Warehouse XI Elopement - Polina & Asha
Styled photoshoots are such an perfect opportunity for creatives to collaborate and make something magical together. For wedding professionals, we basically get to put on a big, fake BEAUTIFUL wedding, with details galore. I had the pleasure of working with 12 incredibly talented ladies (and 1 amazing man!) to put this all together. We made this work to speak directly to our ideal clients who are trying to break the mold of what a wedding SHOULD be, and redefine what it CAN be. We are just so proud of what we created, and are stoked to share it with the world! Scroll down for more info about our inspiration & process!
curioXI: “Cabinet of Curiosities”- Inspired Elopement at Industrial Boston Warehouse
Venue - WAREHOUSE XI - Somerville, MA
Calligrapher/Stationer - MOLLY GRACE MAKES - Boston, MA
Floral Designer - TWIG & BRIAR - Boston, MA
Baker - LIZZIE’S BAKERY - Boston, MA
Event Planner/Stylist - KELLY GOLIA EVENTS - Boston, MA
Makeup Artist - JOCELYN MARIAH MAKEUP - Boston, MA
Bridal Hair Stylist - HAIR BY ERICA DOLL - Boston, MA
Dress Designer - WILLOWBY BY WATTERS - Worldwide
Bridal Shop - FLAIR - Boston, MA
Groom Hair Stylist - LAMOTHE HAIR 4 U - Boston, MA
Groom Styling - OONA’S VINTAGE - Cambridge, MA
Bride - POLINA GERASKINA - Boston, MA
Groom - ASHA WATERHOUSE - Boston, MA
It all started with the velvet mustard armchair I found at BRIMFIELD ANTIQUE SHOW awhile back. I didn’t even have enough room for it in my apartment, but I knew I NEEDED this chair. I’m so glad I made that impulse buy, because it became the inspiration for this entire shoot!
Having a background in Fine Art, whenever I’m planning a project I scrutinize over how it all comes together conceptually. With this shoot, I wanted to emphasize the partnership & adventure that comes with marriage- how in the act of falling in love, each partner embraces curiosity and a love for the unknown.
With the vintage chair as a starting point, I took inspiration from old libraries and “CABINETS OF CURIOSITIES.” Some backstory: before there were natural history museums, people would collect specimens & other oddities they found around them to curate a little installation in their homes. This appreciation for nature & passion for learning conjures up a sense of exploration, discovery, and knowledge- which are all perfect themes for a marriage.
Reminiscent of this, we laid out objects on the wall behind the tablescape, as well as sprinkling them throughout the shoot. All the elements were brought in from the vendors’ homes- including antique books, kitschy frames from our grandparents, scientific illustrations, old cameras, a magnifying glass, a set of antlers, & mismatched chairs from our living rooms.
This DIY scrappiness also ties into themes of marriage; similarly to how both partners morph together their individual passions and personal histories in a harmonic relationship, we each brought something to contribute to the shoot that had special significance to us, and formed a cohesive thread.
I also loved the idea of using organic elements as a metaphor for growth in a relationship: just as a tree’s roots grow down deeper into the ground, its branches grow higher into the sky simultaneously. The same goes for a balanced relationship; it keeps you grounded, but also helps you to grow. With this in mind, we put a strong emphasis on natural elements throughout the shoot: flowers, wood, plants, etc.
All the vendors involved had several brainstorming sessions, involving lots of rosé and lightbulbs of creativity turning on all over the place. It was amazing being surrounded by such talented women who were inspired by the concept and could bring their own ideas into the mix.
THE NAME: “curioXI”
any unusual article, object of art, etc., valued as a curiosity.
a small article valued as a collector's item, esp something fascinating or unusual
And “XI” referencing Warehouse XI, the name of the venue.
We knew we wanted to bring in a lot of color to the shoot, so Warehouse XI’s minimal white brick walls acted as the perfect blank slate for us to work from. And the afternoon light coming in through the industrial windows added some unexpected but welcomed texture & drama to the portraits and details.
We prioritized using a real couple to model for the shoot because we wanted their genuine love to shine through in the portraits. Lucky for us, we got the best of both worlds because the couple we ended up using are very much in love, are in fact both models, and happen to be photographers as well! Not to mention, they are now ACTUALLY married- they ended up eloping only a couple weeks after the shoot!
They both run a studio, SELFMADE DESIGNS which they refer to as a “gym for artists” in which makers of all kinds are invited to use the space to create, collaborate, and learn from each other. Their whole goal is to foster a community for artists, which was exactly what we were aiming to do with the shoot, so it couldn’t have been a better fit to add them to our creative team!
The bride is a Russian immigrant, and the groom is learning her language in order for them communicate on a deeper level- now THAT’S commitment right there! When the bride was “saying her vows” in front of the ceremony backdrop, she was translating what she was reading from an old English book into Russian, and testing the groom to see if he could understand what she was saying (which explains the laughter!)
The couple bride and groom portraits shot outside were in the cold of mid-March, so those cuddles are REAL. The groom even had to shovel snow from the deck they were standing on! They were both such good sports about it, and so professional!
It was an absolute pleasure working with the two of them, and I ended up also doing a couple’s shoot for them at WORLD’S END (a nature reserve by the water in the South Shore of MA) early this summer. Check it out HERE.
Molly (MOLLY GRACE MAKES) used seed paper for the invitation suite, which grows into wild flowers when planted. She also chose the names “Luna & Jasper” for the couple- again referencing nature (the moon and a gem stone, respectively.)
Molly (MOLLY GRACE MAKES) also created the giant calligraphed fabric piece we used for the ceremony backdrop. She hand-lettered the quote from CS Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of adventure fantasy novels: “Now at last they were beginning chapter one of a great story no one on earth has ever read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” This again references the sense of adventure and mystery that comes with a marriage, which we aimed to evoke with the shoot.
Molly (MOLLY GRACE MAKES) also used dark amber apothecary bottles as bud vases, each containing a single bloom, in lieu of the guest’s place cards/wedding favors.
The hoop that we used in the background of some of the bridal portraits was made by Kelly (KELLY GOLIA EVENTS) and Jo (TWIG & BRIAR), which they created out of an oversized embroidery hoop, upholstery fabric, and some loose ranunculus and olive branches. For those portraits, we were inspired by the colors and compositions of Art Nouveau-style prints from the turn of the century, which utilize organic forms- particularly circles and flowers.
Jo (TWIG & BRIAR) took each type of flower and greenery from the bouquet, and along with Molly (MOLLY GRACE MAKES)’s calligraphy and Kelly (KELLY GOLIA EVENTS)’s styling, created a catalog of sorts by labeling them with their respective scientific name. By arranging them in this way, we intended to harken back to scientific illustrations of specimens- blurring the line between the beauty of art and the objectivity of science.