Styled Shoot


Sarah Symonds

When Zoe from Treasured Brides collaborated with Thicket Priory on a gorgeous, delicate pink shoot, we knew the gowns would be good. If you’re starting to think about the kind of bride you might be, you won’t want to miss this…

Treasured Brides, a beautiful bridal boutique based in the countryside just outside York, carries some of our favourite designers and styles, and today’s styled shoot is the picture perfect way to showcase the variety of looks and cuts lucky brides-to-be can choose from if they’re in the North Yorkshire area.

Captured in the most stunning light by Carla Whittingham and styled by award-winning MUA Sonia Schofield, the models display a little something for everyone. Throw in the unbelievably pretty and rustic Thicket Priory as an ethereal backdrop, with an abundance of photogenic locations around the venue, you’re going to simply swoon over this styling magic.

With images by Carla Whittingham Photography

ZOE SAID: I wanted to do a shoot to showcase some of my boutique’s stunning new gowns. With so many options in Treasured Brides, I chose gowns that highlighted the versatility we offer. I don’t believe brides want to trawl lots of shops with their entourage nowadays. I believe most want to go to a boutique with a great choice of stunning gowns, and once they’ve found “The One”, they still feel they have explored all options, styles and silhouettes. Brides leave my boutique feeling confident that they have made the right choice. 

I wanted to add in a unique element, one with a touch of ballet to certain looks within the shoot, working with model Jess, who has a background in ballet. This introduced more movement to the gowns. Set against the breathtaking setting of Thicket Priory, I hoped for the images to evoke elegance, grace and romance. With flowing layers of tulle, sparkling details and pink tones, the selection of dresses had a very subtle nod to the dresses worn by ballerinas on stage.

I then wanted to contrast this against a more edgy, chic and modern style for other parts of the shoot, using a different style of hair, makeup and photography to create different ‘looks’. When brides come to my boutique I prepare them for the fact that they are very likely to find The One! I wanted the shoot to show that not only are my gowns stunning, but that I stock a bit of everything and not just one style. 

I feel at my boutique it’s not just about finding your gown, it’s finding the bride you want to be on your day! Are you a princess bride, a boho bride, a sexy bride – no amount of Pinterest searching will show you this, you have to try all these gowns on to be sure! In each image from this shoot our model looks stunning but as a completely different bride.

Treasured Brides not only holds a stunning collection of beautiful bridal gowns but also carries a beautiful collection of occasion wear for the Mother of The Bride and other guests. Sharing the same ethos as bridal, all my ladies are encouraged to try on a selection to find the dress that feels perfect for them. 

Carla, a wedding photographer from North Yorkshire, captures the real moments, emotion and special details, keeping it simple with no awkward posing. She works in an unobtrusive style creating modern yet timeless photographs so she was perfect for our shoot.


The location was ALWAYS going to be Thicket Priory. I have a very special, ongoing relationship with the venue and their team and it was the perfect backdrop for my gowns. Our model Jess, is a wedding coordinator at Thicket Priory too – so it was even more perfect to have it there. Thicket Priory gave us so many photographic options to show off the dresses, make up and different styles of photography. The Buckingham Suite was perfect to use for some of the gowns and the preparation shots. The ballroom gave us the most amazing light to play with, whilst the morning room provided a wonderful backdrop to show off Jess’s ballerina skills. This is before we even started outside!! For couples, it’s fantastic to see a venue with so many photographic options inside and out.


The selection of gowns chosen included designers stocked at Treasured Brides; Essense of Australia, Evie Young, Monica Loretti, Daniela Di Marino and Richard Designs. I wanted to showcase a mixture of silhouettes, styles, colours and fabrics. These gowns are a wonderful cross section of gowns available at the boutique. I like my brides to try on a variety of styles to help them find what they are looking for. 


Sonia Schofield is an amazing HMU artist and can fulfil any bride’s desire for their requested look for their day. The ‘natural’ style of makeup is widely requested by brides, looking to accentuate their favourite features whilst still looking like themselves. We wanted to represent this within the shoot, highlighting Sonia’s amazing skill of getting that “natural” look, balanced with long lasting coverage. 

For the shoot, Sonia chose to use a combination of lavender, pale pink and amethyst tones to really bring out Jess’s eyes and match with her skin tone. Jess has amazing cheekbones, so by adding a bright, pink blush it really helped them stand out whilst adding a pop of colour. To finish the natural look, a glossy shade of raspberry and peach were added to her lips. The makeup was light but long lasting. 

For the hair we wanted to create two different looks so brides can see different options. In the first part of the shoot the hair was styled down in loose waves, curled in different directions to give a tousled relaxed look, perfect for the relaxed bride with a more ‘boho’ vibe and complementing the natural makeup.

Then Sonia swept the hair up into a soft high bun for the second part of the shoot, leaving wispy strands pulled out to frame the face, suiting a bride looking to be effortlessly glam, elegant and chic.


As predicted on the day the shoot went amazingly well. The weather was gorgeous and the perfect day for a photoshoot, with beautiful morning light streaming through the enormous windows. Our aim was to create two HMU looks, photograph at least three gowns in various spots within the venue and for Carla to try out some new photographic styles. With prior planning and working as a team, together we achieved this and more.  

Seeing Jess doing her ballet in my gowns was so special. Sometimes the unexpected just takes your breath away. Also proving that you do not have to be restricted to the style of gown you choose based on the venue you choose. When searching for the perfect gown, you have to choose what is ultimately right for you. If you feel amazing, you will look the best version of yourself on your special day.

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