One styled shoot, two eco-friendly looks and lots of style inspiration at a Norfolk wedding venue
10 Mar 2021
The team behind these styled shoots at Wellington Wood focused on sustainability and how you can feature this in your day, showcasing a wildflower meadow style alongside a forest elopement style. Lois from Willow Tree Weddings tells us how they did it
Photography: Kate Boston Photography
What was the inspiration behind the shoot?
I wanted the shoot to represent all the diverse ways you can bring sustainability into your day, in a non-traditional way. I love to take inspiration from nature, so I was looking for an outdoor venue from the start. Anybody that knows me, will know I love to get a few looks into the day to show how versatile we all are and allow each of our wonderful suppliers an opportunity to really flex their creative muscles. I teamed up with Eleanor from Events by Eleanor to pull in some more inspiration and we got to work. The first look was a wildflower theme, full of fresh and dried flowers and packed full of personality.
The second look was a forest elopement style; being eco-conscious is one of my core values, but I wanted to break the ‘green and white’ mould, and show sustainability doesn’t mean boring. We wanted it to feel as though our couple had run away to elope, hiding in the forest, stealing kisses when nobody was looking.
Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen
Wellington Wood is an eco-friendly venue and I absolutely fell in love with their whole ethos. They compare themselves to support ponies – I mean, how could you not love that?
From the moment I saw the versatility of the space, I knew this was the venue for us. I thought it would be amazing to show couples how they could have two totally different looks for their day, within the same space and using the same suppliers – we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves. I wanted to showcase the natural beauty of the venue, and how you can use every inch of space. We went for a tour with the venue owner Vicky, and couldn’t stop pointing out different ideas, it really is a wonderful venue. However, the gorgeous natural wildflower meadow and rich fern forest surrounding the venue is what stole our hearts this time.
What did you choose for the flower arrangements?
The incredible Millie from Millie Rose flowers created a stunning wildflower bouquet for the first shoot, and a statement crown for the evening – because who has time to hold a bouquet when you’re dancing the night away? I love to create really detailed stories for each shoot, and provide a mood board for each supplier so I sent across the flower one to Millie and away she went. The aim was to capture a real whimsical feeling of ‘freshly picked’ flowers from the garden/meadow. To achieve this, Millie used a mixture of beautiful seasonal flowers which included scabiosa, Tanacetum, astilbe, garden style roses, helenium, crocosmia, seed pods, grasses, different textured foliage, finished with trailing silt ribbons. We felt colour was an important element to include so that the bride’s bouquet stood out from her dress, so Millie incorporated different understated tones that would work really well together.
For the flower crown, Millie used the same flowers but in a more deliberate way to create a full statement that looked effortless.
What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride and groom?
The dresses were handpicked from Indie Bride as their ethos matched the shoot perfectly – they are for the free-spirited and environmentally conscious brides who want their most precious dress to have its own story. I worked with the bridal designer Miina to pick two dresses that showed personality and something a little different. The first was a long gown called Fiona made with Scottish lace. It has a green leaf print over it and really stood out as not only a stunning bridal dress, but something a little different – for a bride who wants her personality to shine through.
Emily from Emily Chantal Makeup kept the tones of the make-up muted and soft, with rust and rose hues to complement the bride's English rose/fair complexation and natural style wedding dress. Her key products were ‘Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow’ and ‘Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette’.
Sally-Kate hairstylist and founder of hair by Dubuox worked with the natural surroundings of Wellington Wood, taking in the meadows and the embroidery of the veil and neckline of the dress, keeping the model’s sun kissed auburn hair in a natural centre parting, while adding a loose natural curl. Using the BabylissPro curling tong in 24mm and alternating the direction of the curls added a natural texture and airiness which really complemented the details of the headpiece by PS with Love.
To amp up the look for night, Emily created more depth in the eye socket and darkened the lips with ‘NYX Mauve Lipliner’. On the cheeks she layered different textures of highlight (liquid, powder and pigment) to seamlessly blend the gold glitter from eco friendly company ‘luxurious glitter’.
