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The Owl and the Pussycat Wedding Inspiration

“Adore” doesn’t even begin to cover how we feel about this styled shoot from Butterfly Petals and shot by Melissa Jill Photography. Amanda of Butterfly Petals pulled inspiration from Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat,” a darling children’s poem about an owl and a cat who fall in love despite their differences, and marry. Amanda translated the tale into an updated, colorful interpretation, complete with one sophisticated ‘cat’ and one cool bohemian ‘owl’!

groom bride playing music

From the designer, Amanda Johnson of Butterfly Petals: This styled shoot was inspired by a vintage copy of the Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (1871). The poem has an unlikely pairing: an owl and a cat. The owl serenades the cat, and she’s so entranced that they decide to run away and be married at once. What about a ring? Well, they borrow one from a friendly pig and are married by a turkey. Sure it’s a little “out there” but the core of the poem is about two souls finding each other even if they aren’t the perfect match.


owl and the pussycat

colorful reception decorcolorful reception decor

pink wedding invitations

colorful reception decorcolorful reception decor

groom and bride

The end of the poem is lovely: “And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.” Very romantic! I started to picture our couple; the “cat” sophisticated, polished and chic, her “owl” a bit bohemian. I snatched a few copies of the book. Once I started working with Melissa, Alexandra and Kelly, our favorite copy of the poem proved to be a more modern, brightly-colored version from the 60s. Its mod illustrations captured an emerging trend in weddings—sort of a retro throw back with tea-length dresses and beehive hairdos. Very Mad Men chic!


fuchsia wedding tables

colorful reception bookscolorful wedding bouquets

groom bride shoes

colorful bridal bouquetsbohemian groom attire

colorful wedding tablescapes

We wanted to pop in popular colors like the oh-so-trendy Tangerine and the book brought in other popular shades, like aqua and fuchsia. I used the illustrations to further guide my detail choices: a fun, brightly colored runner captured the whimsical trees mentioned in the poem, the retro glass would look at home in a beatnik’s apartment, and the center of my table featured owl and pussycat planters straight from the 60s. The mismatched chairs were a thrift store find, as was the table and mismatched silverware. Finally, the very setting of our shoot played on the contrary nature of the poem—here we are in the middle of the Phoenix desert, yet we’re shooting on the edge of a marshy pond complete with ducks and cattails!


groom playing guitar

guitar by guestbook tablebohemian bud vases

colorful reception menus

groom kissing bride

owl napkin rings

porcelain cat decorfingerprint tree guestbooks

groom bride shoes


View all images from this shoot in the gallery

Wedding Vendors (Phoenix, AZ):

Floral Designer: Amanda Johnson of Butterfly Petals / Venue: Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area / Wedding Photographer: Melissa Jill Photography / Wedding Invitations: Kelly Ashworth Design / Wedding Dress: Mariee / Personal Stylist: AVE Styles

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