• Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pintrest
Creative Shoots

Dark Romance. Elise Designs for a Gothic Romantic Wedding Creative Shoot at Jervaulx Abbey

30th October 2020 | Julia Braime

Indulge your deepest darkest fantasies with today’s stunning and romantic gothic wedding styled shoot, featuring more than a hint of black alongside the soft pink palette. Welcome to the dark side…

The concept, styling and beauty were brought together by the talents of two Yorkshire-based businesses, Mave Weddings and KH Makeup Artistry to reflect some of the darker tones of the season. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the inspiring and family-run Jervualx Abbey in Ripon, surrounded by thick woodland, this setup is truly the stuff of fantasies. Especially with the incredible and cosy tipi pitched within the walls of the old Abbey itself, creating an even more intimate setting for the celebrations.

Let your imagination run wild as seasonal tones and textures come together to form a romantic, rustic scene. Pampas and a palette of perfect and pretty autumn pastels, a mix of fresh and dried florals and not one but two enchanting flower crowns, vintage brass, classic rose coloured taper candles and the stark yet ever magical contrast of neon typography and impossibly old stonework.

Kate Howard of UNVEILED Network Member KH Makeup Artistry takes us behind the scenes of this unusual and unforgettable shoot…

With images by Emilia Kate Photography


Kate says: We wanted to create a setup that had a dark luxury style for the autumn months whilst still being utterly romantic, soft and beautiful. We followed the dark romantic theme for all aspects of the shoot, going for 80% romantic and 20% dark. Muted pinks and soft neutrals with splashes of black accessories. With the current number limit on guests for weddings, we wanted to incorporate this into the shoot too, to make something intimate and personal whilst still having the big wow factor.


Jervualx Abbey, a beautiful privately owned abbey in the countryside of North Yorkshire offers intimate weddings in a naturally stunning setting. Once we had the theme in mind we knew Jervaulx was the perfect place! It provided that intimate setting that would leave the bride, groom and their guests feeling like they were in a whole world of their own surrounded by the dramatic, darkly romantic Abbey and endless natural beauty of the countryside. We loved using all the hidden spots in Jervaulx Abbey and we all drew inspiration from the historic setting. The Abbey has been there, withstanding so much for centuries and still gives visitors a unique feeling of awe, and this seemed a really important message to couples at the moment; times are hard but their love will withstand this time. The magic will still be there.

The tipi was perfect in the Abbey, it was the ultimate intimate sanctuary full of warmth and coziness inside the already magical space! The two went together so well and it did feel like a little world of its own! It was provided by UNVEILED Network Member Shades Canvas who cover the whole of the UK but are based in Leeds.


We loved being able to work with autumn season blooms and foliage, it made the shoot a joy to work on! Weaving into romantic styling was seasonal pampas grass and a palette of pastels, caramel roses and dried grasses. The mix of dried and fresh flowers gave texture and this came through in two very different yet complementary flower crowns. The flowing and loose style of the bouquet ran in unison with the theme of the shoot and the burst of flowers in the tipi packed a real punch! Willow and Bear Floral Design create beautiful floral displays and bouquets. They’re based in York and inspired by the English countryside with a romantic, rustic style.

Mave Weddings, romantic, elegant styling and event planning based in Leeds, styled the shoot. The Abbey provides the most amazing backdrop, so the vision was to take elements of the existing Abbey character, alongside the mood board, and create an elegant concept with a dark edge. Vintage brass candlesticks teamed with nude tapered candles to match the florals and blush pink texture fabrics were used to emphasise that elegant vibe. I wanted to add a dramatic edge by introducing black flutes. Traditional bows were added to the napkins and masses of texture to reflect the surroundings. For Mave, it was all about texture and tones to create a bold but beautiful look. Yorkshire and Hampshire based UNVEILED Network Member Elizabeth James Events provided neon signs and backdrop lights for the ultimate romance and luxury. The two neon lights were used in different set ups, and they both added the final touch to the shoot. That spark of light in the form of romantic quotes worked perfectly in the backdrop of the Abbey.

