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Wood Lane Countryside Centre's Whimsical Wonderland

03 October 2018

Excited to share with you the latest blog post from The Wedding Affair that shared our superb whimsical wedding shoot.....

Dramatic, romantic and oh-so beautiful. A few words to sum up the sublime hygge styled shoot that we are delighted to be sharing with you today. 

As soon as the wonderful Samantha, the talent behind Fantail Designer Florist and approved supplier to The Wedding Affair sent across this wild winter and Nordic Queen shoot from Wood Lane Countryside Centre, we knew it would be such a fitting feature to mark the impending change of season. 

Autumnal and Winter weddings are a perfect time to bring in textures into your wedding, experimenting with unruly bouquets, fur rugs, hanging festoon lights and cosy candle-lights to create twinkling atmospheres. Take inspiration from the enchanting images captured by Stu Ganderton at the idyllic Wood Lane Countryside Centre, as we delve into the details of this gorgeous shoot, featuring real life couple, Ellie and Matt and a whole host of wedding talent.


Is there a story behind this styled shoot – did you have a collaborative vision with the team or have anything you were looking to achieve?

Samantha from Fantail says;

“Fantail are Wood Lane Countryside Centre’s recommended florists. They asked us to create a shoot in what would be traditionally an ‘out of season’ wedding month to really show brides and grooms what could be achieved.  This was our starting point.  We decided November where early signs of Winter is coming, but the leaves on the trees show remnants of Autumn. Weather was a major factor, deciding to do the shoot completely outside was a massive risk but the shots created was well worth it.”

“As a florist we always aim to inspire, to get people thinking outside the box and styled shoots are a perfect way to do this.

With the Wood Lane shoot I think any bride or groom can take elements from it and use this for their own wedding, whether it’s including your pet dog in the grooms party, using a certain centrepiece or just simply bringing light to the outside with festoon strips lighting. I think we’ve done our job.”


How did you choose the team that helped bring your vision to life? 

“Choosing a photographer is the first thing that is always on my mind when creating a styled shoot. It’s paramount their style of photography is complimentary to what I’m after and having worked with Stu Ganderton on numerous amount of shoots and weddings he was without doubt my first choice. He knows where I’m coming from even if I am completely scarce at times!! Here’s a few words from Stu -” 

Whenever Sam from Fantail starts talking to me about shoots I always get a bit excited. This shoot was no exception. Sam had some ideas and a theme she wanted to get across, what I did not expect was for it to be with animals and in lighting conditions that were far from favourable.

If you think about a wedding day, it is exactly that. A day, or most of it. Most if the focus is put into the daylight hours, or most of the focus we see in the media shows us images from daylight. So what about the weddings that are later on in the year. I mean we live in the UK and come September we start having a lot earlier sunsets.

This shoot was going to show what you can achieve by having an out of season wedding, outside. Style does not need to suffer and nor does the imagery.

I was presented with fur rugs, candles, festoon lighting, fire-pits, and owl and a dog that resembled a wolf. My challenge was to keep it romantic, dramatic and on theme… Nordic Queen.

My challenge was, I had no idea what anything was going to look like when I arrived. This means I had to go in with an open creative mind and literally make it up on the fly. Very much like a normal wedding day. Luckily I love failing light situations. And I think, as a team, we did an awesome job.” Stu Ganderton, Lead Photographer


“Ellie and Matt our real-life bride and groom were truly amazing. Ellie stunned us with her natural ability to mould herself into a ‘Nordic Queen’ character. Some of the shots are extremely empowering especially the ones with the owls.

Owls are becoming extremely popular within weddings again and when Amy arrived with Toki, we were all in awe of how beautiful he was, but she also brought her dog as well. A beautiful Husky cross Alsatian which made ‘Blue’ look more like a wolf. This really completed the picture perfectly.

The dress Ellie wore is a fitted Chantilly lace gown from Something Special Bridal’s Hollywood Chic Collection, ‘Grace’ exudes just that… it has a modern twist of a top tulle and lace over skirt  and corded lace hem which makes for the amazing waist cape detail.”


Please could you tell us a little about yourself and your business, ‘Fantail Designer Florist’ – How did you develop your love for all things floral?

