Burne-Jones was fascinated with stories. The poems of his contemporaries inspired many of his paintings while The Legend of Briar Rose (four large panels and ten small joining panels) depict moments from the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty. Traveling to Cyprus to meet my dear Melanie Potamitou from Splendid Events and her team of superb smiths and masters, we mused upon the color palettes and depth of textures employed on these series of works by this Pre-Raphaelite master. And so, the concept of a Briar Rose inspired wedding was born.
To stage our shoot Melanie chose a private estate in delightful Delikipos, a sixteenth-century village near Larnaka, Cyprus, steeped in post-Medieval beauty and local lore. Her wish was to blend elements from the artist’s paintings to recreate a dazzling vision, the ethereal form of a gown, the distinctive, sometimes jewel-like colour in the blaze of gold in the tapestry and tablescape, the single, lovely physical type of a bride, and the languor exuded by cobalt blue, chromium oxide, zinc yellow, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, and emerald green pigments in the florals, linen and furniture.
In the same spirit, the Splendid Events team created floral arrangements with Anemones, Vanda Orchids, Ranunculus, Garden Roses, Clematis and Anigozanthos, and invitation suites in cobalt with minimal letterpress and gold foil. They sourced out velvet-upholstered sofas and embroidered chairs from a personal vintage collection.
We decided to have a tablescape run between two of the most beautiful olive trees on the grove and filled its S-shaped contour (S as in Sleeping Beauty) with vintage candlesticks adding a decadent touch with votive candleholders, gold-rim dinner plates, black and white porcelain dishes, and rustic tapestry napkins. Bridalwear consultant Marilena Gala from Gala Montenapoleone dressed our bride in a piece right out of a storybook, the Nicole, an ivory mermaid dress in beaded lace, beaded tulle and enriched by macrame details from the Allesandra Rinaudo ss2019 collection.
Nelli, our hair and makeup artist gave her loose locks in Princess Bride style and highlighted her strong brows with softly smoked eyes, adding champagne highlighter, peach blush, and minimal gloss to create a striking but still soft makeup look. The trousseau of the bride was polished with a modal headpiece and long gold-leave earrings.
If you have a soft spot for fairytale inspired weddings this shoot will definitely wake the sleeping beauty inside you.
photography: Sotiris Tsakanikas // venue name: Delikipos, Cyprus // planning: Splendid Events // florals: Splendid Events // wedding dress: Alessandra Rinaudo // wedding dress boutique: Gala Montenapoleone // hairpiece: Alessandra Avallone // bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo // bride’s ring: Kings Jewellers // hair stylist: Nelli // makeup artist: Nelli // paper goods: Letterpressed // calligraphy: Nadia Hernandez // cake: Annie Ioannides // tabletop rentals: Mint Event Finds // models: Elena Vasiliou // lighting: Christos Soleas // editor + creative direction: Sotiria Lepida