‘Love letters from Willowbank’ – An Elegant, Art Nouveau Inspired Wedding Styled ShootNATASCHIA WIELINK PHOTOGRAPHY
Sometimes an inspiration shoot lands in my inbox that takes my breath away with its beauty (like this one) and sometimes with its creativity (like this one); well today’s incredible shoot from Sue Gallo Designs and Nataschia Wielink floored me with both! With an historic backdrop, the most perfect vintage styling, lush green florals (greenery is such a huge trend for 2016!) and one of the most stunning wedding cakes I have ever seen, it is truly a shoot not to be missed…..
The inspiration for this romantic shoot came from the historic Willowbank – a beautiful Greek Revival mansion situated on a picturesque lawn hillside overlooking the village of Queenston, Ontario and named after the grand willow trees that once graced it elegant grounds.
Before you lose yourself in every delightful detail of this unforgettable shoot, do please take a few moments to enjoy the lovely story designer Sue Gallo crafted to go with it…. “In keeping with spirit of this period, our bride and groom’s marriage has been carefully arranged by their parents – distant cousins with an ocean between the families. After many months of a long distance courtship, our bride & groom have exchanged letters that quickly became notes of devotion and love.
Our bride has spent many weeks travelling to wed the Willowbanks heir and begin a new life in her new country home. Our groom knows, as he has come to know his new bride through their many letters, that this is suitable and favourable match. Her generous dowry will allow him to continue the restoration of his historic family estate, and he can provide a comfortable and loving life for his new wife.
Seeing her for the first time on their wedding day, he admires her from afar, just as he has through their letters. A sweet love has flourished during their courtship and he believes that not only has he found a most beautiful wife in his new bride, but a strong, devoted and loving partner to run Willowbanks.”
Planner Amanda Cowley of Sweet Events tells us a little more about the fantastic backdrop for their shoot, Willowbank itself: “The Willowbank mansion is a National Historic Site of Canada, built in 1832, it possesses in its exterior architecture and landscape the qualities of the Romantic fusion of Classical Revival, and is regarded as one of the finest remaining examples of such buildings on the continent. Named after magnificent willow trees that once graced its grounds; it is an elegant example of the rural estates of the wealthy settlers of early 19th century Upper Canada. From the moment we walked through the stately front door, it felt as if we had been transported through time to a place where life was much simpler, easier, and certainly fabulous. We went into the day knowing we had to do this majestic beauty justice.”
And a few more thoughts from Amanda about the shoot itself…. “Our team consisted of 17 of some of the most talented artists and designers in Niagara. Sue’s dreams of infusing as many lush, botanical details, only snowballed the inspiration, causing each and every vendor involved to provide an integral piece of our ‘Love Letters’ puzzle. The day began with an overcast sky, providing perfectly moody light during our more masculine moments, especially while our groom received a straight razor shave and beard trim. Halfway through, the clouds gave way, allowing warm sunlight to stream through the panes of the massive dining room windows, casting a golden glow on all our fresh and feminine details. It’s the juxtaposition of these masculine and feminine moments that we believe set this shoot apart from a lot of the inspiration we are seeing today, and shifting the focus from the bride to the groom was a decision we felt was imperative to the success of ‘Love letters from Willowbank’.”
I don’t know about you, but I am completely in love with every single detail of this shoot!…. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to saying thankyou to the wonderful vendors behind it – all of whom you will find listed below. As always I must give a special thanks to Sue Gallo Designs for her vision, to Amanda Cowley for bringing it to life and to Nataschia Wielink for capturing it all so exquisitely.
To see more of Sue’s fabulous creative flair at work, pop and take a look at this glamorous 1920s inspiration shoot and this romantic floral beauty with pops of pink, or head over to her website at www.suegallodesigns.com.
Photography ~ Nataschia Wielink // Venue ~ Willowbank School of Restoration Arts // Floral Design & Styling ~ Sue Gallo Designs // Planning & Coordination ~ Amanda Cowley // Location Scouting ~ The Venue Counsellor // Vintage Rentals & Styling ~ Warehouse 84 // Bridal Gown ~ Maureen Patricia Bridal // Menswear ~ Frama // Headpieces ~ Blair Nadeau Millinery // Jewelry ~ The Loved One // Hair & Makeup ~ Sarah Smith // Barber ~ Barber Will // Calligraphy Artist & Stationery ~ Phyllis Macaluso // Wedding Cake & Sweets ~ Sweet Celebrations // Linens & Place Settings ~ Simply Beautiful Decor // Dogs ~ Niagara Pet Resort // Models ~ Maggie Lewis & Lee Dennis