Styled Shoot

Winter Warmer: A festive inspired styled bridal shoot at Stock Farm, Cheshire

Rachel Hirst

As we’re on the home stretch to Christmas – seven more sleeps to go – we thought we would bring you some beautiful festive wedding inspiration in the form of this whimsical styled shoot.

Perhaps not what you would expect, there isn’t a glittery bauble in sight, as those behind the shoot have accomplished their aim in providing alternative winter wedding inspo with a rich berry colour palette, beautiful natural setting and glamorous yet sophisticated bridal looks that more than float our boat.

Taking on the role of creative director and makeup artist, Abby Victoria, recruited a team of top North West suppliers that she knew could help deliver her vision – and deliver they do with so many gorgeous details to admire.

From the winter-wonderland-esque bridal attire to the opulent jewel and metallic hues in the flowers, stationery and décor, this is seasonal styling at its finest, captured at one of our very favourite North West venues where we will be holding one of our Luxury Wedding Shows come April. So, unwrap those 2019 diaries and have your very best pinning fingers at the ready, as we get all the behind the scenes deets from the lovely Abby.

With images by Katy Jordan Photography.

Models: Alice May Eadson and Claire Victoria Roberts.

Abby says

: I decided to arrange a Christmas styled shoot as it’s my favourite time of year and I just love the colour combinations of the season. I also wanted to showcase what can be done over the winter period as I find that winter can be a quieter time for suppliers though there are so many beautiful possibilities!

The inspiration behind the shoot was the festive period, but without the obvious glitter and bling. I wanted a rich berry palette of colours with lots of foliage, hints of gold, rounded off by romantic candlelight.

When choosing a fitting venue, I knew I wanted something a bit rustic to create a contrast with the beautiful deep berry colours and hints of gold. When I saw Stock Farm, I knew it was the perfect venue, with its dark setting and mood lighting. What came out of the shoot was a stunning rustic, but refined look and it really showcased what can be done at this stunning location!

For the flowers, we used a rich colour palette of burgundy, plum and blush with pops of bright red. The bouquet had a loose and relaxed feel with lots of textured winter foliages such as pine, eucalyptus, skimmia and olive. Florist Laura of Green Earth Flowers, used roses, scabious, lisianthus, chrysanthemum blooms, ilex berries and ranunculus, and finished it all off with delicate grasses, gold asparagus fern and sumptuous trailing ribbons.

For the table décor we introduced vintage brass candlesticks and bud vases to add a touch of festive gold. The Edison bulb structure above the top table was dressed with scented evergreen foliages, ilex berries and gorgeous trailing amaranthus, which really provided that wow factor.

The chairs were elegantly draped with white voile and a white carpet laid for the aisle. Clear hurricane vases cascaded down the aisle with lit candles to create a stunning romantic feel.

We knew the flowers were going to be the main focal point, so to make sure we didn’t overpower the shoot, we kept everything else quite simple.

For the stationery, Hannah of Knock Knock Penny Studio, used white card with wax stamps to add a luxurious touch and chose a wreath motif to give a nod to Christmas. She chose to finish it off with a mix of red ribbon and wire with foliage to give brides different ideas of how to add a festive touch but in a sophisticated way.

The gorgeous white cake with hints of gold leaf was such a perfect addition to the shoot. When Sarah of Cheshire Wedding Cakes, saw the ideas for the stationery, she knew immediately what design she wanted to go for and what would tie everything together. Sarah finished her creation fresh flowers to bring in those beautiful berry tones.

The venue dressing was taken care of by Rachel and Lara of Festival Events and Planning, with the wooden trestle tables provided by Alternative Weddings Manchester. Working to a brief of ‘romance’, Rachel and Lara utilised ivory voiles and an ivory carpet to set the tone of the ceremony, with 60 candles in glassware to flank the aisle. Ivory fabric lined the registrar’s table and golden lanterns with gentle candlelight were complemented by the fabulous florals produced by Green Earth flowers.

