I was thrilled to be asked by the Sill to put together a styled shoot to help them promote the new discovery centre on Hadrian’s Wall as a wedding venue. Hadrian’s Wall and Northumberland was said to have inspired Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin.
I adore being up on Hadrian’s Wall and I do not need much of an excuse. This however gave me the chance to connect with some new wedding professionals, and bring together a shoot that reflected locally sourced produce, the all important flowers. Katherine Norris at Northumbrian flowers was someone I was keen to get involved, and she jumped on board at being asked to supply the flowers all grown locally in Wark, on her flower farm. I am all for keeping down the carbon footprint, and this was a key element to the Sill also being designed the way it was.
I am obsessed with flowers. When I lived in France I had my own cut flower garden so I could fill my guests accommodation with blooms. Flowers and foliage that grow in harmony with the landscape particularly appeal to me; firstly they need less looking after, and secondly because they do not jar with the landscape. Their colours collect together the hues of the surroundings, and expose the atmosphere they grow in.
The morning of the shoot was like many in Northumberland. A autumnal mist had descended in the valleys, and the roadside burnt orca and pink hues emerged as I drove along the military road towards the Sill. This is a landscape of layered history and ethereal reminders of ancient time gone past.
The Sill is Northumberland National Park’s new flagship discovery centre. A place of learning and a new hub for everyone who is connected in some way to the landscape of Hadrian’s Wall. I am a relative newcomer in these parts. A mere six years in a millennia. But something struck a deep chord inside me when I arrived in Northumberland in the middle of winter in 2011, and the aura of the place will never leaver me. The Sill is, to me , a bit of a masterpiece of architecture, embracing modernity in an ancient landscape, whilst sitting ecologically on its footprint. Impressive. And a great space to bring together family and friends for a wedding! The roof make me think of the film Titanic, where iconically Rose and Jack flew above the ocean on the bow of the liner.
Whilst of course the Sill was paramount in the day of the shoot, the base line factor for the shoot was the Northumbrian landscape. So if you are the sort of couple who’s hearts are in the hills, who would like to bring their friends and family together for a wedding walk, then this is the place to start your marriage. The Sill also houses a brand new Youth Hostel, so you can accommodate all of your party on site. So a pre or post wedding hike should really be a pre-requisite to your day! And with Sycamore Gap (or known as Robin Hood’s tree), a mere 45 minute wal
k along Hadrian’s Wall and the amazing Whin Sill Crag, what more iconically Northumbrian day could you have! (Actually the start gazing there is pretty darn good too – for your evening drinks on the roof of the Sill.)
The Sill asked me to also shoot at Cawfields Quarry a little further on the military road. A gorgeous spot with a glass like pool, and a sheer crag to from a backdrop. The colours of autumn glistened on the pool ahead of the rain, and the black sky added further drama to the landscape.
So thanks to
The Sill – for inviting me!
Floral Quarter Weddings – for styling an antler adorned floral arch
Northumbria Flowers – for providing locally grown flowers.
Trish at Studio 19 for Hair Styling
and my models Tara and Paul