Way back at the start of the year we were approached by the lovely Lynn & Richard Bailey at Bawdon Lodge Farm in Nanpantan, Loughborough and Jenni at Make up by Jenni and asked if we were interested in getting involved with an upcoming 'equestrian' styled photo shoot they were organising along with some other suppliers at the farm later in the year. They had managed to get photographer Daniel Hughes on board and after very little further discussion we were of course on board too!
For those of you that don’t know, Bawdon Lodge Farm have recently began hosting tipi and marquee weddings and events in their beautiful well maintained grounds (thanks to Richard and his amazing lawn mowing skills). They also offer help with planning and event co-ordination along with the lovely Val at Benessamy Wedding & Event Planning to ensure that all of their hosted events run as smoothly as possible. - I urge you to go and check them out now as their venue really is the most stunning rural setting for a wedding in Leicestershire.
We were invited to attend a meeting at the farm and quickly got down to business with the some of the other suppliers involved in the shoot discussing the minor details and proposed theme. We literally jumped for joy as the words ‘rural’, ‘rustic’, ‘romantic’ and ‘horses’ popped into conversation.
As a team we chatted about what we wanted to achieve from the shoot and some of the key photograph areas that we wanted to set up. We took a quick tour around the farm, and decided that we must make use of the huge green field (which hosts the most gorgeous old oak tree), set something up inside the barn and somehow include a shaded tree lined pathway.
We went away from the meeting bubbling with styling ideas and instantly created a mood board on Pinterest. We knew we wanted to include lots of straw bales, bunting, hanging ribbon garlands, log slices, hanging hearts and of course horse shoes! (After all it was going to be an Equestrian themed shoot!)
Anyway, the photo shoot day finally rolled around and we loaded up the car with countless boxes of decorations and props and set out for the farm. Lynn and Richard had provided the team with a base room for the day and laid on a very tasty rustic lunch which we were all looking forward to greatly. (See I told you they were good hosts!)
Two magnificent horses, Dizzy and Captain arrived and we set to work immediately styling the proposed photo shoot areas. Details of which can be found below. I find that it always helps to make lots of notes when styling shoots and took these with me to each area. (Please excuse my formal use of the word ‘objective’ below – I am a retired teacher after all!)
Anyway the areas were decorated as follows.
Area One: The Tree Pathway.
Photo Opportunity Objective: Bride and groom leading the horses through the pathway of trees.
Stylist Objective: Natural framing of the area, with subtle, pretty colours.
We chose to use peach, nude and ivory paper pompoms to create a natural archway through the trees and hung these along with some glass milk bottles filled with romantic gypsophila flowers from the branches. We completed the look by scattering white rose petals along the ground to create a walkway for the models to lead the horse.
Area Two: The Oak Tree
Photo Opportunity Objective: Relaxed bride and groom sitting on bales in front of the oak tree.
Stylist Objective: Heavily decorated foreground and hanging items from the tree behind to create a backdrop.
We chose to use a stack of straw bales to create a seating area for the bride and groom models and decorated with a combination of; hanging hearts, lanterns, lace, vintage books, log slices, and a wooden wagon wheel. Lynn provided some authentic milk churns and Helen from The Flower Mill happened to have some gorgeous vintage glass bottles with her which completed the look.
Area Three: The Vintage Seed Drill
Photo Opportunity Objective: Groom leading the attached horse, bride following behind.
Stylist Objective: Decorated seed drill, groom carrying a bucket of apples & decorated horse.
We chose to decorate the seed drill with a hanging hessian, lace and ribbon garland in white and ivory and discreetly placed some horseshoes on the top. Helen then created the most beautiful floral display on one of the wheels and we found ourselves drooling.
Unfortunately, it was a very, very hot day and we were a bit worried about the horses overheating in the scorching sun so we decided against using them to ‘pull’ the seed drill. Instead we focused mainly on the models and I think you will agree that the images are just beautiful.
Area Four: Inside the Barn
Photo Opportunity Objective: Bride and Groom standing / sitting next to a large pile of straw bales.
Stylist Objective: Heavily decorated foreground / floor / bunting.
We wanted to create a story behind the images produced in this area so we generated a mini ‘picnic scene’. Props included were; vintage chitting crates, a hessian table runner, a vintage silver tray and glass ware, candles and of course one of our hand crafted ‘Just Married’ buntings. We then added a bottle of champagne and a bowl of strawberries into the mix and the models set to work.
Area Five: Around the farm and the Orchard
Photo Opportunity Objective: Models moving throughout various locations on the farm, leading and engaging with the horses.
Stylist Objective: Simple, minimal styling.
We chose to bring along a bucket full of highly polished red apples for the models to feed to the horses, (which went down very well with Captain and Dizzy) and tried to keep the styling to a minimum. These photos really show off the lovely dresses supplied by Leanne McRell at The White Room Southwell, the sparkly accessories provided by Siu Coll at Liberty in Love, the make-up provided by Jenni and the beautifully styled hair by Helen Sutcliffe.
Every single member of the team worked amazingly hard both before and during the shoot to make sure that on the day everything came together perfectly and I think you will agree that the images produced are absolutely beautiful.
The dress designer Augusta Jones certainly agrees with us and has written a short blog about the shoot which can be found here.
We were honoured to be asked to style this shoot and had an absolutely fantastic day - we even managed to get ourselves a tan in the process as it just so happened to be the hottest day recorded in 2015!
Looking forward to the next shoot now!
Thanks for reading.
The Rustic Wedding Co. Team xx
For full image and model credits, visit our photo shoot gallery here.