Wedding Theatrics with Helena Couture Designs Bridal, Brisbane, Australia.

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As They Say In Show Business, ‘The Show Must Go On And Our Theatrical Inspired Bridal Shoot Was No Different.  Shot In Brisbane City, With Diverse Backdrops, From Heritage-Listed Sandstone Buildings To Modern-Day Buildings And Services, Set The Stage For Our Theatrical Bridal Shoot. 

Queensland Parliament House. Construction started in 1865. 2A George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000

This bridal shoot was far from normal and that is exactly the way we wanted it!

The ‘bride and groom’ are both performers/actors, wearing non-traditional bridal colours, so we decided to make this bridal shoot even more theatrical and throw in a little drama inspired Phantom of the Opera and have not only the ‘groom’ wearing a mask, but the ‘bride’ too; and not a removable mask, but one that was brought to life with makeup.

The Mansions building, built in 1889. Images showing a fusion of old century architecture, meets modern urbanism.

They also say, ‘if you want something done yesterday, ask a busy person.’  When I rang Lauren, from Lauren Joy Photography, who not only runs her own business but has three children, the youngest only two months at the time of the shoot, she was only too happy and excited to save our bridal shoot. 

On the day of the shoot, even though her two youngest children became mildly sick and involved a morning doctor’s visit, grandma stepped in to help look after her grandchildren, which allowed Lauren to do what she does best, photography, knowing her children are in safe hands. 

Lauren was the perfect addition to our bridal shoot and her professionalism, experience, and easy-going nature took the pressure off me.  Between the two of us, my assistant, Tahana, and our models Rachael and Tom, we had a blast, while wandering down George Street and awesome imagery to share, for all to enjoy.

The weather was dreadful all morning on the Gold Coast, and the forecast was not looking much better for that afternoon in Brisbane, with storms predicted.  I had a backup plan, indoor, public access, heritage-listed buildings sourced, but I really wanted to work outside incorporating the old buildings with the modern urban landscape.  The staging of two complete opposites was my dream for this bridal shoot.  Mother Nature decided to play nice, giving us only a few drops of rain at the start of our shoot and only opening the heavens, with heavy rainfall, when we were all packed up and ready for our drive back to the Gold Coast.

Dancing in the street.

Where else would you throw rose petals, except at a pedestrian crossing with a captive audience too.

Mesmerizing, Rachael and Tom brought traffic to a stand still.


Emma from Petal Street created a sensational bouquet, headpiece, and buttonhole.  Three pieces of ‘floral art’ made up of fresh and dried flowers was a feature all on its own, and adding it to the shoot transformed the images to a new level of theatrical beauty.  I love how Emma thinks outside the box and every creation is as unique, as it is beautiful.

The feature colour of red and gold worked so well with the dried foliage and other flowers. Especially the red roses, both deep and bright in colour, popped.

When this bridal shoot was forming in my head, I knew Sam from Blake Designs had to create the hair and makeup.  The models, playing our bride and groom are used to performing on stage, so I wanted to enhance their personalities.  When I spoke to Sam, she knew exactly what she wanted to do and was as excited as I about this bridal shoot. 

Being creative, ideas evolve, and it was only the evening before that Sam wanted to do a mask for Tom too and I am glad she did, as Rachael and Tom’s makeup complimented each other beautifully looking every bit the part of a stage production. The pop of red lipstick and stones on the bride’s face flows with the colour theme.

A little added bonus and extra special to me was that our bride wore the sterling silver jewellery bracelet, earrings, and ring with garnet inlay (also comes with an extravagant necklace, but the necklace did not work with this neckline). Purchased in Austria, on one of my mum and dad’s trips and given to me when I was eleven years old. This shoot was the third time the jewellery has been worn.

The dress, called Octavia, was the eighth dress designed during COVID-19 lockdown.  Not knowing at the time, when I call her Octavia, it also means eight, so it was meant to be.  Even though Octavia was started during COVID-19 lockdown, it was only finished recently, as the ideas for her kept evolving in my head, only becoming reality much later in the year or 2020. 

Using only remnant fabrics, of gold sequence, leopard print in reds, shades of silver and tan through to brown and black, with guipure Asian lace overly, all painstakingly, yet lovingly positioned and stitched into place.  Another exhibit of ‘bridal art’ by Helena Couture Designs.

Yes Octavia has pockets.

Kaan from Urbbana matched Octavia with a showstopping tux brilliantly.  The textured gold jacket, black bow tie, white pin-tucked tux shirt, and flat front semi stretched tux trousers were an opulent accompaniment.  The lining of the jacket was also a statement piece of its own.

Working with professional entertainers, Tom and Rachael knew all the moves to make and as they know each other well, the connection was already there.  This pretty much made me redundant during the bridal shot, and left me holding all the luggage, literally!  I did not mind at all, as I wanted Lauren and the models to move around freely, while I watch the show unfold before my eyes.  Lauren’s imagery, candid, happy moments in time, forever captured, never forgotten.

Tom and Rachael were so wonderful to work with. Their professionalism was astounding.

It was very humid during the bridal shoot and we could see Tom was feeling the heat and humidity, as you would on a February afternoon in Brisbane, in between storms, but he took it all in his stride, wearing the jacket until the last scene.

Rachael, unbeknown to us, developed blisters, mid way through the shoot, but we only found out at the end, when she asked to take her heels off.

Tom and Rachael truly are a credit to their profession and I can see why they are in demand in their chosen profession. I want to wish you both all the best in all your future endeavors and thank you so much for making the theatrical shoot such a success, and in such a short time frame. You guyts are the best.

Related Tag: Brisbane Wedding Dress Designer

Helena x

Thank you to my awesome team for working on this dramatic theatrical bridal shoot…

Location: Brisbane City

Photo: Lauren Joy Photography

Suit: Urbbana

HMUA: Blake Designs

Flowers:Petal Street

Models: Tom & Rachael

Dress/Jewellery/Shoot Coordinator: Helena Couture Designs

Set Assistant & Second Shooter: Tahana

I would like to also share some images Tahana took. She has been shooting with me, since she was sixteen years old and if you have followed my blogs, you would have noticed a select few of her images.

Below are a few from this shoot. Tahana, thank you for sharing them with us,

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