décor which is rustic, minimal and timeless. This style champions natural materials and foliage, perfectly complementing the statement features of The Oakwood, which are accented with the warm white glow of fairy lights and candles. This shoot brought a slice of Scandi Christmas to Yorkshire and it was so incredible to see our vision come together with the help of an amazing team of suppliers.
The Oakwood at Ryther is a brand new wedding venue in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. We were due to hold our first weddings this summer but, of course, Covid had other ideas, and our couples’ dates have been rescheduled.
We had been approached by some wonderful wedding stylists and photographers about holding styled shoots at Oakwood, which had stunning results. Our couples love seeing the venue dressed, because it offers so much wedding planning inspiration!
We decided to plan a shoot of our own and handpick the suppliers we knew would understand our vision and help it come to life. The initial idea for the shoot was to create a magical, Harry Potter-esque banqueting feast down the centre of the Ceremony Hall, with the stunning oak arches framing the scene.
The arches were crying out to be decorated so we sourced the most beautiful Scandi inspired paper stars and snowflakes to hang from the beams and created a real sense of wonder and festive magic. The globe chandeliers and waterfall fairy light wall added warmth and what festive scene is complete without fairy lights?
Not forgetting the Wedding Barn, we adapted this to suit a more traditional style wedding reception and centred the focus around the large oak staircase which was beautifully framed with Lynnie’s amazing foraged foliage and Nordic firs.
We were keen to keep the styling very minimal and natural, in line with the Nordic theme. The shoot was all about creating a Christmas scene without the tat, so it was important for the styling, colours and textures to all reflect this.
Suzy from Mave Weddings and Lynnie from Stems Design joined forces to create our magical winter wonderland. Lynnie showcased her gorgeous foliage and firs by keeping the colour palette beautifully simple and timeless. Deep textured greens, aged wood and pinecones took centre stage, while the soft glow of candles and fairy lights reflected from the glass baubles and jars.
The only florals throughout the whole shoot were found in the bouquet which was a combination of white roses, snowberries, eucalyptus and ferns. The bouquet was inspired by the beautiful four-tiered cake created by Dominique at Poppy Pickering. A wreath of immaculate sugar-work eucalyptus and snowberries complemented the different textures of white icing in the most magical way.
Suzy worked with these gorgeous shades of green and white when styling, and for the first look, chose a crisp white napkin tied with a deep emerald ribbon, which sat in the centre of textured white crockery from Whitehouse Event Crockery. Made by Wood & Wood provided the most beautiful stationery in various shades of green which tied the theme together. Decorated macarons and gorgeous little hand-painted wreath cookies from Dominique completed the look.
For the second tablescape, we styled the rustic wooden trestles from Event Prop Hire with soft grey linen and introduced the plump pomegranates which sat like rubies amongst the greenery. I loved how the foliage runner cascaded from the ends of the table and pooled on the floor – just stunning. This was a really special look as it saw our initial vision of the shoot come to life, and offers a truly stunning and timeless alternative to couples when it comes to styling their reception.
The gorgeous gowns were provided by UNVEILED Network Member Claire at The White Yard Bridal Boutique. The beautiful white gown is by Daalarna Couture and was hand-sewn in Budapest. The lace detail and full soft tulle skirt is the epitome of relaxed glamour and an absolutely perfect fit for this winter wonderland shoot.
The second look showcased the most incredible sparkle gown by E&W Couture, a Wales-based designer. Featuring golden glitter celestial details (and even unicorns!) – this gown delivered festive magic in spades and we couldn’t get enough of it on the shoot.
We chose to work with the incredible UNVEILED Network Member Kate from KH Makeup Artistry as she has absolutely mastered the natural glowy look, which was so perfect for this shoot. Our model Aimee is such a beautiful English rose, so we knew we wanted to keep the makeup look simple and elegant. Kate chose a warm golden shimmer on Aimee’s eyes as a nod to the festive theme and to complement the warmth from the fairy lights and candles.
We were so thrilled when UNVEILED Network Member Victoria Louise Accessories provided the most incredible headpieces and matching earrings. Kate incorporated the delicate sunbeam tiara into her first look so naturally, and the golden trails blended beautifully with Aimee’s soft curls. The golden star crown was the pièce de resistance and paired with the second golden gown from E&W Couture, it was just magic. Kate restyled Aimee’s loose curls into a gorgeously chic chignon which was effortlessly elegant.
Despite shooting in the middle of a pandemic, the day was an absolute dream. All suppliers stuck to strict social distancing measures and wore PPE throughout, but this didn’t dull any of the festive sparkle.
We knew the shoot was going to be intense as we had three different looks to capture: the ceremony, the Wedding Barn reception and the Ceremony Hall banquet. Lynnie worked her magic on the Ceremony Hall while Suzy dressed the tables in the Wedding Barn, and then we moved onto hanging the paper snowflakes and stars (probably my favourite element of the shoot), which was no mean feat – in the end, we didn’t want to take them down!
Emma from Emma Ryan Photography and Barney from SP Wedding Films were just amazing – super flexible and really relaxed, and they worked with us to make sure we captured all the beautiful details.
Huge thanks also goes to Kate and Dominique who were just superstars and really went above and beyond helping us dress and redress, which made the whole day run so smoothly.
If you are feeling inspired by his festive shoot and thinking about planning your own winter wedding, Oakwood has just a few remaining dates available in December 2021 and is now taking bookings for winter 2022. We would absolutely love to show you around, and can offer virtual viewings while we are in lockdown. We also have a virtual tour so please do get in touch if you would like any information or to speak to our Wedding Coordinator about your special day.