Winter Viking Wedding Shoot- Stellar Weddings

The island of Tasmania is full of incredible yet undiscovered creatives. This styled winter shoot coordinated by Stellar Weddings shows just that. No amount of snow turned these guys off, and we are thrilled to share this styled shoot with you.

By Stellar Weddings

When the idea of “Winter Viking Wedding” came to the girls at Kingbilly Flora, they knew it would be the opportunity of a lifetime to create a scene that showed just how incredible some of these undiscovered creatives were and thus these images were born. Kingbilly Flora created floral arrangements solely with dried flowers. The creative points for the pieces in this shoot were “Fierce and Bold Ruler”. They wanted to created pieces that made the couple Feel what they needed to project. 

 Tasmania has some of Australia’s best photographers. The scenery on this bountiful island is muse to our incredible artists behind the camera. But when it came to choosing a photographer for this shoot, only one came to mind. Otherwise known as “snow child” Shirley Bliss started as a Commercial Photographer specialising in food photography in the local restaurant scene. Her ability to evoke emotions through inanimate objects led her to pursue Wedding photography. Where there’s passion, she will make you feel it. And that’s exactly what she did in this shoot. Shirley now photographs a combination of multiple genres that she has accumulated through her photography journey. Food, fashion and passion, she can capture it all and give you all the feels.

With so many wedding boutiques across Tasmania it was difficult to choose a dress we knew would “fit the bill” but after a lot of research we came across a boutique that we couldn’t go past. A local fashion boutique- Strutt Design Studio. They  specialise in bridal and formal wear. When we told Strutt about this collaboration they were on board straight away and without so much as a conversation they knew they had the perfect dress to fit the scene and that they did. Every element of this dress was perfect for this shoot. 

The make up was created by Tanisha Koops. Tanisha needed no guidance. In the door at 7am on the day of the shoot, having never met, she made us feel so confident in her ability to create the look that was needed. “Fierce” was the word she gave us and we agreed. Within an hour she had our bride looking like the most Boss bride you’d ever seen. 

You can’t have a Viking wedding without Viking armour, right? The props were handcrafted by a local Dad & Daughter team- Victor and Elisabeth Soo. They create props with foam: otherwise known as the “Foamsmith”  these incredible pieces looked the part with unbelievable attention to detail. They were everything we dreamed of and more. 

Finally, the couple. Toby and Esther Long. Both medical professionals, they share not only their work space but the most intense passion for each other both on and off camera. These guys had us feeling all kinds of emotions! Although this wasn’t their actual wedding, you would never have guessed it. Their love for each other just as strong as the day they said “I do” over three years ago. If you love a good Nicholas Sparks movie, you’d love this couple! 

 

Social Media Handles:

Photography: @Stellar.weddings 

Dress: @Struttdesign

Make-up: @Tanishakoops 

Concept & Flowers: @Kingbillyflora Props: @Makeroos 

Models: @Esthermlong & @toobyl

Blank Canvas- What you need to know

Photo: Olivia Brown Photography, Sandridge Estate NW Tasmania

Venue hire is undoubtedly one of the biggest expenses when it comes to wedding days, and it can be very tempting to cut costs in this area and hire a “blank canvas” venue such as a hall or shed that doesn’t include the big dollar bells and whistles of specialised venues. 

Blank canvases can be beautiful and unique but they can come with a lot more considerations and work for bride and groom. It’s easy to be swayed by a pretty location and a low price tag, but to ensure you avoid any wedding day dramas or disasters there are some things you’ll want to double and triple check before booking that blank canvas venue. Think about each of these:

  • Is the venue in a residential area? You don’t want your reception party shut down by the fuzz before the sun goes down!
  • Capacity of the facilities. If you have one loo and 200 guests you’re in for a bad time.
  • Chair and table hire? This can get costly if it’s not included with the venue. Also think about other items such as audio visual equipment, kitchen facilities, lighting, decorations etc. Are these extras?
  • Power capacity – lights, audio, fridges, heating/cooling etc. Are you going to end up shorting and being left in the dark?
  • Safety of your venue. Smoke detectors, safe exits, hazards, insurances. You want your guests going home happy and safe.
  • Some of the best blank canvases can be a little remote. How are your guests getting there and home safely? Will your caterers, DJs, band, wait staff be willing to go the distance? Transport can be pricey.

