Bridal fashion shoot at Kelmarsh Hall for Martin Charles Couture

January 16, 2013

If there’s one thing I go ga-ga for it’s a gorgeous dress, so when designer/boutique owner Martin Charles got in touch about getting his 2013 preview collection photographed I may have been a little over-excited!

Martin owns Martin Charles Bridal Gallery, a wedding dress boutique in Oundle, Northamptonshire and also has his own label, Martin Charles Couture, which is influenced by 1950s couture.

The shoot was inspired by the vintage advertising of Parisian fashion houses Dior, Balanciaga and Chanel. The dresses are elegant but also have a youthful innocence and serenity about them so we went for an ethereal feel in the facial expressions.

I love the gentle, softness of looking away from camera; like the models minds are somewhere else; which in fact they were. It was sooo cold I directed the models to imagine themselves on a beach somewhere hot!

We chose Kelmarsh Hall for the shoot because of its homely grandeur and, as always, we were really well looked after there. It’s always a pleasure to work at Kelmarsh.

So, onto some of the photos…

Charlotte, who has never modelled before (I kid you not), wearing a french lace dress & matching bolero in the Chinese Room…

Lucy in The Saloon…

A long train calls for a fabulous staircase. And a tush to rival Pippa’s ;) Martin dip dyed this dress in tea to get the vintage shade. This is Liza by the way, brilliantly brilliant make-up artist (website at the end).

Liza chilling in the Great Hall. Not sure whether I’m more in love with the french Chantilly lace or the pretty tulle & beaded straps?

This styling called for a pose that showed off the grecian feel, the layers of chiffon and the high waist. I think Charlotte looks more than a bit like Cheryl in these don’t you? And I love how her bright red lipstick pops against the green walls.

I had been desperate to photograph this show-stopping skull cap ever since Martin posted it on facebook. It has an integral veil and is heavily embellished with pearls, diamonte and ribbon. So vintage.

For someone that’s never modelled before Charlotte did a stirling job of these heavily vintage influenced poses…

Are you planning a wedding or other event Kelmarsh Hall?

If you are, I’d love to hear from you! It’s one of my very favourite places to shoot!

First, though, you might enjoy this page with more information and examples of my photography at Kelmarsh.



  1. Georgi on January 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Amazing, love the second to last picture, so 1920s x

    • Sarah Vivienne on January 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Georgi! Glad you like them. I loved that cap veil, so beautiful and unusual x

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