by Leigh Meakin
A woodland wedding guide for the wild, bohemian bride.
A woodland wedding guide for the wild, bohemian bride.
I have pondered over creating a blog for some time now – the main purpose being to provide ideas, advice and inspiration to the many soon-to-be Brides and Grooms out there. The second purpose being that I have had the honour of working with some insanely talented photographers which allows me to showcase my work via epic, professional images and they just NEED to be thrown out into the ether for all to view and enjoy.
So, speaking of epic images, I can’t think of a better way to start off my blog than with a photo-filled post documenting an amazing styled shoot I had the pleasure of taking part in at the beginning of August.
Our bohemian bridal shoot was held at Newmillerdam Country Park in the West Yorkshire town of Wakefield, and is the perfect inspiration for your own woodland wedding. The brains behind it was none other than the wonderful Elle of Elle Flowers. Our team was 100% women led (scroll down for list of suppliers involved) and was jam-packed with girl power throughout.
The shoot was photographed by the incredibly talented Hannah of Anna Beth Photography. Hannah specialises in natural and elegant wedding photography. She travels UK and worldwide to photograph beautiful weddings and elopements.
“I love shooting outdoors, especially in the woods where you can really play with the light and shadows to create beautiful images.”
Now, to say this lady made my photo-needing, portfolio-building dreams come true is an understatement. I can’t recommend her enough: for your wedding, for your engagement shoot, for your portfolio, for your styled shoot. She is an absolute pleasure to be around, has exceptional vision and her work is amazing.
You can actually see more from this woodland wedding shoot over on Hannah’s site. Seriously, check her out.
When I heard Elle’s original vision was of a fashion forward, ‘Vogue Bridal’ woodland shoot, I knew I had to be involved. Wanting to create something a little out of the ordinary and possibly even out of the comfort zone of some, Elle’s floral pieces showed the amazing variation that can be used when creating Bridal bouquets.
Inspired by the outdoors and a recent bohemian style wedding, Elle created a beautiful botanical bouquet using tonnes of heavy, cascading and unstructured foliage with a small Hydrangea Bloom being the only flower! Our Bride, the beautiful Savannah, also donned a stunning foliage crown hand crafted with fresh, untamed foliage and all kinds of luscious greenery. Perfect woodland wedding vibes!
Here’s what Elle had to say:
“I absolutely loved working with Leigh for my styled shoot. I opted for a simple look with hair and makeup to fit with the simplicity of the shoot. 11 out of 10 to Leigh for the work she did, was better than I could have imagined! Lovely, welcoming person to speak with may I add! I had never done a styled shoot previously and working with Leigh and the other girls in the gang has pushed me to do more so, thank you so much!”
London-based designer Sigita of Jan Si Bridal designed and created our Bride’s free-flowing, halterneck gown.
Sigita has had a fantastic career within the fashion industry and puts together the most amazing fashion and bridal collections, as well as offering a bespoke ‘one-off dress’ design service. Her designs are very unique and cover a wide range of styles and trends.
Despite the shoot being one of Savannah’s first modelling experiences, especially as a ‘Bride’, she was an absolute natural. Working alongside a “friendly and approachable group of girls” definitely helped her to feel confident throughout the shoot and to produce shots that looked extremely organic.
At 23 years old, Sheffield based Savannah has now worked with a number of professional photographers and is continuing to build her portfolio – especially as a glamour model. If you’re looking for a stunning and versatile model, I would highly recommend her.
HAIR & MAKEUP
Finally, we come to my favourite part – talking about hair and makeup! Throughout my blog posts, I am going to provide a detailed breakdown of the products used. I‘m also going to talk about some of my favourite products, especially when it comes to my brides, and I’ll be focusing on a different area in each post. First and foremost, the face base!
When it comes to my clients, I believe that the most important element of any makeup application is the base. This is especially so for any outdoor event, including your own woodland wedding where protection from the elements is key. Which brings me to my first product recommendation: for a flawless and glowing base, my absolute go-to brand is Charlotte Tilbury.
The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is one of my favourite foundations of all time. It is full coverage, feels lightweight on the skin, and suits all skin types. I have had so many clients go out and buy the foundation because they have loved it so much! For a less full coverage, Charlotte Tilbury’s Light Wonder Foundation is equally as brilliant. Paired with the Wonderglow Face Primer, both foundations create a flawless finish and leave the skin looking incredible.
Both foundations are perfectly set with literally a dusting of the fabulous Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder and, although I’m not a huge fan of the applicator, the formula of The Retoucher Concealer is also great. It’s perfect for spot touch-ups, dark circles and general highlighting.
The two foundations work well with both cream and powder contour, bronzers and blushers. They are long-lasting, easily applied and, as a tiny bit goes a long way, affordable.
Base: MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ | NYX Cosmetics Conceal, Correct, Contour Palette | Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow Face Primer, Magic Foundation, The Retoucher Concealer & Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder | Kat Von D Beauty Setting Spray
Eyes: Lime Crime Venus Palette eye shadows in ‘Divine’, ‘Icon’ & ‘Aura’ | Kat Von D Beauty Tattoo Liner in ‘Trooper’ | Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara in ‘Jet Black’
Brows: NYX Cosmetics Control Freak Brow Gel | Illamasqua Precision Brow Gel in ‘Strike’ & Gel Liner in ‘Infinity’
Define: Sleek Cosmetics Face Form Contouring Palette & Blush by 3 Palette blusher in ‘Chantilly’ | Anastasia Beverley Hills Sweets Glow Kit highlighter in ‘Butterscotch’ & ‘Marshmallow’
Lips: MAC Matte Lipstick in ‘Honey Love’ | Vaseline Rosy Lips Lip Therapy
I wanted to create a hairstyle that would complement the sleek design of the dress and the relaxed vibe of the shoot. It was also important to me to allow the amazing foliage crown (an absolute must for any woodland bride) to really stand out.
To achieve a voluminous, tousled effect, I started by using the got2b Salt Spray (which has been a favourite of mine since a friend bought me my first bottle years ago). This product is fantastic for adding texture – I like to generously spray throughout the hair, before massaging the product in at the roots. I styled Savannah’s hair smooth and straight, using my GHD’s, before finishing off with a quick mist of the V05 Hairspray. This spray is great for adding some final texture and leaving a healthy shine.
Thank you for reading ‘Woodland Bride’. I hope you enjoyed my first blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Until next time. Leigh x
I’m a North Durham-based professional Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist offering services throughout Durham, Tyne & Wear, and Northumberland. Planning your own wedding? I would love to hear from you – let’s have a chat!