Author Archives: Erin Balfour

Bohemian Forest Elopement Shoot in Montreal

Using a real couple in a styled shoot is always going to raise the game. As well as getting to see the artistic licence and creative freedom of the wedding suppliers involved, you also witness the mad love and the chemistry of the couple hitting you square in the eyes. It’s a heady combination, as this shoot proves.

Marie-Line and Amiel, along with photographer Julia Garcia-Prat and her assistant Soha Isaatafreshi, took to the beautiful location of Mount Royal, the triple-peaked, green and idyllic hill that is the heart of Montreal in Canada’s Québec province, with the aim of capturing magic.

Mount Royal itself is the inspiration for this shoot, said Julia. “A stroll on this urban mountain tells you so much about Montreal’s spirit, and it’s where people from all walks of life are meeting, exchanging and connecting – LARPers, TamTam drummers, runners, yogis, hippies, couples who come to canoodle, and the ones who just dig the sunset while reflecting on modern buildings.”

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Rustic Botanical Wedding That Brought The Outdoors In

Sarah and Scott’s September wedding was originally meant to be held completely outside in a beautiful hollow in the trees at Hirst Priory, amidst beautiful lighting and hay bails for everyone to sit on. However, thanks to the UK weather and its mischief, they had to rethink and bring the outdoors in for much of it, including the arch! But then check out those moody skies and try and tell me you don’t love them. Do not fear the rain, people. It can never bring a good wedding day down.

You also have to admire this couple’s gung-ho attitude towards the budget. Sarah told us, “We didn’t have one! We decided from the beginning that we would do everything the way we wanted to without worrying about the cost. We wanted beautiful quality and that is 100% what we got!” When we asked was there anything they really saved money on, the reply was “No haha!! The biggest expense of our day, apart from the venue and two dresses, were our flowers because I wanted (needed!!) so many, and let’s face it they were so beautiful!” Yes, girl!!

Sarah, who got much of her inspiration from Pinterest, described their vibe as “Botanically rustic with a sparkly twist”, and their day really was all about the florals with her flower belt, flower crown and amazing bouquets.

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Laid Back Outdoor Wedding… with Lots & Lots of Crisps!

Amy and Martin went from slumming it in “grotty uni accommodation for four years” as friends, to getting wed at the beautiful and swanky Hampton Court Palace last August with a £13,000 budget. Their goal was to make the day as fun and stress-free as possible, and to wear pants that were in keeping with their surroundings. Yes, you read that correctly. More on that later.

Amy said, “We were our own inspiration. We wanted to make it as personal to us as possible. So having scratch cards as favours, a quiz at the reception, and rude wording on light boxes all helped to make it a fun, laid back day!”

They chose to have their ceremony and reception in The Garden Room for several reasons, said Amy. “Firstly, it’s where we got engaged. Well, sort of! Martin pulled up on a boat on the river in front of Hampton Court and proposed with a Haribo ring (sweet, right?!) Secondly, it’s stunning and I am a massive history geek, so it was a great backdrop to our big day. Thirdly, we live down the road and wanted somewhere local and relatively easy for the majority of our guests. We also wanted the venue and reception in one place to keep logistics simple and maximise drinking time (priorities!) Finally, I work there – some people might find it weird to get married where they work, but it’s a spectacular setting and certainly not your average office, so it made complete sense to us to have it there.”

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Urban Grunge vs Glamorous Woodland Engagement Badassery

Engagement shoots are a great way for you and your photographer to get used to each other on a more relaxed occasion than the wedding day, and for you to really get comfortable being photographed by a professional.  And when you approach your shoot with extra thought about what you might wear and where you might go (pro-tip choose somewhere that speaks volumes about you as a couple) you’ll end up with stunning portraits that will be intimate and meaningful as well as beautiful keepsakes.

Brooke and Corey’s gorgeously editorial-looking shoot took place half at Stoney Point Conservation Area in Ontario, Canada and half at nearby Belleriver skate park.

Brooke said, “The main focus was to show the different sides of us as a couple. We have a really fun, outgoing, edgy side of us that really came out during the time with our photographer Alisha. And it very much reflected our creative side by fully exposing most of our tattoos in the dim, almost dark lighting conditions.”

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Black & White Retro Inspired Friday 13th Wedding

Emily and Ricky’s polka-dotted monochrome meets Friday 13th wedding was a long-awaited event. They’d been engaged for six of the nine years they’ve been together! Traditions, particularly the money-suck ones, were shown the door as these two felt the pressure of the financial side of things and so did it their own way by only including details that truly meant something to them. The budget was just under $10,000 and there were some clever ways they had up their sleeves to stick to it!

The bride said of the theme, “Honestly, it’s a mixture of having a ton of different inspirations plus not really knowing how to plan a wedding at all! I originally wanted to have a more goth-inspired wedding and a black dress. I saw pinup model Cherry Dollface’s vintage black and white fishtail wedding dress and asked her where she got it. It was Whirling Turban and as soon as I saw the ‘Pristine’ dress in polka dots, I knew I had to have it. Thus the polka dot theme was born.”

They originally wanted to have the wedding actually on Halloween because it’s their favourite holiday, but they thought it would be took cold then to have an outdoor wedding. “As soon the venue said the only early October date that fit our criteria was Friday 13th, Ricky looked at me excited and said, ‘That’s when we’re getting married!’ and so the pumpkin and subtle autumn themes came to be. The black and white theme has always kind of been a thing for us for some slightly obvious reasons (*cough cough* we’re an interracial couple *cough cough*). We’ve always been aware of how different we are compared to the vast majority of the couples in Texas, and we wanted to celebrate that as well.”

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A Celestial Meets Earthly Styled Shoot

What’s really beautiful and original about this shoot is how it has cleverly positioned lots of opposites – the hard textures of the geometric ornaments versus soft textures like velvet, and the earthly rock crystals and smoke next to the heavens and galaxies depicted in the tablecloths. It’s created a styling synergy and a very interesting dynamic. Alongside these oppositional details, there are also elements that come together, echo and complement each other, creating yet another line of interest. There’s way more here than meets the eye than just pretty styling for its own sake – there are connotations and depth to be experienced and inspired by.

Lydia, a florist from Wyld, came up with the idea for the shoot. She said “All of us wanted to try something we haven’t been able to in the past, something a bit out of the ordinary, a little challenging.”

“We worked with new materials and interesting textures to create a ‘unicorn feast’. The table was full of delicious desserts and rock candy from Sweet Pistachio; the centrepiece, instead of a typical vessel, had flowers suspended inside a geometric gold sculpture, almost dangling in front of you like a trap that’s been set.”

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