a victoriana twist on Romeo and Juliet | uk wedding blog nbcc

facebook-profile-picture By Phoebe

Well, today’s post is completely unique and different to what I have been blogging recently. We are going to delve in to the rather morbid yet intriguingly beguiling world of the Victorians. Whilst you would not lift this idea and have it as your own wedding, it is brimming with so much gorgeous inspiration and detail that I defy any bride not to pick out something she loves. I am handing over the blog to Vicki Ormerod who will take us to the slightly dark side…

Photography by DJ Archer Photography

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Lizz and Danny from DJ Archer Photography had discussed a Victorian styled shoot with Clare of Blush Rose Wedding Flowers. When they were looking for inspiration the perfect location came to mind; The Whitaker Gallery & Art Museum in Rossendale.  Lizz and Danny had stumbled upon the museum during a shoot with a wedding couple. They met Carl and Jackie, two of the Directors at the Museum. They couldn’t have been more friendly and accommodating. The Museum is an old mill owner’s house that was built in the Victorian era. It houses an interesting local history collection, and the sumptuous Victorian drawing room, with its fabulous array of paintings, china, glassware and furniture was perfect, everything suspended in time. They researched a little about the Whitaker and Hardman families that had lived there. During Victorian times people married for money and status; it was rare for them to marry for love. Jackie explained that the mill owner’s son had in fact fallen in love with a girl that he was forbidden to marry due to her status and that inspired the storyline for the shoot.


The Victorians had a morbid tradition of taking photos of dead relatives looking as though they were still alive.  It was absolutely intriguing so Lizz and Clare decided that they had to incorporate this into the shoot, which was for a similar theme to Romeo and Juliet but in the Victorian setting.

During the shoot Carl and Jackie at The Whitaker were so helpful and allowed the use of loads of lovely Victorian props from around the museum, which was a photographer’s dream.  They were simply wonderful and were so excited about the shoot too.  They are hoping to license the museum for weddings and saw this as a great way of publicising not only their premises, but their hospitality.


Clare designed each set and created the lush flower designs for the shoot. She kept in mind that the Victorians loved rich opulent colours, which she used throughout the shoot. Moss was used to give a rich green texture to each set up, and included deep reds and cranberry colours, and chose gold to define and add an even deeper level of elegance.  She really had fun designing each stage of the shoot and worked with Carl and Danny to bring together flowers, furniture and props that were visually appealing and supported the storyline.

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Gemma Wheeldon, otherwise known as Betsy Button, was inspired by the romantic history of the shoot theme to design an elegant collection of stationery with calligraphy being a key element.  She combined this with a selection of scrolls, birds and beautiful florals in rich pink and purple tones.  She was delighted with the eclectic finish, combining the glamour of pearlised papers and romantic florals with rustic twine and recycled card bringing the range into the modern day.

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Knowing that the Drawing Room would be so opulent, Vicki of The Cake Whisk created two wedding cakes bringing some of the typical Victorian wedding cake elements up to date.  Crisp white icing was decorated with gold features.  The top tier was covered in edible gold leaf, whilst the middle tier had an undercoat of gold, over-piped with fine corelli wires that were then painted gold.The bottom tier was completed with a heavy gold brocade finish, once again touched with gold to accentuate the fine detail. The single tier double height cake was embellished with golden scrollwork that fitted so well with the scroll work on the gold screen and the wallpaper design. Deep burgundy hand created hydrangea petals were dusted with gold and strewn over the cakes, complementing the deep burgundy mop head hydrangeas of the floral displays.

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Having previously worked with the girls of Legend Bridal Designs, the in-house bridal label created at Fable & Promise wedding company, Clare knew that the gown would be breath-taking. Legend Bridal Designs are well known for creating unique one-of-a-kind alternatives to ‘off the peg’ wedding dresses for brides who want to rock their day their own way.

Playing on the classic Romeo and Juliet theme Charlotte chose a dress that spoke of love and romance. ’Taiah’ from their 2014 collection fitted the bill perfectly. Delicate blush tulle ruched on the corset bodice with layer upon layer of jagged tulle creating the perfect princess silhouette; the delicate colour giving warmth and providing that gorgeous contrast to the pale pallor in the final scenes. The dress was teamed up with a handmade sash and headdress that incorporated the Victorian love for leather along with handmade satin flowers in shades of dusky rose and chocolate, bringing with it a subtle masculinity and strength.


