A Californian boho bridal shoot in Swindon

28 Jun 2016

The whimsical and natural feel of a Californian bohemian bride was captured by Elizabeth Donovan Photography in the stunning grounds of Chiseldon House

At one with the world, the boho bride that photographer Elizabeth Donovan wanted to portray was one which relaxed in to the precious moments of her special day. Here, Elizabeth tells us more.

What was the inspiration behind the shoot?

I love the boho bride look and if I was getting married now, I think I would do something along these lines. It is such a beautiful, natural look and this shoot was a good excuse to take a beautiful set of images in a style I really like. When putting together the brief for the day, this is how I summed up the look:

This set of images will evoke the feeling of a lazy summer's afternoon. The pictures will portray a relaxed bride, going with the flow of her wedding day. She is at peace with her surroundings and isn't worried about the details of her day. She is happy in the moment and nothing else matters. The images will be beautiful, soft, gentle and romantic.

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Tell us a little bit about the venue and why it was chosen.

Chiseldon House is beautiful venue on the outskirts of Swindon. Once in the grounds, you get wrapped up in the drama of the building and intimate feel it has. I shot a wedding there last summer and felt really comfortable working with the staff to get the best I could for my couple on their wedding day. It really stuck in my memory as a place I wanted to go back to. It has a beautiful garden.

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What did you choose for the flower arrangements?

When planning the shoot, I pulled together a lot inspirational images that helped to enhance the boho feel that I wanted. I knew the bouquet needed to have a de-constructed feel and that the headpiece should be simple and beautiful, ever enhancing the beauty of my 'bride'. I had in mind a range of colours, and when discussing them with Jody at Rosy Lea Florist, I asked for them to follow this theme using warm, peach and pale pink flowers. I was also keen for the flowers chosen to reflect those that are available during the summer months.

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What kind of look did you want to achieve with the make-up, hair and outfits for the bride?

When thinking about hair and make-up, I knew they needed to be soft and beautiful, enhancing the bride's natural beauty. I felt that the bride's hair had to be down and by adding a gentle wave to it, we created a lovely soft and relaxed look. For her make-up, again, this needed to be relaxed and natural: soft browns and pinks. Rachel Neate put this together beautifully for me.

For the bride's dress I was looking for something fitted at the top, with a soft floating bottom. I liked the idea of lace and some embellishment, but was also keen to make sure it wasn't too fussy. I wanted it to suit the fun and worry-free nature that I was keen for this bride to portray.

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What was the thinking behind the décor for the shoot? How did you tie it all together?

This look really had to be an outdoor shoot to create the sunny, warm feel I wanted. Thankfully, on the day we had beautiful weather - unlike the previous day, when we had torrential rain and flooding in the area! My bride was wearing wellies for most of the shoot.

The gardens at Chiseldon House are really lovely and quite varied in their content. They have a beautiful bamboo area, a huge willow tree and a collection of  blossom trees which I was able to utilise. I wanted to create a soft and sunny, even tropical feel, to the shots and I was able to do this by moving about and using the surroundings to my advantage.

When taking photographs of the dress and flowers, it was also really fun to take these outside into the same setting to get some beautiful shots. Usually on a wedding day this isn't possible due to the location, weather or just simply trying to keep things a secret from some members of the family! So it was really exciting to not have to worry about this and create support shots that further enhanced the feel of the day.

I was able to bring the images together even more at the editing stage, by adding some lens flare and additional colour layers to really get the feel I was looking for.

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What kind of accessories were used to create these looks and why?

I used the flowers, the foliage and a ring set that I had already as our props on the day. Nice and simple.

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Get the look:

Photography: Elizabeth Donovan Photography, www.elizabethdonovanphotography.co.uk
Flowers: Rosy Lea Florist, www.rosyleaflorist.com
Hair & Make-Up: Rachel Neate, www.rachelneatemakeup-hairartist.co.uk
Dress: Fairytale Occasions, www.fairytaleoccasions.co.uk

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