With a beautiful female empowered backstory, a modern take on spring wedding vibes, and a preloved wedding dress, this eclectic shoot is sure to bring you copious amounts of inspiration! Set at Hylands House Essex, it’s full of dreamy details and proves sometimes you don’t have to look very far for the wedding dress of your dreams. Shoot co-ordinator Ross Willsher tells us about the inspiration behind the shoot and we have some top tips for wedding planning from some of the other wonderful suppliers involved in this beautiful inspirational shoot too…
“In 2019 my fiancé’s mother was diagnosed with and passed away from Bowel Cancer. Iris was the embodiment of female empowerment. During her lifetime, in addition to being a loving mother and wife, an incredible home cook, and a member of the WI, she was also the director of her husband’s business and an incredibly talented ballroom dancer. Although in her 80s, she was referred to in the village as ‘that glamourous lady’ and in the last two weeks of her life, despite being bedridden, the nurses providing care were enamored by her bright pink and freshly painted toenails. Following her passing, whilst searching for dust sheets to put down prior to a weekend of DIY, my fiancé discovered her old wedding dress. Beautifully hand-crafted by her mother, the dress remained in great condition, and we decided that the dress was far too beautiful to not have the opportunity to be worn by another bride. This shoot was inspired by the idea of someone else – one day – putting on Iris’s dress on the morning of their wedding and some of Iris’ glamour adding sparkle to their special day. When searching for a model, there was something really special about Yasmin; an effortless beauty and sereness that we thought fitted the shoot perfectly.”
“Alev from Flaming Bride worked her MUA magic, and Georgia from Freckles & Flowers created a modern take on Iris’ original wedding bouquet. Yasmin did not have the opportunity to try on the dress until the morning of the shoot and we all held our breath as she went to try it on. We were blown away by how well the dress fit her and how stunning she looked. This was obviously meant-to-be. Working with these three talented women was an absolute privilege and I like to think Iris was looking down on the day and nodding her head in approval. We hope that the story of Iris’ dress is not over and that it finds itself in the hands of a bride with a passion for sustainability and fashion with a narrative in the near future. For now, though, this shoot is all about Remembering Iris.”
“Hylands House is a Grade ii listed mansion in Chelmsford in Essex. The beauty of the venue is in its elegant surroundings and flexibility. Its stunning rooms can host intimate weddings and large events for up to 300 guests. Hylands House caters for weddings of all faiths and cultures.”
“Iris’ handcrafted dress was designed for her in the 1950s by her own mother. We paired it with vibrant but minimalistic, high-street accessories to modernise the look without detracting from the beauty of the outfit. We also wanted to keep the focus on the features of our model Yasmin, as all too often I work with brides who feel the need to cover up perceived flaws or be someone they are not on their special day. We wanted to keep the look simple and elegant and let a few statement pieces speak for themselves. Buying a pre-loved wedding dress has so many wonderful advantages. Not only are you thinking about your wedding’s impact on the environment, freeing up money to spend on other elements of your day, but also continuing the story of the dress.”
Want More Advice >> 5 Tips To Find Your Perfect Vintage or Pre-Loved Wedding Dress
Wedding Planning Advice
Your Photography – It’s so important to see people you can relate to and identify with in your photographer’s portfolio. That might be in terms of gender identity and sexuality, skin tone or body shape, but also in more intrinsic qualities such as the energy and passion the couples’ are displaying in their wedding photos. Your wedding photographer should create a safe space for you to express yourselves in a way that feels 100% authentic, and make you feel comfortable to bring your own sense of creativity and energy to the table. You should never feel like you have to ‘live up to’ a certain set of behaviors or physical qualities in order to feel photogenic or in order for your photographer to be excited to work with you.
Your Dress – Wear what makes you stand a little taller, and feel a little better about who you are. Be open-minded and curious about what styles and shapes might suit, play with new ways of expressing yourself.
Your Flowers – When it comes to choosing a wedding Florist it’s imperative you find one that you feel you can both trust & enjoy the creative process with. You could be working with your Florist up to 1-2 years before your big day and they need to instill confidence in you that they have captured the vision you have for your wedding whilst putting you both at ease in a space where you feel you can be yourself & have your flowers designed the way that’s right for you. Take note of their design styles and think about whether this aligns with you & your wedding’s overall vibe. It’s important you love their style as your flowers will not be a carbon copy of your inspiration images, they’ll be designed bespoke for you, in your Florist’s signature design style but with all the preferences and uniqueness that make your wedding yours!
Your Hair and Makeup – There are several things to think about when choosing your hair and make-up artist(s)…
- Budget – Can you afford the service this artist is offering or are you willing to make room in your budget? Don’t expect a hair and makeup artist to fit the price you’re happy to pay. Let’s not forget, waking up on your wedding day and having a fabulous human to turn up and work tirelessly until you and your friends and family are ready, is a luxury. There are many artists catering to many budgets so shop around until you find the right one for you.
- Style – Do you like the artist’s work? Look at their website and Instagram, does their work pull you in, is it how you see yourself looking? As artists, we all have our different skills and that’s good, it really is a really beautiful thing. There will be someone perfect for you.
- Personality – Ok so this is when the equation wobbles – what if all the other things fit but you’re just not sure about this person? Trust your gut and don’t book anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Remember this person will be with you for a long time and they may also have to work with your friends and family, will they be a good fit?
The Team / Remembering Iris With A Pre-Loved Wedding Dress At Hylands House
Photographer / Ross Willsher Photography @rosswillsherphotography
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