Neon Bright Hen Do

I had such a wonderful time planning and styling this neon bright hen party for Chosen Wedding Fair’s founder Kiki Sunshine, last summer. The venue, Bristols own industrial chic Paintworks, was a great location for a day that was part craft party, part makeover, and part photo shoot.

Makeup artist Grace Kingsley was set up and ready to receive our hens with a palette of pinks and blush tones. Love a bright lip! Stephanie Saunders, talented florist and friend, was next up with fun and informative crown and corsage workshop. They chose from buckets and buckets of blooms and created their own individual designs. The finished pieces were worn throughout the day and everyone had a fun new skill to take home with them.

 

We knew we’d need something bright to stand out amongst the wood and brick and summery neons were just the trick. Things By Laura provided the gorgeous paper flowers and pinwheels used to dress the walls and the light-up letters (a bit of a show-stopper, no?) were from Lighthaus Events.

Of course the day wouldn’t have been complete without refreshments and boy did Emma at Bake My Cake deliver. Those Bride To Be biscuits and that arrow cake topper? Perfection!  The stationery you can see dressing the table was by Retro Press and really helped bring the fun and humour to the sweet table.

One of my favourite things about this hen do is that it can easily be recreated at home or in a smaller venue with professionals coming in or with friends and family pooling their talents. Spending time with the people you love and being created – what’s not to enjoy!

This shoot was first shared on Bespoke Bride – you can read more about it and see the full gallery here.

Fiesta Fever

I’m thrilled to share another styling feature in Wed Magazine, this time we take a step away from French fancies and ramp up the fiesta spirit for this bright and beautiful shoot with World Inspired Tents. There were so many talented suppliers involved on the day and I loved being able to put my own stamp on such a blank canvas. Thanks to Sarah Lauren Photography for the fab photos!

We created the table plan using furniture and and that gorgeous yellow fiesta frame from Virginias Vintage Hire. Mixing and matching different colours and styles of furniture help to create interest in areas that might otherwise be overlooked. The stationery, courtesy of Hip Hip Hooray, carries through that fun festival feel and the colours? Perfection! If you want to add a little Mexican fusion to your own nuptials Hip Hip Hooray’s ‘Papel Picado’ collection is perfect for a summer ceremony. And last but by no means least we come to those amazing paper blooms, pin-wheels, and poms; handmade by Things By Laura. They’re the sort of extra touch that add plenty of punch to your decor!

Anyone else ready for a margarita?

 

 

Winter Decadence at The Milk Thistle

Last month Mr & Mrs Unique shared our most recent shoot at Bristol’s Milk Thistle. I’m sharing a few of my favourite shots but if you want to see the full shoot then head over to Erica’s fantastic blog – there’s all sorts of real wedding and styled shoot goodness too!

“Every now and then my stylist senses start tingling and I know it’s time for a photoshoot. Luckily a team of talented and creative suppliers are just a Tweet away. So, on a rainy Thursday morning, we descended on Bristol’s exclusive Milk Thistle. A hidden gem of a venue right in the centre of Bristol.

 

In a space that is so atmospheric, we knew we’d have to create a look that was sultry and sophisticated. I decided on a textured look with silks and sequins, velvet and satin. We added touches of gold to bring in the festive spirit and the whole day was captured by the incredible Frances Taylor of Evoke Pictures. I just can’t get enough of these images. Is it wrong to say that at the end of the shoot we did a high five with each other as we loved it so much?

Our gorgeous model, Rachel, had her hair and makeup left to the expert hands of Grace Kingsley, hair and makeup artist extraordinaire. The dress, beaded and beautiful by Eliza Jane Howell was carefully chosen by Perfect Day Bridal for a look that was effortlessly glamorous. I especially love the navy bolero jacket from Liberty in Love – perfect for colder winter evenings. We finished off her outfit with sparkling accessories from Vintage Button Bridal

The stunning flowers, by Emma Norton, are a 17th century painting brought to life in a palette of creamy neutrals, frosty greens, and deep blues. We paired them with dreamy hand painted silk ribbons by Kate Cullen. The brass candle sticks and cutlery bring out the sparkle of our decadent sequinned table linens from Pudding Bridge.

www.evokepictures.com

The Milk Thistle is full of amazing art deco details so of course reflecting that in our stationery was a must – The Old Market Printing Co did amazing work. All designed & screen printed by hand. How beautiful is that calligraphy? And last but definitely not least is the elegant and understated creation from ANNA Cake Couture.”

