This styled shoot from the marvelous team of Laura Witherow Photography, Camille Victoria Weddings, and Stemline Creative shows us what a wedding celebration may have looked like the morning after A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Eucalyptus crowns, mossy accents, a tower with macarons ready for the picking, and hints of whimsy in all the right places make this shoot as inspiring as it is romantic and woodsy!
From the event designer, Camille Victoria Weddings: The movie A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought Shakespeare’s famous play to life for me. I was mesmerized by the lush forest scenery that, when night fell, was a playground for mischievous fairies. But at the end of the play and the movie, the evening’s fun and merriment is covered up with a bit of magic. The imagery of the movie stuck with me, and, as an event planner, I knew I wanted to one day try to capture that aesthetic. The concept for this shoot came as I wondered: What if, instead of a cover-up, the playful fairies of the story had left evidence of their shenanigans the next day?
I imagined what it would be like for a wanderer in the woods to come upon a beautiful table set for a feast that hinted at the excitement that took place there. Even during the day, such an encounter could seem like a dream. With this shoot, I hoped to depict that magic of the forest and show that it doesn’t have to disappear during the day! In the actual story, the character Helena is madly in love with Demetrius, who, in turn, only has eyes for another. For our shoot, I envisaged a scenario where Helena finally gets her man (maybe with a little help from the fairies) and is celebrating her wedding.
I wanted the tablescape to seem like an offshoot from the forest floor, incorporating shades of deep greens, whites, ivories, and browns. To create a dream-like effect, I pictured flowers cascading from above. Ryan Turner from StemLine Creative brought the vision to life. The table truly became a forest floor by composing a runner of moss with various herbs, plants, and birch vases full of blooms sprouting upwards. A column covered in curly willow branches brought the forest indoors and gave the feeling of a large tree sheltering the party. Ryan hung strands of rose petals and dangling votives from above to give the feeling of chancing upon this hidden feast.
The bride’s bouquet was full of texture, showcasing dusty miller and fiddlehead ferns for just a touch of whimsy. Every detail was meant to highlight elements of the forest while still maintaining the elegance of a noble wedding. The place settings consisted of large tree slices as chargers. Even the Spode silverware features woodland animals on the handles. We used Chiavari chairs to maintain that formal feel, yet we mixed the type of chairs, from fruitwood to Lucite, for the eclectic feel of the forest. Windy City Linen provided the beautiful Shantung tablecloth and napkins. Letterpress by Lydia designed place cards using a wood grain paper to echo the organic feel of the forest. As a nod to Shakespeare’s play, each place card names one of characters, and baby artichokes served as a natural card holder. Lydia made menu scrolls tied with sprigs of Rosemary that we placed atop small birch tree slices that would act as bread plates. And if you look closely, the menu consists of ingredients that could be found in the forest. The letterpress wedding invitation is traditional and elegant with just a light dusting of glitter along the edges for a touch of the magical.
Sugar Fixe Patisserie provided two exquisite macaron topiaries that we positioned as part of the centerpieces to look as if they were also growing out of the forest floor. I also loved that the topiaries could be an interactive dessert, where our imagined guests could pull off their own macarons to snack on. Sugar Fixe also made a three-tiered wedding cake decorated with royal icing to look like moss. We draped the wooden cake table in moss and used a tree stump as the cake stand, so that even the wedding cake seemed to emerge from the forest. Michelle Jeremias of My Chicago Stylist coordinated the fashion. The gorgeous dresses came from Mignonette Bridal. The accessories came from Mignonette Bridal and Le Thrift, and the shoes came from James Ciccotti Bridal Shoes and Accessories.And, of course, Laura Witherow Photography took the incredible photos, highlighting every detail and turning our work into art.This shoot was truly a collaboration, mixing the organic with the elegant. I am still in awe of everyone’s talents. After creating such an amazing setting, I only wish that we could have actually sat down to a woodland dinner together at that stunning table!