As we approach the coldest and darkest of days, these Swan Lake wedding ideas really speak to my soul today. Embracing the winter wedding season can really enable you to create a very cosy and atmospheric wedding day, just like these images.
I just adore the tonal flower arrangements and the dramatic smoke bombs, they really set the story for these wedding ideas. This fantastic inspiration shoot was sent to us by florist The Botany House and Salsabil Morrison who was behind the lens; the whole team really came together to create something very special indeed. From the luxury stationery suite and the opulent cakes to the sensational styling and the beautiful bride and groom looks. Oh my. I really think you will fall head over heels for this inspiring editorial.
Swan Lake Wedding Ideas
Swan Lake inspired, this beautiful bridal shoot tells the story of our Odette and Prince Siegfried, as they venture together into the world of Shakespearian style, romantic tragedy. Oxnead Hall was the perfect setting for the tale of our two lovers. The graceful and refined Fountain Room, decorated with the most exquisite backdrop and mirrors was where they fell for each other. Writing letters and dancing at balls. The red brick hall and waterside turrets, surrounded by 15 acres of exquisite gardens and majestic, great lake became their stage for the final scene.
We illustrated the darkening of the mood as the ballet progresses by changing the light, the dress, the makeup and transitioned from the beautiful shots of Odette writing love letters next to the light and airy window, through to the slightly greyer ball scenes where in the story Odette thinks Seigfried has betrayed her, and finally to the lake scenes which were clouded, moody and cinereous but still overflowing with tragic romance.
Although Swan Lake is a Russian Ballet, I was so inspired by the elegance and glamour of French Rococo architecture. The inspiration I sent out to everyone was filled with filigree style, moulded ceilings and wall pieces, all gilded with lashings of gold leaf. Sherlyn of Sherl&co and Amber of Love Wedding Cakes, both implemented these influences into their pieces so well, that the Rococo theme was carried effortlessly throughout the whole shoot.
Amber took inspiration for the 3 tier cake from the beautiful feather head piece by Agnes Hart. She created soft drapes and dramatic waves of icing with edible lace and gold leaf details. The cake was accompanied by a delicious selection of sweet grazing treats including chocolate fudge cake pops, miniature coconut and lime cakes, marbled sugar cookies and delicious Madagascan vanilla macarons. A single tier companion cake was adorned with delicate sugar flowers inspired by Odette’s beautiful bouquet.
The vision behind the props and styling was to recreate the perfect mixture of magic, tragedy and romance within this timeless love story. The selection of props used were not only a perfect fit for the story line, but also worked beautifully with the aesthetics of the venue.
The two dresses are both from Adella Bridal and the designers are Madison James for the first, long-sleeved sparkly dress and Hayley Paige for the simpler dress in the darker shots. We borrowed the most exquisite, hand made headpieces from Agnes Hart, including one inspired by The Crown worn in the Swan Lake Ballet. She based this design on traditional ballet styles using soft ivory feathers but added a modern draped veil for a contemporary touch. The second, gold crown with antique feel gave a good contrast the soft feathers of the previous headpiece to signal the change of mood and look.
Stephanie Alexandra was our wonderful hair and make up artist. Somehow she managed to combine dark, ethereal glamour with bird feather styled winged liner, a gilded rococo ceiling inspired eye lid and hairstyles to complement our stunning headpieces. The key element she wanted to capture in the first make up look was to elongate the eye and allude to the graceful shape of a swans eye and tail feathers. She kept it really simple and elegant, using minimal product to maximum effect. She finished the look with her renowned signature skin, a flawless application with a beautiful radiance to reflect light and really enhance the model’s natural features.
Sherlyn set out to create the exclusive stationery suite with understated elegance by sticking to a palette of black, ivory and gold. The calligraphy and illustrations were done by hand with curlicue wing and feather designs adding a touch of whimsy in allusion to the tale of Swan Lake. She used a calligraphic drawing technique for the bespoke monogram, which was heavily influenced by rococo architecture. The Invitation was hand-finished with gold leaf on the edges, which gives it a sophisticated look without being overly ostentatious. To complete the suite, she included a black envelope addressed in gold calligraphy, paired with a classic red seal.
As well as dreaming up the concept, my role on the shoot was that of the florist. I adored the floral concept for this shoot. Shades of whites, dusky greys, the palest blush and lilac; it sings charming, whimsical, English romance. The smell was delicious, earl grey, quicksand, majolica and white cloud garden roses married seamlessly with tuberose, blush lilac and sprigs of early spring blossom. The bouquet was tied with a shimmering grey/blue ribbon representing Odette’s lake of tears. I wanted the soft colours to blend and merge into one, as if you dropped watercolour paints on to a piece of wet paper, swirling and bleeding into one another.
When gathering inspiration, I came across paintings by Hans Zatzka. Although the colours in his paintings are a lot brighter than the colour palette I wanted to go with for the shoot, the way he painted fabric really influenced me when putting the flowers together. I was envisioning how the ladies’ light and airy dresses would ripple and fold with the movement of the water, creating depth and changes in tone.
The bouquet was full, opulent and luscious but still had a sense of fluidity and a naturally gathered shape. The aim, to tell the timeless, romantic, ethereal narrative of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake through the universal language of flowers.
The second look was inspired by feathering which she did over the eye area. To follow the storyline of Swan Lake, this look needed to be more dramatic so she swapped the softer pink lip for a darker wine colour.
The first hairstyle was inspired by the classic ballerina bun and to tie in with the theme she added texture and twists like the ruffles you’d see in a swans plumage. For the second look she created lots more texture by back-combing but kept the top smooth and tightly combed to continue to represent the ballerinas style and elegance.
One of our goals in shooting was to have in mind real life brides whilst also creating something with the charm of fairytale style and make-believe. We wanted to humanise Odette, contrasting recent portrayals of her story, to illuminate the raw, undying, true love felt between her and Seigfried, a relatable feeling of mutual adoration.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Concept & Florist
The Botany House
Hair & Makeup
Stephanie Alexandra MUA
How very beautiful.
A huge thanks goes to the whole team above for sharing with us these incredible Swan Lake wedding ideas xo Lou
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