Two words I’ve been hearing quite often as we approach 2019 are ‘heirloom’ and ‘heritage’ – brides and grooms are looking more to our culture and history than ever before, for inspiration for wedding styling. ‘Vintage’ as a source of wedding ideas is still hugely popular, with couples now looking for venues with their own character and unique history. So this inspirational feature from Doxford Hall has to be one of my favourite shoots of ALL TIME! It’s a perfect fit for English Wedding too of course, with a nod to Jane Austen and such delightful styling touches! The calligraphy is mine – I’m so proud to have been a part of such a beautiful photoshoot (and my paper goodies get to visit such wonderful places!)
Crafted from mellow stone, with its formal gardens and manicured lawns, featuring Europe’s largest yew tree maze, Doxford Hall is a dreamy, romantic and photogenic venue, and Northumbria’s only four red star wedding venue. To celebrate its bicentenary, a creative team channelled their love of beautiful things and shared passion for the finer things in life, to create a Jane Austen-inspired styled bridal shoot to capture the elegance and romance of this beautiful country wedding venue.
At the heart of the team is wedding photographer Katy Melling (www.katymelling.com) Her images pay homage to the essence of the history and the bucolic setting of this country venue. Our brunette model, Laura, features throughout in an ivory Empire-line bias cut silk gown, overlaid in fine tulle, and trimmed with decorative French Chantilly lace, pearl detail and dainty, mink velvet ribbon by V V Rouleaux. Dress design by Sarah Kelly (www.MiaBridal.co.uk) from Carlisle.
Katy’s work, epitomised by her signature of natural light and ethereal style, perfectly captures the mood of the shoot and the Hall’s magnificent gardens and grounds, where photo opportunities and magic moments abound; including the terraced formal gardens, the stone terrace and balustrade with far-reaching pastoral views, a grand carriage entrance way with sundial, and enchanting secret walled garden.
The love story and romantic yearning is enhanced with a glimpse of a love letter from Darcy, presented by calligrapher Claire Gould (www.bymoonandtide.com). Bridal accessories include delicate cameo earrings, along with a seed-pearl and aquamarine engagement ring and hair ribbons, hand-dyed with natural pigments by Kate Cullen.
The wedding breakfast shot in the Frank Henry Mason reception room, illustrates the decadence and indulgent feasting that would have accompanied such a celebration, with original fine bone china (www.Everythingstopsfortea.com) showing off fashionable Regency-inspired deserts and sweetmeats, enhanced with billowing English country garden-style floral arrangements by Helen Mawson (Belsflowers.co.uk) who also styled the exquisite hand-tied bouquet, both arrangements contained spray roses, lilac roses from David Austen, ranunculus, jasmine, rosemary, sweet peas and Dusty Miller, tied with hydrangea velvet ribbon (www.katecullen.co.uk)
The table setting is suitably enhanced with an antique brass ewer, table runners, napkins and ribbons by Kate Cullen, with the ruched ribbon, featured on the Charlotte Russe dessert, by V V Rouleaux.
Preparing for her wedding day, our model wears a blush silk chemise by Ghost, styled with an oriental style kimono, heavily embroidered with pastel silk in a floral design, just one of the many beautiful pieces in the shoot, sourced by Fran Boyd (GoodbyeNormaJean) who also helped to style the shoot.
Laura’s hair is styled by Tina Elliott (www.tinaelliott.co.uk) tousled with ribbons in the boudoir, and then swept into an elegant Regency updo, with braid trim. Danielle Hall (www.danimua.com) created an initial English Rose, dewy look for the boudoir, which was then enhanced with a smoky eye to add allure to Laura’s bridal make up and complement her porcelain complexion and cornflower blue eyes.
Meet the wedding creatives – Doxford Hall:
Katy is an award-winning photographer based in Newcastle. Katy’s work is inspired by her love of fine art and favours light airy, thoughtful compositions and she specialises in weddings, engagement, newborn, baby and family photography, preferring to shoot outdoors as much as possible.
Wedding Gown (www.MiaBridal.co.uk)
Couture bridal designer and wedding gown retailer, Sarah Kelly is the owner of Mia Bridal in Carlisle. Sarah’s designs are inspired by her fashion design degree and work as a BBC costume designer, so she was the perfect choice to design our Regency gown.
Helen Mawson has been specialising in wedding flowers for over a decade and favours English country blooms with a delicate hue and a heady scent, she is based in Newcastle
Vintage Fashion and Styling (www.goodbyenormajean.co.uk)
Fran Boyd is a vintage fashion aficionado and stylist, who brought both treasures and her styling gifts to our shoot. You can purchase many beautiful things from Fran via her vintage fashion fayres which she attends regularly all over the UK, see Facebook page for latest details.
Tina has over 25 years experience in hairstyling with 10 of those years specialising in bridal and editorial. Her work has been featured on the front cover of regional bridal titles on more than one occasion and she has worked on numerous photo shoots showcased in well-known wedding blogs etc… Her work takes her all over the North East where she strives to make sure her brides look their most amazing on their special day!
Make Up (www.danimua.com)
Danielle Hall is a well established and award winning North East make-up artist (Voted one of the UK’s Top 50 Make Up Artists by Go Hen Blog, 2017) Based in Newcastle, she specialises in bridal and modelling work, bringing a fresh vision and passion to her artistry. She has a wealth of experience in all areas of make-up artistry but specialises in bridal and editorial work.
Kate’s hand-dyed velvet ribbons were used throughout the shoot for the bride’s hair, bouquet and napkins along with her beautiful table linens and antique artefacts – based in the Cotswolds, Kate has an eye for beauty, curating treasures and making textiles and paper, she is both a leading stylist and teacher in the art of editorial styling techniques.
Decorative ribbons (www.vvrouleaux.com)
The decorative ribbon on a dessert, and the finishing ribbon trim accessory on the bridal gown were by V V Rouleaux, a modern day haberdashery with shops in London and Bath which provide inspirations to the fashion, home interiors and a dash of theatre with their wonderful collections of ribbons, braids, tassels, feathers, flowers and decorations.
Claire Gould is based in the Lakes and is an expert calligrapher, available to create wedding stationery, and also to purchase prints, homeware and other wonderfully unique and personal gifts, all inspired by this art form.
This Derbyshire-based company specialises in the online hire and sale of decorative vintage and antique china, from the mid eighteenth century to the mid twentieth century.
Sugared almonds (www.ukweddingfavours.co.uk)
Sugared almonds supplied by this online business who have been specialising in the design, making and delivering of wedding favours for over twenty years.