So last March I shot a wedding style shoot with the LUX theme. A style shoot isn’t a real wedding… in fact there are no clients involved at all. This was a deliberate get together key vendors to produce a jaw dropping setting in the Luxurious London Hotel setting of 3 South Place Hotel.
A style shoot allows vendors to experiment with their ideas, but then record them so future clients can see what it would look like and give them reassurance that the wedding suppliers can produce amazing work. For me, I wanted to show an editorial side to my work and achieve shots on location, but with a photo studio feel. Which is perfect as it allowed me to refine my processes to get those amazing images in any situation while keeping them stunning.
This theme was well thought out in advance. For example, the design of stationary intentionally matched to the flowers. Overall the venue needed to be dressed to impress potential high society guests. This is not how to have a budget wedding at all, but rather, when budget is available, what can be achieved. The flowers certainly took centre-stage in this set-up. They were absolutely beautiful. I just love the use of colour and foliage – so luxe and jaw-droppingly gorgeous!
The final look, a luxurious modern theme with an Art Deco twist. Shot in London’s 5 Star, art filled, South Place Hotel whom hosted a close group of suppliers, we were able to create an Art Deco inspired theme without losing the contemporary modern feel expected at any high end event.
Touches include the golden oval design chairs to match gold trims and hard edges of the table landscape. Golden cutlery and gold rimmed glasses to bring the speak easy feel from the Art Deco era. Finally all this was complimented with vibrant flowers in abundance to ensure a luxury look, feel and scent for guests (OMG they smelt beautiful). It’s all in the detail … co-ordinating crockery, cutlery and decorative elements pulled this look together. I love the sophisticated ambience created by the staggered heights of the floating tea lights, and the droplets from the flowers arrangements are oh-so-lush. Naturally, the cake needed to fit in with Mannuela’s vision for the day and her brief was ‘colourful flowers and foliage in pinks, peach and green’.
The Venue – 3 South Place Hotel
South Place Hotel is licensed for weddings and civil ceremonies. It is just a few minutes walk from both Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations, which makes it the perfect choice for your Chic City Wedding. This is a boutique hotel that is as luxurious as it is lively, a deft mixture of the contemporary City, London’s most historic quarters and the achingly cool East End.
I’ve been a few times now both as a guest and to shoot. I always stay longer than planned and always have a good time, so much so my friends and I still talk about it. It it that kind of venue and vibe combination.
Photography wise, its great for me. Lovely art pieces throughout with statement pieces which are either seasonal or change to a different thematic experience each time. The different theme for the bars and secret garden make for fantastic backdrops, but let’s not forget… the roof terrace for that cityscape sunset too.
Behind the scenes: How do you make a LUX theme wedding?
Venue dressing alone was a team of six hard working girls on Emannuela’s team. It took four hours to go from a blank canvas to prepare and dress the venue to the final LUX result. This was good as this allowed both me on photos and Sky on video to get our creative heads together. We had time to plan our shooting and also capture behind the scenes shots. This is typical of a good creative team at any wedding. It’s very important to speak to other creatives on a real wedding day to ensure best client experience and maximise the final products from my newly wed couples.
This shoot saw our hard working model Katherine Beard getting shots done from the start. We shot out images almost non-stop right through from bridal preparation to candid (my speciality in capturing natural and relaxed shots) and posed images. We had full use of the hotel. This included the Michelin starred restaurant and roof terrace as well as the bars and garden. This really showed the diversity in themes a hotel can bring especially when design is a key feature of a wedding theme. All areas had diverse backdrops which all in some way complemented the dress, the flowers or the table landscape.
The result? OMG it’s beautiful!
As an Art Deco fan I was over the moon with the lines and shapes of the chairs and tableware. The touches from the glasses and the suite of the hotel made for perfect partners in this theme. I wasn’t sure about bold colours… you have to be courageous to even think of that, but Mannuela is certainly that kind of lady and the result was opulent beyond words. I left a big fan of both her and her work and really hope a like minded couple try to re-create this set-up… but of course, with their personality to add the finishing touches, making it bespoke to them.
I’ll always remember this shoot. Not only did I have a great time with my own creativity, but also the amazing work done by all. Also a little laugh… The venue actually hosted a real wedding on the day of the shoot. This meant I got my directions from the concierge to the actual bridal suite where a bride to be and her wedding party were well into pre-ceremony prep. They were not expecting to see me and my camera at all, especially as their other photographer was with the grooms party. It was also funny to walk around with a model bride really and bump into a group of confused groom mens pre-ceremony wondering where their bride had gone!
And Finally – A shot of me behind the scenes… and the bouquet
I have fun on every wedding day. This is easily done as I know once folks are calm and relaxed they can enjoy a little bit of pre-ceremony nerves and smiling and laughs are definitely contagious. Its also hard not to feel part of the moment with love and joy in the air.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Check the video of the shoot created by Aloha Films London
Thanks to these great vendors for their amazing work and for being part of the shoot.
Planner, Florist & Venue Stylist: Florissa Designs
Lead Photographer: Steve Mulvey Photography
2nd Photographer: Inger Sanders
Videographer: Aloha London Films
Model: Katherine Beard
Dress 1: Morgan Davies Bridal
Dress 2: House of Eliora
Make-Up & Hair: Rosana Saraiva
Hair accessories 1: Ritz & Sass
Hair accessories 2: Alexandra Bespoke Bridal
Stationery: Vintage Fleur Designs
Cake Designer: Amara Cake Boutique