“Fantail is a florist based on the outskirts of Sheffield with a flower shop in Oughtibridge. We deliver weddings throughout South and West Yorskhire, Notthinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Hailing from NZ, Sam left her home country at the age of 22 to venture to Sheffield and peruse a career in Interior Design… Skip quite a few years forward and re-training from Interior Design to Floral Design, Fantail was born out of the garage as a freelance wedding business.  Having a natural flair for design and an understanding of most things floral this seemed a perfect career change that would work with family life.

Married to the jet-setting husband Richard, juggling family life with her beautiful two daughters Lilian, 10 and Isabella 8 not forgetting a cat named Boss and a crazily cute pug-cross dog named Pebbles; 8 years later it was time to move the freelance business out of the garage and into a shop in her local village. Now two years in October, the flower shop is still going thriving with strong community support and wedding work is still the forefront of the business and something we are well known for.”


“We strive to be different in many ways loving good old-fashioned customer services as the forefront of our values whilst creating a trusting bond with our brides and grooms.

We love to push the boundaries on floral design, colours and media combinations, using local British and European suppliers, we have the best fresh flowers and can source just about anything, though we do prefer to work with the seasons! We are passionate, proud and love what we do.”


Do you have a particular theme or style of wedding that you love personally, is this shown in your own work?

“We are contemporary at heart and love the romantic classic style weddings. These never date and you know you’ve created great timeless designs when brides have seen your creations year after year and get excited when they’ve seen ‘the one’ or tweak it to make it their own. Done properly, the Vintage style in hand-tied bridal flowers will always be in but a more Whimsical look is at the forefront which I love. A lot of foliage, textures and different levels of wildness!”

A little bit of History taken from the Wood Lane Countryside Centre's Website.....

Wood Lane Countryside Centre is a beautiful Grade ll listed former farm set on the edge of countryside in north-west Sheffield. The venue is owned by Sheffield City Council and managed in partnership with the voluntary sector.

The farm was built in 1802 and the stone farmhouse, barns, outbuildings and gardens have been fully restored to provide beautiful accommodation for community use.

Wood Lane Countryside Centre is a two hundred year old Georgian stone built farm in Sheffield, set in the suburbs of Stannington between the Loxley and Rivelin valleys. The venue, no longer a working farm, offers unique flexibility to design your own wedding in a beautiful setting full of character. If you decide to hire the venue for your big day, you will have exclusive use of the whole site including two barns, various reception rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, a large catering kitchen, gardens and court yards. All buildings have central heating and full disabled access.

The Grain Loft is the old farm grain store which has been beautifully restored maintaining its original character with wooden floor, stone walls and original oak beams. It can accommodate up to 100 people (80 if dining) and has a fully licensed bar, making it an ideal room for large ceremonies, wedding breakfasts, and receptions.

The Stenton Barn can accommodate up to 30 people. It has a warm carpeted area and original oak beams and is well suited to smaller, more intimate wedding ceremonies.

The large, scenic grounds offer you an excellent backdrop for your wedding photos and space to have a marquee or Tipi. Surrounded by large trees, the private gardens have a beautifully restored bandstand, stone seating, lawns, borders and a wild flower meadow with fruit trees.

The flexibility of the venue allows you to personalise every last detail of your big day from décor, to hiring in your own caterers. You can come in the day before your wedding day and set up for your ceremony and/or reception. On the day of your wedding you would enjoy the exclusivity of the venue, grounds and gardens, making it relaxing for your guests to enjoy a glass of wine on the lawns while photographs are taken.

The Grain Loft is perfect for a wedding breakfast and evening reception, being able to accommodate up to 80 for a sit down meal or 100 in the evening for the reception party. It has a fully staffed bar with flexible opening times. There is no minimum spend, we do not charge corkage, and our prices reflect those of pubs in the local area.

They have a convenient in-house hire service which includes glassware, bunting, chair covers & sashes and more. Tables and chairs are included in the hire cost of the venue, but should you wish to hire in your own style of tables/chairs that’s not a problem.

There is a catering kitchen available for you or your caterers to use, as well as outdoor space in the courtyard should you wish to have a BBQ or hog roast. The large lawn to the rear of the barn is perfect for Marquees and Tipi’s. The courtyards and car park provide ample parking for your guests. The band stand, surrounded by fruit trees and beautiful flowers, is in the ideal place to have an outdoor blessing or humanist ceremony.

View our full gallery below to see image of Fantail's shoot.

Wood Lane Countryside Centre's Whimsical Wonderland
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