Venues that specialise in big events such as weddings charge a price that reflects the amount of work and risk that they face. They put in love and labour, with landscaping, cleaning, maintenance, decoration and set up, to get a property perfect and wedding ready.

Communication and availability is one of the biggest must-haves with any venue you decide to go with. There is inevitably a lot of back and forth communication that will go on between you and the venue owner/manager. You want to be able to reach them for the finer details and to view the property multiple times, particularly close to the wedding day. Are they going to be able to provide that time to you? Think about your stress levels here.

A big drawcard for the blank canvas venue is that they are often more free rein; no venue rules and regs to worry about, and you can dance ‘til 5am. Okay, I don’t want to sound like anyone’s mum here but who’s going to be cleaning that up? Even at the most tame wedding there is inevitable party wear and tear. Spillages, glasses broken, floors scratched, driveways churned up, gardens walked through. I went to one reeeally fun wedding where “lively” (a.k.a. uber drunk) guests broke in excess of fifty glasses. At $5 a glass the new bride and groom woke up to a very unpleasant surprise bill.

So the bells and whistles at specialised venues can be a little pricey for a reason. They can mean a lot less to organise, a lot less to clean up, a lot fewer hidden extras to pay for and way more time for you to relax in the lead up to your wedding. There is a lot to consider but get your list and check it off — the most important thing is for you to have a happy and worry-free day.

 

Words: Amy Farrell

The Bridal Party: To Love, Honour, and Protect

Photo: Jon Gazzignato, Clare & Brady's Real Wedding Issue 6

In the days and months after your engagement your nearest and dearest friends are going to start looking at you with anticipation in their eyes. What are they waiting to find out? It’s definitely not your venue selection or who will be catering the reception. Their hungry eyes are waiting to see if they have made the cut for your bridal party, or the ultimate honour of best man / maid of honour. While you deliberate on your big decisions those looks will persist, and some might even be so bold as to ask the question; “So, who is going to be your maid of honour?”

What we don’t often get asked is “why a maid of honour?”

Before you choose your special few, let’s take a moment to reflect on the rich history of marriage celebrations and revel in the realisation that weddings are, at their core, beautifully bonkers.

There are a huge range of legends, myths, and superstitions shaping our modern day wedding ceremonies, many of which come from Ancient Rome. The Romans were a suspicious and paranoid lot who believed a bride and groom needed ten maids and ten men to stand by them and protect them from evil spirits. The bridal parties dressed identically in order to confuse the devilish forces and prevent them from targeting the love birds.

Other origin stories say that the parties weren’t there to chase the bad vibes away; they were there to protect the couple from dangerous dowry thieves and bride-nappers. Who might try to kidnap the bride? According to legend the tradition comes from cultures where “marriage by capture” was common. The groom’s men formed a little army to ride in and snatch up the bride from a neighbouring community or disapproving family. They had to fight off anyone that got in the way of the kidnapping and stand guard to prevent her family from trying to bride-nap her back.

If a family knew that a particular girl was going to be targeted by captors they would have her maids and servants dress identically to her. They hoped that this would confuse the little army of kidnappers and maybe they would even pinch the wrong girl.

The best man was chosen based on his skill with a sword and his fighting prowess and presumably the maid of honour was a high ranking servant, who hopefully could pass as the bride.

An amazing mix of culture, tradition, fashion and maybe even blood-soaked battle have created the roles and responsibilities our much-loved best men and maids of honour have today. Whether it be it wielding their swords to protect your life and dowry, or simply popping that champagne by your side, it’s a gesture that remains just as relevant today in recognising how special these people are to you. Let’s hope it’s just for the latter. 

 

Photo: ACOMA Photography, Caitlin & Jo’s Real Wedding Issue 6