Recently, I decided it was time to organise my first wedding styled-shoot. A staged photo-shoot allows all suppliers involved to showcase and promote their respective products and services and is a really powerful way to connect and build relationships with each other.
As a huge proportion of wedding jobs are booked via referrals, it means that every time one of my network gains some business, I have the chance to do so too, and vice-versa, so it’s a win-win situation for us all!
My chosen venue was Eggington House, near Hockliffe in Bedfordshire. Eggington House is a stunning 17th century, Grade II listed manor set in 35 acres of land, with gorgeous private gardens. With the ability to host receptions for 30- 300 guests, Eggington House is an intimate, beautiful venue for large and small weddings alike. A wedding styled-shoot would perfectly showcase all its areas of beauty.
I chose to work with local wedding photographer Richard Puncheon. Richard is well known in the area and has a reputation for stunning wedding photography. He specialises in taking natural, romantic photographs that are full of atmosphere and emotion, so I knew I was sure to receive consistently beautiful and unique photos.
The flowers, including a gorgeous bridal bouquet and various beautiful floral displays, were produced by Bits and Buds in Leighton Buzzard. As well as wedding services, Bits and Buds provides all aspects of floristry, including gift bouquets, sympathy and corporate flowers. They have an artistic, rustic style that fit in perfectly with the surroundings and dresses I showcased.
For the models’ makeup, I chose to work with Miranda Mercado Gregory. Miranda’s service was amazing and she excelled at creating the subtle yet beautiful, romantic look I wanted that impeccably complemented my dresses. Moreover, this lady knows a lot about skincare and wellbeing.
In order to create the perfect bridal hair, I needed to find the perfect hairdresser! I chose Danica Zurawel, a local, wedding and occasion hairdresser, based in Bedfordshire, who has many years’ experience, as well as a passion for creating beautiful, romantic hairstyles. Danica was wonderful throughout the day – so patient, friendly and professional.
I can testify that both hair and make-up lasted throughout the wedding styled-shoot, through several dress, accessories and weather changes!
I discovered a real gem in the Nottingham-based supplier www.love2sparkle.co.uk! Carol designs and handcrafts all of her accessories and the distance proved no problem, as she liased diligently with us virtually, selected the perfect adornments to compliment my dresses and ensured we had them in time. We all gasped with amazement as we unwrapped each piece.
You may be surprised to hear that I deliberately chose not to work with professional models and for good reason.
I wanted our styled shoot to appeal to REAL brides and to show how we as suppliers work together at real-life weddings. I chose to work with two young women from my local area, Jo-Ann Williams and Tallulah Nunn, who are both naturally beautiful and I knew they’d make the perfect models – as you can see, they didn’t disappoint!
Here’s the part where I get to tell you all about the dresses I chose for the shoot!
All of the dresses were obviously designed and made by me and chosen for this shoot specifically to showcase the versatility of my dress designing.
One of the dresses I chose was made during lockdown. I call it my ‘Illusion Dress’, simply because it’s made to look as if it’s barely there, aside from the delicately coloured and beaded, lace elements, strategically placed on superfine tulle. This dress is perfect for the bolder bride who wants the best of both worlds – a dress with a serious wow factor that’s also incredibly comfortable and easy to dance all night in. It’s not an obvious bridal gown, but including it in this wedding styled-shoot illustrates how it certainly merits it’s place here.
The second dress I chose to use for the shoot is one that I’m extremely proud of – a ballgown silhouette, consisting of a rich duchess satin base, with a tulle overlay, finished off with a touches lace in blush and peach tones. We photographed our models wearing this dress with and without a custom-made hooped underskirt, to create two totally different silhouettes, to demonstrate the gown’s versatility.
I also chose one of my tea-length gowns to showcase, as this length is rapidly increasing in popularity and is the ideal length for vintage 50s style or alternative brides. If you’re looking for an effortlessly cool, retro-style gown, the tea-length dress is a great choice, especially if you also have fabulous shoes to show off!
The final dress was an elegant, strapless, mermaid gown, with rhinestone and pearl embellishments. This style is ideal for the sophisticated, modern bride who’s looking for a classic, timeless, yet understated style.
So, how did we all work with each other throughout the day? Well, I think the stunning photos speak for themselves! We seamlessly came together as a team, as if we’d been working together for years, and had a thoroughly enjoyable day, even if the weather wasn’t particularly kind to us and we did get rained on a few times – all part of the fun!
I’m hoping to organise another wedding styled-shoot very soon, where I intend to feature some more very special and eye-catching dresses. Watch this space!