Styled Photo Shoots at Great Betley Farmhouse

As I mentioned in my previous post, the pesky pandemic has put a downer on the wedding industry. However, it has also given me a chance to catch up on various tasks and projects. It’s also given us time to put on styled wedding photo shoots. Anyone planning a wedding LOVES to see photos as this helps to get inspiration. And for industry professionals photos are all part of our marketing and validation.

An Elegantly Moody Rustic Farm Wedding

Once lockdown started to ease and we were able to work in a Covid secure way things started moving. I had seen that a photographer was looking for a venue for a styled shoot. Masha came and looked and loved the place. She had already got the concept and had organised all the suppliers. All I had to do was to provide the venue and look after people on the day.

Although this shoot was planned for the end of July, the weather wasn’t looking too promising. The forecast was up and down in the week leading up to the shoot. Two days before it was looking ok, then the window of no rain was getting smaller and smaller. First thing in the morning on the day of the shoot it was overcast and drizzling. The weather got worse and worse as the day went on. Eventually we had sideways rain. It’s down to the skill of the photographer that in most of the photos you can’t see the appalling weather conditions!

Elegantly rustic table setting
Elegantly rustic table setting
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I was so pleased that the shoot was featured on the wonderful blog Plans and Presents. Alison has been blogging for years so is very well respected and established in the industry. Please do pop over there and read the full post.

Covid restrictions in working practices meant that Kim, the model, had to do her own make up. Nadia was able to do her hair whilst wearing PPE, but make up wasn’t allowed at the time.

Kim and Nadia

Here are a few more shots that don’t feature on the blog:

Kim & Paul
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Bouquet on chair
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cake on chair
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Kim and Paul umbrella
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Just goes to show that rain on your wedding day isn’t a disaster! In fact, it’s supposed to be lucky to “tie the knot” in the rain, as a knot that gets wet is harder to undo.

Photographer/Concept & Styling – Masha Unwerth Photography

Venue – Kim Stewart, Great Betley Farmhouse

Celebrant – Nikki Wood, Perfect Words Ceremonies

Wedding Gown – Y.A.S.

Florals – Lily and Myrtle

Stationery – The Amyverse

Cake – Love from Lila

Hair Stylist – Nadia Wyatt Make Up

Bride model and Make Up – Kimberley Pretorius

Groom model – Paul Wilson


Neo-Pagan Ritual Wedding

As mentioned in a previous post, I’d had a styled shoot planned here in November last year. This had to be moved to a different venue due to the flooding. Photographer Nicki Komorowski still wanted to work here however, so we put our heads together and came up with a very different theme. I had wanted to do a Pagan Ritual theme, and Nicki developed the theme further and gave it a very edgy feel. We also had a videographer here. Luke Batchelor produced an amazing short film from the day which you can watch here.

In the run up to the shoot Nicki put an immense amount of work into preparing and making props. Between us we also made a large willow structure to hang for the handfasting ceremony to be conducted in front of. Wine might have been involved during the making of the structure! Not sure how much it helped the process, but it certainly made it more fun!

Wine and willow
Wine might have been drunk during the making of the willow structure!
willow structure
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The South Downs and Chanctonbury Ring were the backdrop for this shoot, as well as the flint outbuildings. Colours from the stunning dress by The Robing Room were carried through in the florals by Just Peachy Florists.  They were also used in the headdress from Daisy Chain Lane. The makeup by Lara James Make Up took inspiration from ‘Britannia’ and was beautifully precise!

honey makeup
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We had an amazing array of creatives here helping to set up and pull the day together. Just a few weeks after the shoot we were featured in the fabulous Unconventional Wedding blog. Please do go over and see the whole shoot, but here are a few more shots:

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sword cutting the cake
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Bus and Bug
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Pond Incidents

Somehow a photo shoot here with Nicki seems to attract pond incidents! For this one the weather had been so hot and dry for so long that the pond had hardly any water in it. Nicki wanted some reeds to decorate a board for a floating candle. The edge of the pond may have looked dry, but it wasn’t really!

