Taking inspiration from winter fairytales and characters like the Ice Queen, this North Wales-based bridal shoot shows that the winter months can be magical too
Amelia Gale-Hasleham from The Perfect Day Photography takes us behind the scenes of her winter fairytale inspired bridal shoot. Characters such as the Ice Queen and Winter Faerie were the influence behind the elegant, graceful, and beautiful styling.
What was the theme behind the shoot?
Portraying a narrative within my photography is part of my style, and it felt right to take inspiration from winter fairy tales to tell the story of a winter bride. There was also inspiration from fashion photography, to help portray elegance and grace within the photographs.
When organising this photo shoot with Debbie, a wedding planner who runs Lace & Forever Ltd, we decided to put something together to show newly-engaged couples a time of year to get married that holds its own magic. Winter is usually overlooked as a season for weddings, and we wanted to show how a winter wedding has its own unique beauty. Overall, planning this photo shoot with Lace & Forever Ltd was an absolute joy and I can’t wait to plan more photo shoots with her in the future!
Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen.
When it came to planning the photo shoot, Debbie and I thought about locations during our initial meeting to discuss themes and ideas. Once we agreed on the theme of a winter bride, it was easy to choose Soughton Hall as the location. Soughton Hall is such a beautiful and dramatic venue for a wedding with so much history: it almost has its own story to tell, which fits in with the theme of winter fairy tales. I met up with Annie Bickerton to discuss the photo shoot, and when I was shown around I knew it was perfect. The ceremony room with the royal blue and gold wallpaper made the perfect backdrop and I knew we couldn’t have found a better location.
What did you choose for the flower arrangements?
For the flower arrangements, we got in touch with Jane from Inflorescence. After looking at our colour scheme she put together freedom roses, white bouvardia, red and white hypericum berries, peach standard carnations, bronze pompom blooms, and dusty miller (silver foliage), finishing the floral design with folded dracaena leaves.
What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride?
As we had three dresses from Aristocrats of Chester, we wanted to achieve three different looks to fit with the taste of three different brides. For hair styling, we worked with Karen Ogilve, who knew what hairstyles worked best for each look and created beautiful looks any bride to be would love.
For the first look, we had Louise wearing a glamorous fishtail dress, paired with Hollywood curls pinned back with a crystal embellished hairpiece along with a single tier veil for some of the photographs. This look was inspired by Blake Lively at the LA premiere of Savages.
For our second look, Louise wore an A-Line dress which any bride-to-be who loves a classic look would adore. Matched with a fur shrug, and a pretty hair clip at the back of a gentle half-up/half-down hairstyle, we wanted to show a romantic and sweet look.
Our final look was inspired by a bohemian bride, with a fitted, backless lace dress and a long train. We finished the look with a braided up-do, embellished with jewelled hairpins and a two tier veil. We kept the make-up versatile throughout the photo-shoot: Louise wore a mixture of cream, silver and grey on her eyes, with a berry tint to her lips to complement the jewel tones in the flowers, decor and cake.
What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?
As this theme was winter based, we focused on jewel tones with hints of light colours for the colour scheme. The main colours used were shades of blue, red, burgundy and gold with highlights of cream. When we saw the colours used for the interior of Soughton Hall, we decided on using contrasting colours that would compliment the location. To help complete the look of the photo shoot, we used certain props to help create the story in the photographs.
We teamed up with Tilly’s Cake Company to create a beautiful three tier mock-up cake which suited all three styles of the bride in the photographs. We had the little delicate flowers which fitted in with the bohemian bride; the gilded, intricate patterns that matched the glamorous look; and the roses paired with ribbon and pearl effect icing moulded well with the classic bridal look.
For the invitations we worked with Essar Aitch, who created three beautiful designs, and focused on shades of red, gold and silver. Her designs were elegant, and would suit the taste of any bride. To complete the look, we used floral designs from Inflorescence, which included a bouquet and an adjustable wreath.
What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?
To accessorise the looks, we used a variety of hair accessories and veils to suit each look. We used a variety of jewel incrusted hair pins, firstly to create a glamorous, Hollywood inspired hairstyle, and secondly, to finish off, a half-up/half-down hairstyle.
For the Hollywood glamour look, we used a long, single tier veil: anything more on top would have looked excessive and imbalanced against the fishtail skirt at the bottom. For the second look we used the fur shrug and a short two tiered veil. The fur shrug suited the shape of the A-line skirt. The third look had an intricate hairstyle with braids, so we used simple accessories such as a single tier veil and jewelled hair pins to finish the bohemian up-do.
Get the look:
Photography & Editing: The Perfect Day Photography
Wedding Planner: Lace & Forever Ltd
Model: Louise Weir
Cake: Tilly’s Cake Company
Dresses & Accessories (veils, hair pieces): Aristocrats of Chester
Hair & Styling: Karen Ogilvie
Invitations: Essar Aitch
Location: Soughton Hall