Outback Spectacular with Helena Couture Designs and her team of wedding industry professionals.

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There are often last-minute changes when organising a styled bridal photoshoot and this is no different for some bridal couples on their wedding day. When getting married outdoors is the only option for your wedding day theme and with COVID-19 still lingering around, every bridal couple and their vendors are kept on their toes, right up until the day.

I have wanted to shoot a bride and groom, sitting bareback on a horse, while it was rearing, for years, but had to wait for all the elements to fall into place for this to happen. I knew little about horses, but after doing this bridal shoot, I can now say I know even less than I thought, as there is so much to learn about these magnificent animals.

A last-minute change was the hair and makeup artist. Bella Brides stepped in and were more than happy to work on their day off because they loved the concept of our bridal shoot and wanted to be involved. Models and vendors were all sorted and were looking forward to the bridal shoot. With the evolution of the bridal shoot, additional vendors joined the team to complete the look. COVID-19 restrictions had been lifted, so that was another great bonus for our bridal shoot, which only left the weather to go our way!

Doing a styled bridal shoot in the Great South East of Queensland, during our wet season, you are guaranteed it might not only be wet but also raining. We only had a small window of opportunity to pull this bridal shoot off before the wedding industry would leap into its busy season and everyone would be too busy to rearrange. As I knew there was no alternative plan for wet weather, we prepared ourselves for the possibility of it being a short bridal shoot with lots of rain, or by contrast, sunny with an abundance of options to shoot. I felt positive the weather would not interfere with this bridal shoot and my intuition did not disappoint, along with the weather.

We arrived at Benwerrin in Kerry, Beaudesert, after a fifty-five-minute drive from the Gold Coast, to be met with a spectacular three-hundred-and-sixty-acre horse farm, housing over one hundred horses. This is where Donald, from Hancock Horsemanship, keeps his horses. The day prior to the bridal shoot a large storm had hit the Gold Coast, but on the day, at the venue, the weather was great, and the ground was not muddy at all. It was just a little humid and windy, but near perfection.

The adoration and respect Donald has for his horses shines through when you see him handling his horses and the care, he took of them during the bridal shoot. Priest, a five-year-old gelding, has been trained by Donald since he was a one-year-old foal. Donald has serval horses he has trained for use in films, show and entertainment and now more recently for weddings.

Our horse, Priest was such a good boy on the day and did what was asked of him, despite getting a bit bored at times and his occasional protest of scratching his hoof on the ground. Seriously, he is such a beautiful horse and much better behaved than I had anticipated. He did not disappoint, even when required to rear up. He loved the bag of carrots we gave him during the shoot, but Sarah finding the right spot for an amazing scratch made his day!

Danielle, from Danielle Knight & Co. Photography & Film and Jazz from Tilley Videography, who often work harmoniously together, again both did a great job. I was hoping for the imagery to be light and whimsical, while still showing detail and emotion and they did just that and more.

I have worked with Danielle and Jazz on several bridal shoots, during a period of 2020, when our wedding industry was quiet, due to COVIC-19. They are used to my “out of the box” thinking and if the lighting and other elements are great for the imagery, they are always happy to experiment and some of the results have been breathtaking. They are so easy to work with and I knew this bridal shoot was in the best of hands.

Flowers from W Events wanted to be involved in this shoot, but due to their busy schedule, the week of the bridal shoot supplied an artificial bouquet, ready two weeks prior. What really impressed me was how lifelike the artificial floral bouquet looked. I asked if the bridal bouquet could be big, a focal point for the images, in colours that matched the lace on the wedding dresses Brisbane, and they did an awesome job!

Our bride Sarah is a country girl at heart, growing up in a small town, with horses all her life. She found wearing our wedding dress, named “Lilly”, was easy and not restrictive at all, even though the bodice is boned, the skirt was free-flowing, and even comfortable when Priest was rearing up. Her riding boots enhanced the look and complemented the colour in the skirt, and the bold floral colours in the skirt was a lovely contrast to the Australian bushland backdrop.

Modern brides are often leaning towards having some colour in their wedding dress, and sometimes complete colour. I am inspired by everything around me, especially the environment, whether its nature or manmade and animals, so it was this inspiration that led to designing this wedding dress for this styled bridal shoot.

Ryan, from Black Jacket Suiting, supplied a light grey suit, so it would not only compliment the wedding dress but also stand out in its own right. Tom wore a matching pink tie to the lace on the wedding dress, along with an incredibly soft pink shirt.

Both Tom and Sarah work at Outback Spectacular, so working with Priest was easy for them and you could see the affection they had towards Priest and vice versa. Animals are such a great judge of character and our models seemed to be enjoying themselves too.

Cakes by Tammy did a wonderful country theme, with a modern feel, based on the images she saw of the property, wedding dress, and bouquet. And as you can see, this cake got around the property quite a bit, but how could we not utilize these amazing backdrops?

Marisha, from Magnolia Studios, provided a simple, romantic table for two, dining out in the paddock with Priest grazing on the grass behind them, while the sun was setting.

A fantastic touch, that worked perfectly with our bridal shoot is the wedding invite I received from one of my lovely clients, Maureen. Maureen knows only too well what it means to feel isolated during COVID-19, unable to see her fiancé Sunny, for nine months, while he was living and working in Sydney, during all the lockdowns of 2020. Then not only having to postpone her wedding once but twice. During all this, Maureen remained positive. The postponement also allowed Maureen to achieve her desired weight and figure shape, and now with Sunny living, working, and surfing on the Gold Coast, her life is now complete. They were married yesterday, in Noosa, on Sunday 14th March 2021. Third time lucky!

Thank you Maureen for allowing me to share not only your invite for this bridal shoot but sharing your wedding day with you and Sunny, one very special day indeed.

This styled bridal shoot was a great success, a lot of fun and so easy to accomplish when working with professionals in their field. I think I can say on behalf of all these vendors when you are great at what you do and love what you do, it will always look easy with awesome results.

Thank you to all the wedding industry professionals, who made this shoot run so smoothly…

Hancock Horsemanship
Danielle Knight & Co. Photography & Film
Tilley Film Co
Black Jacket Suiting
Bella Brides Hair and Makeup
Flowers By W Events
Cakes by Tammy
Magnolia Studios
Helena Couture Designs
Sarah and Tom

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