A magical Christmas wedding shoot in Dorset

13 Nov 2018

Kayleigh Hartey of Exclusively Yours Bridal Boutique in Dorset shares the concept and creation of this Christmas-themed shoot which even featured a Swarovski crystal rocking horse

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?

With the cold air setting in, I wanted Christmas to come a little earlier as it’s my favourite time of year. Once September is out of the way, that’s it for me... Christmas. What better way to get the decorations out early, than to pop it all together with a bunch of amazing people and create some Christmas magic? The majority of couples tend to go for the peak summer months for their wedding, but a winter wedding can be just as beautiful – if not more so, and that's what we tried to convey with the shoot. 

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Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen.

The setting was Milton Abbey in Dorset and what a glorious venue it is too. I absolutely adore the history behind it, the drama it possesses and the incredible architecture. It’s one of those venues that has endless possibilities. The only thing it was missing for this shoot was a blanket of snow. But no matter how much I wished, it just didn’t come true.

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What did you choose for the flower arrangements?

I wanted a classic botanical design to go with the winter theme and Jessica Hillier Floral Design delivered this flawlessl.  Keeping the palette soft and light, Jessica created a stunning textural archway, beaming with a variety of foliages - the perfect frame for Blossom Dream Cakes’ winter creations. This was accommpanied by soft touches of asparagus fern and eucalyptus flowing off the archway and a foliage garland to fill the ledge of the fireplace. A simple yet effective way of bringing some warmth to a winter wedding.

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What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride?

Our stunning model, Lauren, was just perfect for this shoot. Despite having never modelled before, she was a total pro. Dress wise, I chose a stunning Phoenix princess gown, with a lace off-the-shoulder neckline, duchess satin skirt and finished off with delicate buttons down the train. The perfect combination for our very own ice queen.

For the make-up, Mel from Bournemouth Bridal Hair and Makeup created a striking look perfect for a Christmas bride; silver sparkle on the lids smoked out and married with a classic red lip. One of this year's favourite boho hairstyles for long hair is a twisted ponytail and it looks perfect with the 'Narnia' headpiece from Tiaras by Becky and the stunning bespoke cathedral length snowflake veil created by our recommended seamstress and miracle worker – Chantelle Sophia.

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What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?

I wanted a clean, crisp look with plenty of sparkle and a Christmassy feel. It all stemmed from the silver embroidered lace tablecloth overlay that I stumbled across on Instagram and instantly fell in love with. I knew it would be perfect to help create what I wanted to achieve. Said overlay belonged to Fundoo Weddings & Events, who very kindly let me loose in their Aladdin’s cave of goodies. What with the snowflake stationery by Lily & Lottie Stationery and the classic table settings provided by Swingletree Vintage, it was perfect. I was also lucky enough to have world renowned Swarovski designers bring one of their famous crystal rocking horses which sat beautifully under the tree. 

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Get the look:

Swarovski crystal rocking horse: Fernandes Exquisite Creations, www.fernandesexquisitecreations.com
Dress and bolero: Exlusively Yours Bridal Boutique, www.facebook.com/exclusivelyyoursbridalboutique/  
Table settings: Swingletree Vintage, www.swingletreevintage.co.uk 
Seamstress: Chantelle Sophia, www.chantellesophia.com 
Photography: Photos by Jim, www.photosbyjim.co.uk
Hair and make-up: Bournemouth Bridal Hair and Make-up, www.bournemouthbridalmakeup.com
Floristry: Jessica Hillier Floral Design, www.jessicahillier.co.uk
Stationery: Lily & Lottie Stationery, www.lilyandlottieweddingstationery.co.uk
Tablecloth: Fundoo Weddings and Events, www.fundooweddings.co.uk
Cake: Blossom Dream Cakes, www.blossomdreamcakes.co.uk
Headpiece: Tiaras By Becky, www.tiarasbybecky.co.uk
Poem on the mirror: Poetry by Keli Anne, www.facebook.com/keliannepoetry
Model: Lauren Ward-Soylemez

For more Dorset wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride magazine

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