Back in those heady days before lockdown we set up a Celestial themed wedding photoshoot in The Merchant Taylors Hall in York. The aim was to provide inspiration for couples and to showcase the many skills and talents of the group.
We were invited as a group to do the shoot at The Merchant Taylors and jumped at the opportunity, with our stylist Natalia Wilmott choosing a Celestial theme that complements the look of the small hall, with it’s stained glass windows, crests and lovely light blue room.
The hall was dressed to give it a romantic feel incorporating vintage Hollywood glamour. Dressing the hall was a real team effort with members providing items for styling and making origami paper stars – we ended up with hundreds of origami stars and scattered them windowsills and the piano as well as incorporating them into floral arrangements. This brought both the theme and our members together and could be a lovely way to bring families together before a wedding too.
The room was styled around the origami gold stars leading us to our colour scheme of dark blue and gold theme, mixed with vintage and antique silver pieces. The hall’s antique needlework chairs had blue and gold sashes holding blue origami stars. The floral bouquets and flower displays were all white with skeleton leaves and gold ribbon.
The beautiful entrance to the hall was enhanced by an archway of ivory blossom and provided a stunning backdrop for many of the photos.
An Intimate Wedding
We re-enacted an imaginary wedding and photographed it from start to finish: we named the couple Leona and Anton and created an intimate wedding for the 12th July 2020. (Perhaps we read it in the stars that intimate weddings would be the norm this year.)
The invitations reflected this date and used the theme colours of white and dark blue with gold foiled with part of the constellation.
Make-up and hair
At present we do not have a make up artist on the membership, so we invited Sonia Schofield to join us for the day. To fit in with the theme she went for light champagne tones on the eyes with some sparkle pressed on to the lids. Black liquid eye liner and dark red for the lips gave the classic look and the hair was inspired by tumbling Hollywood waves.
What they were wearing
The bride’s dress is a beautiful silk fishtail gown in champagne by Justin Alexander, supplied by Bridal Reloved. It is strapless with a sweetheart neckline and beautiful gold embroidery and embellishment to match the theme. It features a ruched bodice with pick ups and ruffled skirt. The back was dramatic with a full train and diamanté buttons.
The bridesmaid dress was in dark navy with diamanté waist detailing. It has a v neck with flattering ruching and a soft flowing A-line skirt. This dress was also a Richards Design, also available via Bridal Reloved.
The groom was wearing a classic fitted blue suit and gold tie from Smart’s of York. He is also pictured outside writing a love note to his bride in a bomber style leather jacket.
The groom arrived bearing gifts for his very lucky bride: a silk My Billet Doux cushion with a love note, a candle from PQ Soy Wax with the words “I can’t wait to marry you” and a selection of jewellery.
The wedding ceremony
The wedding ceremony was performed by celebrant Anne Marie Ledson and the rings were exchanged after they had been delivered by a flower girl on a ring cushion.
There were two stunning celestial themed cakes for the cutting of the cake and a beautiful biscuit tower for sharing. The Hollywood soundtrack played on the piano started with “Fly me to moon” – forever associated with old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. The first dance took place against a projection of stars and under a suspended moon.
This was a really fun shoot, with each member dropping their items off the day before and a small group styling and putting everything together on the day. We had sandwiches and cakes and there was a great atmosphere with members participating in the wedding ceremony. As we had a videographer and two photographers, we were able to capture many moments of the day- including the male model having his first shave in months. Although Natalia felt guilty making him shave, he would have had plenty of time to grow it back during lockdown.
All our members now have a portfolio of photographs from the shoot to use in their own marketing. You can see more in the gallery.
Natalia Willmott is the owner of an online store specialising in art antiques and unique finds.
Nikki Bowling www.nikkibowling.com
Nikki Bowling, freelance photographer based on Clifton Moor in York. Specialising in photography of people and places. Weddings, portraits and property .
Gareth Buddo www.furmoto.com
Furmoto Photography specialises in private and commercial photography and are based in York
Alex Wamsley from Eternal Edits – provide professional filming and editing services, specialising in wedding videography. As I have a very natural style, I filmed the shoot as if it was a wedding day “telling a beautiful love story” to provide couples with fantastic inspiration from all the wonderful suppliers involved
Gaynor Allen www.gayflowers.co.uk
“My style for the day was from the song Fly me to Moon, with moon burst arrangements on star filled pedestal vases, romantic traditional shower bridal bouquet to create a star burst, a flower crown for an angelic feel, then a very modern twist for the groom pocket corsage. All in white flowers with navy blue skeleton leaves and ribbons. Snowflake Rose’s / spray Rose’s, Gypsy grass excellence, white Veronica, Freesia, spray carnation, Hypericum and soft Ruscus”
Nicola Frear www.lottierobertsflowers.com
Lottie Roberts Flowers, based in Huntington, York, provided a bridesmaid bouquet and all windowsill displays. Flowers used: white spray roses, white freesias, white spray carnations, Eucalyptus parvifolia, and silvery Cineraria leaves, with silver-embellished cork stars and hand tied with golden ribbon and incorporating golden skeleton leaves
|Jewellery and hair accessories
Kelly Earp www.bunnylovesevie.com
Designer and creator of beautiful boho and vintage inspired accessories and jewellery all made by hand in their York studio.
