MANOR LODGE says ‘We have a range of options to make sure your reception is exactly how you want it to be. The Tudor grounds or Manor Oaks Farm offer pretty and unique spaces to pitch a marquee while the Turret House allows guests to wander through the rooms used by Mary Queen of Scots, including the beautiful banquet room. The Discovery Centre is also available for receptions.’
With images by Stu Ganderton Wedding Photography.
STU SAYS: When I decided to do the shoot, it was initially as just some simple marketing material for the venue to showcase the beauty of the ruins and Turret house. Manor Lodge has just recently started doing weddings, aimed at the Boho and DIY market, so I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, but I also wanted to show what could be done by a bride investing in the right areas on her wedding, and also what can be achieved when you engage the best creative brains in the market.
It was also important to me that the shoot had an ‘honesty’ to it, so that it was believable. So rather than spending on chocolate fountains, candy carts and love letters; getting a great dress that flattered the model along with beautiful flowers and a good photographer was at the forefront.
The two “models”, Danielle and Oliver have never had any modelling experience. Oliver is actually my son and Danni is his real girlfriend. So we had a real couple which I think complements the shoot and makes it more real!
I said all of the way through that I wanted the flowers and dress to shine through, so using the ethos of the original idea, we did not have any hair or makeup professionals on the shoot. Danni did her own makeup as she would normally, and said I wanted her to have soft curls.
The dress and veils used in the shoot were supplied by Kelly of KMR Bespoke Bridal Designer, and as soon as I mentioned the shoot to her, she knew exactly what dress she wanted Danni to wear. ‘Violet’ the dress modelled by Danielle in the shoot is an ivory, floor-length, circle skirt gown with a corded lace V neckline bodice. The full skirt is made of two layers of ivory duchess satin and chiffon with scallop lace edge detailing on the waist. We styled ‘Violet’ with the ’Louisa’ bridal belt and to mix up the looks for some of the shots we also added the ‘Evelina’ veil with Sam from Fantail Designer Florist’s stunning floral crown.
This was always going to be a flower crown worthy shoot, but I left the styling up to Sam. Sam created a slightly wild crown of Waxflowers, Green Trick Dianthus, Erygium Thistle and Memory Lane Roses, tied at the back with decorative lace. The only cue I gave her was big not subtle. She knew that I was going Boho, and that the model had ginger hair. All of the colourings and style were left to her.
On the day when I saw the totally original horizontal bouquet and the flower crown, I had that gut feeling that we had it nailed. The horizontal bouquet included Protea, Thistle, Astrantia and Memory Lane Roses. Always trying new things Sam had done a gold Alice band head piece. Metallics are very in at the moment and a neat grouping of flowers gave it justice and finished off Danielle’s hair perfectly. A rectangular buttonhole that fitted in the top pocket of Oliver’s jacket is a fabulous new design to make the groom just a little different and shouts suave. It complemented the headband perfectly. Sam also showcased a funky floral ring with a Craspedia head, surrounded by Waxflower florets.
The vintage china and cupcakes were a great addition to the setting of the shoot as we wanted it to look like a small scale affair, so an afternoon tea seemed to fit. Angela at Snowdrop Cakery always makes such stunning cakes, so when I asked her for some cupcakes to go on a vintage afternoon tea I should have expected the elaborate intricate work, but to tie in a wedgewood blue was just genius! All the china was supplied by Debbie at Sherbet Pips, who also lent us the bunting and cloths to finish off the setting, which looked divine.
I wanted to approach the shoot as if it was a wedding day. We were trying to show what could be achieved, so taking a whole day seemed like cheating. Therefore, on the day of the shoot I gave myself a 90 minute window (which is slightly more than I would get on a wedding day). We shot from 2.30 pm until 4pm, which is a typical portrait time for me on a wedding day.
However what we did not expect was the weather to turn and a huge chance of snow in mid-April. So just like any other wedding day, I needed to deliver some results. I took me about ten minutes to get Danni relaxed in front of camera, and then the results just came in. As we dodged rain showers, and kept wrapping Danni up in warm coats we could see the styling just working against the backdrop.
Overall I wanted to prove that getting the basics right still count. What you wear and excellent photography will always outlive the trimmings.
In addition to the results of the shoot, a few suppliers that took part, including myself, have exciting news to share. This month I will be opening a studio/showroom in east Sheffield and have been picked to attend a select UK workshop with one of the world’s most creative wedding photographers, Gabe MacClintock, both of which I’m really looking forward to. Fantail meanwhile is excited to announce that they will be opening a florist shop in the heart of Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire, in the autumn. They will also be launching an online shop and accommodating floral deliveries throughout the UK locally, nationally and internationally. Finally, designer Kelly of KMR Bespoke Bridal is launching her new collection later this year, so keep an eye out for the launch in the coming months.