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Creative Shoots

Bowen Dryden for A Mid-Winter’s Dream Creative Shoot at Jervaulx Abbey

20th November 2020 | Alexis Forsyth

An ice cool wintery palette works beautifully with soft styling touches in this enchanting, romantic wedding shoot at Jervaulx Abbey in Yorkshire.

The vision of florist Claire Sutton of Fig & Fern Floral, this shoot was a prime opportunity for her styling skills to really shine through, giving her the freedom to indulge in seasonal, design-led arrangements that make a real statement.

Keen to create a modern boho bridal look with a couture focus, Claire and the talented local suppliers she brought on-board perfectly succeed in contrasting the softness of the incredible gown and flowers with the cool, crisp backdrop of January, all set against the stark beauty of Jervaulx Abbey.

The bride’s captivating blue-hued gown really is the star attraction in these photos, bringing an abundance of ethereal romance to the shoot, all complemented by au naturale textures and beautiful anemone, Icelandic poppies and narcissi floral arrangements. A more daring makeup look adds a sprinkling of drama – the epitome of storytelling through such an atmospheric fairytale-esque bridal concept.

With images by James Green Studio


Claire says: I was inspired by the fairytales from English book illustrator Arthur Rackham and the idea of utter romance created in mid-winter.


I initially approached photographers, James and Merika, with my vision for the shoot and they immediately understood the aesthetics I was looking to achieve. They had previously worked at Jervaulx Abbey and suggested this timeless venue as the perfect backdrop.


I wanted to create an emotional and intimate – even an elopement feel – to the shoot, and so to keep the fairytale from becoming too sweet, we grounded the styling by using natural materials such as wooden charger plates, candles and simple linen napkins. We also featured beautiful plant dyed silk ribbons crafted by the talented Nicola from Bertie & Fred.

The cake’s décor, created by Gayle from Where the Ribbon Ends, was in keeping with our natural theme, and the seasonal white narcissi perfectly anchored the cake to the season.

The flowers were deliberately chosen to juxtaposition against the harder light of winter, with a soft palette incorporating anemone, Icelandic poppies and narcissi. They worked beautifully with the blue of the bride’s dress and the installation surrounding the beautiful stone arch, which featured silver asparagus fern and was a real focal point within the ceremony space.


I fell in love with the ethereal nature of Sharon Bowen-Dryden’s bridal designs, and the dress we featured – with its beautiful embellishment and cool blue tuille – allowed the delicate spring flowers to really shine in the cool January light.


The model’s makeup was deliberately dramatic to enhance her delicate features and Lady of Shallot-style red hair. Her pale complexion needed to be seen on a cold winter’s day. This look would suit a design-driven bride with an eye for detail and storytelling on her big day.


On the day of the shoot, I travelled to North Yorkshire and it started to snow. We worked at nearly zero degrees, but the light was spectacular, and we were sustained by soup and cakes from the venue’s incredible tearoom.

Our model, Zara, was a complete trooper but we needed to keep her warm between set ups in a large coat and blanket!

I’m hopeful that in 2021 weddings will go ahead, and I would love to do another collaborative photo shoot with this fabulous team.