Supplied a range of gold, handbeaded accessories and jewellery featuring gold stars.
|Claire Gilmore www.etsy.com/shop/UniqueHairCombs
Unique Hair Combs, creating bridal hair accessories from upcycle vintage jewellery. Aimed at eco conscious brides.
We created combs from vintage elements, stars and diamante and also a steampunk inspired piece made with upcycled brass radiating click hand and watch parts.
|Jo Bagshaw www.jobagshaw.co.uk
Jewellery Designer & Maker, creates individually handmade silver jewellery. Workshop based in York.
Nikki Nelson www.cakesdlicious.com
Cakes D’licious create vintage wedding tea experiences and bespoke cakes for weddings.
“The four-tiered cake was decorated with scattered fondant stars and moons and gold leaf.”
Helen Birkinshaw www.sweetchic.co.uk
Sweet Chic creating bespoke wedding cake, dessert tables, favours.
“The theme inspired a striking look for the cake with a bold midnight blue and scattering of gold leaf. Topped with a wow factor solid chocolate crescent moon entirely edible to complete the look.”
Nicola O’Keeffe www.ocrumbsbakes.co.uk
|Classic cakes for modern tastes offering a bespoke tailored service for you and your guests. Based in Haxby.
Baked a biscuit tower of all butter shortbread stars decorated with gold edible glitter and individual all butter stars wands.
Maria and Bruce Bendall www.nightowlsdiscos.com
Offering High Quality Wedding Discos, based in York
Zoe Cartwright-Wrigglesworth www.blushcreations.co.uk
|Bride and Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridal Reloved, York www.bridalreloved.co.uk/york
Bridal Reloved is one of the UK’s largest bridal chains and the worlds only chain of pre owned wedding dress boutiques. We sell high end pre-owned wedding dresses and samples. Bridal Reloved is one of the UK’s largest bridal chains and the worlds only chain of pre owned wedding dress boutiques. We sell high end pre-owned wedding dresses and samples. We also sell veils, bridesmaid dresses and accessories.
I chose the dress for the shoot as it made me feel like old school Hollywood glamour with the strapless sweetheart neckline. I also think the colour was flattering on the model with her vintage makeup and looks beautiful with navy and gold too.
|Accessories and Décor
Wendy Harris, PQ soy Wax Candles, York www.pqsoywaxcandles.co.uk
|Offers vegan candles and wax melt wedding favours, personalised home fragrance gifts for the wedding party.
Bev Linfoot www.limelightweddingemporium.co.uk
|Suppliers of stunning wedding décor and classic cars.
“we supplied the gorgeous Rebecca archway for the doorway, ivory blossom canopy trees for the hall and “It was always you” neon sign.
Samantha Lyth www.skeleton-leaf.com
|“We are based in York and provide Skelton leaves in an array of sizes and colours to enhance your wedding décor.
The skeleton leaves were included in all bouquets and floral arrangements, they also lined the aisle runner in the ceremony and featured on the table décor too.
Lesley Coulthard www.treasuredoccasions.info
Wedding, baby showers, celebrations and corporate events stylist based in York
They provided gold sashes and a runner for the ceremony.
Vintage wedding accessories- Hire service in outer York
Antique Silver plated Wedding Cake Stands and Tableware
The dining table and cake table was all set up with platers and cake stands that are available for hire.
The Artful Dodger York
A pub in the centre of York with an upstairs room catering to wedding parties
Provided glasses for bar area
Silk cushions/ring cushion
Natalia Willmott www.mybilletdoux.com
Our workshop is situated 6 miles outside of York- we welcome couples to choose a unique cushion with a secret pocket and made with antique ribbons, vintage fabrics and silk to present rings and love notes at their weddings. We also have a collection online to choose from.
We made a white and blue ring cushion with a mid century sheer blue and gold ribbon to present the rings at the ceremony. The bride was given a white silk cushion decorated with an antique blue ribbon with shooting stars with an enclosed love note whilst she was getting ready for her big day.
Anne-Marie Ledson, Independent Celebrant www.heretoeternityceremonies.co.uk
Anne Marie creates and conducts unique and bespoke wedding celebration ceremonies. Couples can include traditional elements and add their own twist to them to create their whole ceremony from scratch. Anne-Marie’s aim is to help couples create a fully personalised and meaningful ceremony allowing their personalities to shine through
Alison Marden www.travelcounsellors.com/alison.marden
Our bride on the day got given tickets to go on her honeymoon
A wedding isn’t complete without guests, so a massive thank you to our models and also other local suppliers who are not members of our group, but whom we can highly recommend.
Kev Burridge @facemodelandcasting
Catherine Thompson-McLean @lili.tenebrae.80
Eleanor Nicholson flower girl, Leanne Sutton bridesmaid, Nikki Wainhouse pianist
Make up and Hair
Sonia Schofield is an award winning hair and make-up artist working on weddings and in TV, Fashion and film.
Loan of the Moon
Elegant boutique featuring high-ends brands of men’s jackets, suits, shirts, pants and accessories. They provided the suit, shirt and tie and a leather jacket too.