We wanted to create a bohemian wedding inspiration session to inspire our clients and to show that it is something they can pull off beautifully. Think outside the box, be fearless, and let your inspiration lead the way.
Carmel, owner of Mt. Lebanon Floral, visited New York City and hand picked textiles she found to be most inspiring from laces, to velvet, to embroidered ribbon. She brought back fur trim, feathers, and antlers to complete her vision. The end result was gorgeous – an organic mixture of rich tones and lush greenery. She mixed baby pineapples with bright red petals and even hand crafted various headbands and cuffs to go with her floral arrangements.
When we began searching for a location to hold the photo shoot, fate stepped in and led us to the perfect spot. 200+ acres of wooded land sitting atop one of the highest points just beyond Pittsburgh. The beautiful property belongs to a husband and wife team who spent many years creating a perfect wilderness oasis by hand- complete with a log and stone bed and breakfast rebuilt entirely from pieces of original log cabins on the property. From the first moment they heard our vision – they were on board. After finding that perfect lush green land, the nomad/gypsy themed session was ready to take flight.
Carmel Vandale, Mt. Lebanon Floral, florist and designer –
“The inspiration for our photo shoot came from my love of all things organic and textured. I adore an eclectic bohemian look and I chose ribbons in velvet tapestries, and raw silks for their rich textures. I always choose flowers by what the season has to offer. Lush, full, coral charm peonies were used alongside prickly pineapples and sturdy proteas. Clematis vines, Sarracenias, Hostas, Veronica, and Scabiosas were used to fit in with our woodland location. I also love the way tillandsias or airplants work alongside the antlers so they were used as well.”
Hannah Conard, Hannah Conard Beauty, lead hair stylist and makeup artist –
“I knew the beauty had to feel effortless and almost ethereal. Their hair and makeup couldn’t look contrived. Soft dewy skin, tousled waves, loose braids adorned with flowers and feathers they had gathered in the woods. Beauty doesn’t always have to be flawless. I love the idea of being perfectly imperfect and it’s a look that is increasingly in demand for today’s bride. I think this shoot epitomizes beauty through individuality, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.”
Ansley Esterline, Bliss Events, event planner –
“For the table-scape I wanted to complement the bold colors of the floral, but not take away from it. I paired tons of gold with a colorful patterned charger, elegant china and simple, regal stemware. I think a lot of people are afraid to go ‘bold’ and make a statement on the place settings, and this shows you that you can make a statement and it’s not overdone, just complementary! Bringing in the element of the wooden farm table, mismatched chairs and a stunning oriental rug pulls the look and feel all together.”
Erin Szymanski, Glitter & Grit, dress shop owner and stylist –
“Once the Nomad theme had been decided upon, I had a few very specific dresses in mind that fit perfectly. The Daughters of Simone dresses are so simple with a great bohemian vibe, and I had been dying to use Lu for a shoot that really did it justice. It’s a grand dress, but understated. The long-sleeved Tessa has almost a renaissance air to it but can be styled so many different ways that I knew it would compliment everything around it. Mignonne Handmade’s Gaetane is honestly one of my favorites, with a touch of woodland nymph in the soft chiffon and lace accents. Lastly, Lindee Daniel’s Rebekah never fails! This wild silk gown has wonderful texture and color, and is just perfect for the outdoors. With the romantic draping on the sides, Rebekah was a great piece to balance Lu. The interesting thing is that each of these dresses make a bold statement on their own, yet worked so beautifully together. I think this shows just how versatile a dress can be.”
“When photographer Veronica Varos got together with Carmel Vandale of Mt. Lebanon Floral and Ansley Esterline of Bliss Events Ltd. to design an inspiration shoot, they zeroed in on a style that’s the perfect combination of striking and soft: a seriously lush bohemian theme. Says Veronica, ‘Many of the couples we work with want a bohemian style for their wedding, but shy away from it because it can be bold. So our goal was to inspire them and show that it’s a feeling that really can be pulled off beautifully.’
So they assembled a team of amazing vendors, found the perfect location in the Pennsylvania woods, and let their inner gypsies out.
The wooden table was topped with a mis-matched collection of peonies, prickly pineapples, proteas, clematis, and scabiosas. Carmel, the florist and designer, chose plants and fabrics that would work well with her antler collection. ‘The mixture of textures just works,’ she says. Feathers, crystals, and a rug underfoot created an eclectic old-meets-new vibe, while trailing feathers and lots of gold added a touch of glamor. Planner Ansley adds, ‘I wanted to complement the bold colors of the flowers, but not take away from them. I paired tons of gold with a colorful patterned charger, elegant china and simple, regal stemware. I think a lot of people are afraid to go ‘bold’ and make a statement on the place settings, and this shows you that you can make a statement and it’s not overdone, just complementary!’
The goal for the fashion was to show how versatile a dress can be. Ranging from sleek and formal to vintage-inspired lace, a few accessories and a gorgeous bouquet are all it takes, especially for a theme that’s open to interpretation and creativity!
The hair and makeup took the bohemian feel to heart. ‘Soft dewy skin, tousled waves, loose braids adorned with flowers and feathers they had gathered in the woods. Beauty doesn’t always have to be flawless. I love the idea of being perfectly imperfect, says makeup artist and hair stylist Hannah Conard.
The cake got a place of honor atop a tree trunk stand, and was covered with a cascade of peonies, moss, and other greenery. And if cake wasn’t enough, no one can say no to cheeses paired with pomegranates, nuts, and berries.
The best advice from this talented troupe? ‘Think outside the box, be fearless, and let your inspiration lead the way,’ says Veronica.”
Words by Jaimie Schoen of BRIDES Magazine
Models: Debra Williams, Colleen Kuchta, Rachel Lamory, and Amanda Rachel Schindler
Floral: Mt. Lebanon Floral
Event planning: Bliss Events Ltd.
Photography: Veronica Varos
Dress boutique and styling: Glitter & Grit
Venue: Stoney Creek Bed and Breakfast
Hair & makeup: Hannah Conard (assisted by Brazil Raine and Hannah Donovan)
Jewelry: Mt. Lebanon Floral
Cake: Patty Finnerty
Linens: Mosaic Linens
Lighting: ADS Lighting & Staging
Tableware: All Occasions Party Rental
Creative assistant: Mandy Fierens
Vintage rentals: bVintage
Stationary: More Than Words Pittsburgh
Belt: Tessa Kim
Veils: Kata Banko Couture
Gown designers: Lindee Daniel, Mignonne Handmade, and Daughters of Simone
This Nomad Bohemian wedding inspiration has been featured on BRIDES.com