Bridal fashion doesn’t have to be boring or ordinary. Oh no, why not take those old-fashioned ideas and flip them on their head?! Antlers, coloured gowns, cardigans, plaid… the possibilities are endless!
“The main inspirations for this shoot were the gorgeous gowns (mostly vintage!) and my desire to incorporate some unexpected elements into the styling”, explained shoot stylist Jessica Santos Gallo of Fine and Fleurie. “Some of my favorite elements were the hand-crafted antlers and the bold-yet-boho cranberry gown.”
“It was important that we highlighted the change of seasons in the color palette of the shoot and made the most of our heavenly location. I also wanted each looks to serve as inspiration for brides and bridesmaids who are looking for something different. In my opinion, interesting details, vintage touches, plus a little element of surprise is the recipe for a perfectly styled bride or bridal party!”
Oh I love a surprise wedding! And a surprise wedding + pool party!? EPIC!
But this wasn’t actually a real wedding, it was set up as a recreation of the wedding of some friends of the photographer who were married 30 years ago. Jessie & Kenny had a wedding just like this one, in the exact same spot, in 1982 (some of their wedding photos are at the end of the gallery – how amazing are they?!) So to celebrate, and to have an their anniversary party with a difference, they decided to relive the whole thing. This is a styled shoot unlike the rest and, yes, they really had the big party afterwards!
Styled shoots have been wedding blog favourites for a few years now. I do like to feature them to share new wedding ideas with my bride & groom-to-be readers but I’ve always really preferred to publish real weddings. It’s not that I don’t like styled shoots, but I know real life examples always go down better than a ‘concept’ set up but a bunch of wedding industry professionals who think that it’s a quirky, cool (or in recent times – trendy) and very ‘blogable’ idea for a wedding.
Which is why I love this shoot. It is a new concept. It’s a recreation of a wedding, being sympathetic to the original inspiration while showcasing some awesome new ideas. Just like with Whit & Colby, I was initially disappointed when I realised that this wasn’t an actual wedding, but again like with Whit & Colby I love it because of the amazing creativity behind it. On reflection I congratulate the creative team for doing something that I wish everyone else would… actually being creative.
Mark & Ania didn’t particularly want a theme for their wedding, but what they did want was a relaxed and laid back wedding with all their friends and family. They chose Islington town hall as their ceremony venue as the north east of London is one of their favourite areas of the city. For their reception they headed to AK Rowing Club which is right on the bank of the Thames in Hammersmith.
“We went from not wanting a wedding at all to toying with an idea to run away and get married in secret”, began newlywed Ania. “But as the planning went on, the guest list grew bigger and bigger and we ended up with the project of organising a proper wedding. We really wanted for our big day to be as simple and relaxed as possible. We didn’t have any particular theme in mind when planning the day other than wanting a simple, informal day.”
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Felicia & Ariel wanted to plan a wedding with a nod to their heritage as well as the place they grew up. The wedding was held at The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, a non-profit education and research organisation, owned by the groom’s parents. “As born and raised Austinites and the children of hippies, we knew from the get-go that we didn’t want to have the ‘usual’ wedding,” began Felicia. “Ariel and I both love being in nature and so it seemed like a easy choice to have the wedding at the site of his family’s home and non-profit organization. We wanted the wedding to have a lot of color and reflect our passions and cultures. I’m Mexican-American and loved the idea of embroidered Mexican dresses for my bridesmaids, delicate papel picado banners, and bright paper flowers.”
“The funky architecture and homages on the property also added a lot of unique touches. We loved that our wedding was truly a family affair – from the location to the favors and the cupcakes, both our families were very involved. My mother is an artist and designed the invitations and streamers and my father, a musician, asked some of his bandmates to play during the cocktail hour. Our friends and family also had the choice of dancing or playing volleyball right next to the stage.”
The 1970s is an era we’re starting to see represented a lot more in the wedding industry. For a while it was avoided, with the 50s and 60s being the most popular decades for brides to emulate on their big days. However I’m thrilled that the tides are a-changing, especially when this resurgence in popularity lands pretty inspiration like this on my desk!
The shoot took place at Mercury Hall, Austin and was set up by photographer Jessica Monnich. “Mercury Hall was the perfect backdrop for this particular shoot as it is a gorgeous white cottage (on the inside and out) with colorful stained glass windows,” she wrote. “I have seen this space transformed in many different ways and I thought it would be perfect for our needs as the layout and design is simple.”
The bride wore a dress which Jessica bought on etsy and customised herself. “I dyed the dress with an ombre effect to give it a little bit of a modern hippie look. Our model created the beautiful feather earrings as well. The jewelry was borrowed from my Mom’s jewelry box and were authentic 70s pieces. The shoes she wore for most of the shoot were from Forever21 so nothing was super expensive but her foot tattoo really helped these shoes pop.”
“We really strived to create a ‘Peace, Love and Marriage’ feel throughout the shoot,” Jessica concluded. “Visual Lyrics created some amazing florals for us that had a ‘fresh picked out of the garden’ feel to them mixing high end flowers with typical 70s flowers like baby’s breath. The same owners of Visual Lyrics also started a new vintage rental company called Vintques so they brought all the beautiful couches, chairs and table and set up a table scape that complimented our theme perfectly.”
“They created a lounge scene outside that would be perfect for guests to wander to if they were all danced out. They also set up hookahs out there where guests use while lounging outside.”
Emily & George’s rustic autumnal wedding was sent to me by Carina and Nadine of Love Me Do Photography and I simply fell in love with all the personal touches.
The bride wore two dresses, the first, her Mother’s wedding dress from 1977, and the second, a vintage-inspired short number by Avioanni. She also wore vintage jewellery. “The necklace I wore in the church was the same one that my Mom wore on her wedding and it was my Great Grandmother’s (my Mom’s Grandmother),” the bride wrote. “The earrings I wore in the church were the ones my Grandmother (my Dad’s Mom) wore on her wedding and were given to her by my Grandfather. That was an amazing discovery. The jewelry I wore at the reception was also my Grandmothers but a little more modern looking. My aunt, Kathy, was amazing and loaned me most of the jewelry and told me some great stories along the way.”
The reception was held at Front and Palmer, Philadelphia. “We loved Front and Palmer from the beginning,” explained Emily. “We loved that it was a converted barrel factory and that the catering was part of the venue. We really liked the chandeliers, the wood floor, and the staff was just amazing!”
Instead of real flowers the couple opted for the paper variety. They bought them from Flowers from the Garden and loved the fact that they could keep them after the wedding. They also DIY’ed what they could with the help of friends and family.
“Amanda (of Love Me Do Photography) and my brother, John, made the candle centerpieces and did all the decor for the reception. John also made the card box – not just any card box, but a scale model of our house! Amanda also made the glitter backdrop for the photo booth. We bought the glitter in bulk from Southern Importers and used about 9 pounds of it!”