A unique boho beach elopement inspired by Spanish and Moroccan folklore styles, turns one of Yorkshire’s most beautiful beaches into a Mediterranean destination.
My family is British and Italian and the inspiration for this shoot is grounded in my own origins. There is something extremely fascinating about the Mediterranean style – it feels so exotic yet European – and it’s the reason why many couples decide to get married abroad in Southern Europe. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many couples to postpone their destination weddings or rethink their plans entirely. But what if our own British coasts could turn into those Mediterranean shores? This inspiration shoot aims to value our beautiful coastline and inspire local couples to create their own Mediterranean inspired ceremony without having to go far.
The location is the beautiful Flamborough Head coastline in East Yorkshire, a chalky headland with sheer white cliffs. Who says the UK is always cold and rainy or that you have to go south to find beautiful beaches? On a sunny summer day, the waters are turquoise, the sand is golden and the tall white cliffs are shimmering in the sunlight. Are we in Yorkshire or in Portugal?
STYLING AND ACCESSORIES
I entirely curated the styling of this shoot and every element was accurately handpicked to fit with the vision. For the small table area, I selected a colour palette that incorporates dark earthy tones but also whites, terracotta and gold to complement the white of the bridal dress and the chalky cliffs. I value small businesses and handicraft and I tried to gather accessories that were unique and sustainable but at the same time affordable and relatively easy to obtain. The bride’s headpiece and earrings are made of Iraca palm, and are hand woven by Colombian artisans. This kind of accessories have become popular in Spain and are loved by Spanish brides. Wearing these items will instantly elevate your appearance to that of a regal Mediterranean bride.
For this shoot we used a dried bouquet, buttonhole and decorative flowers skillfully put together by The Plant Room, a botanical design studio based in Leeds that has collaborated with the likes of Harvey Nichols, The British Library, Harewood Food & Drink Project, Dan Doherty (Duck & Waffle / BBC1). The flowers are in syntony with the shoot’s colour palette and add a rustic touch with antique orange and aubergine tones. Dried protea, spear palms, pampas grass and a mix of flowers make up the bouquet, which is elegantly wrapped in a naturally dried bamboo silk ribbon.
The bride wears a beautiful handmade lace kimono sewn by the talented Barbara of Bibiluxe. When I first saw Barbara’s work, I had no doubt her style would suit this inspiration shoot perfectly. Her lace creations have become her trademark and you will not find anyone else creating such unique bridal wear in the UK. The intricate pattern of the lace is enough to make us dream of Mediterranean summers and the design of this kimono can double up as a floaty bridal dress to be worn on a hot day at the beach or a robe to be worn during bridal preparations.
BRIDAL HAIR AND MAKEUP
The talented Ashleigh Fehners HMUA created two distinct looks for our bride. For the first look we wanted to incorporate elements of traditional Spanish folklore style, with the middle partition and the hair sleekly tied back to fit with the headpiece and show the beautiful pendant earrings. This look is extremely elegant and the makeup goes to highlight the eyes and eyebrows. For the second look we opted for a more relaxed, post-ceremony hairdo, letting the hair back down in soft waves and only partially pulled back, with a touch of colour on the lips. This way our bride was able to venture around the windy cliffs without her hair getting in the way and take some romantic photos with her groom.
The stationery, created by Sheffield designer Leanne Keetley, was inspired by the colour palette of the small table area and the dried flowers. With incredible craft and artistry, all pieces reflect the Mediterranean and boho feel of the shoot and display elegant handwritten fonts and clan layout, with beautiful floral details that mimic the bride’s dried bouquet. The stationery includes a printed envelope, a folder with lacquer wax seal, invitations, RSVP, plan for the day, menus and placeholders.
Canon 5d Mark II, Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon.