styled wedding shoot | fall in montreal

My photography to-do list for this fall was very ambitious. Perhaps (definitely) a little too ambitious. When I nervously added "do a styled wedding shoot" (wherein a stylized wedding is orchestrated to the end of showcasing the work of a photographer and vendors) to the mix, I wondered aloud how I would ever pull it off.

A day or two later, my friend Elyse asked me if I'd ever thought about a styled wedding shoot, and I instantly answered, "YES!" When she offered to help, I happily accepted. As Elyse's impeccable taste and effervescent creativity revealed itself, I quickly realized how lucky I was to have come into this partnership.

Over the next six weeks, our little idea blossomed from a simple photo session in a park to a full-fledged project involving over a dozen people. To our delight, vendors, friends and family jumped on board, volunteering their time and talent to our passion project. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who lent me and Elyse their creativity, mad skills, time, and love. We couldn't have done it without you, truly.

Here's a description of the project, from Elyse:

Our inspiration for this photo shoot was “urban fall.” So often, brides feel like the season has to dictate the mood and setting of their wedding, and this is never truer than with fall affairs. While rustic country venues are fun and fabulous, we wanted to show couples that they can pick the fall season and still have a chic urban celebration, filled with sparkle and vintage flair. Fall in the city is so incredibly cozy and beautiful, why not celebrate it?

We also wanted to break the mold of the standard inspiration shoot and throw an entire mini event, giving it the feel of a genuine intimate gathering. Our bride and groom were joined by their lovely maid of honour and best man (how cute are they?) and a group of fabulous guests that spent the day cracking each other up and enjoying the ambiance (oh, and maybe a tart favour or two).

Of course we couldn’t have done it without some amazing vendors. Top of the list is Carmel Sabourin Goldstein of Atelier Carmel, who brought our amethyst and goldenrod colour scheme to life with her floral arrangements. They can really only be described as perfection. The lovely Antonella of Mia Bridal Co. lent us the jaw-dropping Romona Keveza gown, and its lace appliqué shoulders and stunning train still make my heart beat fast. Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein provided a beautiful custom fascinator, and Golden Rectangle Press created the sweet invitation suite.

The best part of the day? That so many of the elements are easy, and inexpensive, to recreate! Bows were made by ripping yards of fabric along the seams, as was the runner (tip: search Etsy for great deals on quality silk). The favour bags were made out of sheets of pretty paper found at a local art store, and the colours and patterns were endless! Even elements like the brass candlesticks and chunks of amethyst were found going through treasures passed on from grandparents. You’d be amazed at what might be boxed up in your parents’ attic just waiting to add some extra sparkle to your day!

The stunning tablescapes were dreamed up by Elyse, and finished off by Atelier Carmel's beautiful floral arrangements.

Let me introduce you to our amazing models. First up, our handsome "groom," Michael, in his boutonniere by Atelier Carmel:

Our gorgeous "bride," Alexis, in her Romona Keveza gown:

How stunning is our bride's bouquet, by Atelier Carmel?

For Alexis' hair and makeup, I wanted to keep it clean and polished, while still creating deep plum smokey eyes and a wash of sheer amethyst lip colour. I kept her hair simple and un-fussy, creating a convertible style that she could wear up, and take down to give two different looks.

And this lovely and whimsical bridal headpiece by Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein (who also made my own beautiful bridal veil)

Here are our wonderful "wedding guests," starting with Mark and Carolyn:

Don and Logan:

And Nikki and Rory, our "maid of honour and best man" for the day!

We decided that popping some blackberries in the champagne would be a perfect finishing touch, and an easy way to customize an elegant drink.

The cake was created by Elyse, who had never made a cake before. Can you believe she pulled this off? It was lovingly garnished by Carmel and her wonderful way with flowers.

We stepped outside for some wedding photos with the "wedding party":

And, of course, with the bride and groom:

Inspiration board (created by Elyse): 

Fall Wedding Shoot


Planning and execution: Elyse Cragg and Dallas Curow  //  Styling/coordination: Elyse Cragg  //  Photography: Dallas Curow  // Venue: Le Local  c/o Sacha Désilets //  Florist: Atelier Carmel  //  Wedding dress: Romona Keveza provided by Mia Bridal c/o Antonella //  Hair and Makeup: Dallas Curow  //  Bride's headpiece: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein  // Bride's shoes: Badgely Mischka  //  Bride's necklace: Banana Republic  //  Women's dresses: Le Chateau  // Men's attire: their own  //  Cake: Elyse Cragg  //  Stationary: Beth Klavir at Golden Rectangle Press  //  Models (bride and groom): Alexis McKenzie and Michael Garfinkle  //  Models (guests): Don Bargenda, Nicole Cragg, Rory Curtis, Carolyn Fauteux, Mark Ambrose Harris, Logan Murphy  //  Pastries: Nicole Cragg  //  Drivers/amazing assistants/life savers: Jim Cragg and Barbara Woodward