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Creative Shoots

Life’s A Peach. A Bespoke Wedding Dress for a Styled Bridal Shoot at Cressbrook Hall

19th February 2021 | Sarah Symonds

We’ve gone all peachy keen today with Grace Emily Cakes and her gang of fellow wedding industry suppliers as they pull off a pretty, whimsical styled shoot that looks positively good enough to eat.

Get ready for the sugar high, as this totally over-the-top (in the very best way!) pretty, peachy style is utter perfection, set in the most fabulous peach room at the Peak District’s Cressbrook Hall and even includes a rose gold vintage Morgan car!

The colour peach hasn’t had a great rep for the past few years, falling out of favour after overuse in the 90s, but Emily is bringing it back today in a big way. With the bride modelling an incredible, fluffy, tiered Peach Melba of a gown, custom-created for the shoot, peach petals, pops of pink and enough sweet treats to satisfy even our sugar cravings, this shoot is reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s vibe in her rumoured “let them eat cake” days.

Since UNVEILED Network Member Grace Emily Cakes is behind some of the best wedding gateaux and most inspiring dessert tables in the business, we’re confident that she knows a thing or two about candy coloured creations. Over to you, Emily!

With images by UNVEILED Network Member Charlotte Palazzo Photography

CONCEPT

Emily says: The reason for doing this shoot was to showcase feminine individuality and empower women to be bold on their wedding day; showing women that they can use their wedding as an extension of their own personal style that doesn’t necessarily have to be conventional – yet can still maintain classic elements of a whimsical traditional garden wedding (Editor’s note: the same goes for everyone else too)!

I wanted to play on quintessentially English elements of a conforming wedding, but with an ultra modern twist, hidden within the rolling hills of the Peak District. Peach is usually a colour that has a bad reputation, and I wanted to show that it can be beautiful and whimsical; renewing its reputation from being dated to something more modern and fresh.

LOCATION

When I was looking for venues, as soon as I saw the beautiful peach coloured orangery at Cressbrook Hall and the beautifully preserved landscaped garden, I just knew it was perfect for our shoot and would complement the mood board perfectly. I’m a massive supporter of raising up local businesses and wanted to showcase what Derbyshire has to offer.

Set in the rolling hills of Derbyshire, Cressbrook Hall is a family run business and the house has been passed down the generations, so it really has a personal and intimate touch and you really feel at ‘home’ when you walk in.

The Orangery also has large, gorgeous windows and I connected with an amazing window artist and calligrapher, Jodie Illustrates, to do our wedding décor and order of the day painted on the orangery windows. Not many people know this is an option for their day, but an onsite window artist can really give your wedding that extra individuality and wow factor.

STYLING

For my cake and desserts I wanted it to be all about colour, so I worked with different shades of peach, moving from darker to lighter as the tiers got smaller for an ombre effect. I paired the show-stopping cake with some gorgeous peach sugar roses and foliage to add some movement around the cake. For the desert tables I made baked donuts, cake pops and shortbread favours all styled to match the overall feel of the day. Presented in cut glass (again, another ‘dated’ item that we showed can be really modern!) they looked stunning. Dessert tables are a great way to feed your guests yet still have treats that look like an integral feature of the day, even if they seem too beautiful to eat but too tasty to resist! The pictures of the cake against the backdrop of the house and fountains just gives me goosebumps!

For the flowers, I wanted them to be bold but still maintain a whimsical and airy feel to complement the gardens at Cressbrook Hall. Sara from The Flower Decorative made us two flower meadows to be placed next to the tablescape to bring together all the peach and pink tones we used in the shoot, and to complement the quaint feel of the house and gardens. Sara also made a colourful bridal bouquet to accentuate the colours of our big peach tulle dress!

For the stationery by UNVEILED Network Member T.ink Weddings, Helen came up with an angular design that elevated the table setup, with crockery from Whitehouse Event Crockery. She also came up with the idea to have ‘floating’ place names on the ghost chairs provided by Plush Evolution. Helen’s style is modern and fun, she has a talent for getting to know you and your vision really quickly. I’ve not known her for long but I feel like it’s been years. Helen also is a talented stylist, so she helped me bring all the elements together and helped me style the day.

ATTIRE

Our amazing dress was made by Rachel at Ditzy Boo Boutique. I originally approached Rachel as I couldn’t find a dress like the one I’d envisioned! Peach is, after all, not the most popular colour! I wanted a modern, editorial look and I wanted to show women that bold choices can often pay off, non-traditional doesn’t have to look tacky or novelty, it can be really, really beautiful. Our florist Sara finished the look off by making a flower collar for our model, Nicci, to wear. Flower crowns have been really on-trend this year and Sara is really forward thinking and came up with an alternative flower collar that just worked so well.

BEAUTY

For hair, Daniella did a largely sleek minimalist look that wouldn’t take away from the power of the dress. Daniella created a sophisticated low bun, letting the model’s bangs lay, loosely curled at the front.

For the makeup I asked Daniella to do something quite editorial that pushed boundaries in terms of the bridal style. She used a peach blush over our models cheeks, moving up to the temples and came up with the idea of using a bold, berry lip to finish the look. There were berry accents in the flower collar that Daniella hadn’t seen when she thought of the idea to do a berry lip, and when we put on the flower collar and saw how well they matched – it was just meant to be!

This look will appeal to brides who are not afraid to push boundaries with their makeup and trust in their MUA to really create something to complement their overall look, even if it means doing something a little different.

RESULTS

There were so many highlights. On the day, everyone pulled together so well. We were so fortunate with the weather, doing the shoot in October, but in the pictures it looks like a beautiful, summer day and you would never be able to tell it was autumn.

Other highlights were seeing all our work come together, and seeing our model swishing around in that amazing dress and the stunning Rose Gold Morgan kindly lent to us by Oakmere Motor Group!

I really felt that on the day that we had created something forward-thinking and, as an organiser, giving suppliers the creativity and free-reign over their work played a big part in that. Charlotte’s fine art photography style just projected this whole vision so well. She understood what we wanted to achieve, and her commitment to her craft is outstanding.

Sally of Toast Celebrant, was photographed with our model to show that celebrants don’t just turn up and conduct a ceremony, they very much offer a distinctive service where they build a relationship with clients to provide a truly customised ceremony, contributing to our aim to empower couples to make your day unapologetically yours.

Watch out for these suppliers in the future! If you’re thinking of booking your wedding, I would recommend them again and again. The beautiful thing about this is that most of the suppliers in this shoot all started their businesses in the past few years and, although we’re all pretty new to this, you would just never be able to tell by the quality of work produced.

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