Photographer – Evoke Pictures

Venue – The Milk Thistle

Cake – ANNA Cake Couture

Flowers – Emma Norton Flowers

Stationery – The Old Market Printing Co

Hair & Makeup – Grace Kingsley

Dress – Perfect Day Bridal

Hair Accessories – Vintage Button Bridal

Bolero – Liberty in Love

Table Linens – Pudding Bridge

Silk Ribbon – Kate Cullen

Vintage French Wedding

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A great big thank you to Vow Magazine for making this styled shoot the cover of their summer issue – you can read it here! It’s such a thrill to see it all in print and I couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favourite shots and a little bit of the copy!

Everyone I worked with on this shoot is somebody I’ve known for a while and worked with before. These are my favourite types of projects because everybody knows how the others work and together we can make something really unique and lovely.

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We decided on a French vintage theme with macaroons, reclaimed shutters, and lots of fresh flowers. We wanted to make the shoot realistic for couples so did nothing on the day that we couldn’t recreate for a real wedding. This is where having a stylist can really help; I cor-ordinate all those elements and details and can open up the dialogue between suppliers so that everyone knows the creative vision for the day. We chose Clevedon Hall because of their beautiful grounds, if you’ve not been I can’t encourage you enough, they’re really special. It’s been one of my favourite venues to style for a long time and I was itching to see the recently refurbished guest rooms.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better location, all we needed was the weather to match! And it did – but this created it’s own set of problems. At some points in the day it was actually too bright to shoot outside so when that happened we hid inside and ate macaroons. On any shoot you have to flexible and patient; some things take longer than others, some shots don’t work as you’d hoped, and sometimes the weather can be temperamental. Being in the UK I never thought I’d complain about having too much sun! This is when we relied on the expertise of Fran, Evoke Pictures, the most. She knew how and when to catch the best light and, as you can see, how to make the most beautiful images.

Venue – Clevedon Hall
Photographer – Evoke Pictures
Styling – The Little Wedding Helper
Flowers – Emma Norton Wedding Flowers
Cakes & Macaroons – Anna Tyler Cakes
Dresses – Jessica Charleston
Make Up & Hair – Grace Kingsley Make Up
Hair accessories – Vintage Button Bridal
Stationery – De Winton Paper Co
Table plan – Saunders Creative
Vintage furniture & props – Virginias Vintage Hire
Model – Rachel Harvey

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Venue – Clevedon Hall
Photographer – Evoke Pictures
Styling – The Little Wedding Helper
Flowers – Emma Norton Wedding Flowers
Cakes & Macaroons – Anna Tyler Cakes
Dresses – Jessica Charleston
Make Up & Hair – Grace Kingsley Make Up
Hair accessories – Vintage Button Bridal
Stationery – De Winton Paper Co
Table plan – Saunders Creative
Vintage furniture & props – Virginias Vintage Hire
Model – Rachel Harvey

Pretty Pomegranates

Pomegranate Cake 25Despite hailing from warmer climes there’s something about pomegranates that make me think of colder months. Those berry bright seeds scattered over a cake or nestled in the bottom of a glass are the perfect pop of colour for a winter wedding and couples who want something a seasonal without being Christmassy.

Pomegranate Cake 21Pomegranate Cake 8The terribly talented and lovely Lucy Heath, of Capture By Lucy, is an incredible photographer and another person I met on Instagram. We’d both been fans of each others work for while before deciding to get together for a micro-shoot and once we had everything sort of fell together.

