To me, the thing that makes a really great editorial shoot isn’t all the pretty details (although they help), the beautiful model or the amazing backdrop – it’s the narrative and the story that the images tell. As soon as I saw this shoot sent over by wedding photographer James Melia I instantly started wondering what this girl’s story was and what the photographer and stylist wanted to tell us.
But luckily for me I could just ask them! As James explains, “The inspiration for this shoot came from a really simple idea of just a girl, and the beauty of the everyday. Using our model Jemima as our inspiration. each of the contributors added our own elements while working with a colour palette of peacock blues and moss greens. We thought it would look really striking against her delicate translucent skin and white blue cropped hair.”
Engagement shoots might not be everyone’s bag, in fact I rarely blog them myself. But when I saw Kate & Brandon’s intimate and utterly gorgeous shoot I knew I had to break my self-imposed rule. I love how these images perfectly reflect the couple – their likes and dislikes, the things they do together and who they are as people – without any pretentiousness. Nothing is overdone and nothing has been imposed by the stylist – it just shows them.
“We wanted to feature Brandon’s motorcycle in the shoot as that’s his other love”, wrote stylist Rachael Lunghi of Lace and Likes. “They both smoke and enjoy whiskey so we brought that in. We sort of came up with a whole storyline about them riding out to the forest and then camping in their longjohns and drinking whiskey in the woods.”
After a sweet proposal outside the concert of one of their favourite bands, Emily & Casey set to planning their fairytale wedding. They wanted it to reflect how much in love they are as well as their fun, carefree and loving nature towards life.
“We are very laid back people and knew a proper, traditional wedding was totally not our style”, explained Emily. “I have always appreciated the more simple things in life such as nature and the beauty that can be found within it. So when our friends, the Bandy family, offered up their beautiful home and grounds as the location, I was giddy with excitement. The wedding was beautiful and seamless, our reception, a huge party; guests were wined, dined, and danced the night away. And at the end of a the long, stressful planning of a wedding, two best friends proclaimed to spend the rest of their lives together, doing what they do best; listening to records, making each other laugh, and most importantly being in love. That is what makes us Rock n Roll.”
I didn’t think people like this existed in real life. When I first laid eyes on Erik & Caitlin’s wedding images I was convinced it was a styled shoot with models. This couldn’t be an actual wedding, surely? But I was wrong and my heart whooped with joy.
The wedding took place in September at the bride’s parent’s home. The entire wedding cost less than $5000. (I know! As if it wasn’t amazing enough already, right?!) Caitlin designed her own dress (which was made by the mother of the groom and ended up costing only $190, including the veil!), wore $20 shoes (which she customised) and her floral headpiece was made by one of her bridesmaids an hour before the ceremony. The cakes were homemade, the flowers were grown and collected by friends and family and the invitations were hand painted and wax sealed by the bride. All the catering was done by the mother of the bride and the bride’s brother Matt acted as bartender. As you can probably imagine the couple also decorated the entire space themselves.
Noel & Dee’s Cork wedding had a laid back, bohemian vibe and was held at Ballyvolane House. The ceremony was held outside in the woods. “The owners of Ballyvolane House, Justin & Jenny Green and their wedding coordinator Breffne McKenna organised our ceremony and reception flawlessly”, began the bride. “We didn’t have to worry or think about anything on the day as everything went so smoothly. Even when our celebrant didn’t show up, there was no issue as Justin stood in to conduct our ceremony in the woods. This made it even more special. Our guests didn’t know any different, and just assumed Justin was the celebrant until he came around during the reception with a tray of champagne. Some of the guests commented that we were really getting our money’s worth out of him! We can’t thank them enough for going above and beyond in every way.”
The ceremony was made even more personal by the musicians who performed, “Music for the ceremony was by my husband’s extremely talented musician friends, Craig O’Neill, Grainne Gormley, Sandra O’Halloran and Karen Jordan”, Dee explained. “They chose the music and I walked up the aisle to ‘Scarborough Fair’. During the hand tying they sang a very old Irish love song called ‘Eileen Aroon’ and we walked back down the aisle to Bob Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’. All of these songs were so beautiful and haunting, it was so special to have them sing for us and we are eternally grateful. As Karen lives in Buenos Aires many a Skype practice session getting their harmonies right happened in preparation.”
After a romantic proposal that involved a treasure hunt around London, culminating in the bride being led to Greenwich Park where her groom proposed with a hamper of treats under the Royal Observatory, Becci & David were married at Wise Wedding Venue, a woodland hideaway in Kent.
“We sat down together at the very beginning and made a list of what we both imagined the day would feel and look like”, explained Becci. “We figured out what was actually important to us and what was just expected of us because it was a wedding. All we wanted was to be married in front of the people we loved and have a good old knees up, the rest was going to be a bonus. So we picked some traditional elements and some mixed them around until it felt like a day we’d like to go to. One of the best parts about planning the wedding was spending more time with our friends and family and getting to know them in new ways.”
“A big part of the decisions we made was our fab guests; we wanted them to have a relaxed, fulfilled day. We had lots of children we wanted to be a part of it and a few mums to be, so picked somewhere that felt would be comfortable for lots of different types of people.”
“I guess we hoped it would be a bit of a woodland wonderland adventure. When we visited the venue for the first time we knew instantly it was where we wanted to do it and that we were prepared to risk an outdoor wedding in the UK! Sam Wise, the owner of the venue has built two beautiful tree houses on the site, one for guests to explore and one for the honeymoon couple. As you wonder through the woods you find and host of swinging furniture and magical lighting brings the woods to life at night. Seeing the amazing colours and lights of the wood informed our colour choices. We admire and respect great craft and love the feeling of making something from scratch so wanted a handmade feel to the day.”