UNVEILED Network Member Gray Starling Designs is a unique and wonderful design studio in Leeds, bringing a beautiful and creative interpretation of a couple’s ideas to life. The stationary created for our shoot was so intricate. With the Abbey on the inside of the envelope, they gave such a luxury feel. The textures and colours went perfectly with the dark and romantic theme and made all those finishing touches.

For the cake, the details were endless! Where The Ribbon Ends are based at Jervaulx Abbey. This family team creates luxury, personal and beautifully designed wedding cakes in over 100 different flavours. For us, a concrete like effect on the top three layers gave a base that complemented the Abbey beautifully, with a rugged but beautiful look. The pleating ruffles were that flowing aspect in pinks, golds and soft creams with cascading pearls and stars for the modern luxury. The final black layer added that hint of darkness and mystery.

Photography was by Emilia Kate, an East Yorkshire based wedding and lifestyle photographer with a beautiful, modern romantic and artistic style. We wanted to create photos that were soft and dreamy whilst still having that dark edge, so we used the abbey to our advantage! The style we were going for was crisp and clean but still showing off the colour against the neutral tones of the abbey in the shoot. A mix of detailed close-ups to showcase the work of everyone on the shoot, along with perfectly set up shots of our model meant that the finished result was exactly what we were going for; beautiful, soft and ethereal romance with a hint of mystery!


Gowns were supplied by York-based Elise Designs, a custom dress maker who believes that patience makes perfection for brides’ dream dresses. Both custom-made dresses combined a mix of tulle and lace for the most delicate and intricate finish. The ‘Elise’ Dress on model Lizzie was angelic, the movement of the tulle makes it almost mesmerising to watch as it’s walked, swished and danced in. The black dress, ‘Sophia’, was a combination of a long sleeve lace bodice with satin boning structure, an A-line tulle skirt in a nude tone and black lace. The under layer softened the dark colour and added that extra detail to the dress.

Jessica Steele Jewellery curated a selection of rose gold pieces which would pop against the models skin and complement the blush tones in the flowers and styling. The delicate pieces reflected the romantic theme of the mood board. Jessica Steele Jewellery is a luxury jewellery studio based in Leeds, an independent designer of wedding rings, engagement rings and bespoke accessories. Lylun Designs created the bespoke hand painted jacket with stunning floral designs.


At KH Makeup Artistry we’re romantic, glowy makeup and boho hair enthusiasts. We prefer to enhance natural beauty. For the hair we wanted to keep it very ‘free spirited’ to work with the ethereal surroundings. It felt right to keep everything relaxed and flowing, with so much nature around the Abbey. The flower crowns were the perfect, all-natural addition.

For the makeup look, we wanted it to be glowing but natural, again trying to give a free spirit feel to the look. Again, Lizzie looked absolutely angelic, with glowing skin, a pop of blushed cheeks and some depth through earthy tones on the eyes. We brought in that romance through a soft and muted pink lip to finish. Elizabeth Anne Holland was our model for the day and she’s just a stunning, natural model. perfect for bringing our vision to life. Lizzie also models for beauty and cosmetics, fashion and studio shoots as well as on location.


The shoot day ran fabulously and we all had such a fun time in a Covid safe environment. We had made quite a strict schedule for the day, with Jervaulx being outside for shooting and with the October weather being a little unpredictable! That ran really well and we even had the weather on our side for the day. Our aim was to create these epic photos and settings to give something a little different in wedding inspo, and I think we really captured that!

Our beautiful model Lizzie said of the day, “We all got really hyped up for this shoot and I think we all had such high expectations, which can be a little daunting! But honestly, we didn’t need to worry. Every single person involved brought insane talent and skill to the day and the vision in our head was 100% created by all the epic suppliers involved! Thanks everyone for your amazing efforts!”

This is a sponsored post

Contact us to work with UNVEILED in print or online.