A love letter from Vienna

15 Jul 2020

Charlotte Ricard-Quesada, founder of La Fête explains the inspiration behind this styled wedding shoot in Vienna 

The inspiration
This styled shoot was inspired by the decadence of the Romanov dynasty that ruled Russia, particularly in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Fascinated by the imperial family, we wanted to bring their beautiful aesthetic, detail and wealth to a one-of-a-kind wedding shoot, but with enough modernity for a real life, 21st century couple.  


The venue
Vienna was the city of choice for this styled shoot. While it was the Habsburg family and not the Romanovs living and ruling in Austria, the city and its wealth of palaces proved more convenient than flying to St Petersburg. We were fortunate enough to be hosted by the beautiful Palais Hansen Kempinski, which was both our base and the location of our more contemporary shots; as well as the stunning Liechtenstein City Palace, where we set up our table and showcased Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium’s stunning cakes and desserts. We also made the most of the quiet city at sunrise, walking to the Hofburg Palace and shooting outside the magnificent entrance and inside the courtyard. 


The flowers
Our colour palette with the flowers incorporated pink, cream, peach and white blooms, with touches of foliage to break everything up. We deliberately chose a smaller bouquet for our bride for several reasons: firstly, so that it would not overwhelm her petite stature and secondly, so that it would read as slightly more formal and as an accent to our bride, rather than a statement, particularly as we wanted to attention to remain on the headpieces we were featuring. The key floral element of the shoot was the table centrepiece, which was a climbing floral arrangement, culminating in a full, asymmetrical display, with matte gold tea light holders amongst the flowers. The table also featured bud vases and single rose heads, while the dessert table included larger bouquets, but still low as not to overshadow the cakes. 


Hair and make-up
We chose to keep our bride’s make-up fresh, dewy and natural: almost ethereal. For the hair, we opted for two looks: one with loose waves and the floral crown, while the tiara and pearl headpiece worked better with an updo, complete with gentle waves and face framing tendrils. We were careful to steer clear of anything too harsh or strict, as we wanted to keep the overall look romantic and regal. Alma Milcic, a local Viennese artist brought our vision to life in the most perfect way. 


The groomswear
The bride and groom outfits were undoubtedly one of our favourite parts of the shoots. We wanted to have two jacket options for our groom’s tuxedo: the first was a traditional Oliver Brown navy blue velvet dinner jacket, for the more formal shots of the day, while the second was a Hussar-style military jacket in a light blue-grey, with gold braiding, from the National Theatre Costume Hire department. We wanted to incorporate the essence and aesthetics of 19th century Russia, without dressing our groom in a full-blown costume, which is why we paired the Hussar jacket with a contemporary tuxedo and simple dress shirt.


The bridal dresses
Our bride had three gowns courtesy of Brides Do Good, with the first being a Vera Wang blush pink and off
-white asymmetrical tulle ball gown, with gathered fabric and a sweetheart neckline: a perfectly dramatic gown for sunrise at the Hofburg. The second was a one shouldered, empire line silk gown, complete with elegant draping and a low back, more as an ‘after party’ outfit, and the third was a Phillipa Lepley sleeveless full lace ballgown with a dramatic train, perfect for our reception set up at the regal Liechtenstein City Palace. We also wanted to include a pair of bridal shoes that would catch the eye but still blend in to our aesthetic, which is how we selected the Dolce & Gabbana gold sequinned sandals. 




The decor
The decor itself was minimal, as the locations were specifically picked for their beauty and extravagance that reminisced the Romanov essence of the shoot. Therefore, I was very careful when creating the table setting to make sure that it could live within the magnificent and ornate ballroom of the Palais Liechtenstein. It meant a careful balance of pattern, details, colours and textures. Just enough to make it the focus point, but not distracting from the beauty of the room. 


The accessories
With each outfit, our bride wore a sapphire and diamond engagement ring and wedding band from London Victorian Ring Co and a different headpiece. We wanted to make sure that our bride had a crown of some kind to go with each gown, and our final three choices were an imposing preserved floral crown by Sophie & Luna, a replica of the Duchess of Sussex’s bridal tiara (the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau from 1932) and a Jane Taylor London pearl embellished headpiece. Jewellery was mostly kept to a minimum, but we did include some stunning gemstone earrings from Eva Gems & Jewels. 




Steal Their Style 
Styled & Coordinated by La Fête  
Photography by Jessica Rieke 
Videography by George & Irene 
Venue: Palais Hansen Kempinski 
Venue: Liechtenstein City Palace  
Models: Anna Sviri and Eric Bergmann  
Hair & Make-up by Alma Milcic   
Bridal Dresses by Brides Do Good 
Groom Tuxedo by Oliver Brown 
Groom Imperial Jacket by National Theatre Costume Hire 
Bridal Shoes by Dolce & Gabbana 
Headpiece by Jane Taylor London  
Headpiece by Sophie & Luna 
Rings by London Victorian Ring 
Earrings by Eva Gems & Jewels 
Stationery by Lily Anna Rose 
Cake by Elizabeth's Cake Emporium  
Furniture by Mietmoebel Foehr  


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