Inspired by the Great Gatsby and vintage fashion from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, we set out to create some wall-worthy post-wedding bridal portraits for Kaitlin and James in New Haven’s iconic Ordinary bar.
A speakeasy vibe with vintage flair
When Kaitlin came to me for her post-wedding bridal shoot, I knew we were going to create something special together. She wanted to wear her wedding dress again, but also wanted a styled shoot with three different looks – 1920s Great Gatsby with lots of glamour and sparkle, 1930s elegant vintage with her actual wedding dress and 1950s with pin curls and lace.
We found the perfect location at Ordinary in New Haven, a funky bar with a long history dating back to the 1700s. During the Prohibition, the Taft Hotel, where the bar is located, had a speakeasy in the basement.
A reproduction of the hotel lobby was built in Hollywood for the F. Scott Fitzgerald based film “A Chorus Girl’s Romance” in 1920. Fitzgerald even references to the Taft in his book “The Great Gatsby.”
The elegant dark wood paneling of the walls and bar hasn’t changed in 100 years, so it fit right in with our vintage theme.
After all our hard work, I’m so excited to finally share these images with you!
These are my top wedding tips for a picture perfect wedding.
- Hire a great makeup artist and hair stylist. (Like Andrea Zola of MBD Beauty in New Haven and Alexis Steeley of Vibrant One Makeup in New London, Lolly Nicol of glamour Art by Lolly or Vanessa Villena)
- Ask your artist to stay away from shimmer, bronzer, and anything with the word “Glow” in it. The camera sees anything shiny as sweat or oil. Stick with matte makeup that will smooth out your skin tones and accentuate your features.
- Hire A DJ who will liven up the dance floor. (like Joe Polletta of DJ International in Watertown)
- You want you friends to look like their having fun at your wedding, so hiring a DJ who will get everyone out on the dance floor is key. Up-lighting can help add to the party mood, but ask your DJ to hold off on the laser lights and disco balls until after the first dance and parent dances. No one looks good with green dots all over their face.And if you want to impress your guests, or just learn how not to trip over your own feet, lessons from EdanSe Ballroom will help you look smooth as you show off some sweet dance moves.
- Light is everything. (Plan your wedding to take advantage of the best light of the day.)
- Building a timeline to take advantage of the best light of the day is important to making sure your photos turn out great. Although I can get stunning images at any time of day, the look changes from soft morning light to the harsh shadows cast at noon to golden, radiant light just before sunset. Two hours before sunset is when the magic really happens, so plan your portraits around that time. Keep in mind the sun sets as early as 4 p.m. in the depths of winter in Connecticut.
- Buy a dress that fits.Even if you plan to loose weight before your wedding, squeezing into a dress that’s too small will never end well. Even if you’re a skinny-mini, bulges will appear in an unexpected places with an ill-fitting dress. Pick a dress that fits your body type and looks good on you, no matter what the fashion of the day. You won’t regret it in 20 years when that trendy dress looks horridly dated.For full figures, a empire waist will flatter a larger stomach while a natural waistline will emphasize your hourglass figure. Accessories like a bolero, scarf or elbow length veil can soften larger arms. Consider straps or sleeves to slim your shoulders.
- Don’t go it alone. (Rachael from Accessory to the Bride will guide you every step of the way.)
- A great wedding planner can help your day run flawlessly. You’ve probably never done this before. A wedding expert will help you choose all those little details your photographer will capture. A stress-free bride is a beautiful bride.
- Take time to breathe.
- Building a realistic timeline will ensure your photographer has time to capture everything beautifully. Don’t forget to plan for those extra minutes in between the big events, to herd the bridal party, travel between locations, and accept congratulations from your guests. I recommend about an hour of getting ready photos and two hours for bridal party and family portraits.
- Hire a photographer you trust.
- When it’s all over, your photographs are the only tangible evidence of one of the most important days of your life. When you’re confident your photographer will beautifully capture every moment, you will be free to enjoy the memories of your dream day for years to come.
After an afternoon of revelry, it was time for Titania, queen of the fairies, to prepare for her wedding night. With the help of her fairy bridesmaids, Titania bathes in a forest stream and reclines on her fern bed whilst enjoying the fruits of the woods.
Thanks so much to the wonderful ladies who helped me with this outdoor boudoir shoot:
We’re always behind the camera, so it’s easy to forget that we photographers deserve stunning images of ourselves as well!
With Erin’s effortless style and infectious smile, it was easy to capture her beauty. She even stepped outside her comfort zone with a white and gray number from Anthropologi.