Ethereal - A styled vow renewal in the mountains
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
What are your favourite moments with your lover?
Mine are slow Sunday mornings, spent in bed, stretching and cuddling and sharing a coffee. The moments when we can be a little silly. When we giggle. Play.
The moments spent finding hidden treasures and cosy corners in Airbnbs nestled amongst the mountains.
The moments adventuring together on bush walks and exploring mountain escarpments.
Moments spent getting ready together, stealing loving glances and quick kisses, enjoying the ritual of getting ‘dressed up’ - for ourselves and for each other.
So naturally, when I think of the best way to honour a forever union, these are the moments I think about. The simple pleasures that bring joy. Indulging in good food and even better wine, surrounded by creativity and beauty. Rich colours. Soft touches. Synchronised breaths. Effortless beauty.
This is what I wanted to recreate for Hilary and Amy’s vow renewal. To create a space for them to be themselves and enjoy the abundance of each other’s company. A ‘redo’ of their original wedding ceremony - which like many others, was stifled in tradition that didn’t hold meaning for them.
This time I was adamant that they would do it like they deserved.
For me, creating beautiful images is about more than just pressing the shutter. My approach to storytelling is deeply personal. It's all about self expression and connection - and for that - I need to build a relationship with the people I am working with too. Which is how I can capture the intimacy in these images.
Rather than spending the night and subsequent morning apart, separated for much of the day that is supposed to be about a couple’s union, Hilary and Amy spent the entire day together. They woke up together, kissed and cuddled and spent the morning skin to skin. They popped champagne in the bath and celebrated with playful freedom. They played records and danced in their underwear. Drinking in the simple beauty of these shared moments.
Sitting together on the lounge, as the gorgeous Susana from ‘I Do Hair Sydney’ worked her magic on the girl’s hair and make-up, they recounted moments from their original wedding, and what they wished they had done differently. The truth, as it is for many couples, was that they didn’t really know how to pull off a wedding that represented who they were, because the only thing ever modelled to them was the same heteronormative, traditional wedding that has been played out forever. Despite LOVING a pant suit, Hil had never even considered this as an option for her wedding. So, changing this up was a must.
It was important to me to find outfits that were eco-conscious and sustainable. Hilary and Amy would be wearing a separate outfit for the ceremony and the intimate lover’s reception, so I wanted to make sure that every item of clothing was something that could be worn again. Think midi slips, power suits, pants and lace-bodysuits - powerful and sexy. The girls weren’t going to shy away from oozing divine feminine sensuality just because it’s not what you’re supposed to wear to a wedding. And the most divine of all, Lilia Cass Ceremonial’s soft, feminine and floaty, organza Yoko blouse, as the perfect layering piece to add extra wow factor to the mix.
The girl’s bouquets were yet another deliciously, sensual feature. Soft textures engorged with deep pinks and reds - a crimson veined caladium leaf laying centre-stage, reminiscent of a vulva, caressed by nature's feminine. Tonia from Blumette Floral delivered floral goodness beyond all of our wildest dreams. Her intuition guiding her to select flowers that I didn't even know were my favourites. Kangaroo paws and red flowering gums paying homage to the Australian bush in which the ceremony would take place.
Walking into their ceremony hand-in-hand, Hilary and Amy were met by their celebrant, Married by Marie, resplendent in her gold turban, starry earrings and mischievous grin. Playful. Fun. Hilarious. And adding just enough space for deep sentiments to be shared between lovers.
Once vows had been exchanged, they ventured off exploring rocky ridges, with the soundtrack of Sam from Sam Battin Films and I taking turns losing it over the glory in front of our lenses.
Couples can often worry about hiring a photographer and videographer from separate companies. They worry that they will be constantly muscling in on each other to ‘get the shot’. This couldn’t have been further from the truth with the two of us. Sam’s presence in itself is disarming - knowing just what to say to keep Hilary and Amy having fun - their focus on each other and away from the camera.
This shoot was everything I could dream of and more - my heart was bursting with joy, capturing women doing their thing - embodying their sensuality, their feminine power and their love for one another.
The images we created together are sensual, ethereal... sacred... just like they deserve.
Photographer - @billie_devine_photography - www.billiedevinephotography.com
Videographer - @sambattinfilms - www.sambattinfilms.com
Celebrant - @marriedbymarie- www.marriedbymarie.com.au
Florist - @blumette_floral - www.blumette.com.au
Hair and make-up - @idohairsydney
Bridal separates designer - @liliacassceremonial - ww.liliacass.com