Santorini Engagement Session

One place on my dream destination list that I’m just dying to cross off? You guessed it, Santorini. Until I find myself booking a ticket there, I’ll just stare at these stunning captures from Melanie Nedelko. Escape the ordinary and see it all in The Vault!

From Melanie NedelkoFor me there is no other location for an engagement shoot that´s more beautiful and more unique than Santorini! This wonderful, quaint Greek island with its blue church domes definitely is one of the most gorgeous locations I’ve ever seen in real life. Pictorial wind mills, cute kittens and the most amazing sunsets await you.

It’s been a dream of mine for a long time now to explore this volcanic island by myself. So when I got an email from Selena and Jacob from L.A. this April where they told me about how they are going to travel Europe including Santorini for some weeks my heart just skipped a beat.

Shortly before their departure Jacob surprisingly proposed to Selena and it became clear pretty quick that they wanted to have an engagement shooting on Santorini. After traveling through Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro they arrived full of unforgettable impressions on the Greek island to meet me there.

I was more than just excited and ever since I met them in person I couldn’t wait for this day to come.

Jacob and Selena rented an amazing Airbnb Apartment and from its rooftop terrace we had this breathtaking view over the city Oia. We met early in the morning to start shooting. In the mornings this city is enjoyably quiet, only some fisher boats and straying cats cross your path through the charming alleys of Oia.

What else can I tell you…This engagement shooting was just incredible. Jacob and Selena interacted so lovingly and easily in front of my camera, it was a pleasure taking their pictures. I could have continued photographing them all day long if the sun hadn’t become to hot and tourists hadn’t spread out into the city. Within an hour Oia awakes and its bustle takes its usual course. 

I really hope that I may return to Santorini some day. Because if you have been there once, it is all over with you…This island won’t let you go again. But enough said – enjoy my pictures of an adorable couple and a stunning backdrop!

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Photography: Melanie Nedelko | Film Processing: Carmencita Film Lab | Location: Greece: Crete & Santorini

English Charm Meets Brazilian Flair For a Cross-Cultural Wedding

This wedding breaks every “rule” in the book, and you know what? That’s exactly why we love it. Although their wedding was set in the English countryside, incorporating Brazilian tradition was important so the couple worked with Something Blue Weddings to create “a day which had lots of English elements but the party atmosphere of Brazil.” Read on to hear how they pulled it off and more from Julie Michaelsen in The Vault!

From Something Blue WeddingWhen I first drove into the grounds to meet with Eduardo and Clareana for the first time I knew this wedding was going to be special. This hidden gem of a country home oozed English charm and was surrounded by the most spectacular manicured grounds I’ve seen at a private home. The house belongs to Eduardo’s grandfather and holds many special memories for them as a family, so to them was the perfect place to hold their celebration.

The houses’ grounds provided unrestricted views across the South Downs and their own herd of deer and sheep, it was breathtaking and the perfect setting for an outdoor ceremony. All the guests were sat bellow a flower draped stone walled pond with the blessing ceremony taking place at the top of the steps by their pastor. From here the guests were greeted on the formal lawns with a champagne reception and stunning canapés.

When it came to the marquee they didn’t want ordinary and they didn’t want drapes, I knew the perfect match would be PapaKata and as soon as I showed them their Sperrys it was decided. Clareana wanted all the tables to connect to symbolize all the families coming together which not only looked stunning but also was a beautiful sentimental element in the wedding. We kept the English theme by using traditional English flowers in the central garlands. Roses, hydrangea and peonies filled the wooden tables and spilled down the ends as if they were growing, to soften the light we also used 350 pillar candles on brass stands to highlight the flowers and gold bead charger plates.

To tie in with the Brazilian heritage of the guests some traditions were also adhered to. The first was the stunning way Eduardo and Clareana displayed their favurs to their guests, a mass of confectionary and cake flown over from Brazil adorned a table for guests to sample throughout the day.

As with all Brazilian weddings dancing plays a huge part and entertainment was certainly high on Eduardo’s list for the wedding, the Philosophy Band had the dance floor full from the start and they didn’t stop dancing until 1am when it was time to end. 


