Styled Shoot

Dreamscapes. A Colourful Bridal Fashion Shoot at Deighton Lodge

Julia Smith

It’s all happening over at Deighton Lodge for today’s featured styled shoot, showcasing the most dreamy of bridal headpieces and accessories, the most unexpected colour palette and the most majestic cake, bold in a pop of pink, berry and gold.

Ever since Ella Robinson Weddings & Events set up her new business, Opal Bridal Accessories, she’s fancied displaying her lovely, modern headwear pieces. Not to be put off by the pandemic, Ella has created a beautiful array of intricate details to appeal to almost any bride and, along with a team of fellow suppliers, has pulled together the perfect shoot to feature her designs alongside the talents of the other contributors.

With an eclectic palette of black, ivory, cornflower blue and blush pink, that gorgeous, striking purple and fuchsia table plan and matching stationery suite, and a table dripping with petals, blooms, fabric and little finishing touches, there’s something here for everyone but the real stars of the show today are the bridal models. Every inch a stunning bride on her big day, the styling of the girls involved is beyond pretty.

We’re of course seeing headpieces a princess would be proud of, a spot of vintage glamour here and a romantic flowing veil there, set off by four gorgeous gowns. Then a slick of black lipstick echoes the darker colours in the venue styling, alongside the softer, girlier tones, adding the all important individuality we’re all searching for. This shoot is a theatre of clashing colours and metals but somehow it works.

We’ve caught up with Ella to hear about how it all went down on the day.

With images by Sasha Lee Photography


Ella says: I set up my new business Opal Bridal Accessories in 2019. I’ve been a wedding coordinator since 2015 and wanted to expand further into the bridal industry. Work began at the start of 2020, but then lockdown came. Not to be disheartened, work got underway and I began designing. I’ve previously worked with Sasha and knew she would be the perfect photographer to help capture my designs and the vision I had in my head!

Each piece is a modern take on traditional headwear and cover ups. Brides are dedicating more time into looking for the right accessories to complement their outfit and personality. A veil, headpiece or coverup is no longer just an afterthought, but carefully selected to make a statement.

The theme of the shoot was mainly around the four colours I had in mind; black, Ivory, cornflower blue and blush pink. I wanted to experiment with other colours that are not normally associated with weddings. The suppliers did a great job expanding on the brief by bringing in additional colours that complement each other. Titled ‘Romantic Dream’, you have the princess feel with the softer tones and the dramatic elegance of the dark colours.

I wanted the shoot to be opulent, combining modern and traditional aspects of a wedding. Incorporating the dark richer colours – black, emerald green, purple and red – was a risk! These aren’t colours people usually opt for and may be scared to use, so wanted to show that it’s ok to experiment!

Along with veils designed for weddings, the collection consists of headwear and cover ups that can also be worn as occasion wear or just if you feel like being a queen for the day!


I work as one of the wedding coordinators at Deighton Lodge, so naturally it was my first choice for the location. I love how the barn is such a large open space and a blank canvas for you to bring your ideas to life! It has lots of character and the fact that we had glorious weather meant we got some great shots in the late evening.


All suppliers received the brief in advance. I wanted everyone’s skills and creativity to shine through on the shoot.

Marley Rose Cakes are based between Selby and York and make wedding and occasion cakes, dessert tables, seasonal treats and edible wedding favours. Styling for our cake was a multi tiered base with a bold pink theme, with gold and berry inspired accents.

UNVEILED Network Member Wonderland Blooms, a wedding and event floral styling based in York and East Riding, used deep and alluring tones to highlight my bridal wear. Our flowers were black baccara roses, because of the velvet texture, cotinus leaf for an autumnal barging feel, astranita star of love, deep blue delphinium, rosa lullaby and silver shadow for the romance. To really bring in the pale dreamy blue, we used oxypetalum to add and elevate the texture, we added pheasant feathers.