Silty boot
I don’t think Nicki’s boot will ever be the same again!
Nicki and Sue
Nicki and Sue trying to shove the lighted floating candle into an almost empty pond without getting stuck again!

Photography and styling – Nicki from ‘Nicki Komorowski Photography)

Venue – Kim from Great Betley Farmhouse

Film – Luke from Luke Batchelor Productions

Dress (plus cape and waistcoat) – Janet from The Robing Room

Flowers – Sue at Just Peachy Florists

Make-Up – Lara at Lara James Make Up

Hair – Nicola of Tea and Trim

Headdress, campervan decoration, chandelier & placemats – Lin of Daisy Chain Lane

Invitations – Rachel of Wedding Calligraphy by Rach

Vegan Graze Platter – Sarah of Bay Tree Foods

Cake – Giulia of Cakes in Bloom

Jewellery – Sam of Sam Ryde Jewellery

Celebrant – Vicky of Days to Remember

Campervan – Kate of Bus and Bug Vintage Weddings

Willow Sculpture – Nicki of Nicki Komorowski Photography

Bride – Honey Edwards

Groom  – Johnny Aylward


Prohibition Tea Party

During the Neo Pagan Ritual Wedding shoot I came up with the idea of a Prohibition Tea Party. We’ve been prohibited from doing a lot of things this year. The police helicopter seemed to be flying over twice a day. A ’30s twist on the current situation just popped into my head! Whilst things may be a bit rubbish for the wedding industry at the moment, there’s no reason why we can’t have some fun. And get great photos to boot!

Photographer Nicki Komorowski was up for this but didn’t have time to organise it. So it was down to me to sort out all the suppliers and the details. As I said in my post about launching as a wedding venue, domestic abuse drains your self confidence and erodes you sense of self worth. This year has been a great baptism of fire in styled shoots! The first was all organised for me. The second was jointly thought up. This one was entirely down to me. However, I had an ace up my sleeve in the form of the lovely Helen Baker from Betty Loves Vintage. I was really wanting to work with her, and this provided the ideal opportunity. She helped enormously with props and styling and really brought the theme to life.

Betsie Boo enjoying the shoot
Betsie getting in on the act!
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A few days before the shoot I thought it would be a great idea to take my own leather Chesterfields outside as props. So on the day they were carried out to the lawn and arranged on the lawn. As you do. My restored whisky barrels were also lugged outside to form the illicit bar! We ended up with two very distinct photography areas. I can’t share too many photos here as we are still in the process of submitting to national blogs. But here are a few to whet your appetite!

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Peacock feathers
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couple and car
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afternoon tea
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Pond Incident

This time the pond incident was in the form a child losing a flip flop and gaining rather mucky legs. Again, the edge of the pond wasn’t as dry as it looked!

pond incident
One flip flop lost in the silt – hasn’t been seen since!

Venue and Concept – Kim Stewart, Great Betley Farmhouse

Photographer – Nicki Komorowski Photography

Styling – Betty Loves Vintage

Model Couple – The Robinsons Couple

Celebrant – Tori Bond

Florist – Sussex Florals

Dress – Fross Wedding Collections

Headdress – Daisy Chain Lane

Rings – Dymond Jewellery

Cake – Cakes by Lara

Stationery – Lilguy Designs

Hair and Make Up – Belle Denbury MUA

Barman – Charles from Capital Cocktails

Food – Connie and Cooper

Car – Sussex Vintage Wedding Cars

Tables and Chairs – Abbey Catering Services

Bride Shoes – Inanna Bespoke Shoes


Christmas Wreath Making Video

Last year we were able to hold wreath making and floral workshops here. Sadly this year it’s not possible due to social distancing. However, Amanda Jane Flowers will be bringing out DIY kits, along with an instructional video. The video was shot here a couple of weekends ago. It was slightly surreal to be bringing Christmas into the farmhouse in October, but all in a good cause and all that! Keep an eye on Amanda’s website for details or drop her a line to register your interest.

dining room shoot
The dining room was used as the main area for the demonstration video and still shots
Fireside video setting
A festive wreath over the blazing inglenook fire provided another setting for some video shooting. And Betsie gets in on the act by snuggling up to Amanda!

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