Fresh off the press, today we’ve got this stunner of a styled shoot, coming at you from Low Hall in the picturesque Lake District and bringing all kinds of rustic, farmhouse pretty vibes.
Photographer Jaye hails from Cockermouth, a couple of miles away from Low Hall The Lakes and has had her eye on the venue since she shot her first wedding there. Owners Francesa and Ben have been restoring the gorgeous venue back to its former glory (and then some!), creating a perfect Lakeland wedding space in the midst of all of the natural beauty that the area has to offer. Couples in search of a rustic venue with acres of land, woodland or manicured gardens options and views of the valley should look no further!
Jaye and her MUA partner in crime Felicity came up with the initial styling ideas and ran with the farmhouse theme, bringing in a subtle and natural palette to complement the venue and add a little something without overwhelming any of the original feel of the space. With the shoot split into two styling options, we reckon there’ll be something here for everyone…
With images by Jaye-Peg Photography
Jaye says: I’ve wanted to organise a styled shoot at Low Hall The Lakes ever since I did my first wedding there. Francesca and Ben have lovingly restored a 17th Century farmhouse and barn, set in a couple of acres of beautiful Lake District countryside. The buildings are full of character and texture, and outside is a long private driveway, a beck that runs through the property, woodland, a beautifully manicured garden and outside area, and there are views to the fells of the Lorton Valley.
I had been discussing arranging a shoot with Francesca for about 18 months but we were both so busy. The events of this year gave pretty much all of the suppliers involved big gaps in our diaries during what would normally be our busiest time of year. As we came out of lockdown in July, we picked a date that fell just after a lot of restrictions, such as those on close contact services, began to ease a little. It was very surreal to be working in PPE, something that we’ve all probably got more used to now.
The theme was ‘rustic farmhouse’ with contrasting temporary styling for the models. Our makeup artist, Felicity, came up with the initial ideas and colour scheme. The colour scheme evolved into two, which allowed suppliers to be more creative.
Annabel Candler, a wedding planner from Penrith, is an amazing organiser and project manager, and I wanted to bring someone in who could oversee us all especially on the day. Annabel’s daughter, Harriet, was our flower girl too. I’d followed Velvet Cow Media for a while on social media and love their work so, when it came to picking a videographer for the shoot, I contacted James straight away.
Low Hall was where we started, situated in the Lake District National Park just outside the town of Cockermouth. It’s such a gorgeous venue, and Fran and Ben have really made it a unique venue. For the shoot our thought process was what can we do that makes best use of the available space and that will allow the suppliers involved to show off the best of what they do.
Felicity says: Personally, I’ve been absolutely loving dried flowers coupled with neutral colour tones and metallics, they’ve also been really popular in weddings and across social media. So I figured it would be ideal to use these types of décor in the shoot as it would appeal to lots of prospective couples. It also helped to create a timeless yet classy theme which transitions perfectly into warm autumn tones. The green came in to tie the shoot to the Lake District and all the lush greenery that surrounds Low Hall The Lakes. It complemented the neutral colour scheme beautifully and helped steer the neutral décor away from looking too bland.
Wilde & Romantic’s Janet Wilde has a veritable treasure trove of vintage props and décor, we had so much to choose from. On the day Janet came with a van load of items, nothing was too much trouble for her. Our florist for the shoot Ruby Foxglove is based in Cockermouth and run by Sam Ryan. Sam’s natural and eco-friendly style perfectly matched the venue and theme.
Crockery came courtesy of Lune Valley Crockery Hire in Carnforth. Janet organised everything with Lune Valley to perfectly complement her styling. Stationery was by UNVEILED Network Member White Orchid Print and Design’s Sarah Edmondson. I always see Sarah at wedding fairs but never at weddings because of the nature of what we both do. She jumped at the chance to be involved and it was a real pleasure to work side by side with her for a change. Sally Cooper Cake Artist lovingly made our cakes. Sally, who is actually Janet’s daughter, decorated two cakes for us to match the differing colour themes.
