Immaculate, striped lawns and a wrought iron gazebo surrounded by ancient woodlands and plush rhododendrons set the scene, paired with wild floral bouquets and sensual textures of velvet, sheepskin and pheasant feathers for something altogether opulent.
The bride and groom’s classic, elegant attire further accentuates this alluring decadence, with botanical touches of intertwining leaves and crystal flowers working harmoniously with the venue’s splendorous gardens and cascading lilac wisteria backdrop.
The team at Eshott Hall tells us more…
With images by Sean Elliott Photography.
Models: Alex Winstone of Boss Models, and Sarah Jordan
The shoot was created to show off the timeless, Georgian beauty of Eshott Hall, its classical appeal and how varied and photogenic its outdoor spaces are. We also wished to convey that the venue is a little bohemian in style too, so that bridal couples can have fun at the venue and let their hair down a bit and be a little playful with the space! The venue is dog friendly too, and this is demonstrated beautifully by Wizz, who has rather a lot of hair to let down himself!
Each season is truly magical here at Eshott Hall, especially in the summertime, the house comes into its own, with its botanical signature – cascades of lilac wisteria, tumbling down its honey stone walls, making it perhaps one of the most photogenic country house venues in the north.
The heady fragrance of English garden roses contributes to the sensual delight of this garden. Beyond the immaculate, striped lawns and walled kitchen garden is a Victorian fernery, with its wrought iron gazebo, with ancient woodlands wrapped around it, carpeted by lush magenta rhododendrons.
We chose to collaborate with local suppliers who we felt complemented the quality and style of the venue, and the look we wished to create and also those who shared a similar target audience too.
Timing was important for us and we wanted to capture the bloom of the wisteria, as when the blossoms are out, Eshott becomes awe inspiring, draped with this heavy fragrant curtain of blooms, the perfect canvas for our English rose bride.
Captured by one of the North East’s most acclaimed photographers, Sean Elliott, stills unfold like scenes from a vintage film, evoking halcyon days spent languishing on the lawn, sipping gin cocktails, perhaps even a game of tennis or croquet?
Floristry and styling was courtesy of Charlotte Harris, creative director of The Finishing Touch Company. Inspired by the theme, Charlotte selected wild flowers including peonies, veronica, viburnum, jasmine, cow parsley, flowering mint, astilbe, blushing bride, nigella, agapanthus and Mont rose to create a loose, hand-tie bouquet, with flowing ribbons of sage velvet, and lilac and silver satin, and a groom’s floral buttonhole with pheasant feather detail.
Texture was really important, as well as colour in styling the shoot – to soften it and make it rather sensual. Wizz the Afghan Hound, handled by breeder Sue Virgo, was the cherry on the cake, as were the crystal geodes that added a touch of hippy chic, again to relax the shoot and make it more inviting.
The chaise longue room scene particularly captures those perfect summer days, with the lace-delicate white wisteria backdrop, enhanced with a vintage collection of amethyst crystals, cut glass and decorative china, in hues inspired by the garden’s blooms in soft ivory, dusty pink, purple, lime and dark green tones. Sensual textures of velvet and sheepskin add to the opulence.
Hanging hoops bedecked with delphiniums and lilac Limonium, with other flowers too from the wildflower selection decorating the rattan seat pod beneath the cypress tree, continue the colour palette, whilst symbolising eternity and lasting love.
Later in the day, we gravitated to the library, with its gentleman’s club ambience, antique leather chairs, burgundy red décor and decorative open fireplace.
Our bride and groom models were accompanied by adorable Afghan Hound, Wizz, sporting his own stylish collar and lead from Dog Moda.
Sarah wore Heaton, an off-the-shoulder Wtoo by Watters gown from Leigh Hetherington Bridal Wear, with a dainty chiffon sleeve and a lingerie-lace, fitted corset bodice and soft tulle full skirt with a sweeping train, worn with a full-length veil, trimmed with decorative French lace.
Accessories included a gold circlet, entwined with lilac and pale green crystals and stones, inspired by the Greek classics, with a matching jewelled ribbon belt.
Sally Minns of Master Debonair, styled Alex in navy chinos and a heather, linen tweed blazer by Herbie Frogg, with a Grandad-style collared, crisp white shirt by Marc Darcy, worn with London Brogues, to complement the bridal trousseau and classic styling of the shoot.
We chose these outfits to reflect a classical and elegant look, which complemented the glorious setting of the venue with its bountiful façade, walled gardens, fernery and meadow.
The botanical theme was ever present in the floral decorative touches on the bride’s belt and headpiece, the intertwining leaves and crystal flower heads, the buttonhole of the groom, the heather coloured tweed blazer – even violet infused gin and rose and violet creams on the table setting and that fabulously wild look bouquet.
Our bride’s makeup look created by makeup artist Cydney Beasley, is strong and sultry with monochromatic shades of burgundy, accentuated by a deep burgundy matte lip and highlighted cheekbones. What a ‘wow’ result – Cyd certainly knew how to orchestrate the ‘look’.
Due to the romance of the shoot setting and the historical references as described, and mythological elements, it just made sense to have her hair long, flowing and with a natural curl, which stylist Tina Elliott made look effortlessly natural and really volumised our model’s natural hair texture and added shine. It was futuristic yet ancient at the same time.
Alex, our groom, is blessed with beautiful thick textured hair, and again this was important for the look of the shoot – English, classically boyish good looks and polished charm.
There were some nerves with the weather, as always for working outdoors in British summertime and also, whether there would be ‘chemistry’ between our bride and groom, as they had never met before.
On the day though the magic happened, and the shoot just seemed to unfold and gather a life all of its own. At times the shoot went ‘off piste’, for example the shots in the fernery were not planned, neither were the shots in front of the white wisteria but it just all came together– not least due to the exuberance of Sean Elliott.
We started off slowly and cautiously as a fledgling team, but then it all seemed to just organically unfold. Highlights include the images taken in the fernery as it was so precarious to navigate for our model in her heels, but the way the light was shining through the trees was just magical, almost divine.
Wizz stole the show – the unashamedly regal Afghan Hound displayed impeccable manners throughout the shoot, he was very much at home in this elegant setting.
The intimate nature of the house, with only eleven bedrooms in the main hall, and four bedrooms within the self-catering cottages, three new stable bedrooms, and a further six bedrooms in The Grange, makes it an ideal size to host an ‘exclusive use’ country house wedding. Family and friends can enjoy the charms of this venue and its idyllic surroundings to create their own lasting memories.
Furthermore, the grounds at Eshott are about to become even more enchanting with the restoration of a wild swimming pond in the woodlands, dating back to when the Hall was a privately-owned country pile (originally for the Bainbridge family of department store fame). This decorative pond had statues all around the perimeter, which are perhaps able to be restored as part of a renovation project now underway – the team can feel an ‘Ophelia-based’ brief coming up soon, so watch this space!
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