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Styled Inspiration: A Marriage of Two Cultures

This ethereal, styled wedding shoot absolutely took our breath away. Set against the elegant backdrop of the Mansion Hill Inn in Madison, Ru Nataraj of Spirit & Style Events wanted to create an "East Meets West Modern Fusion Wedding." With the help of many fantastic Wisconsin vendors, her ideas sprang to life through the exquisite photography of Caitlin Stemper of Caynay Photo. There are ample combinations of lovely East Indian and Western wedding traditions, from a Moonlight Bridal gown with white lace detail paired with applied henna design, to metalic embellished paper goods accented by bijou elephants representing Ganesha.  Enhanced by lush florals from Blooms and colorful chevron linens provided by Spirit & Style Events itself, the overall effect is distinctive and dazzling.  


From Spirit & Style Events:

This is the first styled wedding shoot for my event planning company, Spirit & Style Events (based in Madison Wisconsin). The premise of this shoot was to be an East Meets West Modern Fusion Wedding, taking parts of East Indian cultural traditions and marrying it with western touches of modern elegance. Being East Indian myself, and celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary on the day of the shoot, it was a perfect idea to execute. The shoot was done at Mansion Hill Inn (424 N Pinckney St, Madison, WI 53703). The unique architecture and small details of the venue really lent to the authenticity of the shoot. The entire shoot was based on a table runner available to rent from my table linens division of Spirit & Style Events. The runner incorporated chevron stylings and the colors of orange, creams, navy blues and more. I was in love with the color scheme. The floral landscape of the shoot was very beautiful and vibrant, but also very modern in its take on East Indian traditions. Traditional East Indian brides usually have a Mehendi ceremony prior to the wedding, in which the bride’s hands are decorated in intricate patterns by application of Henna. We decided to do this to our bride model, but instead of traditional approaches, we did a more non-traditional and simpler henna design pattern. The henna was placed by Amruta at Henna Blossoms in Madison WI. Jewelry was provided by Alyssa & Anna Fine Jewelry, based in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

The bride wears a traditional Western gown by Moonlight Bridal (gown pb6334) from Moments to Cherish Bridal in Verona WI . The groom wore a traditional Michael Kors Suit from Nedrebos with ivory paisley tie to accentuate an East Indian feeling.

Florals were done by Blooms Flower Shop in Verona WI. They implemented my design ideas well using a mixture of Pincushion proteas, dahlias, ranunculus, stock, mums, kumquat branches, and green mini hydrangeas. To put more gold in the flowers they added Bullion wire was on the craspedia. This helped to put a more East Indian Spin on the look. The bouquet also had red huckleberry foliage and kangaroo paws.

The head table was beautiful in its richness. The gold and mustard vases were found at Michaels Store, and this I believe would be a huge surprise to people viewing it, as it looks very majestic and expensive. The giant cream urn vase was found at Pottery Barn. I peppered in elephants throughout the tablescape as they have a profound meaning at East Indian Weddings. The elephant is represented through Lord Ganesha, the god of Wisdom as he is the remover of obstacles and a creator of knowledge. Elephants were used in displaying the Invitation suite and also in table seating tags. There was a vase riser used in the display. It was really just a piece of wood from a hardware store, spray painted cream and decorated with gold and cream craft tape to give a more expensive illusion. There were also small Indian trinkets to help give the allure of India throughout. The florals were filled with dahlias, ranunculus, kumquat branches, and billy balls with gold floral wire around them.

In East Indian Weddings, the groom often used floral garlands, but instead of traditional marigolds, we used button mums threaded together along with billy balls wrapped in gold wire to infuse the richness of Indian culture through the shoot. The boutonniere for the groom also had the billy ball and gold wire as well.

The cake (by Creative Confections in Brooklyn WI) was also used as a stylized approach to making the East Meets West more authentic.. The chevron of the runner was brought back into the cake design, and then there was added henna design stenciled in gold throughout the ivory fondant on the top two layers. Pincushion Protea and a few billy balls helped keep the look cohesive.

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