Today I am excited to share this alternative same sex wedding shoot where tropical romance meets urban chic.
Images were captured by Paola De Paola Photography working alongside an incredible collaborative team.
A vital (and loved) part of my job is styled shoots – for which I team up with talented and unique wedding suppliers, together we create stunning visual stories.
It’s an enjoyable way to flex my creative muscle and come up with new inspirational concepts.
Styled shoots are very different from shooting a wedding. A styled shoot is a creation of a vision, whereas wedding photography is my way of telling someone else’s story.
Both beautiful, but quite different. I teamed up with the lovely Shilpa Reddy, a floral stylist based in South London, the creative director of this Urban-Tropical shoot.
She says of the styling ” It was around the time of London Pride that we decided to celebrate the fabulousness of the event by creating a shoot for fashion forward same sex couples who appreciate style ans structure, and who want to inject a bit of fun into their big day.”
The venue, West Reservoir has stunning features bathed in natural light thanks to its large windows.
Walls and floors were crisp white. It had all of the raw, gritty feel of a warehouse and the pure white was the perfect juxtapose to this tropical theme.
More and more couples are eschewing the traditional country manors and marquees for something a little more authentic, something that represents their everyday life, somewhere they would party with their friends.
With this in mind the venue was chosen as it combines a glamour edge with a gritty urban feel.
You wouldn’t expect to find a jungle paradise in a warehouse in London, and that made it even more special. So anything is possible, and new ideas for a unique wedding can be done!
I couldn’t wait to help bring Shilpa’s vision to life, and while we hadn’t worked together before, we made a dream team as we both love to do things a little differently.
I usually like to go a little more out there and try to create something quirky and fresh – Shilpa and I shared this vision and that powered this styled shoot.
I noticed the lack of same-sex couples being represented visually within the wedding industry, and that is why we decided to use a real same-sex couple.
We were so happy that the gorgeous couple, Federica & Marianne, agreed to work with us.
They want to celebrate their love and become role models for other same-sex couples.
Using a real couple makes the photos so much more powerful, as you cannot fake the intimacy, chemistry and energy that two people in love create, and having a legitimate same-sex couple who believed in our message – JACKPOT!
Wit a tropical theme we had to strike a balance between camp and cliche and sophistication.
Green was the main shade used with accessories in black, white, gold and coral. Green for a botanical edge, coral to be fashion forward, gold for a touch of luxury, and black for a boutique finish.
Lots of foliage was used against a mostly-white background so the colours really popped.
The use of more foliage than flowers is another way in which we liked to do things differently for this exotic, tropical setting.
We used a mix of an urban and tropical theme which, on paper, sounds bizarre but resulted in a beautiful shoot filled with gorgeous greens and a couple very much in love.
We chose a gorgeous tropical fabric to dress the table and this formed our centrepiece.
The fabric had a very strong look so we were careful to accessorise minimally and use cafe style lighting to create some ambience,
The little gold details in the stationery were beautiful and key to the styling but not over the top, and we incorporated hand drawn tropical birds on the plates and etched pineapples int the candles to compliment.
As a naturally creative person, I find the process of creating shoots really special. It’s an honour to get together with like-minded people and put on our creative hats. Coming up with ideas, brainstorming and forming a story is really exciting.
i love weddings with real personality when couples come up with ideas that are really out of the box and a bit crazy – it’s so unique and refreshing, so I really value the importance of styled shoots.
I love the idea of capturing the story of these two beautiful girls deeply in love. This is the story of a real couple planning their wedding and expressing their love with a magical energy.
Federica is a very well-known bespoke wedding dress designer, so she already had an eye for beautiful wedding style.
I’ve known her for a long time, I really admire her courage and style, and Marianne was a very charming person, and a real joy to work with.
They both have a unique style and this was expressed in their choice of outfit with Federica choosing a stunning blush gown and Marianne choosing a suit from a menswear range to showcase her usual sporty style.
Oh, and of course a special mention to GOLD PINEAPPLE CAKE made by Monannie Cakes.
The cake (very tasty I might add) was matched with the small pineapples dotted throughout the shoot, which were used to add more colour against the greenery.
Signage by Love Signage detailed little gold pineapple graphics along with “you had me at aloha” text which I thought was so clever as it referenced the classic line “you had me at hello” but with a tropical twist.
The gorgeous tropical leaves which Shilpa supplied were carried through to the stationery by Mani’s Creative, which featured the green colours and giant leaf illustrations with gold foil detailing and a coral insert.
Thank you so much to Paola and Shilpa and the team for sharing this amazing alternative same sex wedding shoot.
The fresh botanical green colours soften the whole edgy look instead of the tropical print being overpowering.
The addition of the gold and black provides such an elegant romantic feel to the wedding styling without losing the rebelliousness that you’re looking for in an urban setting
Venue: West Reservoir
Photography: Paola De Paola Photography
Creative Directions and Floral stylist: Shilpa Reddy
Cake Designer: Monannie Cakes
Stationery: Mani’s Creative
Signage: Love Signage
Make Up: Jane S. John
Models: Federica & Marianne