Images by samuel white photography
A Moroccan inspired real love infusion, accompanied by our own Australian earthy delights. This styled shoot featured a real, authentic couple and showcased some of the most talented vendors from Sydney, The Sutherland Shire and The South Coast of NSW. "MYSTICAL, golden, historic and beautiful are just a few of the words that you could use to describe our styled shoot. A collaboration steeped in unique culture and set upon the most exquisite landscape." Erin of Erin Shanley Hair shares.
"This was a day to remember. Witnessing the most unforgettable proposal. A surprise dual proposal. Yes - we said it there many squeals and lots of happy tears. It was the union, the partnership and the unconditional love that radiated throughout the entire grounds. The proposal played out in a way that was felt on another level by all involved. It’s is clear beautiful things happen to the most extraordinary people. Congratulations to Pia & Angela we wish you every happiness. To the dream team that made it all happen you are incredible, thank you." Erin says.
what was the inspiration behind this shoot concept? The concept behind the shoot was to feature real love. We wanted to move away from a standard Bridal Editorial styled shoot and give our audience the ability to truly engage and relate upon all levels of love. We chose a same sex couple because we all are major supporters of the bill that was passed two years ago. The ability to love is a human experience and we wanted to showcase that.
what are some of the highlights you had during the shoot process: The main highlight was when Pia (short pixie cut) asked Erin (hairdresser) if she could use this collaboration as the backdrop to her proposal to her girlfriend Angela.
In addition to this, a month before the shoot date, Erin received an email from Angela (Pia’s other half) saying how excited she was and that she had the most amazing idea ever and wanted to keep it super secret from Pia. She too wanted to use the styled shoot as her proposal. (omgoshh,) So now we have one couple totally unaware of the others request both wanting to drop the knee.
Neither ladies had modelled before and with the nerves of the proposal playing separately on their minds, we thought it best to keep their plan secret from the other vendors. We also thought it would be best had one of them could have faked a mega calf cramp and dropped the knee before our shoot or even after. So keeping it secret meant both ladies where in control of this information and if they do decide that one of them wants to propose (or in our case both) that it portray a more genuine and authentic “in the moment” scene.
dress reveals – how to solve this problem: Typically, on the “big day” the couple is separated until they meet at the aisle. In this case, we had a crazy idea to blind fold each of the ladies. To paint the scene, here you have these two inquisitive and cheeky females, standing back to back, blindfolded, both with rings in the hand that doesn’t face the camera, ready to pop the question – and on the count of three the magic prevailed.
did you face any challenges on the day? Oh my goshh yes. There will always be pre-photoshoot nerves. A challenge was having a real couple, not professional models, at the centre of the shoot, we needed clear direction and patience to overcome any hiccups. Yet having an experienced and well-skilled photographer (Samuel White) to document this moment in its pure form was imperative and it couldn’t have been captured more perfectly.
Just like any other celebration, birthday, speech, wedding etc - a beer to calm the nerves is oh so critical (oh and food).
what led you to decide on this venue location? This place is amazing!! We chose Terara Riverside Gardens not only based on how private and how exquisite the rolling green hills that make way for the iconic Shoalhaven river front truly is. The property owners had just added some more new stunning features. These include a floating rose garden. Along with a very healthy orchid garden, a secret garden with this massive eye catching water fountain and a marque/ barn in case of wet weather and last but not least their very own bridal suite. Not only is it the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever laid your eyes upon (in your entire life). There’s one more thing – Terara Riverside Gardens supports same sex marriages.
what was your favourite detail about the shoot day? The vendors on styling, cake, florals and signage. WOW! These ladies are next level, given little to no direction other than the theme “Moroccan Infused” and a colour palette, we asked them to surprise us. Their creativity and detail were serioulsy out of this world. They really nailed it.
favourite moment from the day: When I, (Erin – hairdresser) gave Prue (Borrowed Bits – Stylist) one small box and a single ring to put in her baggy pockets (a keep safe because my pockets were too tight), bearing in mind no other vendor but the property owners and Lauren knows about this one tiny detail. I also had Carly (florist), Sam (photographer), Lauren (makeup artist) and Diane (Matheson + Me – Dress designer) right near me. The couple on the bank of the river with Michelle and Stephen (property owners) to far from prying eyes or keen ears.
It was in that moment I gave Prue the engagement rings, we all looked at each other in total silence. Standing there, in a circle - as the realisation crept in, the goose bumps stood high on our arms and the same stupid emotional grin took over our faces. Were in this together now and this styled shoot... is much bigger than what we ever thought.
hairstylist, words & creative direction Erin Shanley Hair | @erinshanley.hair
makeup & creative direction Emery Makeup | @emerymakeup
venue Terara Riverside Gardens | @terara_riverside_gardens
images by Samuel White Photography | @samuelwhitephoto
styling Borrowed Bits | @borrowed_bits
cake Icing On The Cake By Gay | @icingonthecakebygay
wedding favours Ohhlala Candles | @ohhlalacoconutsoycandles
florals Carly Rose | @carly_rose_weddings_and_events
bridal gowns Matheson + Me | @mathesonandme
graphics Alyssa Robilliard | @alyssarobilliard
bridal muses Pia Cincotta and Angela Beezem
jewels Viaa | @viaajewellery
first look suit jacket Tussah the Label @tussahthelabel | first look pant: Yd @ydaustralia
second outfit chino Sportscraft @sportscraft | Blazer & Shirt Yd @ydaustralia
behind the scenes grazing Picnics with Love | @picnics.with.love