Recently, my Cinderella inspired styled photoshoot was featured on Martha Stewart’s Wedding Blog.
I had a vision of a royal wedding inspired by the French fairy tale Cinderella in May of 2015. As many know, Cinderella is the story of how a beautiful young woman broke free from the restraints of her cruel stepmother to achieve true love with her Prince Charming.
This photoshoot was inspired by the dress that the Fairy Godmother magically created for Cinderella and the royalty of Prince Charming, I chose to use light blue and gold for the shoot. These two colors created a beautiful union, similar to when two people are brought together in ceremony. Meanwhile, golden touches intertwined with romantic candles, lush florals and seas of blue linen. As a result, the Cinderella inspired styled photoshooot mixed a light, traditional, classic wedding style with modern touches.
However, the attire was the highlight of this inspired photoshoot. Hayley Paige’s bejeweled bodice gown was the showstopper. But the mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses modernized the elegance of the fairy tale wedding. ML Monique Lhuillier’s pink and yellow dresses brought different touches of color and flair. The high-low bridesmaids’ dresses packed a visual punch and brought a fun, spring-summer aura to a romantic, traditionally classy Cinderella-styled wedding with finesse.
From the bride: While we lived on opposite sides of the country, Andrew and I met in the summer of 2013 at a bike race in Wisconsin through mutual friends. It didn’t take me long to know he was something extraordinary that needed to be in my life, though. A month after we said goodbye in Wisconsin I was flying to California to visit and train with him for a week. He asked me to be his girlfriend halfway through that trip, we said “I love you” to each other 11 days later and the rest is history.
Andrew proposed September of 2014, during another bike-racing trip. He took me to brunch and then to a nearby waterfall park, where we held hands as we walked along the path. I noticed a particular spot along the way, thinking that it would make for a beautiful location to get married. To my surprise, Andrew pulled me aside to that very spot, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After I said yes, we celebrated with cupcakes and coffee before telling our friends and family.
I never really had a vision of what my wedding day would look like. I can’t remember when, but years ago I had decided that a wedding should be a reflection of the bride and groom at their current place in life. So I knew I wanted that for Andrew and I. We initially tried planning a big party for over 200 guests before deciding to go a more intimate route; when I saw a picture of the sunken gardens of the Santa Barbara Courthouse I knew it was the perfect spot to get married.
Andrew and I found a couple nearby restaurant options for our reception, ultimately going with Blue Agave (now Nectar Eatery and Lounge) because of our love for Mexican food. We let their max capacity dedicate the size of our guest list, asked a friend to provide the ceremony music and splurged on a trolley for our guests instead of the traditional cocktail hour. Then we incorporated our personalities in by wearing Vans, keeping our attire on the casual side, having my aunt do my hair while I did my makeup, asking my brother to be the bro of honor, and offering cupcakes and coffee after the ceremony to reflect one of the traditions Andrew and I have. We also made our balloon confetti invitations, faux fried ice cream wedding cake (one of Andrew’s favorite desserts), mini piñatas filled with candy for the centerpieces, and an iPod playlist for the reception.
One of my favorite moments from our wedding day was the walk Andrew and I took, husband and wife, from the courthouse to the restaurant. It was a good 15 minutes we had just the two of us. 15 minutes we used to bask in the joy, tell each other how beautiful/handsome we looked and to try and stop the day from moving so fast.
A month before the wedding we realized we needed a wedding planner; you can only DIY so much. I found Selena through Yelp and hired her almost right after our first exchange of emails. She remains one of the best decisions Andrew and I made for our wedding. Not only did she help find us last-minute flowers and set up a reception area more gorgeous than what we could have imagined it looking like, she made the wedding run off without a hitch. The day could not have been more perfect. And, of course, I got to marry my best friend.
An antique brass pheasant figurine sparked our initial interest in a cozy winter wedding that combines rich, saturated colors with touches of English country rustic glamour. From there, we decided to use a mixture of elements that put a modern twist on traditional British hunting culture: a vintage plaid blanket for the ceremony site, gorgeous flowers in jewel tones, pheasant feathers and pewter serving pieces as accents, and of course, lots of tweed.
A beautiful French lace BHLDN dress helped set the tone of the shoot: romantic, classic, but not too stuffy. We envisioned a couple that loved history, books, and a little bit of whiskey on a cold day, and then worked with a wonderful team of vendors to create a modern day hunting lodge feast in bright shades of amber, turquoise and plum, all inspired by the multicolored plumage of game birds.
We were especially enamored of the giant scroll that Carolyn Jane Designs created for us as a ceremony backdrop. Quoting Pride and Prejudice in beautiful calligraphy, the piece summed up perfectly our excitement upon seeing each new detail of this collaborative process come to life: “You have bewitched me, body and soul.”