If you’re feeling the need for a little escapism, today’s styled shoot is just the tonic! We’re being swept off to the gorgeous Owen House Barn in rural Cheshire to learn of the joy, intimacy and freedom that elopement weddings can bring.
Thought-up and beautifully executed by Manchester-based wedding and elopement photographer Kellianne Newiss, these spellbinding images focus on the newfound freedom being expressed by couples who choose to indulge in nuptials that are all about them.
Joined by fellow talented North West suppliers to bring her vision to fruition, the styling is beautifully curated but with an underlying ‘anything goes’ attitude, which allows the couple’s personalities to shine through just as much as the aesthetics.
We’re particularly taken with the bridal styling, which sees elegant slimline dresses teamed with heavy-knit cardigans and light, delicate tulle paired with black leather accessories for alternative big day looks.
Here, we chat with the team to discover more about the beauty of a scaled-back ceremony and how they brought that effortless elopement magic to life!
Kellianne says: As we wake from a year behind closed doors, we wonder if the world will forget and return to normal, or, if having paused, we will reflect on what is important, and what we really want. Not in our desire to couple or to say our vows, but in how we conform to the expectation of the big day.
Through this shoot we wanted to show wedding looks and styles that could be versatile; wellies and chunky cardigans over stunning gowns with no constraints or expectations.
The rise of the elopement is one of the biggest shifts of the modern couple, the freedom it brings and the abandonment it relishes. The individuality it allows to be true to yourself, and your style. No longer is it about the bigger picture; it’s about love again… and those little moments.
Owen House Wedding Barn was the ideal shoot setting as it had a few different backdrops that we could use. The owner was so amazing and helped us out at the 11th hour when another venue had let us down.
Rhian of Winter and the Willows says: As a wedding florist, the pandemic has given us a new viewpoint that we can freely explore and have the opportunity to create special intentional decisions, throwing out the constraints of a typical wedding.
The florals chosen for the shoot bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary; these florals marry two different ideologies of seasonal blooms, they are trans-seasonal crossing over from spring/summer to autumn/winter. In addition, they are enriched with texture mixing soft blousey roses with architectural greenery, creating interest. Each time you look, there will be a new floral treasure to behold.
Small weddings also deserve beautiful flowers, and creating easy, versatile pieces that can be easily rearranged throughout your wedding day is a cost-effective and effortless way of doing this.
For our venue staging, we used easily moved floral displays that were impactful enough to create beautiful environments on their own with no specialist setup. We used a mixture of dry and fresh florals; the contrast of mediums creates such an effortless dreamscape of flowers. Watching those grasses sway in the breeze was beautifully hypnotic and added a serene ambience.
Steph of Wilderness Bride says: Forever influenced by nature, heritage and folklore, Wilderness Bride represents a unique vision for handcrafted bridal wear. We’re different in a subtle, quiet way for individuals who do not like to follow the crowd.
A Wilderness Bride is free-spirited, sentimental and creative. A Wilderness Bride is informal, whimsical and chic. Natural and timeless.
Donna Ascroft MUA says: My inspiration was ‘relaxed boho bride’ to create looks that would appeal to a carefree, romantic bride.
I wanted to bring out the model’s beauty using fresh, natural makeup. As such, I covered any imperfections, allowing her freckles to show through and then added a glow to the makeup. To stop the skin from looking at all ‘sweaty’, I used a translucent powder on top, avoiding the areas that I wanted to shine. I then went for a wash of peach on her eyes and loaded the lashes with mascara to make them pop. Using a slightly red/pink balm and then blotting gave the lips a just kissed feel.
To finish the look, I gave her hair an effortlessly natural wave and then added flowers and plaits for that relaxed boho vibe.
Kellianne says: The shoot was amazing! It was the first creative project many of us had embarked on since the pandemic, and it felt wonderful to get the creative juices flowing. It was a fantastic group of people and we were even joined by Finlay, Kirsty (the stylist’s) 5-month-old who delighted and charmed us all on set.
We really wanted to tell the story of couples, released from the expectation of inviting their third removed cousins, never met or other far-reaching distant relatives that you are ‘supposed’ to cater for. These couples are relishing in the minimalism of the restricted guest list and embracing the freedom to wed in individual style.