Styled Shoot

Palace of dreams. A French inspired styled bridal shoot at Rudby Hall

Alexis Forsyth

Light and bright with a dreamy palette of greys, pinks and gold – this gorgeous styled shoot is bringing a little bit of Parisian magic to the north!

Inspired by a modern fairy-tale styled wedding in a French chateau, we were totally smitten with the concept behind this ever so pretty shoot and loved every bit of it when we saw this magical set of images, captured by the talented Cristina Ilao.

Taking place at Rudby Hall in North Yorkshire, the shoot brought together a host of creatives showcasing everything from gorgeous hand-tied bouquets of blush roses and delicate confectionery (including French macarons, of course!) to beautiful stationery adorned with calligraphy and watercolours.

When it comes to the bridal fashion stakes – this shoot has elegance in abundance, showcasing some lust-worthy on-trend styles, including a fluted skirt, chic mermaid gown and an A-line dress with intricate lace detailing, soft tulle pleating and beaded applique. Divine!

Curious to see these alluring details for yourself? Here’s Cristina to give us the lowdown, plus exciting details of an amazing giveaway with some fab prizes from the talented shoot suppliers.

With images by Cristina Ilao Photography


Cristina says

: We envisioned creating a romantic styled shoot filled with beautiful pastel shades of greys, pinks and gold. Our inspiration focused on a modern fairy tale styled wedding in a French chateau inspired venue.


From the drawing room to the staircase, to the bridal preparation room, Rudby Hall lent itself well to our vision and also my style of photography. It had rooms filled with big windows that allow natural light inside. The intricate decorations all over the Hall also create that French chateau vibe that we were going for, right in the middle of Yorkshire. The stunning grounds were put to good use as we extended the shoot in the front garden. I chose to have the bridal portrait sessions under the willow tree in the front garden to create an even more magical feel to the photographs.


Miriam, of The Artisan Wedding House, knew that a mixture of soft gold, dusky pink and glass elements would be ideal for styling the beautiful venue. She used gold rim charger plates and gold rim glassware combined with gold flatware to exude elegance and romance. In order to add texture and delicacy, she used a pale pink hand-dyed gauze runner and matching napkins that complemented the pale taper candles and gold candlesticks perfectly.

The Versailles glass urn were used as top table floral centrepieces and filled with pretty pastel coloured roses and hydrangeas supplied by florist Gill, of Flowerhouse, which brought the whole table scape design together beautifully. This coordinated well with the simple hand-tied bridal bouquet of blush roses, white stock and thick foliage.

Sharon from Sadie May Cakes chose a delicate approach and a soft colour palette to complement the brief. She showcased her signature Sadie May style sugar flowers on a number of wedding cakes: a simple two-tier cake, a grander four-tier cake and on two mini cakes. Her signature style carries on to the luxury confectionery details on the biscuits and cupcakes while the pastel palette was also used for the French macarons.

The stationery design was based on Katie’s (of Katie Sue Design Co) love of beautiful calligraphy and delicate watercolour elements. She created a complete custom invitation suite with accompanying ‘on the day’ stationery, illustrated venue map, love note, menu cards and table place holders all made with top quality paper and styled with the most luxurious naturally-dyed silk ribbons.


We used a selection of wedding gowns from Elite Bridal to show the variety of attire available for the modern bride.

A simple figure-hugging wedding dress with a fluted skirt was used for the bridal preparation to showcase a style perfect for modern minimalist brides.

For the ceremony shoot, we used a mermaid style dress with a delicate sweetheart neckline. This style accentuated the bride’s figure with its fit and exquisite panel train.

Finally, a lace A-line dress with intricate lace details, a soft tulle pleating and beaded applique was used for the reception to provide ease of movement for the first dance and also to complete a princess-inspired bridal portrait session under the front garden’s willow tree.

Bridal accessories make any dress look and feel more luxurious and breathtakingly beautiful. Megan, from Megan Therese Couture, created a set of accessories that accomplish exactly that. The Luna elbow-length veil was made with lightweight tulle and embellished with luxury venise lace cascading floral design that sits lightly on the bride’s hair. The antique-inspired Whisper pearl burst hairpin features brass flowers, gold leaves, ivory pearls, clear crystals and gold seed beading lovingly attached to a gold-plated base. We also used the Paris garter which was crafted with pale ivory corded floral leaf lace and had the prettiest pearl accents that add a twist to the classic garter.

Sarah, from Sparkle La Vie, created a jewellery set with her Cassiopeia stud earrings matched with the adjustable Duchess ring, all of which were made using the finest Swarovski crystals and nickel-free gold-plated metal.


Kelly Gray Bridal Hair styled an elegant but slightly messy up-do to create a relaxed natural look. She then accented the style with Megan Therese Couture’s Whisper pearl burst headpiece that shows a French royal chic style.

Makeup artist Victoria Stonebank mainly chose soft colours for the bride’s look. Using the model’s strong natural colours, she decided upon a slightly stronger smoky eye which contrasted beautifully with the pastel hues in the flowers, cakes and stationery to bring all the elements together.


We had such a lovely day with the best team of wedding creatives. It’s easy to create something beautiful when complementary brands work towards a brief and collaborate to make it happen. This resulted in a wonderful romantic French inspired shoot for brides-to-be and a fine art fairy-tale wedding brought to life.

Since the shoot, Megan Therese Couture has recently launched her luxury bridal set that include a dainty garter and a luxurious sleep mask made with 100% Mulberry silk. Katie Sue Design Co also has a new letterpress range on its way this Spring/Summer.


The wonderful creatives from this shoot want to celebrate coming together as one team and supporting each other. Therefore, we’ve decided to launch an exciting giveaway imminently, with one lucky winner receiving the following:

  • One-hour couple photo session in North East England with Cristina Ilao Photography – with a glam session by Kelly Gray (hair) and Victoria Stonebank (makeup)
  • Up to £50 value of stationery from Katie Sue Design Co
  • 50 cupcakes and cookies (when booking wedding cake) with Sadie May Cakes
  • Luxury wedding garter from Megan Therese Couture
  • Handmade Swarovski jewellery from Sparkle La Vie
  • Hand-died gauze or chiffon runners from The Artisan Wedding House
  • Goodie bag from Elite Bridal (includes bride to be sash/ veil for hen do, bridal dressing gown, Swarovski pen, notepad)
  • Voucher to spend against a wedding dress in Elite Bridal store
  • Top table arrangement (when booking wedding flowers) with Flower House

For more full details on the giveaway, click here.

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