Hello beautiful! I am so excited to finally be sharing my first styled shoot; “Grace” with you! For those of you who haven’t yet read my behind the scenes journey to creating “Grace”, please read it here.
When I was a bride-to-be last year, amongst the joy and euphoria of being engaged, I surprisingly also found myself feeling excluded from the UK wedding industry, by one simple and one very large reason; there just did not appear to be any visual, inclusive, representation for black brides.
In an infinity pool of endlessness, I found myself turning page, after page, clicking link after link, hoping for a delicious blend of ebony and ivory on the next click or page, but for me, it just didn’t happen.
The early planning stages reminded me of when I was a sprightly young kiddy. Enjoying Disney film after Disney film, glued to the TV, cooing over each princess, but never associating someone who looked like me with being a princess. Well, why would I? The Disney princesses didn’t look like me, their hair was soft, silky, long and golden (unlike my tougher than tough afro) with skin ‘as white as snow’. (I’m old. Princess Tiana and Jasmine hadn’t yet made their grand entrance!) I subconsciously believed that because my skin was black, I could never be a princess, these rules did not apply.
Little did I know that the power of the subconscious mind would manifest itself in hard copy during my very own wedding planning, when almost every visual image I was presented with in print and on the catwalk, was very much the same as those perfect Disney Princesses which graced my TV screen in the 1980’s. (Lord I’m showing my age!) Beautiful? Of course! But where was and is the diversity and variety? And I’m not just talking about skin colour my darlings!
When I started writing Nu Bride, I wanted to create something modern, fun and inspirational for brides-to-be, showcasing choice, something different. But I also wanted to make a conscious effort to showcase positive images of black brides-to-be, doing my little bit towards bridging that large gap. I live in hope that the UK mainstream wedding industry will follow and seriously consider how they continue market the bridal image, so that it becomes much more inclusive and speaks to all brides-to-be. There are billions of us, all excited, all in love, all gorgeous shapes and sizes with beautiful shades of brown and porcelain. We all matter, we are all beautiful.
It gives me an abundance of pleasure to be able to share my very first styled shoot with my gorgeous readers!
“Grace”: An elegant, ballet inspired, modern luxe styled shoot; celebrating the beauty of black brides.
I simply could not have created “Grace” without the vision, support and exquisite talent of a team of wedding suppliers.
We had such a fantastic day on set and I am humbled and lucky to have met and worked with such talented and decent human beings. The day was captured beautifully in film by Urban Cinematography, with exquisite floral designs by Essential Flowers (who have recently launched Essential Couture), stunning modern wire jewellery by Xaman EK, and gorgeous birdcage veils and traditional jewellery by Yarwood White and Lily Bella. Tender and beautiful gowns, (some exclusively from her 2014 White Label collection), by top bridal designer Elizabeth Stuart, heavenly cakes and sweet treats by the sensational Elizabeth Solaru of Elizabeth’s cake Emporium. Hair & Make-up by the super talented and blissfully fun ex-ballet dancer Suki Miles, sublime sequinned linens from Over the Top Rentals, glorious shoes by Marsha Hall and gorgeous contemporary stationery by the lovely team at Foto-Fusion. With modelling by the stunningly stunning Natalie, Teneisha and Scarlette. All captured by photography genius; Nikos Gogas, whose photography will give you a real insight into the exceptional talent of the team who volunteered their time, loaned their designs and artistry to create one day of pure magic that elegantly crescendoed into the beauty that is; “Grace”.
I would love to hear your view readers! Please do comment in the box below!
Meet the Team “Grace”!
CreditsPhotography: Nikos Gogas Cakes: Elizabeth Solaru Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium Cinematography: Urban Cinematography
Creative Director: Nova Reid | Nu Bride
Designer Wedding Gowns: Elizabeth Stuart
Flowers & Design: Essential Couture | Essential Wedding Hire |
Hair & Make Up: Suki Miles |
Jewellery – (modern wire jewellery) Xaman EK |
Jewellery & veils – (pearls and birdcage veils) Yarwood White & Lily Bella |
Linens: Over The Top Rentals |
Shoes: Handmade by Marsha Hall |
(* red shoes only are by Jimmy Choo)
Stationery: Foto Fusion |
Venue: Grace Bar Models:
Natalie Douglas – Twitter: @NatsTweetyPie @lipsandlol
Scarlette Douglas – Twitter: @Scardoug | Currently performing in Rock of Ages – (Garrick Theatre) West End
Teneisha Bonner – Just finished performing in Some Like It Hip Hop (Sadlers Wells)
With guest modelling by Nova of Nu Bride! ♥ Special Thanks♥ Special thanks to each and every collaborator for volunteering their time and sharing their talent to create “Grace”. Extra special thanks go to Jo of Urban Cinematography and Elizabeth Solaru and Mr Nu Bride for all of their invaluable help and support behind the scenes. To Esme our little helper for being so helpful. To Emma Howe of Novus Leisure, to the lovely Sam of Elizabeth Stuart for helping me choose the gowns! And to Nick and all of the staff at Grace Bar for being so accommodating!
© Nu Bride 2013