Taiah is a ‘Legend Bridal Design’ creation; a collection soon to be launched at Manchester Fashion week in spring 2014. The Legend collection is inspired by myth and folklore. Design elements were taken from three legends that have lent their name to each mini collection: The Asrai; The Huldra and The Sidhe. Taiah, modelled by Kate, is part of the Huldra collection.

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For the beautiful model Kate, Make-up Artist Kerry opted to use rich, opulent hues to create a softly smouldering look, complementing the tones in Kate’s stunning dress and accessories. Rich chocolate, plum and champagne shades were blended with burnished gold pigments to create a softly graduated smoky eye, complete with fluttery false lashes.  Kate’s skin was given a radiant, flawless finish courtesy of Illamasqua’s Skin Base foundation, Kerry’s absolute favourite product in her whole kit box! Subtle contouring and highlighting products were used to gently sculpt Kate’s cheeks which were then flushed with a dusky rose cream blush. Lips were stained using a soft violet red colour and finished with a hint of gloss for a decadent touch.


As a specialist in bridal hair Duncan of L’Hairport loves to work with the whole bridal look and takes into consideration the flawless make-up, gorgeous accessories and of course the stunning dress. On the day of the shoot these helped him to bring the hairstyle in to place working closely with Kerry and Charlotte. For the lovely model Kate he wanted to create a very romantic look. Kate had great long blonde hair which he set using a conical wand complemented by ‘Schwarzkopf Session Label flexible hold hairspray’. His aim was to create soft, natural, yet gorgeous waves rather than curls. The waves where then dressed out using a brilliant shine serum ‘Magic Gloss’. Charlotte created a stunning floral headpiece which Duncan then added to a slightly undone hairline on Kate’s head. The male model Sam also had a messed and textured look. To achieve this he gave a slight movement to his hair with a mini ghd styler then he cocktailed products together, using ‘Refresh Dust’, ‘Moulding Paste’, ‘Dust it’ & ‘Session Label Strong Hold Hairspray’ all taken from the Schwarzkopf Osis+ range.

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The team had worked together on other photo shoots and wedding events so it was quite easy for them to move seamlessly through each scene, complementing each other. Clare made best use of the props available to her from The Whitaker, with Carl frequently running to find some more props which included a Victorian wedding ring which ‘Juliet’ wore. The drama of the Drawing Room really set the scene for the young lovers. Kate and Sam were great at taking direction. Kate disappeared with Kerry and Duncan for her make-up and hair to be adjusted for the final and fatal scene. Everyone was so caught up in the amazing atmosphere that had been created, the room was totally silent. Danny and Lizz moved in sequence to noiselessly place their camera equipment to capture the final shots of the tragic couple.

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List of exceptionally creative suppliers –

♥ Carl Bell Managing Director, Jackie Taylor Creative Director, Julian Williams Operational Director. The Whitaker, Museum and Art Gallery – www.thewhitaker.org  |e: info@thewhitaker.org | t: 01706 218858

♥ Clare Evers, Blush Rose Events – www.blushrose.co.uk  | www.facebook.com/blushroseevents | e: info@blushrose.co.uk | t: 07837 097639

♥ Lizz Riley and Danny Archer, dj archer photography – www.djarcherphotography.co.uk | www.facebook.com/djarcherphotography |t: 07850 137378 or 01204 843 462 (Album package from £1595)

♥ Vicki Ormerod, The Cake Whisk – www. thecakewhisk.co.uk                  www.facebook.com/thecakewhisk | e: vicki@thecakewhisk.co.uk  | t: 07975 595915 (Wedding cakes start from £300)

♥ Charlotte Yates, Fable & Promise Wedding Company Ltd –  www.LegendBridalDesigns.co.uk | e:Hello@LegendBridalDesigns.co.uk   (Wedding dresses starting at £400)

♥ Gemma Wheeldon, Betsy Button, Stationery – www.betsy-button.co.uk                    www.facebook.com/betsybutton | e: betsy-button@hotmail.com  | t:  07738 735774 – Prices as follows:

Vintage Suitcase Table Plan hire (inc. printing guest list) £75; Folded invitations from £2.75; Place name tags from £1; Menu cards from £2; Card sign from £6

♥ L’Hairport By Duncan Fisher, Professional Freelance Hair Designer – e:  duncan@lhairport.co.uk | www.facebook.com/LHairport | t: 07928631278

Kerry Baker Make-up Artist – www.facebook.com/pages/Kerry-Baker-Make-up-Artist | e: kerry.baker79@yahoo.com. (Bridal packages starting from £90)

Models – Kate Robins and Sam



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