Vix from Wonderland Blooms says: “I’ve had a love affair with flowers all my life. Working with florals, brides and venues, bringing dreams of romance alive is my dream job. Although 2020 has not been the year we all planned, I have had time to work on my own growing patch and now offer flowers wholesale to both florists and DIY brides in a small and sustainable way. We have seasonal homegrown flowers, pollinated by our bees. This year has also highlighted the sense of community that we thrive in, as individuals and solo-preneurs, we are all growing together and creating bonds and friendships, an invaluable positive to take from this year.”

Sasha Lee offers couples natural wedding photography. For our shoot, it was all about romantic documentation rather than structured shots. Sasha is happiest observing and being un-intrusive – essentially letting people be themselves and capturing real memories from that and it worked so well for us.

Laura Lindsay Weddings & Events is stylist based in Knaresborough, with over ten years in the wedding and events industry, and five years running a successful wedding styling business. As well as providing wedding planning packages, she offers a range of products available for hire from chair covers with a range of sashes and table centre pieces.

Bluebell Press provided the stationery for the shoot. They’re based in Nottingham and help couples create their perfect invitations and matching stationery without breaking the bank, taking inspiration by the way weddings move with fashions.

Grace Holly Designs from Darlington offers bespoke clay keepsakes for every occasion. All keepsakes are designed, cut and sanded by hand.


The dresses were provided by Holly Ann from Elite Bridal in Hull, Castleford and Brighouse, who carry over 3,500 gowns in sizes 6-26, meaning brides can try on their dream dress in the right size on their first appointment.

The black outfits were provided by the models and myself. I wanted to give the shoot a princess feel, as every bride wants to feel special on their day. The black outfits brought the dark glamour, showing that a) you don’t have to wear white on your day and b) your wedding attire is what you make it!

The first gown, MAB27 was worn by Sarah. This gown is the ultimate princess dress. Encrusted with beading on the bodice, the sparkles melt into a full tulle princess skirt. The sweetheart neckline and nipped in V-cut waist is beautifully flattering, enhanced with a full corset back.

KEL46, worn by Ella, is a beautiful chiffon gown that has a simple lace bodice from the front, with all the drama at the back. The plunging detail and sheer illusion lace in the back, combined with the delicately pooling chiffon train, create a stunning look on any aisle.

ANG67 was also worn by Sarah. This simple fit and flare gown is pure ivory crepe and hugs the figure beautifully. The exquisite lace detailing in the illusion back leads down to a show-stopping detachable lace train.

Finally, JOY01 was worn by Ella. This stunning fishtail gown is all about the fit. The fit and flare cut is form-fitting down to just above the knees, then flares out to a stunning appliqué ivory train embellished with beautiful lace scallop detail. Stunning lace appliqués decorate this gown’s beautiful bodice, from the point where she skims the bride’s knee up to the stunning sweetheart neckline. Delicate beaded straps lead up and over the shoulder, forking to form a beautiful detail then leading to a simple low V-cut in the back.


Glammed by Pam, a professional make up artist based in Leeds, West Yorkshire worked on our shoot.

For the colours Pam went with something romantic on Ella the model. She wanted to capture the true essence of her natural beauty, so the skin and lips were kept as natural as possible and then we added a bit of glamour to the eye just to mark the special occasion. With Sarah she really wanted the makeup to capture the dramatic feel of the shoot. So we went with a bold dark lip that captured the look of the alternative bride, a bride that isn’t afraid to step out of the norm to be her true self. It was a lot of fun!

The model’s hair needed to have minimal fuss and styling, due to the accessories they’d be wearing. Ella’s hair was slicked back into a bun but I wanted to take full advantage of Sarah’s stunning red hair and have loose curls.


The morning of the shoot, I was still sewing the last bits to a caplet, so it was all systems go! COVID restrictions meant we had limited numbers at the venue, so hair and makeup prep were done prior to leaving.

I’d spent weeks working on each piece, worried it wasn’t all going to come together, but in the end it was amazing and the fact that the weather was decent for September was an added bonus. Main highlight of the shoot was using smoke bombs. I wanted a dramatic over the top ending on the shoot and the photographer ensured she captured that perfect moment.

Despite the year that we have all had, Opal Bridal Accessories is launching a new website in the New Year, so keep a look out for that!

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