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  • Writer's pictureWhole Lotta Love Weddings

Flower Child - Japanese inspired wedding bridal editorial shoot

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

When the photographer pal of mine Caroline Opacic came to me with a request to design something Japanese inspired in pink hues, it was all I needed to start dreaming up this concept.

The cherry blossom was the main inspiration, celebrated in Japan as the symbol of spring, a new beginning, natures awakening. And what could have been more appropriate after the year we all had?

It was imperative for me and my team that this shoot was nothing but culturally appreciative, respectfully borrowing elements from the incredibly rich and beautiful Japanese culture without causing any offence.

We were careful not to use anything original or copy religious elements whatsoever, like the tea ceremony, traditional Japanese kimono or geisha makeup for example, but still echo the influence of their signature aesthetic.

I was careful not to seem tokenistic by using a Japanese model but have chosen the gorgeous Nicola to be our bride, with her glorious natural afro hair, that gave the shoot a real bohemian feel.

I even went as far as consulting friends of Japanese heritage to double-check if anything used in this shoot could be viewed as offensive in any way. To my relief, they saw nothing but a nod to their culture and a hybrid of aesthetics done in the most considered and tasteful way.

The perfect venue for this shoot was the magical Matara Centre in beautiful Cotswolds.

This venue is so very special. It's not your average venue where you get to use one room over and over again. It offers so many options, from the grand house, rose garden, lilypad lake with a Japanese bridge, wildflower meadows, a huge sacred stone circle, a Japanese courtyard with gold carp splashing in its stone pond, small magical woodland, quirky accommodation dotted around the grounds, main grand wedding reception hall with its round domed glass roof and the nicest staff you could ever meet. So many inspirational spots to hold your ceremony and reception at. You will be spoiled for choice. You can make it as unique and special as you want it to be. Caroline says Matara is a photographer wedding dream venue. No more proof needed!

The brilliant Phiney at Poppy Perspective designed our one of a kind fringed dress made out of vintage silk embroidered piano shawl.

The headdress was very modern, created by the uber-talented Jess at Bombini Studio, with pastel-hued flowers, butterflies and cherry blossom branches.

Bev at Makeupology Brides went down a modern route with her makeup, creating extraordinary eyes and rosy lips.

Carly at With Bells On Invites designed the most beautifully textured stationery, taking inspiration from 1970s Japanese wallpaper, using tassels on place cards that made the stationery look and feel exquisite.

Ash at Rooted in Rosemary created the most stunning hanging floral installation which, upon me posting a behind the scenes video, took the world by storm. Her talent for colour and flower combination is just incredible.

My tablescape was a dream to create. I found a pink version of the cherry blossom crockery, used blush coloured glassware, pink scale design napkins, gold cutlery with chopsticks that rested on little marble stones. I wanted the florals to be minimal in the typical ikebana style, and Ash certainly nailed the brief. Marbled pastel candles by Studio Dine were placed in my retro blown glass candle holders. It just all sang in perfect unison.

The table was an industrial wood top trestle table, surrounded by mismatched wicker armchairs found in the venue.

I also created a bridal chill-out zone, with my peacock chair, bamboo screen and a large mid-century vase filled with blossom branches. Tanya's cake was placed on a boho wicker plant stand and surrounded with flowers.

Tanya at Cotswold Cake Kitchen made our beautiful large cake, adorned with her signature sugarcraft magnolia flowers and Japanese origami paper-inspired folds.

Vic at Victoria Bedwell Jewellery brought her vintage reworked jewellery that gave this shoot a Luxe feel.

And last but not least, Caroline shot everything in her signature soft imagery photography style that shows how talented she really is. I will never tire of looking through her beautiful images, ever!

I hope this shoot gives you inspiration for your own wedding. We loved every second of creating it.

Whole Lotta Love,

Zuza and team x

Photography: @carolineopacicphotography

Concept, design, styling & coordination: @wholelottalove_weddings

Venue: @mataracentre

Dress: @poppyperspective

Headdress: @bombinistudio

Stationery: @with_bells_on_invites

Floral design: @rootedinrosemary

Cake @cotswoldcakekitchen

MUA @makeupologybrides

Jewellery: @victoriabedwelljewellery

Model: @curlyculzeane

Candles @studiodine

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