Glamour & Grace Bridal Shoot


Earlier this week I did a little behind the scenes post on the fabulous Glamour & Grace bridal shoot that I organised, created the concept for and styled with photographers Funmi and Adrian from FO Photography.  You can also head on over to their blog to see more of the shoot!

It’s fair to say that this little project has been a few months in the planning! Many UK blogs are doing a great job of showcasing talent through the form of styled photo shoots which is a fantastic way to network with talented industry people, portray their creative work and to inspire brides to be. Unlike similar shoots in bridal publications, these very rarely have a budget so requires good will and a lot of hard work from everyone involved so it really is a team effort. I’m so grateful that I got to work with a handful of wonderfully talented and generous suppliers who kindly gave their time to this project.

When Funmi and Adrian asked me to be involved I had been so inspired by Black Swan and could really see that ballet inspiration would be a huge hit and long term trend/theme for the wedding industry. As much as I’m a fan of the shabby chic look, I thought it was about time we saw some pretty and so that was the aim – to bring some Glamour & Grace back into weddings.  To help create the light and ethreal feel to the images Funmi and Adrian concentrated on achieving beautiful natural light-filled frames to showcase the elegance of a bride to be. It also helped that one of our models had even trained as a ballet dancer!

Warren House was the remarkable backdrop for our shoot on the day, and it really did ooze glamour. From the beautiful green gardens filled with blossom trees to the sweeping staircase, bay windows and stunning ballroom with grand chandeliers it was so complimentary to the theme and we were spoilt for choice on where to shoot! The staff were very patient and helpful and let us pretty much have the whole place to ourselves throughout the day which was highly accommodating of them, we even got to use the honeymoon suite!

I have to admit that I found it quite hard to find stationery that would fit the theme of Glamour & Grace. Most stationery collections out there are focussing on vintage styles at the moment, and I wanted something very pretty, pink and modern! My search came to an end when I asked Vicky Trainor to provide me with a few samples. Vicky went above and beyond what I expected and sent the most incredible array of stationery items. The invites and place cards are so cute and I also fell head over heels with her embroidery hoops that are part of her Vintage Drawer Collection. They make such fab table numbers, signs or just decoration. Needless to say I was over the moon when she said I could keep some of her samples. Watch this space as I’ll be hopefully featuring her new collection soon!

One of my first thoughts as I started to think of the shoot was the cake [I’m only human]. It was almost like I was planning my own wedding for a brief moment as I met with the lovely Emily from Tempting Cake to discuss design ideas for the shoot. I got a little carried away with things but she subtly reigned me in and sensibly came up with a couple of wonderful concepts. We could only really have one cake [though believe you me I tried my best] so we decided to use the idea of petals that looked like ruffles of a bird or on a dress with the ribbon detail from the ballet shoes. I l-o-v-e that it’s so so pink. Topped with the fresh roses looks just stunning! I can indeed tell you it also tasted delicious [it was a long day, and that was our reward!].
I’d seen Emily’s cleverly decorated biscuits so had the idea of doing mini ballet shoes for biscuits and hanging them from cherry blossom branches, and they came out better than I imagined! They were one of my favourite little touches.

I think I may have mentioned it once or twice before but spring really is my favourite season. We chose a late March date for the shoot knowing we’d have an abundance of blossom around and many other pretty blooms to incorporate.  The florist, Alison from Pollen Nation came armed on the day with buckets [and I mean buckets] full of flowers, so what more could a stylist want! We had chatted in her East london studio about textures and wanting to create a couple of bouquets to emulate the tulle type fabrics and she created a couple of stunning white bouquets, with frayed tulips, cotton stems and a pomander of gypsophila. Alison was amazing and really just got my vision without much explanation and for the treat table we chose to keep the palette to an array of pink tones with roses displayed in separate vases and containers to give varied heights and some stunning cherry blossom branches as the focus point [swoon]. Alison is also rather tall so I have to say thank you for getting up a ladder on my behalf to hang things…

I had been aware of make up and hair artist Kaz Fernando for quite some time and have always loved her work. I sent through a mood board of ideas of bright pink lips and vivid blushed cheeks and she achieved a lovely glowing and very pretty look on the models for the shoot. I think the models [who I’d like to point out are not professional models, Lucy is in fact a wedding planner!] looked really feminine and believe it’s a really achievable look for brides.

Kaz’s talents don’t just stop there, she also did the fabulous hair styling too. Being inspired by ballet dancers but with a modern twist we gave the girls three quite different up styles – a messy side bun with plait [Chloe], a neat and high classic bun [Lucy] and soft pinned up waves [Nancy]. They each suited the styles so well and although a neat bun can sometimes be seen as quite dramatic I think it looked soft and so romantic. I’m a little bit obsessed with plaits so had to sneak one in there and the messy side bun is a modern take on a more traditional look. Softly pinned up and falling waves suits most brides and is very versatile, working with many dress styles.

