With the recent news of this much loved historic hotel being sold I thought I’d share with you a mash up of styled shoots that I’ve been a part of there…. and show you that a hotel wedding doesn’t have to always look the same.

Even if a hotel has a certain look or character, you can still totally put your own unique spin on things.

By adding or removing pieces of furniture or props to a specific room you can free up space, let more light in or even hide areas that you don’t necessarily want to be seen.

By incorporating one of the colours from the venues decor in to your colour scheme you can compliment rather than clash with your surroundings.

Just take a look at these three styled shoots and how different each one is from the other.

Art Deco Styled Shoot


I styled this 1920’s inspired shoot way back in 2018. Agata from UpArt Photography came up with the concept and asked me to come on board with styling and bridalwear. The influence of this era really suited the hotel. We didn’t want to go over the top with a “theme”, so just added little touches here and there with a nod to the style of the 20’s. You can see more images of this fab shoot and read all about it over on the Duke’s blog here.

Art Deco Styled Shoot Groom
Art Deco Styled Shoot Flowers
Art Deco Styled Shoot Stationery
Art Deco Styled Shoot Bride
Art Deco Styled Shoot Cake
Art Deco Styled Shoot Couple

Venue The Duke of Cornwall Hotel  Photographer UpArt Photography Flowers The Secret Garden Flowers 

Suit & Shoes The Vintage Suit Hire Dress Rock The Frock Bridal Cake Cut Me Off A Slice

Stationery Knots and Kisses Props: The Prop Factory Hair Stylist Wags Hair MUA Gem Ryder MUA

Bride Philippa Bowden & Groom Mark Bowden

Style & Sophistication


The lovely Meg from Mimosa Photography came up with this shoots concept. She wanted to showcase something traditional to compliment the hotel but with “an added touch of opulence”.

Meg asked us to provide the dresses for this shoot.

There’s such a diverse range amongst our concession of Rock the Frock Bridal, Meg knew we’d have something perfect to fit with her theme.

She chose to use two dresses to give two very different looks. Something with the wow factor for the ceremony and then something a little more simple yet elegant for the evening look.

You can check out lots more of this shoots images here.

Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication
Style & Sophistication

Photography Mimosa Photography Dress Rock The Frock Bridal Necklace: Lavish Lockets

Hairpiece The Lucky Sixpence Hair stylist No4 Hair Make-up Chloe Jane MUA

Florist The Secret Garden flowers Bride model Emily Ball Groom Model Stuart Mcintosh

A Vintage Tea Party


This was a little different from previous shoots at the Duke that we’re taken part in! Showcasing a more fun and colourful side to the hotel the team pulled together a mix up of vintage tea party and added a little Alice in Wonderland twist. We were asked to provide the lovely Blue Tweed Suit from our concession of The Vintage Suit Hire Co and a pretty Tea Length Wedding dress from our Rock the Frock Bridal collection. The ceremony shots took place way up in the Tower, outdoor images over the road from the hotel amongst the trees and then a pretty little afternoon tea set up in the dining room.

You’ll find way more pics and you can check out who was involved over on the blog post here.

A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party
A Vintage Tea Party

“It is a time of change at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel as after 18 years of ownership Jonathan Morcom and Walter Combstock have handed over the keys to Bespoke Hotels. Bespoke Hotels operate over 200 properties world wide, including over 65 properties in the UK currently, with the Duke being the first in Plymouth.”

Oh go on then, I’ll tell you a little bit of interesting info about the hotel that I just learned over on wikipedia…

The hotel was built in a Victorian Gothic style. It was opened in 1865 to cater for the increasing number of travellers who were coming to the region by rail and sea.

The hotel survived the World War II Plymouth Blitz without any damage, and was the venue for regular functions throughout the war. In the 1970s and early 1980s it was threatened with closure but, helped by poet laureate John Betjeman's praise for its architecture and was saved by a major refurbishment.

So, I think if it can survive the Blitz it can survive being sold to a hotel chain…. we wish everyone at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel the best and look forward to seeing it thrive! 


I've spent so long in the darkness, I'd almost forgotten how beautiful the moonlight is” Emily The Corpse Bride

Gothic Bride Outside

Styled wedding shoots over the last few years have become more and more popular, which is wonderful as they’re a great way for us creative suppliers to showcase our talents and appeal to a  much wider audience. 

As well as organising my own shoots, I’m often asked by others to either provide products that I stock in the shop or come on board to lead the styling side of things. Admittedly these are the ones I enjoy the most because I love to help bring a concept to life! 

Gothic Bride

Take this shoot for example…

MUA Gemma Ryder and Hairstylist April Wagner are no stranger to a styled shoot. They’re extremely talented ladies and both have great reputations for their “pretty bridal”, however they wanted to showcase another side to their work and create a shoot that would let you see just how versatile they can be.