From Julie Michaelsen PhotographyThis couple were an absolute joy to photograph, their natural and passionate love for one another was so beautiful and is so clear in their photographs. Their 8-month-old son was the star of the show, charming all with his gorgeous smile, so clearly the apple of the family’s eyes as the first grandson. The typical Brazilian charm, love and affection between family members at this wedding was visible through numerous cheek-kisses, tears of joy and of course enthusiastic dancing late into the night!

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Photography: Julie Michaelsen Photography | Cinematography: Gorgeous Film | Event Planning: Something Blue Weddings | Floral Design: Sweet Pea Flowers | Wedding Dress: Self Portrait Studio - Azaelea Red Dress | Bride's Shoes: Schutz | Catering: Caper & Berry | Hair + Makeup: Sanni Sorma Makeup & Hair | Calligraphy: Judy Broad Calligraphy | Lighting: creative spark | DJ: Mal Williams | Band: Philosophy Band | String Quartet: Mal Williams | Venue: At Home | Chair Rentals: Co-ordination Catering Hire | Guest's Makeup: Lilian Komor | Invitations + Stationery: Papier | Marquee: Papakata | Photography - Assistance: Marni from Bai and Elle. | Tables + Outdoor Heaters: Stress Free Hire

This Candlelit Parisian Wedding is Everything

Parisian weddings are the end all, be all of romantic “I do’s” – and this stunning affair held at the breathtaking Shangri-La Paris?  Most definitely delivers on the WOW.  Think a talented team of vendors (hello, Et Voila WeddingsMadame Artisan Fleuriste, and French Grey Events), a beautiful gold and blush color palette and a candlelit ceremony that will make your hearts happy.  See every mesmerizing image captured by Catherine O’Hara right here in THE VAULT.


From Et Voila Weddings… Nicole and John came to us with an idea of planning a romantic, classic and elegant wedding in Paris. They had gotten engaged there a few weeks earlier and it was quite clear for them that Paris was where they wanted to say their “I Do’s.”

For this intimate destination wedding and these Paris lovers, it was clear to us that we needed to find a venue that was part of the city’s heritage, an historical Parisian venue. After looking at a few luxury hotels, museums and hotels, Nicole and John chose the Shangri La’s historical rooms to hold their special day. As they could not fly to Paris before the wedding, we sent them a lot of photos and they made their choice from pictures and trusting our knowledge of each venue.

Nicole had a clear idea of her colour palette from the start: she wanted natural tones, creams and whites. As the dinner table linen was going to be white, we agreed to add a bit of blush flowers to the arrangements to make them stand out a bit more. The florist did a great job on sourcing the perfect tones, especially the ranunculus which were perfect and encapsulating the whole colour palette on one flower.

At the Shangri La, ceremonies are usually held in one of their salons. Nicole was not very excited about the ceremony space available, and while on a logistical site visit we thought the rotunda (which is a large landing space) was a gorgeous space and definitely a great one for a ceremony, with its large stained glass, marbles and sculptures. It had never been done before and fortunately the venue agreed, as well as the couple. They had a truly unique, never done before wedding ceremony!

The couple was conscious that their party was quite small, and they had at heart to make sure that everyone would be entertained. During cocktails reception we arranged a photo booth with lovely Parisian props (huge success) and a caricaturist, like the ones you find in Montmartre. The guests loved it and all of them had their caricature made, to take home with them!

During dinner a band played some French oldies and some gipsy jazz music, which created the perfect chic, Parisian yet relaxed atmosphere the couple was after for their dinner reception.

At midnight, we planned a surprise group photo with sparklers at the exact time the Eiffel tower started to sparkle. It was magical!

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Photography: Catherine O'Hara Photography | Event Planning: Et Voila Weddings | Floral Design: MADAME Artisan Fleuriste | Dress: Michal Medina | Cake: The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa | Stationery : Paper And Honey | Makeup: Charles Gillman | Hair: Ciara Coiffure | Grooms Suit: YSL Pour Homme Tuxedo | Celebrant: French Grey Events | String Quartet: Wedding Music in France | Venue: The Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa | Grooms Bowtie: Tom Ford | Grooms Tuxedo Buttons and Cufflinks: David Donahue | Jazz Quartet: Octave & Anatole | Menu/Placecards/Programmes: Every Little Letter | Photobooth: Sharingbox

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