A Day in the Life…At The Wedding Magazine Cover Shoot

Ruth wearing Candy Anthony

So last week I was invited by Catherine Westwood, editor at Wedding Magazine, if I’d like to go hang out at a cover shoot with them. Ermmm… let me think about this for like two seconds…YES PLEASE! Before you go getting all excited, no I wasn’t asked to model! It will probably be a cold day in hell before any wedding mag can have a pink haired chick on the cover. These publications have to appeal to the mass market and I feel that a neon-headed, inked bride might alienate a rather large proportion of their readership!

I was up early last Thursday and on the train to London, excited and honoured to have been invited…even though a little (no, a lot) tired. I arrived at the shoot at 9.30 to be greeted by a familiar face in hairdresser Sev of The Hepburn Collection who had been invited to do the hair, and Julia Ford, art editor of the magazine. I also got to hang out with the rest of the team, many of whom I’d met briefly before at various wedding shows and events. Alison from Pollen Nation (who I worked with on The Big Fat Wedding Bloggers Photo Shoot) was even there to supply some of the gorgeous flowers.

Stylist Claire puts the finishing touches to Ruth’s first look

The models, Ruth (check out her beauty blog, A Model Recommends), Kirstie, Rose and Polly were all unsurprisingly stunning…and lovely. It was so fun to hang out with them and see them do their ‘thing’. Unlike some of those reality TV shows you see, their was no model-to-model bitchiness (yeeey) and they were all completely charming and adorable…and Polly even brought cakes. I liked her instantly.

Model Polly is getting married in June and making 200 of these for her guests. How cute?!

The magazine intern Billy and press agent for Butler & Wilson, Jo, showed me the dresses and accessories for the shoot. They’d brought what seemed like enough to fill a whole bridal shop as Julia, Catherine and stylist Claire were deciding on which looks and dresses to go for then and there. It was all very organic and a total team effort went into how each style and shot should look. There as certainly no ‘Devil Wears Prada’ feel about the day! I even got to give my input into which dresses and accessories I liked (for the record Ruth’s Candy Anthony number – pictured above – was my favourite.)

The beautiful and adorable Rose – it was her first time wearing a wedding dress!

Catherine told me that unlike wedding blogs, the styling and content of magazines has to be appropriate to appeal to the mass market, but that she was keen to push boundaries in whichever ways she could. For example one of the models, Rose, had a super short pixie crop hair style and they’d never had a bride with such short hair on the cover before. Also for one of the shots (each model had 2/3 outfits) Sev styled Kirstie’s hair with a plait going across her forehead – again, something that to you and I might not seem completely ground-breaking, but for a mainstream wedding magazine this was a style that again, had never been put on a cover before.

Kirstie was stunning (and really did look like Reese Witherspoon)

I’ll be honest, when people criticise the mainstream wedding mags for being to ‘boring’ or ‘traditional’ or ‘samey’ it really does upset me. This small team work tirelessly and to horrific deadlines to try and produce a magazine that will fly off the shelves (hell, blogs have it easy – we don’t have to obsess over how many copies we sell!) This is why I am so excited that I’ve been asked to work alongside the magazine. It just proves that opposites really can work together and give a fully-rounded (traditional and alternative) view on weddings. Everybody wins.

OK I’m off to clamber off my soap-box now, hang on…

I sneaked a look at how the final shots were looking…

Editorial photographer Seb Winter worked quickly with each girl. As with any shoot I’ve been on, it’s the hair, make up and styling that takes the most time. As you can imagine (especially for such a high profile shoot as this one!) they all need to be perfect. As I mentioned, each girl had 2/3 outfits. Catherine told me that they shoot nearly a year’s worth of magazine covers in just one day – a time and money saving exercise. Well, there would be no point in hiring the studio, getting the whole team out of the office and acquiring all the dresses, accessories etc to just to do one shot! It was funny, because Julia showed us all the cover for the next issue (out in June) which was shot this time last year and with one of the same models who was with us that day!

Polly. I wish I could hate her but she was too lovely for words!