Gothic Bride
Gothic Bride Hair

Now, as you know I’m always up for doing something a little edgy so this was right up my street. It’s fun to get asked to style something that isn’t necessarily traditional bridal, or expected of certain suppliers. So, I was really excited to be asked to get involved with this small team and head to the grounds of Pentillie Castle in Cornwall to create a gothic inspired bridal shoot. 

Gothic Cake

Located a little distance from the castle you’ll discover The Victorian Bathing Hut which is set on the edge of the River Tamar. On shoot day the venue and river was covered with a really eerie mist. The surrounding wooded areas coupled with the river made the perfect setting for this darker styled bridal shoot.

The Bathing Hut

With both the stationery and the styling for this shoot I wanted to create something that although dark could still feel romantic. It was about trying to show how you can take inspiration from the Gothic realms and it still be as beautifully bridal as something that is light, bright and airy. 

Gothic Styling
Gothic Skull
Gothic Stationery

The venue itself needed very little styling, it’s history and decor lent itself to the theme brilliantly. We loaned a couple of pieces from well know Exeter based Prop Factory, had a cake made by Edible Essence and I raided my ever growing props cupboard for the smaller styling details. 

Gothic Wedding
Gothic Styled Shoot
Gothic Invite

Over the last couple of years bridal separates are growing in popularity. The model wore a long sleeved black lace top with a floor length black and red layered tulle skirt which were actually from our in house collection of Atypical Bridalwear.

Gothic Bride

Here’s what the team had to say about the shoot…..

“It was so exciting to create a really strong makeup look for this styled shoot. It gave me the opportunity to stretch myself creatively and that is every makeup artist’s dream. Not all brides are the same but a lot do prefer a natural, romantic makeup look, so to work on something darker and edgier was fun. This look of course can be paired back to a simple dark, smokey eye and nude lip which may appeal to many brides looking for a more dramatic look for their BIG day.” Gemma Ryder - MUA

Gothic Bride In Veil

“From the very first moment Gem Ryder MUA invited me to be a part of this project, I knew it was going to be special. Her vision and this collaboration was a great opportunity to showcase everyone’s unique skills, and show our audience a different take on a bridal editorial. Weddings these days are so versatile and creative, there’s a lot more room for new influences and inspiration. I loved how instead of bright, light and airy, we got to present a darker, raw and moody look for those brides who are not afraid to make a little statement, go against the current and be who they really want to be on one of the most important days of their lives. I hope this shoot will inspire future brides to play with styles and themes and just have fun creating their own vision for their wedding day.” Photography – UpArt Photography

The Bathing Hut

“What a fantastic look! I absolutely loved being part of this dramatic wedding styled shoot. It’s always an amazing feeling to reach out from the normal classic bridal looks and create something spectacular. As a group I think we smashed it! I was inspired by the ‘Game of Thrones’ look, soft curls and plaits… Then with my own imagination, a few tweaks and changes I created this more dramatic, Gothic and eye-catching look. This could easily be adapted to bridal hair, there is no right or wrong when creating your bridal style. If you love it, DO IT!!! Hair Stylist – April Wagner

Gothic Masked Bride

What do you think to a black wedding… would you risk going to the dark side for your big day? 

Gothic Wedding

The Team

Makeup – Gem Ryder Makeup Artist 

Hair – April Wagner Hair 

Photography – UpArt Photography 

Stationery & Styling – Faithful Designs at The Wedding Hub 

Top & Skirt – Atypical Bridalwear

Cake – Edible Essence – Edible Essence Cake Art 

Props – The Prop Factory 

Venue – The Bathing Hut Pentillie Castle

Model – Livi Bassett


We all know how good a new outfit can make us feel right? How wearing the right clothes can either lift your spirits, filling you with confidence or drown them and make you feel crap. 

So shouldn't your choice of wedding dress be given the same consideration? Shouldn't it be YOUR decision based on how it makes YOU feel?

Recently one of my lovely friends came by the shop for a mini photoshoot with Mrs Jutson  Photography and the dresses from one of the awesome designers Rock the Frock have on board. Sadly the Chantel Lauren Trunk Show couldn't stay for long and had to head back after just a couple of days but we did get to see them up close and can honestly say they were breathtaking! 

After seeing Jo in these beautiful dresses it really made me think and inspired me to write this little blog post.

I believe each dress has a story and can make you feel different, like you're stepping in the role of a character. A dress can stir up emotion, feelings..

Not only does a dress have to fit your body perfectly it should feel perfect. It should feel like you, your style, personality and your character! 

I asked Jo afterwards how each dress made her feel, because to us it was such a visible transformation with every dress she tried on. We had regal, sexy, feminine and woodland fairy...can you guess which dress made her feel these emotions?

How would you like your dress to make you feel? 

Although we no longer have these dresses here we do have 15 super lovely gowns for you to come and try on. Rock the Frock pride themselves on finding dresses for the alternative, boho, vintage inspired and retro lovers amongst if that's the FEEL you're going for give us a call and book an appointment.

Later D x