When I come up with concepts for styled bridal shoots, I mostly seem to stray into the other, the odd, and the slightly unsettling. It’s what I’m most drawn to, and I think they’re perfect backdrops to show bridal in another way.
This shoot was pure futuristic fantasy…
Lisa showed me the venue, and I was immediately transported into musings of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey 2001 and A Clockwork Orange, with their stark white futuristic styling. I started pinning images of these movies, plus visors made of Perspex and also reflective metal (like in the Suede video for Trash), along with bursts of colour like orange. And I knew we had to have a jumpsuit and a cape in there somewhere. Basically, this was to be bridal not of this world, hence the name ‘The Other Space’ – that which lies beyond our dimension and existence.
Lisa was totally into this and didn’t run in the other direction; she also loves to bring bridal imagery out of the pretty and safe and into the realm of experimental and conceptual fashion and art. We just get each other and she is amazing to work with. The team we gathered around us was truly phenomenal. Everyone created the perfect realisation of the moodboard imagery and made it better than ever. I was bowled over by their ideas and interpretation of the brief.
Futuristic Wedding Styling Tips and Details
Keep your eyes peeled around Christmas time for unusual and decorative baubles as these can create fabulous centrepieces and ornamentation for your tables. Lisa picked up the spiky table pieces from Paperchase on the morning of the shoot in the January sales!
Keep your palette base as whites and silvers – these are the colours we recognise as having connotations of the future. Our venue, ICETANK, is white, and we then used a pinky purple light source to develop the futuristic feel into one of being out of this dimension.
For artistic licence, nails were hammered into the Perspex crown and this toughened the look right up! But obviously you don’t have to go that far in your own styling. But it would look cool!!
And I wanted the bold orange in the balloons and the stationery, with Lisa adding the perfect table with the orange legs, as a nod to Stanley Kubrick, whose signature style this shoot owes its heart to.
The Story of the Shoot
Lisa Johnson – Carmela Weddings – Stylist
When I started discussing doing a shoot with Erin, I knew I’d found someone that completely ‘got’ the kind of shoots I wanted to do. The weddings I really love to plan are upscale but with a focus on fashion, art and culture, and this kind of shoot is hard to find when looking at the styled shoots in magazines and on blogs because it’s easier to give brides inspiration with all things pretty and soft and much harder to show a minimalist modern look. I know from my own client base that not all brides are inspired by rustic, vintage, romance and pastels (although I do know that lots are!), and so I wanted to set about creating a harder, more fashion based edgy look for our bride and bride. When Erin mentioned a futuristic Kubrick concept and showed me a couple of pictures, I knew I could work with that and was so excited to work with somebody that wanted to do something different!
All of the suppliers on the shoot were selected carefully because we knew that it wouldn’t work for everybody. What a fabulous team we got on board! Every one of them was focused on getting our vision right, and our photographer Emma-Jane was fabulous as she works on fashion shoots and so directed the models with ease. I’m so happy with what we’ve created – I really hope it shows that wedding styles can take cues from the fashion and art world, and that inspiration and beauty can be seen where you wouldn’t usually expect it!
Lou Rodrigues – Beyond Vintage – Tableware
For the tableware, I tried to keep to really clean lines, from the glassware to the silver cutlery. I love the optical geometric design on the plates to bring the table a more futuristic look. Props for the shoot included our fairy string lights, which we have in bundles of 30m for indoor and outdoor use.
Marsha Hall – Marsha Hall Handmade Shoes – Shoes
I loved the geometry and futuristic emphasis this shoot dictates. I wanted to reflect this in the shoes, so I used a combination of silver leathers in three different textures to give a space-age feel. The first pair using a silver leather to imitate aluminium foil, with an unusual angular edge and turned collar at the back of the ankle, fixed with a diamanté stud to create a tunnel for the smooth silver leather buckled harness to thread through. The second pair used all three textures of leather with a high front but low cut at the heel. Again, with a geometrical cut edge and a subtle zigzag facing for the eyelets. I wanted there to be subtle details that get noticed the more they are looked at. Elegant glimpses of the foot through the ribbon lacing with a more angular style of high heel finished the look perfectly.
Jessica Clarke – Jessica Turner Designs – Bridalwear
This was a great location – white walls, silver staircase – perfect for futuristic styled shoot. The atmosphere was relaxed and calm, and everyone was working at their creative skill while enjoying the day and getting along. The concept was awesome, and so different, I had never done anything like this before, and everything seemed to link into place from the location down to every detail.
My first thought on the concept was minimalist, white and silver colours, geometric shapes, and different textured fabrics. I wanted to embrace my personal style into the two designs, corseted structures and my knitted fabric, but also to create something unconventionally beautiful with a modern futuristic look.
Gwenda Jeffs – The Vintage Floral Design Co. – Flowers
The term ‘futuristic’ isn’t one that is often paired with flowers, but instinctively I was drawn to the idea of using tropical blooms of some sort. Having quickly weeded out those that are somewhat unromantic or rude looking in form (and there are plenty of both!), I settled on orchids. Because of the logistics of getting to the shoot location, I used high-quality artificial silk stems, but the arrangement (a large trailing arrangement that doubled as both a bouquet and table centre) could be closely replicated with real stems. Reflecting the colour scheme, I chose to use a mix of orchid types (dendrobium, cymbidium, and phalaenopsis), all in white (which traditionally symbolise innocence, elegance and beauty – perfect for a wedding!) with a touch of orange and pink. This dream team of creatives provided me with a great opportunity to do something that was both elegant and quirky at the same time – heaven!
