Real Princesses: A styled wedding shoot

Wedding Styled shoot: Real Princesses

Have you ever searched for wedding dresses on Google images? If you do, you will find scores of gorgeous gowns and all of them, pretty much every single one, will be modelled by a white woman.

I’ve always found this a bit strange. At Viva la Wedding our portfolio is very eclectic, but when we look around us in the wedding industry it’s difficult to find much representation of people of colour.

This is something that bothered Nova Reid, when as a black bride-to-be she began planning her own wedding.

“It reminded me of some of the insecurities and battles with race and identity I encountered as a child and teenager. I felt like I could never be a princess as I could not identify with the images constantly proffered at me via media.”

Nova was so incensed by the lack of representation that she started her own bridal blog, Nu Bride to add a splash of diversity to the wedding industry. Several years on she has received two prestigious awards and her readership is growing daily.

Nova’s work has inspired me many times, but when she wrote about feeling excluded from the world of princesses it gave me an idea. Princesses are the ultimate beauty icon, as any three year-old girl can tell you, yet they are so often depicted as being white. I thought it would be empowering to subvert that and show beautiful princesses of different ethnicities. My plan was to create a series of bridal shoots with women of colour styled as fairytale princesses, photographing them on location in stunning wedding venues and capturing iconic moments from each fairytale.

When I suggested this to Nova, she was instantly hooked! “You do realise this is an epic project?” she said. “Have you ever organised a styled shoot before?”

I had not, but I wasn’t going to let a small thing like that hold me back!

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Wedding Styled shoot cinderella and snow white

Watch our making-off film to find out more about Real Princesses!

From the start I was determined to feature non-models, and the concept of “Real Princesses” was born. I wanted to prove a point. If I could call upon four friends and acquaintances of different looks and ethnicities and ask them to participate in a shoot, then the bridal industry could try a bit harder to include women of colour.

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Selina & Amit – Wedding Photographer, Stapleford Park

Midlands Wedding photographer

Ladies and Gentleman, meet Mr and Mrs Juneja!

When you’re a midlands wedding photographer, working at Stapleford Park is an absolute pleasure! I was lucky enough to be at this wedding and it will be incredibly hard for you to find a couple who smile more than these two. The minute we arrived we were greeted by Amit and his big grin as he attempted to impress Guille with his Spanish lingo. We were also in awe of the grandeur of their chosen venue. Stapleford Park is one of the top 50 wedding venues in the UK so we already knew this Midlands wedding photography and videography would look stunning. Selina and Amit held their ceremony in the orangery of the country house which was perfect for this bright summer day in June! They truly lucked out when it came to the weather as they enjoyed first drinks on the lawn with their friends and family.

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Didsbury House Wedding Photography: Alice & Will,

Rustic Wedding cinematography

If you look behind the foliage of Didsbury Park you may just be able to find this hidden treasure. Nestled away in the suburb of Didsbury is Didsbury House Hotel. This elegant and stylish Victorian villa is the perfect venue for a personal and romantic day. Let’s hear what Alice has to say about her Didsbury House wedding.

What was it like planning your Didsbury House wedding?

Planning our wedding was amazing! We had 18 months so we took our time, we knew exactly what we wanted and how we wanted the day to feel so that really helped us. We split the jobs up, I was in charge of all things pretty ( flowers and venue dressing) and Will was in charge of all the music, the suites, the rooms for the hotel) It worked really well as we worked as a team. I started with a scrap book and it went from there! (hours and hours of cutting magazines, Pinterest and prit sticking!)
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Super 8 Wedding Videography: Beth & Richard

If you are looking for some vintage inspiration then this could be just what you were looking for. Beth and Richard asked us to deliver them a Super 8 wedding and we were more than happy to oblige! For those of you who may not know what a Super 8 wedding camera is, it uses actual film. It comes in rolls and we have to have it developed in Germany but boy is it worth it.  It gives a grainy, nostalgic personality to your film that somehow makes you feel as though you are viewing your wedding day through a time machine!

What was it like planning your wedding?

Pretty much everything was booked and chosen within 3 months of the proposal, so we just had to sit back and wait for a year! I wanted to use local and small companies where possible and the personal relationship that it forges meant that planning was a pleasant experience. Viva la Wedding was a company that had produced the video of Laura’s wedding (my bridesmaid / Richard’s sister) a couple of years previously. The friendliness and efficiency of Jo’s email communication coupled with Guille’s skill and professionalism when we met at his studio removed any doubt of us choosing another company.

The unusual ceremony and reception venue was a actually a private school only 15 minutes drive from home. I wanted a civil ceremony because one of our close friends is a Registrar and could conduct the wedding. The ceremony was relaxed and intimate, with a few laughs, which was exactly how we wanted it to be. With the details I tried to give a few nods to the fact that we were getting married in a school, rather than to try and pretend that it was a normal wedding venue.

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African Wedding: Chido & Terry – Haslington Hall

“It’s the best day of my life! I can’t believe I’m marrying my best friend! I can’t wait to be your wife for the rest of our lives!”

wedding cinematography

Chido’s words to Terry sum up the spirit of their African wedding, a day filled with joy and emotion, not to mention some fabulous dancing! They were married in a religious ceremony at Cheshire’s elegant Haslington Hall. The half-timbered mansion provided an imposing setting that was more than matched by the couple’s impeccable styling. Chido looked stunning in her strapless gown and veil with matching lace and Terry was dapper in his monochrome dinner jacket. I love that his groomsmen’s suits were like photographic negatives of Terry’s outfit! The bridesmaids were dazzling in their peach prom dresses and when they joined Chido on the dancefloor for a special flashmob, their sense of fun was infectious!

A helicopter ride always adds that wow factor and when Chido took off with her beau it was a spectacular moment! The weather was kind and we were able to capture some beautiful sunset shots in the grounds of Haslington Hall. The couple look so relaxed and in love, and of course super gorgeous! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Sibanda! Your African wedding was a day to remember!
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Star Wars Wedding Photography: Sandira and Afshin

If you’ve been awake today then you’ve probably realised that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released. We therefore couldn’t think of a better time to share with you one of the most interesting weddings we filmed and photographed last year! Not many people can say that they have been walked down the aisle by Storm Troopers. Sandira and Afshin are of the select few that can.

 

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The wedding was set in the amazing 16th century Laura Ashley Manor in Elstree. The hotel has been beautifully designed and furnished by Laura Ashley, with the stunning original features restored, creating a charming and captivating setting.

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It’s very rare you get to shoot some Star Wars Wedding photography. Therefore when a couple tells you they have a Death Star cake which will be cut by a lightsaber knife, the nerd comes out in you and you can’t help but get excited about it.

 

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Joined by her Bridesmaids, Sandira wore personalised Disney princess converse. Afshin and the groomsmen followed the personalised shoe route however the men clearly felt that this wedding didn’t have enough Star Wars so their shoes each had a different Star Wars character on!

 

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This wedding was possibly one of the most exciting and interesting weddings to be part of and we loved every second of it!

So thank you Sandira and Afshin. May the force be with you!