A Gothic vintage inspiration shoot

It’s Friday – so that makes it nearly party time for most of you exciting lot (not for me – I’m tucked up in bed with the flu – sob!) So I thought I’d put something a little different up – something dark, exciting and Gothic! This was submitted to me by the very lovely Sue Page of Ice the Cake and shot by Frank Millar. I’ve handed over to Sue to tell you about the inspiration behind the pictures!

Ice the Cake is an online boutique sourcing ‘Every Ingredient for your Wedding’.  With handmade products and cherry picked services from those who are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service, their online wedding consultancy has plenty to inspire, enabling you to create an unruffled wedding day that is personally bespoke to you.

I started the company just over a year ago as a place for people to thank suppliers who gave a service that was above and beyond their expectations, but that has quickly evolved into me creating a supplier network with over 250 members and growing.  So what better way to showcase such a talented group of individuals than with a massive photo shoot?  On Thursday 24th May, I organised my first ever styled shoot.  Set on the outskirts of the pretty village of Cassington and in amongst the picturesque scenery of the Cotswolds, is a brand new Wedding Venue -WortonPark.  This idyllic location that is so charming you feel at home before you even open the front door.

When wedding photographer Frank Millar and I visited the venue prior to the shoot, we were both completely smitten with the warmth and homeliness of the The Rectory.  With it’s old fireplaces and amazing kitchen I felt we were being transported back in time, so it was natural for us to head towards a vintage theme.  However, from the outside the rectory with it’s high walled gardens and stone brick work meant that we felt there was an opportunity to not be traditionally ‘pretty’.  We therefore settled on ‘Gothic Vintage’.  The building itself has so many possibilities and it would be easy to style it to suit many traditional themes (in fact we have, but you’ll have to wait later in the year to see our Christmas shoot!), but on this occasion I had the desire to capture something a bit different.  So with the help of the very talented Joyce Connor from Brides & Beauty, we decided on a make up look that was much more defined than a the traditional bridal colour palette of browns and creams.  We wanted something more edgy so with smoky eyes and bold purple lipstick we set about creating a more dramatic look (although you will also see a softer versions in some of the photos).

The dresses were provided by Butterfly Bridal Boutique which is located in Bicester, Oxfordshire.  Rachel the owner know’s I love different styles of dresses and I left them for her to choose with my only stipulation that they had to have lots of lace (I love lace!).  Her shortlist was perfect and we are lucky that she works with some fabulous dress designers.  Her choices included: the stunning ‘Champagne’ a mermaid design by Blue by Enzoani; a beautiful sweetheart neckline by Alexia Designs and an amazing halterneck by Diane Harbridge.

To soften the overall look I chose the colour peach; I love how peach and black compliment each other so I decided to use those colours on the cake.  Melissa from The Cake Boutique inReadingcreated an elegant 3 tiered cake with black lace and handmade flower paste black roses.  I had given her an idea of what I was hoping to include and was delighted when I saw her creation – it was exactly as I had imagined!

Rather than choosing traditional flowers I wanted to look at the array of alternatives that are now available and this exquisite antique button bouquet hand designed by I Heart Buttons was the perfect solution.  I love the fact that with button and crystal bouquets you can keep them forever and pass them on as family heirlooms.  Such a wonderful idea – plus it gives you the opportunity to incorporate your ‘something old’ and even your ‘something blue’.

The stunning hair comb handmade by Claire Ogden Designs also incorporated elements of peach and rustic metals which finished the look perfectly.  I am a huge fan of Claire’s work.  Her designs are always finished with exceptional attention to detail and I love that you can see her personality in her designs – she really does have incredible style, which is why she was an obvious choice for me when I decided on a ‘Gothic Vintage’ look.

The flowers and candles provided by Signature Flowers by Emma Newman were actually made onsite that morning!  Emma is incredibly talented and is set to be part of an ‘elite’ group of florists as she is currently studying for her Masters Diploma, which once qualified will mean she will be one of the first 100 English Master Florists.  We kept the flowers for this shoot quite simple – big red pillar candles, striking cala lilies and beautiful roses plus lots of petals.

All images © Frank Millar 

The Team:

Stylist & Creative Director: Ice the Cake
Photography: Frank Millar Photography
Venue: WortonPark, Oxfordshire
Wedding Dress Boutique:  Butterfly Bridal Boutique
Wedding Dress Designers: Mermaid – “Champagne” by Blue by Enzoani
Sweetheart – Alexia Designs
Halter Neck – “Melissa” by Diane Harbridge
Button Bouquet: I Heart Buttons
Cake: The Cake Boutique
Hair Accessories: Claire Ogden Designs
Flowers: Signature Flowers by Emma Newman
Make Up: Brides & Beauty
Models: Daisy Welch & Madeleine Hill

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