As seen on Style Me Pretty…
Sometimes inspiration can be hard to come by, or with Pinterest only a click away, you have way too many ideas floating around. I always tell my brides to go around their house, pick 3 to 5 items that they really love and sit down with a cup of coffee to figure out why these pieces are so great. When Abbeville Estate asked me about doing a styled shoot, I knew I wanted to try and incorporate all of the gorgeous spaces they have on site. They seriously have it all—a traditional New Zealand villa that has been restored to perfection, a quaint church with stunning stained glass windows and a rustic barn and wool shed that exude charm.
I took my own advice and over a cup of coffee found myself staring at a box of crayons, a copy of the Great Gatsby and jamming out to Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes. As a child, I loved the cerulean blue crayon in the Crayloa box and used this vibrant shade of blue as the inspiration for the shoot. Paired with a navy velvet ribbon (thank you Elvis), gold accents and the extravagance of the Great Gatsby—without being over the top Art Deco—each of the areas began to take shape in my mind.
One of the most important styling aspects of your wedding is choosing your photographer. After the last glass of champagne has been drunk and the flowers have wilted, your photos are what will stand the test of time. It’s so important to choose a photographer who you’ll have fun with—you’ll be spending most of your wedding day with them—and who’s photographic style can capture the essence of your dream wedding. We were so lucky to have the amazingly talented Lauren + Delwyn Project on board to document all of the fun with their unique perspective and knack for capturing not only the “money shots” but the atmosphere and love you feel during a wedding.
Design, Styling & Coordination: Southern Belle Styling & Events Photography: The Lauren & Delwyn Project | Venue: Abbeville Estate | Wedding Gowns: Alma J Bridal Boutique | Menswear: Suits on Broadway | Hair & Makeup: Elise Wilson | Cakes: Sweet Bites Cakes | Wedding Rings: Nasr Brother’s Jewelers | Models: Jess Manson & Michael Indrisie | Floral Styling: Southern Belle Styling & Events
Custom Props & Hire Items by Southern Belle:
The dining room at Abbeville Estate is immaculate. I wanted to use the ghost chairs that they have on site, but wanted to do something to dress them up a bit. Seeing that ghost chairs are styled off of a traditional upholstered chair, I reintroduced the aspect of upholstery by creating these gorgeous hand dyed inserts on a woven paper. The floral chandelier, velvety ribbon and candlelight softened the look to make it extra romantic. Our model donned a stunning blue gown by Alma Wong…check out the detailing on the bodice…so beautiful! When we were looking for gowns to showcase in our shoot, I couldn’t get past the fresh perspective of Auckland based Alma Wong of Alma J Bridal Boutique in Ponsonby. All of her designs marry elegance with whimsy in just the right proportions. With our groom’s suit, we wanted the pop of cerulean blue, but wanted to keep it in a context that wouldn’t frighten your average groom. By pairing the bright patterned tie and pocket square with a traditional three piece suite, we were able to achieve that balance.
Barn – Whiskey Bar
I love setting up a food bar at a wedding as a fun way to get the guests interacting and experiencing something new. For this shoot, we opted for a whiskey tasting bar. The guests would be able to sip on three types of whiskey and the classic whisky cocktail, a manhattan—check out that edible, gold glitter rim! To anchor our space and inject a little personality of our inspiration couple, we embellished our gilded gold mirror with whimsical song lyrics.
This outfit change had to be my favourite…another creation by Alma Wong, the floral embellishments on the gown and stunning blush cape reek of personality and elegance. I fell in love with the wine coloured, velvet suit jacket the minute I stepped into Suits on Broadway. Although I love menswear, I was slightly apprehensive of how to pull it all together. David and his team explained the fundamentals, giving me the confidence to play around and have fun with the pieces until we created the perfect look for each vignette in our shoot.
Wool Shed – Cakes
Wedding cakes are somewhat overlooked in New Zealand, but I wanted to show off the incredible talent of one of our bakeries, Sweet Bites Cakes. With simple styling, we let the cakes speak for themselves. The hand painting and jewelled accents are beautiful, but for me, the simplicity of the buttercream cake with gold leafed macaroons and organic florals stole the show.
Nothing combines the unexpected better than an outdoor seating area. Of all the one’s I’ve styled, this has to be my favourite! Using the deep cerulean and teal rug to define the space, the loveseat made the perfect spot for a sunset kiss. Our handcrafted “LOVE” marquee sign (available for hire) added a romantic glow that showed off the beautiful hair and makeup created by Elise Wilson. I’ve worked with many makeup artists, but Elise’s skills are unsurpassed in creating multiple breathtaking looks in such a short amount of time—she made our model glow!
It was such a pleasure to work with some of New Zealand’s top wedding pros to create something all our own!
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