behind the scenes: underwater garden styled shoot

I don't know about you, but I'm seriously beginning to pine for warmer weather. I'm dreaming of summer and all its warm possibilities. To take the chill off, I thought today would be a good day to share some behind-the-scenes photos from our styled summer wedding shoot, back when the weather was warm and breezy.

The concept of this shoot began once Elyse had decided on the "underwater garden" theme, which would feature bright colours, and lots of water and greenery. After work one day, I took the metro up to check out a possible location, Jarry Park, which we knew had a large pond and weeping willows. I snapped a few photos on my phone (you'll have to forgive the terrible quality of the next few photos, please!) and sent them to Elyse to see if it would work with her design.

Once I was sure she was happy with the location, we began the process of casting our models and assembling the design elements. We were so happy to find Jessica and Daniel as our "bride and groom." Jessica is a talented actress, and a creative force of nature in general, and Daniel is one of the friendliest, most-laid back gentlemen I've ever met. Together, they are amazing, and their love is insanely photogenic.

Elyse had found this dress with a watercolour flower design, and once we tracked it down I had Jessica try it on, yes in this washroom at our former office (with the sweet faux marble tiles) and it just looked incredible on her. I also found this desk on craigslist, and spray painted it in the alley behind my old apartment while many onlookers stared at me. There's a lot of elbow grease behind all the glamour of a styled shoot!

To create the watercolour chandelier, Elyse enlisted a few of us for help. Jessica, Tiffany and I tore up a sheet of fabric, then Elyse dip-dyed every strip by hand in one of three buckets of fabric dye while her dog, Gryffin, supervised.

When it came time to purchase the flowers, Elyse and I were definitely out of our element, but totally enthralled. With the help of the lovely Atelier Carmel, we were able to visit an amazing warehouse and choose our blooms. Carefully following Elyse's colour palette, we selected the flowers that stole our hearts.

Among the many other projects we worked on, colouring the tablecloth was an epic feat. After spending an evening getting the rainbow of colours just right, overnight the colours separated and bled into a hot mess. Elyse bleached the tablecloth back to white, and re-dyed it into a more simple blue ombré.

On the morning of the shoot, we arrived at our location very early to stake out a spot. However, this happened to be on Quebec's provincial holiday, which meant that everyone had the day off and had also decided to spend the day at the park. While we brought over supplies and took care of hair and makeup, Brian had to stand guard and reserve our small spot under the willows. He also was sweet enough to help out with other miscellaneous tasks such as this:

Yes, I totally realize how lucky I am to be married to a man who is this amazing.

Elyse's parents also dropped by to help out, just as they had with our previous shoots, and as always were unbelievably helpful and generous. When the bridal gown's zipper broke, Elyse's parents stitched it back up (and onto Jessica) by hand.

Our friends Jenn and Heather also helped out with the shoot. Jenn did Jessica's makeup, and then she and Heather arrived at the park to help out by blowing bubbles.

Unfortunately, it was way too windy that day and all the bubbles were swept away by the breeze instead of drifting lazily into the frame like I'd had in mind.

We were so lucky to have Cathy of The Cake Whisperer create a stunning cake for this shoot, and it was great to see her as always.

There's always time for a nap in between shots! Note the gaping hole in Jessica's dress after the zipper broke, which I had to shoot around the entire day.

Lastly, I find this final shot the most hilarious, as it shows how little space we had for our shoot, and how many people were around us the whole time (including the shirtless man lolling on his belly who yelled commentary the entire day and drank beer after beer from his red cooler). Ah, memories.

And that, my friends, was what went on behind the scenes of our underwater garden shoot. It wasn't always glamourous, but it was definitely fun.