The musicians on the shoot were Classic Ensembles from the South Lakes. I really wanted to include something different to the norm and Jeanette, Nick and Adele were more than happy to join the team. They also took the time to record a couple of pieces of music as a soundtrack to the videos. I think they add an almost regal quality to the rustic setting.
After sharing the moodboard with the rest of the team, Lauren from Carlisle-based Goodfellow Menswear and Shannon from Blush Bridal and Songbird Bridal thought it would be best to have multiple outfit options during the shoot, to play around with different styles to appeal to more prospective clients. It also helped us to tweak the style between a casual, classical and contemporary style for each section of the shoot, giving us lots of creative opportunities to play around with. We all know well enough that brides and grooms often never choose the first outfit they try on for their wedding, therefore, showcasing different outfits that complemented our theme was a great way for us to show clients how different dresses and suits can suit a range of décor styling options. Dress designers featured included Essence of Australia and Stella York.
We wanted to keep the outfits timeless as this shoot was aiming to embody the best parts of a wedding regardless of the season. The suits were kept traditional but a good variation between all the options helped us to create multiple looks during the shoot to keep things interesting. The wedding dresses were also very similar in this way. I think, after seeing the finished edited pictures, it actually helps our prospective clients see that outfit changes can actually help focus on different aspects of your wedding day. For example, a big floaty dress may look fantastic for the ceremony but might not be practical for the evening and therefore, a change in outfit can be a great way to stay practical and switch up your look to keep things fresh.
The overall style I wanted to go for was contemporary with slight hints of a carefree countryside feel. Keeping it simple but effective. Big complicated statement hairstyling can look amazing on your wedding day but keeping the hair and makeup simple helped us to draw attention towards the other elements of the shoot, therefore giving everyone a fair amount of spotlight in the finished edit.
Wedding days always showcase all the different elements of the couples love story, and this might be in the tiny little details of the calligraphy on the invitations and place settings, or a flower in a bride’s bouquet that her partner may have given on their first date. Even the colour scheme and details in the lighting and styling indicate part of a couple’s personality. Yes, a wedding day is a day for the happy couple, but extravagant hair and makeup can often take away the tiny little details that they may have thought for hours, days, months maybe even years on and it would be a shame to miss those details.
Perfectly done natural makeup is extremely technical, it helps you look just like yourself, but better on your very special day. Again, it also keeps a timeless element, helping you to always love looking back on your wedding pictures. Therefore keeping the hair and makeup simple and timeless but in keeping with our themes, was the perfect thing to do in order to appeal to a wide range of audience and help the rest of our team’s elements to shine.
This was done by me, I’ve worked with Jaye for over 5 years, and Ely Bartlett from Barrow-in-Furness. I have known Ely for a quite a few years and we quite often work together at weddings and she has a background in editorial work too.
Our models were Phoebe and James Mottershaw. It was important to use a real couple, not just because of the pandemic but because it adds an element of authenticity to the photos. Phoebe and James live in the Midlands and were happy for a reason to visit one of their favourite areas.
We held a pre-shoot meeting the week before so that we could try and be really well organised on the day. One of the things that I like about the creative process, especially when you are working with other suppliers, is that an idea or a theme is only a start point and it’s nice to see where inspiration will take you from there. Everyone wants to show the best of what they do and when that all comes together you get to create some magical photographs and video.
The weather wasn’t the best on the day, as the Lake District was doing it’s usual thing, but we tried to have a plan for that just in case. We still got some great photos outside. Highlights have got to include Classic Ensembles really playing something for Phoebe and James to dance to inside the ‘Loveable Old Barn,’ and the look of sheer delight on Harriet’s face when she was being pushed on the tree swing! We also got some great, fun moments on the long driveway that heads down to the main road.
I think that I can speak on behalf of everyone involved when I say that, more than anything, we are looking forward to a return to normal for the wedding industry in 2021. 2020 has been such a challenging year and this shoot was one of the few highlights that we were able to share together. Hopefully we can share more amazing moments and collaborate on future styled shoots together too.