• Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pintrest
Creative Shoots

Willowby By Watters for an Intimate Styled Elopement Shoot at Holmfirth Vineyard

30th June 2020 | Sarah Symonds

This creative team had a beautiful vision of a couple eloping, against the elements, and marrying privately, intimately, pleasing only themselves.

A campervan and a vineyard in Yorkshire provided the perfect backdrop for this wild adventure. Some couples just cannot be tamed and, as the lovely Ellen from LND Events (and part of our UNVEILED Network!) explains, neither can the weather!

With all this decadence for a day just for two, you’d expect some of the minor details to be missing but there’s not a stone left unturned here. With a focus on textures, dried florals, natural tones and personal touches, Ellen and her dream team of suppliers have created an idyllic escape for the couple who need no one else. Sheer bridal magic!

Wedding couples, we reckon you’re about to go crazy for this look…

With images by Littles & Loves Photography


Ellen says: Fran had wanted to do an elopement shoot for a few months and it’s actually her mum, Kate, who owns the campervan, so it seemed perfect to combine the two. When Fran asked me to help finalise the concept and bring suppliers on board, I wanted it to be less about the couple doing this to perhaps save money, but rather just because they are so in love, they’re having everything for themselves, for their eyes only.


What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?! Fran and I are very similar, when we get an idea, we want to go for it! The trouble was this idea came up in winter and we wanted to focus on the outside of a van and bring a bit of desert meets Yorkshire vibe.

We had an amazing reservoir location planned and then, one after another, storms hit the UK, flooding areas, making them muddy and offering no protection from the elements. This resulted in us having to move the shoot date very last minute and find another location where we could have some inside protection between scenes.

Luckily Holmfirth Vineyard were super accommodating of our needs and gave us a big room to use. The wind was a nightmare to deal with and you wouldn’t believe how many times various suppliers had to dive into shot to rescue something blowing away. I absolutely loved where we managed to park the van in the end though, as the wall textures really fit the colour scheme.

We ended up having to shoot in the room over the afternoon, due to the weather, so I adapted the story of the shoot to be an evening party for the couple!


The whole shoot was set to match the colour tones of the campervan, which is a mink/beige colour, so the brief to all suppliers was to use earthy tones that matched the landscape of Yorkshire in winter.

Luckily that style has been very on trend with dried florals and I knew I wanted to work with Dittany Entwined who have done some amazing setups in this style. Nicola used the very popular dried pampas with touches of blush from roses, dried blue hydrangeas, bleached ruscus and blue thistles. She had chosen those based on the original brief which specified the location would be near a reservoir; the colours emulating the river and the sands and the pampas to bring the boho feel. Whilst we had to stop the reservoir element, the colours still worked beautifully against the concrete walls and all the other suppliers’ items. Nicola loves making a statement, unique installations that represent the couple and the environment. For this shoot, we wanted to showcase the camper so Nicola created a warm intimate environment, framing the beautiful van and the couple.

Carolyn from Gray Starling Designs took my idea of using tassels for an extra special touch and adding different shapes to bring a new dimension to the look, and completely put her own spin on it to create something stunning but perfectly Gray Starling. She also created two big banners; one to hang out of the campervan window and another to frame the sweetheart table I created.

To fit Carolyn’s banners, I asked Heidi from The Embroidered Napkin Company to use a quote I’d found by author Charlotte Eriksson that reads, ‘my favourite place in all the world is next to you’. I loved the idea of this being the couple’s keepsakes for their intimate meal and it seemed so apt for a travelling couple who have perhaps run away to marry.

Usually on shoots, cake makers use dummy cakes that they can reuse for other occasions. For this shoot, I really wanted the couple to use the cake as a prop and eat some so Grace from Grace Emily Cakes stepped up and made the most gorgeous Sicillian lemon, poppy seed and white chocolate cake. She kept it simplistic but adorned the outer layer with the most stunning bleached ruscus that blended so well with Nicola’s arrangements and the other textures on the table.

I met with Katie from Loft and Daughter on a business course a while back and absolutely loved her style. I became a big fan of her ethical homeware and jewellery ranges and the branding she put out to the public so, as soon as I thought of these colour tones and style for the shoot, I knew her cushions and rugs would fit this perfectly.


Another supplier who’s branding I felt an affinity to, and who I thought this shoot would really suit, was Sophie from Elizabeth Lucas Bridal. This new boutique in Beverly stocks a lot of Willowby by Watters gowns and I had my heart set on the new Arlo dress. Fran loved the Lunella so we thought, why not use both. Again, making this about the couple, maybe dressing up and showing off for each other. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean compromise. This worked really well for the need to move inside, as the second dress became the party dress.

When we knew there would be a dress and location change, I wanted the perception that the couple had found a destination to have a party for themselves.

I had dressed Mark in a fantastic checked suit from Frank Bird and Sons. It had a pale blue running through the jacket which matched the hydrangeas and the beige of the chinos worked well with the other colours. Outside, it was teamed with a tie from Matchimony but when it came to the evening look, I thought he deserved something different too, so we took off the jacket and made the look more casual by rolling up the trouser ends, teaming them with Converse instead of boots and adding a bowtie and braces, again from Matchimony.


Olivia, our bride, was expertly made up by Cat from Catherine Elizabeth Hair and Makeup. We wanted a loose up-do for the outdoor look and a natural face so it fitted the scene of the campervan – wild spirit and natural beauty to fit the surroundings.

Cat then gave Olivia loose curls and added a stunning headpiece from Amore Headwear who had loaned some pieces to Elizabeth Lucas. As the light began to fade, the beading from the Arlo dress and the jewels in the headpiece really stood out.


Although we’d been so unlucky with the weather on the run up to the shoot, and then with the disappointment of not getting the original backdrop in the shoot, we were in the end really happy with how it all came together on the day. If the wind hadn’t been as bad, it would have been nicer to do more outside with the van but the models would’ve ended up with hypothermia and the stress of things blowing over constantly meant we had to adapt.

To me, that is exactly the same as working a real wedding; you cannot ever plan for the weather and you need to think on your feet to change things to suit the day. The setup inside was different but still beautiful, so we all ended on a high note regardless.

This is a sponsored post

Contact us to work with UNVEILED in print or online.