Styled Shoot

Pastel Glitzival – A Glittering Festival Styled Shoot at Combs Valley

Alexis Forsyth

Today’s dreamy shoot at Combs Valley Campsite in Derbyshire is pastel perfection sprinkled with fun festival wedding vibes, providing all you lovely brides-to-be with plenty of ideas on how to style the tipi wedding of your dreams – and then some!

Forget everything you think you know about pastels – there’s no subdued, wishy-washy hues in sight here. Instead, you’ll find pastels that pop, in everything from the whimsical bouquets and tablescapes to the chic stationery and scrumptious iced donuts. How we’d love to cosy up on the pink sofa, which has has got to be one of our favourite styling touches.

Led by Helen from Macclesfield-based stationery, styling and planning business – an UNVEILED Network Member– this shoot has got us all a flutter at the idea of hosting an outdoors wedding. And as for the two-piece outfits showcased by models Gemma and Rachel – a couple that will be tying the knot for real someday soon – these are simply gorge. I mean, who doesn’t love polka dots?

Let’s find out more about the talented bunch of suppliers who pulled off this stunner of a concept and get all the goss from Helen.

With images by UNVEILED Network Member Charlotte Palazzo Photography


Helen says: The pastel colours were something that I had in mind after seeing Brides Up North’s Editor Julia’s chat with Love Lights The Way on a Brides Up North ‘Sunday From Your Sofa’ Instagram session. I love pastel colours anyway (hence the brand!) and thought I could really do something with it.

Megan from Tipis in the Peak approached Sally and I to do a shoot, and it seemed fitting to bring in a bit of a festival vibe. The festival glitter and sparkles brought the two components together beautifully.


Megan and Jack are local to Combs Reservoir and collaborate with Combs Valley Campsite to host weddings there, so it was a very simple reason why we chose this location. The venue came first and we chose our style to fit around it.


We wanted the styling to be fun, sparkly, fresh and pastel, executed elegantly with modern twists – something real brides could imagine having on their own big day.

The tablescape featured a neutral wooden table, which helped to calm but elevate the colours of the sweets. Grace from UNVEILED Network Member Grace Emily Cakes provided pastel coloured chocolate-coated strawberries, donuts, iced biscuits and meringues. These were scattered amongst the colourful crockery and glassware supplied by Whitehouse Event Crockery.

Grace had already made the cake – I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw it and knew it was exactly what we needed. Fate definitely intervened!

I used my recycled acrylic medium for the daytime stationery by painting the colours on the backs, and using both vinyl and hand calligraphy to make the table plan, place names, menu and table numbers.

We kept the floral decoration small on the table, with the cutest little coloured bottles dotted about with Folkey Dokey’s dyed rabbit tails and grasses.

The idea was that with such a bold colour palette, it should be emphasised with small details as apposed to just throwing the styling everywhere, which would become less appealing.

The outdoor ceremony backdrop was a very sparkly big statement piece and enhanced the girls’ white dresses while adding oodles of glamour and fun.

My pastel pink sofa was a must – a quirky addition that worked so well. The pastel dried palms and flowers added to the frame and the girls’ bouquets. I wanted to make sure we used styling details that are on trend right now. I added my birdcages, that I re-painted in white and pastel colours, as I wanted to show that old trends can be modernised with a bit of creativity. My disco balls were an obvious choice as they scream festival and glitter!

The invitation suite I made is probably one of my favourites of all time. I’ve not seen one like it and I‘m so happy my creativity was at its best, with all the colours and glitter INSIDE the main invitation. I mean, that’s so much fun! I’m a foil-based stationer so I added holographic foil onto the text and hand painted the brush stroke pattern for the part behind the vellum. It was such an extra suite, and I really hope it inspires couples-to-be to think outside the box when it comes to their stationery. Imagine receiving one of these as a guest!

Sally of Toast Celebrant is the perfect celebrant for this style of wedding – fun, smiley and beautiful. I adore her so much and any couple looking for a bespoke wedding ceremony that’s full of smiles and personality should absolutely call her right now! She also has the best wardrobe I’ve ever seen from a celebrant. She matches her outfits to the style of the day – what a babe!


I always want to find local suppliers and it was a simple search that got me to Alexandra Anne at the Chatsworth Estate. Jess’s boutique is exactly the modern style I love.

After meeting up with Jess, we knew that the Charlie Brear two-piece designs were what we needed for this shoot – contemporary with a hint of sparkle and simplicity.

We wanted the outfits to make the models feel amazing and look spectacular, like how actual brides want to look and feel when they are searching for their dream dress. So, we got the girls into the boutique to try on a few options until everyone was happy.

Gemma preferred her shoulders to be covered, so Jess added the capped shoulders for her. Jess is amazing and made sure the dresses fitted as amazingly as they possibly could for our styled shoot.

Gemma wore the white polka dot skirt meanwhile Rachel showcased the extra detail of the gold dotted skirt with a low back top. Both two-piece dresses were relaxed and free, allowing them to move around and have fun, whilst still showing thought to the overall style and theme for the wedding.


I let Hair and Makeup by Saskia do her thing! After showing her the mood board, and also with her already knowing both models, we decided to go with one up and one down-do to complement one another. These relaxed hairstyles would suit brides that want a professional to style their hair, but without it feeling too rigid or sculpted. This style is perfect for those who want to have a good time, and not think about sorting their hair out later in the day.

I’m so happy we were able to show off details such as UNVEILED Network Member Glorious by Heidi’s headpieces. I still can’t believe she makes them by hand. I wish I could have taken them home, especially the pink and gold earrings!


The weather was pretty awesome for us, with just a gust of wind every now and then that caused havoc on my props!

Every single supplier that came along was full of energy and ideas, and we worked together as one big happy team. We had the best time. It was the first styled shoot I had led on too, so I was very nervous, but professionalism of all the ladies involved dissolved my fears immediately.

My personal highlight was finding my industry BFFs! I cannot speak highly enough of all involved. Everyone got stuck in, helping with the set ups, coming up with ideas on the day, and improvising when the wind blew over my steel frame and broke it! Our aim was to show an alternative style of tipi wedding that encompasses bright and airy images, laughter and fun, and I think we achieved this in abundance!

We had to think carefully about how we did the shoot because of the ongoing pandemic, and being outdoors was a huge bonus.

Megan and Jack are the perfect venue owners. They are super accommodating and were on hand all day to share the experience and get to know us all. They are so generous and passionate about their new business and any couple looking for a tipi wedding will be in the best care from these guys.

Gemma and Rachel were absolutely incredible. They aren’t professional models, but they should be! We wanted to make sure they felt comfortable and excited to be part of the team, and they did it so well. They are due to get married next year so it was lovely that they could try on dresses together and enjoy a practice run, which they haven’t been able to do yet for their own wedding.

Charlotte Palazzo is one of the best photographers I know. This is obvious with the photos we have here, but also, on a personal level, she is an absolute delight, with so much energy and passion for her job. She can make anyone in front of the camera feel super relaxed and happy.

Look out for more shoots and general wedding amazeballs from the seemingly quiet corner of the High Peak and East Cheshire. Your fresh faced, modern, on-trend suppliers are here and shouting it from the rooftops!

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