It’s a well known fact that we get super excited when stylish editorials appear in our inbox. So, can you imagine the joy when this beauty arrived? Sophie Lake, a downright talented wedding photographer from Hertfordshire teamed up the Halo & Wren Bridal, a new Hertfordshire boutique, to create this. And ‘this’, as you’ll see, is pretty special.
Sophie says: “Our vision was to create an inspiration shoot for the fashion forward bride. For the millennial, young, modern and on trend bride who doesn’t want anything to traditional formal or fussy. She just wants fun and casual glam!”
“We based our inspiration on the concept of ‘Girl Power’ and worked our way from there. It was tough but we selected two models to represent this – both very different but both totally bad ass! We styled bright, fun fashion accessories with beautiful gowns from Halo & Wren. These included gorgeous silk separates by the Australian designer Marquise Bridal. This label is known for its cult following and designs that always embody the modern bride.”
We couldn’t wait to find out more so we took some time out to chat to Sophie and Jemma from Halo & Wren. Let’s here more from Sophie first:
How did you and Jemma meet?
Well Jemma actually organised a big WhatsApp group for all the weddding suppliers in our local area whom she wanted to work with and to promote within her new business venture – Halo & Wren! However this was all before I was set to go travelling for 4 months so I had to pull out and say I would be in when I got back! As soon as I returned to the UK, my friend Georgia, who was make up artist on the shoot and I decided to pay Jemma a visit to the GORGEOUS shop and I fell in love.
I actually realised Jemma and I had met once before when she modelled her luscious locks for me in a past shoot and we immediately got chatting about bridal shoots we wanted to create. I knew that we would work well together as I felt like we were totally on the same page when it came to every aspect of the Girl Power shoot and she was on board with all my crazy ideas and said I could pretty much take the reins provided I used some of her favourite gowns!
Tell us the inspiration behind your shoot…
In that first meeting I knew that I wanted to do something very different to all the styled shoots I was seeing on wedding blogs at that time, maybe a cool girl, festival inspired shoot but I just didn’t know what angle to go for until Jemma suggested we do something along the lines of Girl Power! With the model being totally chilled but empowered and rocking the wedding gowns in a dressed down style with fun accessories. I took inspiration from fashion shoots I had pinned before hand and knew that I desperately wanted to shoot such as in a cute cafe and a skate park using only natural, available light and it all grew from there.
Talk to us about the style and the vibes of the shoot
The brides we see in the shoot are friends so I wanted that to come across in the images with them laughing together and they’re possibly getting married around the same time! Relaxed girl power is the essential vibe of the entire shoot and current fashion trends and colour were the style goal. Selecting two models, instead of one, location choice, make up and hair all took part in bringing this vision to life. We chose Darryll and Emily to model for us – Daryll being covered in awesome tattoos brought something very edgy and empowering to the shoot. Also having two brides conveys more of a message of power and friendship. I want brides to think of their friends when they see the images.
Where did you hold shoot and why did you decide to shoot there?
I scouted locations which were all very local to Halo & Wren as we were going to be using it as a base for hair and make up and changing in and out of dresses throughout the day. Luckily the boutique is situated on the gorgeous 17th century Old Town high street of Hemel Hempstead (complete with St Mary’s Church and graveyard) which served as a beautiful and simple backdrop for the majority of the shoot and also just a 3 minute drive down the road is Gadebridge Skate Park which we knew from the start we wanted to use as a location for obvious awesome reasons!
Which image is your favourite and why?
Oooooh this is a tough one I’ve been trying to figure out, I don’t think I could pick just one! My absolute favourites are the image of Emily relaxing in the Marta Martí lace gown on the skate board because she just oozes a chilled persona and that’s very hard to do when your sitting on a boiling hot skate ramp! My other favourite is probably the images of the girls together in Elbows off The Table (a cute, rustic cafe also on The Old Town High St) wearing Wtoo by Watters and Marta Martí because what is more effortlessly cool than one stylish bride having her cake and eating it?
We spy a few additions! Talk to us about the accessories…
I knew from the minute I started doing Pinterest research that I wanted to get some awesome jackets involved in the photoshoot because honestly I absolutely LOVE the look you get when you combine glamorous dresses with casual outerwear. I knew it would be a style that millennial brides would love too and it’s a trend that is on the rise. So we sourced bomber, denim, leather and suede jackets in bright colours to achieve this casual, fun trend. I also did the same when sourcing shoes and accessories such as the cacti earrings and the hot pink embroidered mules which are inspirational, conversation-inducing and kind of a novelty item on your wedding day! We also used the gorgeous rings by silverware designer Just a Ring Thing which Daryll owned and had brought with her – we thought they suited the style of the looks so we included them in the shoot!
Now let’s hear from Jemma…
How long has Halo & Wren been in business and what makes you stand out from the crowd?
I opened Halo & Wren in February this year but it has been in planning for a long time!
Halo & Wren stands out for a few reasons. Firstly, I started Halo & Wren through my own experience of gown shopping locally and further afield. I visited a very wide range of bridal boutiques from local businesses to the very big names in London and I was so surprised by my experiences.
Locally I felt as though there was not enough choice – I couldn’t find unique gowns, the dresses were so similar amongst the stores I struggled to distinguish differences. I guess expected it to be special, personal and intimate and it wasn’t.
So I took my search further afield into London and further afield. I found beautiful gowns, contemporary designs and the cool boutiques but the budget was primarily the first question I was asked. I was never made to feel special. In fact it was not relaxing at all. I was made to feel like I had to deserve to be there.
After having my two babies, I decided to go for it because if not now, when? And with help from my Mum on the business side, my Husband completely gutted and transformed the store into my vision and a whole lot of help from family and friends we have Halo & Wren – finally a cool boutique for the cool bride.
The dresses on the shoot were from Australian label Marquise Bridal. What do you love about this designer and why have you chosen to stock them at Halo & Wren?
Marquise Bridal, my absolute favourite designer. I have always followed the Australian bridal designers and obviously lusted after their contemporary, modern gowns and fashion forward styling.
When I discovered Marquise, I just fell in love with the ultra-modern designs and basically became their no.1 fan. Marquise Bridal has a cult following and I am after the unique. I don’t want the same designs as everyone else, I wanted fresh designers. There should be support for the independents – the trend setters. I didn’t want everyone to love the gowns, I want the bride who ‘gets’ it, the bride who understands the vibe.
I can’t imagine not having Marquise gowns on my rails. They take pride of place and I can’t wait for the new collection – I have had a sneak peek and completely love.
Lastly, describe the shoot in three words…
Millennial, Alternative & Modern.
A massive thank you to Sophie and Jemma for sharing this shoot with us. Don’t forget – if you’ve got gorgeous images, we want to see them so check out our submissions guidelines here.