When it comes to designing styled shoots, location is everything. Not only does it set the tone for the entire day and the overall design, but it also provides the backdrop for capturing amazing shots, and gives my brides, clients, and followers a chance to see a place they have never seen before and imagine it in a new and fresh way.
My inspiration for this shoot actually came from a television commercial for the perfume, Miss Dior, featuring Natalie Portman. In the commercial, she is seen in a variety of beautiful and romantic settings, including walking along the French Riviera in a dramatic black gown or laying on a beautiful bed of roses. I saw this and immediately fell in love with the feminine and romantic touches that were seen throughout the commercial, so I used this to help form the base of my design. The soft and classic elements found in the commercial were precisely what I would want to see in my own wedding so designing this shoot was easy, I honestly do not know anyone who would NOT want to get married at a beautiful French Chateau on the coast of France, am I right? And thus began my search for my very own chateau here in Southern California. Thanks to Google and the Internet, by chance, I came across the Kimberly Crest House, and I knew immediately this was the place that our shoot would take place. Not only is it a hidden gem, tucked away in the city of Redlands, it is also a protected historical site in the state of California. Our team of vendors were so fortunate to have the opportunity to not only photograph here, but even better, brides and people alike are also invited and welcome to plan a romantic and timeless wedding or special event at the gorgeous house.
The Kimberly Crest House is a picturesque French chateau style home that was built in 1897, and it is a well preserved example of the Victorian Era in California. The home was designed by the firm Dennis and Farwell and was inspired by a French castle the original owner, Mrs. Cornelia Hill, had visited on a trip to Europe. Its 6-¼ acre estate is located in Redlands, California and features not just the Victorian Chateau, but also beautiful Italian Renaissance styled gardens around the property.
The venue provided such a deep and rich backdrop for our styled shoot, so I decided to keep the rest of the look simple, effortless, and clean. Everything from the dress, flowers, and hair and make-up were designed to look soft and ethereal, so we can really allow for the background to speak for itself. We got rid of all of the fluff and focused on the essentials, to highlight them and remind ourselves that less is more, a concept that I am seeing more with our modern brides today. Our amazing photographer, Esther Sun and I, also made the conscious choice to shoot the entire day in only film. We did this to give our images that unique and timeless look that can only come by using film and capturing light in its most natural and purest form. I wanted to incorporate a unique bridal look, to really help inspire and help brides think out of the box. That being said, I selected a two piece look, featuring a beautiful lace top paired with a romantic and soft blue skirt (perfect for that ‘something new’ and ‘something blue’!). And to top it all off, I wanted to end on a dramatic yet classic note, so I selected a beautiful black gown, with lots of layers of tulle, which could serve as that perfect reception gown at the end of the night, or even be pulled off as a wedding gown for brides who really want something classic yet dramatic.
My amazing team of vendors had such a wonderful time being inspired by one another to help create this beautiful look, and I hope that brides everywhere will find inspiration from this shoot that they can take back and use for their own wedding or special event, and also realize that you can make what you seen on television a reality! Check out the list of vendors who contributed to the shoot, and keep scrolling to see all of the beautiful images!
Styling & Coordination: Everly Events
Venue: Kimberly Crest House & Gardens
Photographer: Esther Sun Photo
Florist: Bloomwell & Co.
Engagement Rings: Trumpet & Horn
Hair and Make-Up: Grace Lin Professional Make-Up Team
Wedding Dress: The Dress Theory
Black Wedding Gown: Rent the Runway
Rentals: Glam Events