Sally-Kate encompassed the ancient woodland and the fun free-spiritedness of the couple by opting for a bohemian up-do complementing the vintage mini dress and vibrant flower crown. The model’s hair was styled into two relaxed fishtail braids and knotted in a fun and carefree bun. The face framing tendrils added a soft and delicate touch in contrast to the splash of colour from the flowers, cohesively brought together by the make-up and fun of the eco glitter.
Our bride slipped into an A-line dress called Pixie with beautiful angel sleeves and boots, while the groom changed into a darker suit with a matching bold tie. We really wanted to show how you could transform your whole day look to an entirely different evening look if you wanted.
What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?
Almost all of the décor was from charity or vintage shops, and this was important for our sustainable approach. For the wildflower shoot, I wanted to create a really fun tablescape full of colour. The aim was to make it really informal, and so we set up a table in the middle of the meadow and filled it with coloured glass, textured cheesecloth table runners and detailed crockery. The wonderful Daisy from Smoke and Wildwood created a naked tipi for the ceremony, draped in beautiful recycled fabrics and vintage rugs, to create a defined space.
For the forest shoot, I wanted it to feel a bit moody, nestled in the ferns as if you just stumbled across it on an evening walk. Daisy set up this table, and it really felt like it became part of the surrounding nature. We focused on using rich brassy colours and jewelled green tones to make it feel luxurious and even our favours encapsulated nature whilst feeling personal to the couple and their guests.
The stationery was full of seeds and totally plantable, and she even foraged for leaves to decorate the table. The shoot was scaled back and intimate, to give the elopement feel.
Knowing what will work on the day is something you have to have an eye for and luckily, something I adore is pulling design concepts together. It’s not always about the larger items, but the smaller pieces that make the biggest impact - the flowers in the bride’s bouquet matched the Norfolk grown wildflowers on the cake. The embroidery on her veil, matched with the local flowers dried for confetti.
The rings used were actually made using the wood from Wellington’s estate – a perfect way to honour nature in this wedding.
What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?
We used a beautiful head piece handmade by Beverly from PS With Love. This gorgeous headpiece was called the ‘Willow’, inspired by the magical weeping willow tree. It has tiny handmade soft green florals and golden beaded buds, which worked so well with our leaf print Fiona dress.
What could be more fun than the UK’s only solar-powered horsebox photobooth? Our couple created some amazing memories in there, taking pictures with funny props and dancing away under the fairy lights. Plus – it’s carbon neutral and can be brought to any location – how unique is that?
One of the hero pieces for the whole shoot was the incredible embroidered veil from Anne-Marie Prescott bespoke veils, aptly named ‘Meadow’. Not only did it show a way to add some personality into your day, but we just could not stop taking pictures of it (I even managed to sneak it on when nobody was watching).
When I was thinking about a cake for this shoot I knew exactly who to go to – Charli from Mindful Cakes. Not only did she go the extra mile researching locally grown edible wildflowers to use, but she donates a percentage of her profits to mental health charities each year – amazing!
Steal Their Style
Photography: Kate Boston Photography
On location at: Wellington Wood
Wedding concept and planner: Willow Tree Weddings
Assistant planner: Events by Eleanor
Videography: Gecko Films
Stylist: Smoke & Wildwood
Props: Array Wedding and Event Hire
Hair Stylist: Hair by Duboux
MUA: Emily Chantal Makeup
Flowers: Millie Rose Floral Design
Cake: Mindful Cakes
Veil: Anne-Marie Prescot, Bespoke Veils
Dress: Indie Bride
Horsebox photobooth: The Little Horse Picture Box
Tableware: A Place Setting
Embroidered napkins: The Embroidered Napkin Company
Petal confetti: Mitre Farm
Stationery: Leuska Design
Bridal headwear: PS with Love
Wedding rings: Eco Wood Rings
Eco glitter: Luxurious Glitter
Favours: Bomb Cosmetics, Saxon Wellbeing
Wax melts: Bee Natural Wax Melts
Models: Cathy Wilson and William South
Celebrant: Jamie Walker