Wow, this week is photoshoot heaven, eh? =)
The shoot I’m showing you today was actually photographed in January for Hearten Magazine, produced by the Independent Wedding Association. Now that the magazine is out (and you should really go read through the whole thing, it is AMAZING!) I can share the shoot as well, and I’m so proud of how it turned out!
It all started with me having a dream about an image. I wanted it to look like Vanity Fair and be a modern winter wedding with medieval elements and the groom was wearing a wolf head. Yep, these are the dreams I have. It just so happened, that as I started to flesh this shoot out on paper, I attended an IWA meeting where they wanted to photograph elements of Scandinavia for inspiration…including one based on Norse mythology. So it was all meant to be!
As with all the shoots I do, I try to think like a current bride. What elements would be in the wedding? What would be practical vs just looking pretty? Rather than having a themed wedding, what would a bride that likes these design elements do to keep her wedding contemporary? And my secret weapon…I started asking some incredibly talented vendors in the area to be a part of the shoot so we could all organically design the concept.
We broke Norse Mythology down to the basics. Moss, ferns, candles, wood, metal, strong, substantial, natural. To modernize it, we decided to keep the color palette clean, especially since we were shooting in winter. White and gray with touches of black and neutral browns became the color scheme. Whenever you choose a fairly monochromatic color palette, texture comes heavily into play for visual interest, so all of the vendors focused on that. From the subtle textures of the hand made paper and tablecloth, the natural textures of the cake and flower varieties, to the crimped texture of the model’s hair and ribbon of her bouquet, most elements had thought put into how it would fit as a whole in the design concept.
The Tree of Life is a huge part of Nordic mythology as is intricate knot work. Loving history as I do, it was fun to go back before the Vikings left their shores, to explore the people that had these myths of Fenrir, Odin and Thor.
<Geek Moment> My intense love of Lord of the Rings, especially the people of Rohan had a lot of influence in this shoot as well. Tolkien took the history of the ancient Norse as inspiration for the Silmarillion and it was easy for me to picture the visual elements I wanted to use because they were perfectly executed in the books and movies. Ahem, I digress.
The Outing Lodge in Stillwater was a natural choice for the shoot. With the dark wood interior and stone fireplace, it is one of the only venues in the Twin Cities with medieval and rustic charm. The Outing Lodge’s chef created a perfect dish to compliment the shoot, a roasted chicken with root vegetables and a rosemary garnish. Set on a metal plate with pewter silverware and a linen napkin with a bird’s nest ring, the dish was fit for a king.
A Day in Provence used grays and whites throughout her floral designs. Her winter bouquet was given a very homespun feel…cotton, spanish moss and dusty miller with snowy white nerine and soft gray hues of brunia berries and kochia. This beautiful combination of natural floral elements compliments the season. The table was accented with rustic gray barn wood boxes adorned with black velvet ribbon. Soft textural elements along with unexpected pops of fresh cotton and bold anemones made the designs complete.
Medieval Nordic design evokes an image of handmade beauty that isn’t fussy or overdone and shows function and structure. Jessica’s Cakes took that aesthetic and went one step further with a completely unadorned cake. It provided gorgeous visual texture and the warm brown color made it stand out perfectly against the white filling. Fall and winter weddings are ideal for deeper flavors, denser textures, and richer colors. Cardamom is a spice that is found in Scandinavian baking and a favorite of Jessica’s in general. Applesauce and sourcream add the necessary moisture retainers to the batter and the cake formula was dense enough to be stable even stacked 4 tiers high, 4 layers per tier. And oh my goodness did it taste good!
The invitations and other paper elements were created by Red Letter Design Studio, who also did the hand calligraphy. Red Letter teamed up with Nomadic Press to come up with the idea for the favors, which were bottles of whiskey and spices in a custom wood box. Using an ink pen, the calligraphy on textured hand made paper with torn edges added to the medieval element. The wax seal was another literal element of the time referenced and gave us some versatility to use in a couple different applications. Place cards hanging from a chord of cut wood in front of a roaring fire adds to the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the Outing Lodge and invites you in for hearty comfort foods and winter cheer.
Our models are an actual husband and wife pair (and yes, their children are just as gorgeous as they are!) who happened to be celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year, it was fun to have them be a part of this shoot and get dressed to the nines. Danielle wore one of my favorite Ian Stuart gowns from Posh that was the perfect shade of gray, that showed the structure we were looking for while still being very current. Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios took great care crimping Dani’s long hair and styling it after the ancient goddesses. Even the simple flower crown had a medieval feel. Paul wore a well cut monochromatic suit from Hammer-Made, who gave him two looks for the day, one more traditional and one a bit more edgy with a gray and white striped shirt.
Want to embrace Norse Mythology in your wedding without being to literal? Have runes on your wedding bands or knot work along the side of your wedding invitation. Or simply choose a location or maybe a style of wedding gown that embraces elements of that time. By breaking down what you love about a certain time in history the way we did, you can find design ideas and elements to use for your own inspiration.
Sorry for the book, I want these shoots to be educational as well as lovely! Here are the images, enjoy!!! When you’re done with this shoot, check out www.studiolaguna.com/2012/05/sunset-romance/ for some more romance and prettiness =) And I’d love to hear your thoughts!