When I met Joyce from Brides and Beauty at the ‘Tweet-up’ organised by Louise from Bow Occassions back in February and she suggested that we worked together I jumped at the chance. Joyce had the idea for the Cottinley Fairy themed shoot and I knew straight away that we could really go somewhere with the idea and produce something a little different.
I first came across the Cottinley fairy photographs years ago and was fascinated by the fact that at the time many people really believed that two little girls had captured the fairies dancing at the bottom of their garden. The photographs were taken in 1917 but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that Elsie and Frances actually admitted that they had faked the images.
We wanted our shoot to illustrate the innocence of the girls and the elegance of the fairies. I was thrilled when Joanne of Joanne Fleming Design said that we could borrow some of her dresses in soft greens and greys that would work so well in the woodland setting. All the bridesmaid dresses were bought from the high street as I know a lot of brides are on a budget and I wanted to prove that you can buy beautiful dresses without breaking the bank.
Joyce and Hayley from Brides and Beauty did an amazing job of creating beautiful hair and make-up. We went for very subtle make-up as we felt there should be a certain innocence to girls looks, in keeping with the original photographs. The up-do’s proved trickier than I imagined as I soon learnt that not every bodies hair does exactly what you want it to when you want it to! Hayley was ever the professional though and created simple yet stunning styles for each of the girls.
I contacted Sylvie Mawer from Bouquet Boutiques after I had seen some of her work at a wedding I photographed at Great Fosters (you can see the wedding HERE). As soon as I met her I knew she got what we were trying to achieve and she surpassed my expectations. When she arrived her car was brimming with huge bouquets of flowers, table settings and free standing arrangements not to mention all the bags of moss, tree bark and other bit and bobs….. and her lovely hubby not only stayed all day to help but also played the part of our groom for a few shots.
All the decorations, table settings and accessories were sourced from charity shops, car boot sales or were things that we had lying around at home or were made especially for the shoot (the fairy wings and hair decorations for example).
I have to admit that before we started the planning I had no idea of the amount of time that it would take to make all our ideas reality! By the end of the process I had a great deal of respect for any bride and groom who opt for a DIY wedding. It is REALLY hard work and I only had to worry about one set of table decorations and coordinating the 5 or 6 people involved in making it all happen. This is not to say that I would not do it again, I’m already planning the next shoot, but it was a long day and it wouldn’t have happened if everybody involved hadn’t worked so hard so thank you all (you know who you are :-)).
We were also incredibly proud that Annabel from Love My Dress featured the shoot on her blog. Thank you Annabel!
img class=”size-full wp-image-4615 aligncenter” title=”Cottingley fairy woodland wedding inspiration – 033″ src=”http://www.clarewestphotography.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Cottingley-fairy-woodland-wedding-inspiration-033.jpg” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”274″ />
Hair & Make-up: Joyce and Hayley Brides and Beauty
Wedding Dresses: Joanne Fleming Design
Flowers: Sylvia Mawer Bouquet Boutiques
Please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.