The backdrop from The Word is Love, of a vintage wooden frame of squirrel bulbs gave a gentle ambience to the warm gold hues. This set up was indicative of the change in trend from last year’s silvers and this year’s rose gold base tones to the more yellow, brassy colours and beautifully represented the changing of the season.

These themed golds ran through to the wedding breakfast and charger plates and a snow flocked Christmas tree were added to the mix. Complemented by the stunning cake and stationery, the overall effect was ethereal and warm, perfect for the winter months.

The external photographs were lit by the tree lights, the gentle flames from the fire pit and yet more of our candles in glassware, demonstrating an altogether romantic and gentle ambience for the stunning imagery that Katy Jordan was able to capture.

The warmth of gold tones really made for a spectacular Christmas theme and Rachel and Lara, say the more yellowy tones of gold, as well as purple and burgundy as a colour palette, are here to stay for the next twelve months.

Along Came Eve Bridal, based in Chester city centre, provided the totally stunning gowns for the shoot. These included Nurit by Enzoani, a dress for the modern bride who wants to stand out, with super sexy illusion bodice, plunge neckline and low v-back, plus a detachable skirt providing two dresses in one.

Dolley by Rosa Clara meanwhile offers brides a swoon-worthy tulle princess style dress with delicate lace bodice and stunning glass beading detail. We styled Dolley with a vegan faux fur hooded cape from Helen Moore to give a snow queen vibe.

A real show-stopper, Kalani, from Rosa Clara Soft is a fully beaded, 1920’s style mermaid gown finished with feathers, making it the perfect gown for a festive black-tie wedding.

Finally, the Malva gown by Rosa Clara Couture is the epitome of elegance with a sparkling beaded bodice flowing over the hip, delicate beaded sleeves and a sexy low v-back.

We chose this selection of dresses as we wanted a combination of different styles that would add some glamour to the rusticity of the barn and contrast with its natural surroundings.

The models’ hair was styled by Danielle Broughton Evans Hair, and she created three different dos. Look one was the ponytail for Alice, which provided an elegant yet understated look that complemented but didn’t detract from the dress. Look two was loose waves for Claire, which worked well with the hooded shawl, and is an ideal option for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with an updo but that wants to feel more glam than a day-to-day blow dry. Look three was a loose, textured updo for Claire, with tresses of hair left around her face and falling from the back to create a soft romantic style that will stand the test of time.

Makeup meanwhile was taken care of by me, Abby Victoria. Most of the makeup I do depends on the individual client. I’m passionate about keeping makeup simple and elegant, and always ensuring I work on my clients’ concerns while accentuating their best features.

For Alice, I wanted to add a bit of colour to her eyes as she has beautiful dark eyes. I created a smoky romantic eye, matched with glowing skin, natural coloured lips and a hint of blush to add some flush to the cheeks. This look would suit someone with brown or dark green eyes as it really makes the eyes pop! Adding colour isn’t for everyone on their wedding day, but sometimes it can really work well.

For Claire, I opted for rose gold notes and browns to keep her look more natural. Again, I wanted to create glowing skin with flushed cheeks and natural coloured lips.

This look would suit most eye colours and would appeal to most brides, keeping it natural looking but with a hint of smoky brown for that little something extra special.

Overall, I feel it’s important for me to make sure brides look like themselves on their big day, only a more polished version of how they usually look.

The shoot was a dream to work on and everyone collaborated brilliantly. The highlights on the day had to be how amazing the lighting structure looked, dressed with the stunning flowers and foliage. It really created a wow factor when it was finished.

Another highlight was how beautiful the outdoor shots were. When I saw the fire pit at Stock Farm, I knew we had to use it and when we started shooting outside, Katy just ran with it! When the fire pit was lit it created smoke that worked perfectly for the images. I think those images really showcase how different Stock Farm is.

All in all, the moments we captured were so different to your typical winter wedding – and that was my aim. I didn’t want typical wedding pictures, I wanted to push the boundaries and create something different and really demonstrate how stunning winter weddings can be.

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