This shoot was the largest most elaborate shoot that I have ever planned. It brought together some of my favourite creative people from Canberra and beyond, and, 3 years on, is still one of my favourite shoots. Here's what I wrote about the day over on Rock My Wedding where it was originally published.
Genevieve and I first did a styled shoot together in early 2015 and the results were stunning. So when Gen contacted me to say that she was coming back to Canberra and asked me if I would like to shoot with her again I jumped at the chance. I decided that I wanted to pull together a huge shoot, featuring lots of local Canberra small businesses and talent and that I wanted to style the shoot like a dream wedding. The first person who came on board was Fionna, the amazing florist and designer behind local label Peony ’n Pearl. Fionna worked with Gen and I on the last shoot and was keen to be involved again.
Fionna and I decided to put our heads together and brainstorm ideas for the shoot. We started by looking at wedding trend predictions and loved the emerging metallics trend. I already had 2 gold gowns that would be prefect to fit in with that theme. Another trend that we picked up on was abundant florals and loose bouquets, both of which suit Fionna’s style perfectly.
By this point we knew that we were using my 2 gold gowns. One was a long, gold sequin gown and once was a gold sequin and lace corset with a huge fairytale ivory tulle skirt. We decided to style them with gold lace crowns and delicate fresh flower crowns. I also had a red to white, hand dyed ombre silk chiffon gown that I was keen to shoot. We decided to style this with a huge fresh flower crown. Once we had the 3 gowns chosen, it helped us decide that our colour scheme was going to be gold metallics, reds and pinks.
Once we had this as our starting point, I started getting other Canberra creatives onboard. I contacted Kartika from Swish Vintage about bringing props and décor and styling the elaborate table for us. Kartika had been part of the previous shoot as well as was also keen to do something new. She suggested using candles, and adding gold glitter to bottles as part of the table setting. She also came up with a plan for a bar area with brandy bottles and cocktails, and for a show stopping wedding cake covered in gold glitter and fresh flowers.
As we wanted as many wedding details for the shoot as possible, I also brought in Melita from Invitations by Melita to create a range of invites and stationery that went with our theme. Melita picked up on the gold metallic, red and pink colour scheme and created a beautiful range of invites, menu cards and place settings for us to use.
Next it was time to find models. I put out a casting call and got a huge response. From those who replied we chose Ashlea Perry and Angelina Leljack (both from Devojka models). Their looks suited the style we were going for perfectly. Matthew Gambrill agreed to be our male model, and Braddon Tailors agreed to lend us some of their beautiful suits for him to wear. Jacqui Scott from Jacqui Scott Makeup joined the team, along with Shay Flanigan as her makeup assistant, and Julie Oakely from Dilkara Hair who joined as our hairdresser.
By this point, we had everything in place except a location. We’d shot our last shoot in a dramatic redwood forest near Canberra, but this time we were keen to have a venue that could provide us with somewhere indoors and outdoors to shoot. Fionna got in touch with a Emelia, a friend of hers who works at Pialligo Estate in Canberra. Gen, Fionna and I went to look around Pialligo Estate and it was perfect! It has rustic indoor areas, dramatic metal doors, garden pavilions with views across Parliament house to the Brindabellas, and stunning gardens, vines and orchards. It had everything that we were hoping for and more. Pialligo Estate had only recently been renovated and was just starting to take wedding bookings, so they were very happy for us to shoot there to show their potential clients just what it can look like when styled for a wedding. They also provided sharing platters for the styled table and cocktails for the cocktail station to showcase their incredible food, much of which is made from ingredients grown and produced on the estate.
On the day of the shoot, we all arrived early and started setting the table and bar scene in one of Pialligo Estate’s garden pavilions while the models had their hair and makeup done. As we were setting up, the skies got greyer and greyer and the rain started. We started shooting in and around the farmhouse and pavilions while we waited for the rain to pass, but it didn’t. After sheltering in the pavilion for a while, we decided that we should just got for it and shoot in the rain and I’m so glad that we did. The colours of the dresses and flowers and the gold sequins and glitter look sensational against the grey, muted backdrop of the rain. The results speak for themselves – I’ll never be disappointed when there’s rain forecast before a photo shoot again!
All of these looks were shot in the morning of a crazy busy day. In the afternoon we relocated to the stunning peach orchard and vineyards at Pialligo with the styling inspired by the orchard itself. I'll share that one next time.
Click here to see the full gallery for inspiration for your next event.
Published on Rock My Wedding
Gowns and headpieces - Rockstars and Royalty
Photographer - Miss Gen
Florist and flower crowns - Peony n Pearl
Location - Pialligo Estate
Hair - Julie Oakley at Dilkara
Suits - Morganson's Finery (formerly Braddon Tailors)
Models - Angelina Leljak, Ashlea Perry and Matthew Gambrill for Devojka Models
Invitations - Invitations by Melita (no longer trading)
Table styling - Swish Vintage (no longer trading)