Rania Kashi – The Custom Cake Boutique – Cake
Working on this shoot was an industry-affirming experience! Everyone knew what they were doing, everything ran smoothly and pretty much on time and to such high standards, too, considering how many people were involved, from the florist, to the planners, the hair and make-up to the stationer… On the day, I pretty much stood back and just admired it all!
When trying to tie down my ideas for the cake, at one point I struggled with how I could combine edgy, futuristic minimalism whilst still holding on to the fact that this needs to be a wedding cake – i.e. hold onto some sense of romanticism. I knew white and silver would play their parts, but going through Pinterest, I stumbled upon an image of a piece of art, a textured metallic structure, which was basically cubes and cuboids stacked up on top of each other, and in this I saw the beginnings of the cake!
When I learnt that orchids would be the flower of choice, things started to fall into place. I leaned towards a structure of sorts, off-set, with a flash of metallic silver, with the sugar orchids gently guiding the eye up and through the various straight edges. It was minimalistic, edgy, yet the stark but gentle orchids spread their romantic petals over it all.
Beverley Edmondson – Beverley Edmondson Millinery – Headwear
When Lisa asked if I’d like to be part of this shoot, I jumped at the chance to meet new wedding industry professionals, and the theme was something completely different. I had previously done a little work using acrylic and laser cutting, and this theme gave me the perfect excuse to develop some techniques and play around with ideas that usually I couldn’t justify for commercial value. I interpreted the shoot as being angular lines, lots of lights, plastics and shadows. To me, it was more a feeling than an absolute. I could incorporate some electrics into the lights, something that I have secretly been wanting to do for a while, but the right project had never come up before! I could use some more commercial millinery in strong shapes along with very avant-garde sculptural millinery.
The shoot itself had a very fashion focused theme, coloured lighting and moody poses, it felt more fashion than wedding, but then again aren’t we over the shabby chic wedding look yet!!??
Vaishali Shah – Ananya Cards – Stationery
The concept was to boldly go where most wedding invitations wouldn’t go. Futuristic shapes and materials were the inspiration for the designs. The challenge was to be unique in a way that it would take the viewer hopefully by surprise, and that is what we set out to do.
We decided that the invitation and the menu need not be a rectangular format, but something irregular, i.e. with a corner cut-out! By using bright colours and a greatly experimental font, we completed the futuristic, cutting-edge concept.
It was such a pleasure working on this shoot with talented professionals and providing the stationery – invitation with bright orange tissue-lined envelope, the menu and place cards.
Emma-Jane Lewis – Emma-Jane Photography – Photographer
I was called on board the shoot part-way through the planning, so it took me a bit of time to get up to speed with the desired outcome for the group. The team was coupling together very tricky elements to combine from a photographer’s point of view. Purple lighting, whites, silvers and reflective metals, combined with small fairy lights, all of which had to be captured in a day. Not something that is very easy to accomplish! However, the team was very easygoing and everyone knew each of their own specialisms so well that it made my job easier by just focusing on the elements I needed to create the shots. Overall, we have some strong shots, showing couples that they do not need to always be traditional. OK, we are not expecting brides to be head-to-toe in fairy lights and wear a mask so they cannot see their groom, but what you read from this is that couples can be creative – who says you have to follow tradition? Set your own.
Mel Kinsman – Make-up
I was drawn to a call out for suppliers to work on a futuristic-inspired bridal shoot for several reasons – the main one being that Emma-Jane Lewis was to be the photographer. It was first mentioned just before Christmas, so I was out of the usual ‘summery wedding’ frame of mind, and was drawn to the idea of using unusual light and avant-garde clothing and accessories. For hair and make-up, we had the opportunity to create sculptured hairstyles and strong make-up. I let the other suppliers determine a colour scheme and followed through with this as much as possible with the make-up, but I still wanted it to be beautiful rather than whacky. Focus was on the lips, using deep reds and burgundies, with the eyes more simple but defined, and I kept the skin looking illuminated using the trend of ‘strobing’, which so many are in love with at the moment.
Louise Leaves – Lovehairbylou – Hair
My favourite look that Lou created was a fabulous avant-garde up-do for Sofia that was decorated with copper wiring to give it a harder and more fashion-focused edge. It was just perfect for this futuristic shoot and brought the looks firmly out of ‘pretty’ and into experimental and inspirational.
Hayley Clements – A Peculiar Dream – Props
A Peculiar Dream creates props and scene setters for events and shoots. For this futuristic-themed shoot, we wanted to create some directional pieces that were edgy enough to complement the overall theme, but to make them with a slightly ethereal quality. The super elongated metallic fringed lanterns were the perfect backdrop to the clean table setting, adding shine and a reflective quality to the set. We also wanted to develop something fun that the models could interact with, and so the humble umbrella got a makeover! Layers upon layers of metallic fringing were fixed to the spokes to create a quirky update to a classic accessory.
Creative director – Erin Balfour
Stylist and planner – Carmela Weddings
Hair – Lovehairbylou
Make-up – Mel Kinsman
Make-up assistant – Make-up by Tündee
Dresses – Jessica Turner Designs
Props – A Peculiar Dream
Shoes – Marsha Hall Handmade Shoes
Headwear – Beverley Edmondson Millinery
Stationery – Ananya Cards
Jewellery – Stella and Dot
Tableware – Beyond Vintage
Florist – The Vintage Floral Design Company
Videography – Summerhouse Media
Balloons – The Giant Balloon Co.
Cake – The Custom Cake Boutique