The first person I thought of for bridal gowns when I was planning such a glamorous and girly shoot was Charlotte Balbier. Her dresses are like candy floss with layers of pretty fabrics adorned with corsages, beading and lace. Charlotte utterly spoilt me for choice by kindly lending 10 of her lovely designs to us for the day. So the only downside was that we simply ran out of time and couldn’t get the girls changed quick enough to use them all! The beautiful dresses are the perfect choice for a ballerina bride and the models couldn’t believe how fabulous they felt in them. I won’t admit that I tried one on for research purposes. Nope. Course I didn’t….ahem [sorry Charlotte]. 

Having featured Two Birds Bridesmaid on London Bride previously I knew their dresses would be the perfect addition to the shoot and was so happy when they wanted to be involved. You don’t often see bridesmaids dresses in these type of shoots so I was really happy to showcase them. We chose a beautiful slate grey rosette ballgown and also a classic ballgown in rosewater. I had the lovely Michelle there on the day to tie them in their amazing ways [I should have paid more attention, it’s really rather clever!] and I can’t believe how beautiful they looked on Nancy. So elegant and perfect for the glamorous location of Warren House.

As ballerina brides, I chose to use head pieces by the wonderful Flo and Percy. I particularly loved the Field of Gold headband as it’s quite unusual to see a gold headpiece on a bride. The designs, which I think are suitable for both bridesmaids and brides are so beautifully made and presented that you don’t want to take them off [yes, I can vouch for that – I became rather attached to the Field of Gold]. The ultimate accessory was the swan lake tiara style head band that we used on Chloe. So stunning! Kirstie from Flo and Percy is also really helpful in terms of discussing your style if you are unsure of what you’d like so do ask for her invaluable advice! 

The only people I haven’t mentioned here are the models Chloe, Lucy and Nancy. Three beautiful, patient and good friends of mine I really want to say THANK YOU! I think you had the hardest job having to smile all day and brave the cold so well done! 

I cannot believe how epic this post has been. Gosh. Once again, I hope it’s been as inspiring for you as it has for me.

Before you go here is the list of the amazing people involved. Please visit their websites for more information.  Oh and do get in touch for a chat if you are looking for a stylist, whether it’s for a fashion shoot, engagement shoot or wedding I’d love to hear from you – see here for more info.

I’ll be quiet now…

Stylist – Charley of London Bride
Venue – Warren House
Photography – FO Photography
Florist – Pollen Nation
Hair & Make Up – Kaz Fernando
Bridal Gowns – Charlotte Balbier
Bridesmaids Dresses – Two Birds Bridesmaid
Hair Accessories – Flo & Percy
Cake & Biscuits – Tempting Cake
Stationery & Embroidery – Vicky Trainor
Models – Chloe, Lucy and Nancy
  • Lou ~ Whimsical Wonderland Weddings Blog

    How absolutely stunning Charley. Love the delicate pink colour scheme, pink ribbons and those adorable cross stitch accessories…. Fabulous!! Xxx

  • vicky trainor

    oh my!!! so so beautiful…thank you for your gorgeous words Charley and it was an absolute delight to work with you. You must be thrilled with the results – truly wonderful. Much love Vicky xxxx

  • Kerry

    Beautiful work! I love being involved in shoots like this, becuase the budget is zero it really brings out the "creative" in everyone involved and the results are original and fabulous, just like this. And while vintage will always have a place in my heart, this is refreshingly different, congrats!

  • Claire

    Oh wow – this is divine. A brilliant collection of people doing their creative best – and it rocks. Love it.

  • Juliet McKee

    Amazing styling. God I love all that pink!

  • Lucinda George Wedding Planner

    Ah Charley, your styling is fab- love it! It was so exciting to work with such a fantastic team (not to mention wearing a wedding dress during a day of work – this NEVER happens in real life as a wedding planner!) I really enjoyed every moment of the shoot, thank you so much for having me xxx

  • Kelly at Boho

    Just gorgeous! what a beautiful shoot, well doen to everyone involved! xxxxx

  • Lucy

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Love it all! xxxx

  • Josie

    I especially love the indoor shots. Girly perfection! xx

  • Debbie Carlisle

    Oh Charley it's stunning – I love love LOVE it! I am particularly fond of the tulle table, what a great way to add a pretty bridal touch! xxx

  • Bridal Musings

    Extremely glamourous and very graceful indeed! Btw I have fallen a little bit in love with those ballet slipper biscuits…too cute! Well done to everyone involved x

  • Tattybojangles

    It's so nice to see something a bit different and I think you have really got ahead of the trend here as I can really see brides wanting that 'black swan' look.

    Fabulous shoot everyone x

  • grace @ wedding favors

    I must say Black Swan is a very great inspiration for you. :) The bride wearing ballet shoes will be so cute, I really adore those who wear flats under their fabulous wedding gowns! :D And those cookies inspired by ballet shoes are adorable! :)

  • Tempting Cake

    It was such a pleasure to be involved in this most graceful and glamourous of shoots with a great team and the results are simply stunning.
    Thanks for inviting us to be a part of it! x x x

  • Michelle Hailey

    Thank you so much for inviting us to be involved Charley, the whole shoot came out beautifully, amazing styling and photography and the gorgeous models. It was lovely to meet everyone on the day Michelle, xxxx