I had a great time designing and planning the rustic seaside stylized bridal portrait shoot with several wedding vendors in Bermuda. I began chatting about this idea with my friend Lara Smith, who is the owner and wedding videographer behind LDS Multimedia after the 2016 Orchid Spa Bridal Expo at the Fairmont Southampton. After weeks of tossing around a few ideas in my head, I reached out to different vendors that could make it happen: BHLDN , Flowers by GIMI, Studio Wedding Hair Bermuda, Chrysalis Cosmetics, LDS Multimedia, The English Sports Shop, and TABS. Working close together with the florist, hair stylist, make-up artists, seamstress, videographer, and the different brands was a unique experience, which created a sense of bonding throughout our group. The Stylized Bridal Portrait Shoot started out as an idea to capture a specific visual concept but in the end, became much more.
I contacted two models to play the role of the bride and groom: Rachel, a professional model and entrepreneur, and Ryan, a Para-Olympic hopeful athlete and bartender. I had worked with Rachel before, although had not yet met Ryan when I asked him to pose for the shoot. After seeing an interview from Bermuda Broadcasting about Ryan’s decision to amputate below the knee after a series of unsuccessful surgeries following a moped accident, I was inspired by his positive approach towards recovery.
The images were shot at my in-laws property in Hamilton Parish, Bermuda, who were both kind enough to let myself and the other vendors take over their house for the day. I took the detailed shots in my husband's childhood bedroom and with the french doors wide open, the sunlight beamed onto the Calla Gown, which was loaned to me for the photo shoot from BHLDN's Corporate Office. I arranged the Pearly Black Drape Necklace, earrings, and sash - which I wore for my own wedding, also purchased from BHLDN, on an antique tray my mother had given me.
It’s important to note that not only did my in-laws allow myself, a videographer, a florist, hair-stylist, make-up artist, two models, and a seamstress to take over their house… they also worked for weeks preparing their yard for the shoot! My mother-in-law, Jenny, a gifted horticulturist, who has a knack for gardening! My father-in-law, Blake, and husband, Jim, are both commercial fisherman by trade, although also pitched in to “tidy up” the yard for the shoot.
The items that I chose to decorate the table with were also personal choices: the plates, napkins, and cutlery were wedding gifts Jim and I received. The cedar roots, an important tie to the history of Bermuda, and vintage bottles were décor from our wedding. I left all of these items in the hands of Michelle Geary of Flowers by GIMI to arrange them and add her floral touches. When Michelle had finished her arrangements, the words “simply elegant and stunning” came to mind!
With the sunset fast approaching, I re-located our models from the lower garden to the top of the hill, which overlooks the north side of the island and has a stunning view of the sunset. The glow of the setting sun through the fluffy Bermudian clouds did not disappoint!
At the end of the photo shoot, the crew and I sat down for a well-deserved glass of wine (okay… maybe two glasses of wine) and homemade lasagna. We spent the rest of the evening laughing, telling stories, and discussing the possibilities of the next stylized shoot! Special thanks to all who participated in this amazing event; it was a blast!
Bouquet by Flowers by GIMI and Arrangement by Melanie Fiander of Fiander Foto
Stylized Bridal Shoot by Lara D. Smith of LDS Multimedia
Location 1: Private Residency in Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Seamstress: Gail Musson of the English Sports Shop