The day was a long but awesome one. I had such fun hanging out with everyone and they really did make me feel like part of the family. I was honoured to have been asked by Catherine to attend, and I’m loving the fact that Wedding Magazine are realising the influence and power of wedding blogs and that they are keen to work closely with us. It’s a very exciting time in this industry of ours, and I’m over the flipping moon to be a part of it.

Intern Billy and I checking out the Twitter response after I posted a few pictures

And finally…I wanted to create my own Wedding Magazine cover…luckily for me the models (and the magazine editor!) all had a sense of humour.

Dresses pictures (top row)
Candy Anthony
Olivia Couture (supplied by Blackburn Bridal Couture)

Art direction: Julia Ford (art editor) and Catherine Westwood (editor)
Photographer: Seb Winter at my management
Make-up: Cheryl Phelps at aartlondon
Hair: Severin at The Hepburn Collection
Fashion Stylist: Claire Ridley
Fashion intern: Billy Hasan
Models: Ruth Crilly of FM Agency, Kirstie Bennett at FM Agency, Rose Killin of MOT Models and Polly Furnival of Models One
Flowers: Provided by various florists - Pollen NationMary Jane Vaughan, Violets & Velvet and Pesh Flowers

All Photography by myself & (where stated) Julia Ford

36 comments

  1. Great post! I interned with Claire at Wedding last Summer – attended my first shoots (one in a studio and one on location with the gorgeous Polly) and it was such a great atmosphere. Now as a bride to be I’m an avid reader of Wedding too. I will always have such a soft spot for that magazine!

  2. MrsEtoB

    I love this post, looks like tons of fun! Definitely prefer your alternative front cover though! So funny!

  3. Rosie

    I used to live next door to Rose! I keep seeing her around modelling now – she’s stunning!

    Gorgeous pictures :)

  4. Post author

    andrea, check out my facebook. i linked to it last week i think. cant remember off the top of my head right now…

  5. Love these pix Kat, amazing, so much fun! The styling is beautiful too and I’m lusting after all the dresses. I can’t wait to see all the front covers now – and the Jasmine Star workshop shoot styled by the same team. Thanks to Wedding Magazine for sharing with blogland! xxx

  6. So pleased I could live this vicariously through you! Great reading about how they work especially as magazines are my vice it’s always good to know how much effort goes into making them. I love that there is a relationship between bloggers and publishers and that they are in fact embracing this, opening up to ideas and pushing their own boundaries. Kat your photos are really good, though of course I suppose they may have been helped by having such gorgeous subjects ;) Love the back of the knot dress [which dress is that?!] and the pretty peachy flowers. x

  7. This looks like so much fun! I love the fact that wedding magazines and wedding bloggers can work so closely together.

  8. Post author

    charley – i will find out from the mag who designed that dress for you and yes it was a FAB day!

  9. this is so fabulous. i love seeing all the behind the scenes shots. and i love what you wrote about the interesting dynamic of being an offbeat bride participating in a mainstream wedding shoot. i wholeheartedly agree that the two opposites can inspire each other. “everybody wins” is exactly what that is. thanks so much for sharing this, kat!

  10. If a wedding magazine had your alternative shoots on the cover I’d be there buying it straight away! Love it!

  11. What a fab shoot! I love the Candy Anthony dress. It’s great that Wedding Magazine are trying new things, and I love that there were a mix of models – after all not every bride-to-be looks the same! Well done on the photos too – they are fab! I wouldn’t know the first thing – I am very impressed! Excellent read xxx

  12. Tanya

    What a fab day it seemed to be and I actually liked to see your pics rather than a pro togs pics – nice to see some casual ‘real’ behind the scene photos for a change !

  13. Chirpy

    When I was in the Candy Anthony shop today then I saw that first dress and it is just as gorgeous off camera! The ladies in the shop were delighted that Kat showed it on here.

    The Candy Anthony team are amazing btw – super talented of course but really lovely too!

  14. Chelsea

    Can anyone find out for me where I can find something like the headpiece Rose is wearing? I have the same cut and am at a loss as to what to wear on my head for the ceremony! Thanks so much!

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