Sometimes it’s great to get together with other creative types and just make something beautiful over copious cups of tea and a good catch up. The end result being a series of stunning photographs is an added bonus!

Pomegranate Spoons and Glass 1I’ve worked with Bristol based stationer Harriet de Winton on a number of shoots now and she never fails to blow me away with her beautiful hand painted stationery designs. When I spoke to her about my plans to spend a day with Lucy snapping pictures and playing with pomegranates she created this stunning suite of stationery just for us. Love it!

Pomegranate Stationery 22Philippa Gayler-Read, of Love Cake Bristol, and I were neighbours, have children in the same school, and bonded over our love of the wedding industry and the struggles of working from home. One day, while waiting together at the school gates, she mentioned working on a shoot with me. I immediately thought of the planned pomegranate shoot and imagined piles and piles of pomegranate seeds and berries heaped on top of a naked wedding cake, Philippa’s speciality. I think we can all agree that the finished thing is divine!

Whimsical Outdoor Wedding Shoot

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It all started on Instagram. This shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does all things considered. As the organiser of the Bristol Wedding Tweetup’s at Goldbrick House, I use Twitter and Facebook to connect with other businesses and couples on a daily basis, and use Pinterest to explore my own tastes and to help couples visualise what they want from their own wedding decor. In short – social media is a big part of my life. and spend so much of my time tapping away on my phone tweeting with other business owners.

When Shirlie Kemp followed me on Instagram I sent a brief thank you and mentioned how much I loved her photography and, perhaps a little cheekily, how good it would be to work together on a shoot. What could be the worst that happened? I love Instagram for this very reason that you can make contact with individuals & businesses that you may never otherwise get to meet in person. Shirley soon messaged back inviting me to join her and some other suppliers on a shoot in Surrey.

We used Pinterest a lot in the early stages of the planning; curating images Shirlie and I both loved and showing these to the suppliers we’d be working with. It’s a method I use with each of my couples and helps me create a visual map of how I’ll style each occasion. It was great being able to then show this to the suppliers I love to work with, fill up the car with props, and head to Surrey with Abi from Cake.

‘Romantic, vintage, and whimsical’ became a real focus for Kirsty, the florist, and we couldn’t help but get excited as we planned the colours and the details of the floral arrangements. The Letter Loft provided the moss lettering that perfectly complimented the outdoor setting and hinted at the moss Kirsty used in each of the centrepieces.

Even the fruit on the Abi’s cakes and the cocktails complimented the flowers; everything looked freshly picked and totally delicious. The dresses, all whimsy and and ruffles, were handmade by the very talented Twit Twoo Dresses who specialise in handmade garments for flower girls and pageboys. Festooned with Kirsty’s flowers they were every bit as romantic as wished for. Lesley from The Vintage Hire supplied gorgeous vintage plates, glassware and cutlery that we colour coordinated with the surroundings.

Priory Farm, the stunning venue, has this amazing farm shop and beautiful nature trail and so every now and then our day was punctuated by members of the public enthusing about the shoot with us. It was fun hearing all the positive feedback from passers by and seeing so many people enjoying the farm and glorious weather. The farm is actually owned by a friend of Shirley’s which totally added to the welcoming collaborative feel of the shoot and we tried to incorporate different farm inspired elements like the rustic furniture, milk bottle carrier entwined with fresh blooms, and pretty crockery that could have been taken straight from a farmhouse dresser.

It was a fantastic day full of prettiness and creativity captured beautifully by Shirlie. It was wonderful working with such great suppliers, and of course I couldn’t resist a quick selfie with Shirlie. What did we do before social media…

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Styling: Me
Photography: www.shirliekemp.com
Flowers: www.flowersbykirsty.com
Cakes: www.cakebristol.com
China & glassware: www.thevintagehire.com
Moss letters: www.theletterloft.com
Bridesmaid dresses: www.twittwoodresses.co.uk
Venue: www.prioryfarm.co.uk