Elopment in the Peaks
Natalie Hewitt Wedding & Event Planner: I wanted to photograph an elopement shoot, showing just two people, in romantic moments, in the gorgeous sunset of the Peak District. We showcased three incredible looks, in three different locations; a forest, water and hills. Although we wanted quite a moody look, we wanted one of the looks to have elegance, sophistication and drama. The other looks we wanted a soft, romantic and bohemian feel.
I’m Natalie Hewitt, a UK wedding planner and designer, I get to work with the most amazing couples, who have the most incredible ideas for their weddings. Current marriage laws restrict couples to say “I Do” in a licensed, permanent structure; limiting the locations you can legally tie the knot. Because of this, there has been a big increase in the number of couples getting legally married in a Registry Office privately, so they can have their dream of an outdoor wedding ceremony. With the Government in talks to address the Marriage Laws, there is the possibility and hope that we will soon see legally binding marriages taking place in the weirdest, wonderful and sentimental locations throughout England and Wales.
One place I envision couples eloping to is the stunning mountains of the Peak District; sunset, when the light is romantic and soft, the most incredibly dramatic backdrop of valleys and mountain peaks and two people saying their marriage vows! Which is exactly why we headed there for this editorial.
My design inspiration was contrasting luxury with the relaxed. To use velvet and tulle with linen. Cut crystal and diamonds in an outdoor, whimsical setting. Using blacks, greens, browns, muted pinks and mauves – rich tones against the setting sun. Putting a black tie look on a mountain! And why not?
Henry Lowther is an incredible wedding photographer and it was one of his sunset bridal shots that inspired me to pull a team together to create this “Elopement in the Peaks” editorial. You only need to look at his portfolio to see why he was the perfect choice to photograph this romantic, moody and luxe boho shoot. And he is appointed by a lot of couples for exactly this type of shoot; engagements or elopement weddings.
Quintessentially Wild created the incredible florals for the editorial; Jennie’s work is shaped by the season and by the bounty each season brings. For this shoot, we wanted to bring a dramatic fine art edge to foil against the majestic landscape. We drew influence from the dark, moody weatherscapes you can quite often see from the Peaks and translated this into our colour palette of rich dark plums, beautiful blushes and muted earth tones. We were keen to add in tonnes of textural foliage to ensure a dramatic edge against the beautiful dresses and focused on using as many beautiful British grown garden roses and dahlias as possible to envelop the romance whilst echoing the heady scent of love being captured by the photographer. The shape of both the bridal bouquet and the tablescape were asymmetric and were hand tied in stunning hand died silks and sumptuous velvet ribbons by Little Acorn Silks.
Fashion and Makeup
Our first two looks were more relaxed, surrounded by trees and water. I love how the sunlight flickered between the trees and danced on the water. Our groom (Scott from Blake Models) wore a soft grey open shirt and trousers from Moss Bros. and our bride (Amy H from Blake Models) modelled two gorgeous gowns from Jesus Peiro (8072 and 7064) stocked at Frances Day Bridal. The tree line and the water create a bohemian vibe and I love the ‘no shoe’ look.
The third outfit is a completely opposing look and I love the high-end fashion up in the mountains – my signature style is Luxurious Bohemian; it’s about adding some glamour to a more relaxed look or adding a little ‘effortless chic’ to a sophisticated style. Amy wore the most incredible Dream Top by Jenny Packham with an Aly overskirt. I wanted to keep the tulle skirt quite opaque, to add a little fashionable quirk so we simply put Amy in a pretty lacey pair of pants from Marks and Spencer so we could still see her legs. Scott looks like the perfect gentleman in his Moss Bros tux; they both just ooze Black Tie sophistication!
Temprell is an independent jeweller, designing and manufacturing bespoke pieces of exquisite jewellery for their customers worldwide. Showcasing a selection of their wedding bands, engagement rings and more delicate pieces; we were able to emulate the magic of exchanging rings as well as adding the finishing touches to the looks.
Jenn Edwards & Co. is one of my go-to hair and makeup studios. Bridal makeup doesn’t have to be soft and natural and I love seeing brides embracing a look that reflects their style and taste. A dark smoky eye, bold eyebrows and a natural lip make Amy’s look really striking.
Stationery & Styling
We wanted to create a luxury picnic tablescape up in the mountains; with a black linen tablecloth and knotted napkins, with the most luxurious cut crystal and English grown roses! Black cutlery, earthy grey crockery and stunning stationery by Georgina Read Creative. I love the little label name tags with silk and the vellum menu – it’s a perfect combination of luxury and relaxed. The black and green velvet cushions and grey and green Ester and Erik candles finished off our intimate picnic table and bring a little luxury to the Peaks.
Caroline Mitchell is the most incredible cake designer. All of her cakes feature handcrafted flowers and foliage. She doesn’t use fresh flowers, yet they always look so tangible. Her organic and rough finished cake topped with handmade roses is a perfect design for this luxury boho look.
Photograph by Henry Lowther