Derelict Opulence


I can’t recall exactly when the planning started, but it must have been back before the summer. While chatting with my lovely friend Sian from Elysian Weddings & Events I got a real itch to throw a styled shoot together… Some wedding inspiration! I LOVE all the details of wedding planning, and I’d happily replan and remarry David to get to do the design bit of my wedding again… Anyone want to pay for it? No?! Anything goes for weddings now, which just wasn’t the case when we got married back in 2010, I feel, and a styled shoot definitely gives you the opportunity to go beyond where most brides and grooms dare to go! It was also an opportunity for me to try out things I’ve learned and experiment a little, which you don’t get so much time to do when you’re photographing real weddings. You may or may not know that until April this year I was a secondary school teacher, and I have a real love and commitment to learning and improving; I don’t think we should ever stop learning,

So Derelict Opulence was born, a vague idea in our heads of raw brick, ivy, figs and taxidermy. The combination of derelict and luxury and the beauty that can be found in both. The search for a location was our first challenge, as of course most derelict buildings are unsafe and not passable. It was Sian who, after I’d posted some pictures of a family lunch at Kino Lounge in Kettering, Northamptonshire, pointed out that I may have inadvertently found the perfect location for the shoot. Kino Lounge has been a corn exchange, a cinema and a gift shop, and is now a fabulous bar in the heart of Kettering and it boasts peeling paint and wall paper, exposed brick work and awesome reclaimed furniture. The only challenge would be that the bar would be open for much of the shoot so we’d have to be creative with lighting and furniture juggling. The staff at Kino Lounge were so lovely and really weren’t phased as we systematically turned the ground floor upside down and covered the place in ivy and props!

Of course, the vision would be nothing were it not for the input of some awesome suppliers who hopped on board and completely understood our somewhat vague brief. Cat from Rockabilly Rose the Florist turned up with armfulls and armfulls of ivy, moss and some floral brights and along with Georgina from The Little Rustic Wedding Company and her INCREDIBLE treasure trove of props and some seasonal fruits such as figs, grapefruits and pears created stunning table layouts and dressed the surroundings perfectly. One of my 2014 brides, Amy, owns a wedding cake company, Moosie Cakes, that like HHP is still very much in its infancy and she couldn’t wait to get involved; all the way from Kent, a gorgeous three tiered cake adorned in cherries, berries and lace.  Amy and Tracey and the gorgeous models from Icon Bridal provided a selection of fabulous gowns from Paloma Blanca, Ronald Joyce and Modeca Bridal; delicate lace, statement necklines and decadent beading really fulfilled the opulent part of the brief! Leanne Eldridge is such a talented hair dresser and I am in complete awe of how she styled the girls’ hair in extravagant 20’s inspired up dos, and it was so lovely to work with Liza Smith again. Liza did the make up for my first ever bride and I could literally watch her do makeup all day. It was such a pleasure to spend the day working with all these lovelies and make some new wedding friends who I’d highly recommend to any wedding couple… I can’t wait to start planning the next styled shoot, but for now, here’s some wedding inspiration; a selection of my favourite images from back in September.




  1. Charlie

    Staggering! So jealous! This must’ve been sooooo much fun! xx

    • Hannah

      So much fun, definitely a brilliant way to spend a working day! x


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