I don’t know about you, but every now and then I need a little escape from the day-to-day. To shamelessly indulge in a fantasy land of whimsy and bliss. Well lucky for us, dear readers, this Hugo-inspired shoot is just the ticket. It was crafted in the hands of Kasal NY, captured by J’adore Love, and that crazy pretty bloomage? It’s all thanks to Ivie Joy. Carve out some time and find your ultimate happy place right here.
PS: Don’t dare miss this sweet behind-the-scenes film from J’adore Love
From Lora Nicolas-Olaes… Jardin roses, poise de senteurs and antique lanterns adorn a bronzy-gold sequined table. Vintage suitcases are piled up in antique ladder chairs. Up in the ceiling are a multitude of steel beams that zigzag across the roof. What once was an industrial space–the Basilica Hudson in upstate New York–becomes the perfect backdrop for our setting: the Gare Montparnesse railway station in Paris in the thirties.
The idea of Hugo as a wedding theme came upon Lyna Larcia-Calvario, owner and event designer of KasalNY Weddings & Events and Jennifer Concepcion, creative director of J’adore Love Photography, one afternoon of brainstorming, after the latter had a chance to see the film. “I fell in love with the story and the look of the movie,” said Concepcion. She picked Hugo as the inspiration not only because of the award-winning Martin Scorsese film’s classic look, but because it brings out the romantic in her. “There was a scene where Hugo compares the world to a machine. He says everyone has a reason to exist, and no one could have been just an extra part. That struck a chord with me–the idea that the world is a big machine that is moving and working its every piece so you could meet, fall in love, and marry the person of your dreams.” Calvario nods, adding, “Doing what we do, we have always loved the idea of destiny, of soul mates. We’d like to think that we’ve seen that ‘destiny’ unfold for our couples every time we do a wedding.”
“If Hugo were a romantic movie instead, this is what it would look like,” continued Calvario. As with the film, clocks were a staple in the décor. “We wanted to play with the idea that when you meet the love of your life, time stops.” The Versailles cutlery, the white-gold rimmed China with matching glassware, and the golden mini-cupcake stands, all echo the vast presence of gold seen in the famous French station’s gargantuan clocks. To soften the metallic look, Iviejoy Agustin of Ivie Joy Flowers provided a lush touch of pastels reminiscent of French macarons. “I designed the floral aesthetic using texturized flower arrangements – peach garden roses and parrot tulips combined with blush sweet peas and ranunculus against the green backdrop of moss and echeveria,” Agustin said.
Modern elements are mixed with classic ones to create a balanced aesthetic. The tablescape design gives one a “past meets present” feeling, juxtaposing the simple lines of cloche vessels against vintage lanterns and antique candleholders. Golden, square plate chargers are matched with the antique table settings, while modern metallic napkin holders hold mint satin napkins. In one corner, what used to be old is made new again: a beat up, antique piano is transformed into a dessert table with chocolate and caramel macarons, elaborately decorated cupcakes and scalloped pearly gradient mint cakes–goodies seen in most French patisseries. To wash off the sweetness, nearby are tiny “milk” bottles that are reminiscent of the olden days’ door-to-door delivered milk. A closer look however, would reveal that they are simply a couple of label-less Starbucks bottled frappes adorned with different kinds of lace—a very D-I-Y idea that brides-to-be in this Pinterest-age would deem ‘post’-worthy. Interestingly, these drinks are on top of a pile of suitcases, arranged to insinuate a visual of people waiting on a train platform, complete with a “station” clock—an aesthetic that further reinforces the train station theme. An array of colorful and mismatched chairs in leveled platforms parade styles belonging to practically every decade—a color palette that is an apparent homage to the great George Melies’ attempt at achieving ‘technicolor’ by tinting the frames of his films.
Old-fashioned wooden benches are placed on a well-lit clearing with various floral arrangements lining a path. Agustin used a large manzanita branch, antique hydrangeas, and hanging moss to frame the complementing light green door that acts as the focal point to the ceremony space. Adding character is a faded brick wall, creating an overall rustic feel for our makeshift chapel, and providing an aesthetic best for a simple and intimate ceremony.
The couple, standing bedazzled next to each other, becomes the key element in completing the over-all look. The groom looks polished wearing an updated spin to popular men’s fashions of the 30’s – donning a maroon bowtie, striped suspenders and light brown two-toned shoes. The bride–wearing the heart shaped key pendant seen in the film, and matching heart shaped engagement ring–looks ethereal in a white lacy sequined gown by Rebecca Schone (of Schone Design), which style gives a nod to a romantic bygone era, but still looks fashionably current for the modern bride. A gold hairpiece made by Thea of Hushed Commotion has a design mimicking the face of a clock, adding an eye-catching accent to her period appropriate styled hair.
In the film, Melies told a precocious young boy, “This is where they’re (dreams) made.” The Basilica Hudson’s massive windows allow the light to stream openly, much like the space Melies used to make his films. “It’s amazing what could be done within such a short period of time, when everyone shares the same vision and works hard to achieve it. This creative collaboration is nothing short of a photographer or filmmaker’s dream,” said Efrain Hernandez, owner and head photographer of J’adore Love Photography. And that is precisely what one would feel entering into this transformed space—leaving the real world for the surreal, transported to a place where old exists with the new, and where everything beautiful and romantic is frozen in time.
Photography + Creative Direction: J’adore Love | Event Design + Planning: Kasal NY | Floral Design: Ivie Joy | Venue: Basilica Hudson | Cake: Lisa Galuppo Cakes | Wooden Stationery: The Paper Paramour | Mini Cake Favors: Cupcake et Macaron | Props: Patina Vintage Rentals | Makeup: Face The Day NY | Hair: Eve Whittington & Co | Wedding Dress: Schone Bridal | Headpieces: Hushed Commotion