Jessica Hoang from Bisous Events In Conversation : Designing “Copper & Linen” shoot at Berkeley Bicycle Club
This style shoot took place at the Berkeley Bicycle Club. An event venue in Toronto housed in a historic Toronto mansion. What about the location of the styled shoot added to the theme, look and ambiance of the production and how did you leverage the layout and architectural accents.
I love the the different spaces Berkeley Events have available and I have had the opportunity to work in a several of them. At the time, I had heard Berkeley Events was opening a new venue and I was working on the design inspiration for the “Copper & Linen” shoot. After seeing the space, I knew it was the perfect location. Our shoot was a mix of romantic and modernity, light and moody. We wanted a space with interesting architecture and with the ornate fireplaces, distressed wood flooring, stained glassed, historical architecture and chandeliers; it fit the shoot so perfectly!
You have a very friendly, encouraging and creative approach with your wedding couples that help them bring out their best shared qualities into their wedding day. How did these skills you have mastered in your industry translate to this creative endeavor?
Being an event and wedding planner really requires you to be more than just a time tracker to make sure things are on-time and organized; it is a lot about having a creative eye and being a people-person. Doing creatives really allows me to exercise these skills; having to source and work along side amazing vendors to collaborate to make a vision come to life. I get inspired by my clients every wedding I do so I just brought these points of reference to continue that train of thought and inspiration. I wanted to try things I haven’t seen yet and put myself during every creative that I do.
Where is your favourite source of home decor inspiration and what are the parallels between this field and wedding planning and design?
It’s interesting that you talk about getting inspired for shoots from home decor. I have been seen more and more copper and rose gold popping up in home furniture and decor. I wanted to play with those metallics, exposed wood with the fragility of floral petals, flowing fabrics and lace.
The wedding cakes at this styled shoot were stunning. A combination of naked and shimmering metallic mini cakes. How did elements such as these preview the wedding trends for the upcoming wedding season?
More and more of my clients are opting for other dessert options such as cake pops or smaller cakes instead of 1 large cake. This lends well to a very intimate weddings and looks great for photographers. Emily from Crumb and Berry did such an amazing job with the dessert cart for this shoot.
The play of natural light combined with all the textures becomes a symphony of contrasts and visual wonder. How did you with the creative team involved tweak these elements to create the perfect balance?
The colour palette is quite soft so Alyssa perfectly used the cloudiness on that particular day to her advantage to create shadow and drama to the final product. I also wanted to play a lot more with texture versus bold colours like in her sequinned gown, the wooden chairs and the copper texture in his bowtie. It was about asymmetry while still keeping the balance.
Which editorial elements such as table styling, stationery details and couple wedding portraits did you feel translated the best from the original ideas to the finished project.
I’m quite biased and I think all the elements were beautiful. So overall, I’m proud of everyone that was apart of this!
Each professional involved in a styled shoot develops and generated ideas and curated concepts in their area of specialty. How did you direct and co- ordinate these ideas to make such a seamless setting.
I always start with an inspiration board that includes the colours, theme, the level of glam (formality), the size of the table and floral inspiration. From there, I look into what vendors I have worked with or want to work with that fit that look I’m going for. From there, I try to give each of the vendors flexibility in showcasing what is inspiring them at the moment since. I always aim to get vendors on board that fit the vision but I still leave a lot of creative freedom to each individual vendor so they can inspire my direction and they can be proud of their work.
Did you create a narrative storyline and storyboard for this shoot? What were some of the storyline elements?
The storyline was that it was a very intimate wedding and we wanted to create similar sets that would be captured on the wedding day such as a first look, the photos of the couple and more natural reception moments. I try to plan the look as much as I can but the one thing I can’t plan for is the chemistry between the photographer and the models and the chemistry between the “bride” and “groom” that have actually never met before the photoshoot. We were all so thrilled that our models, Alyssa and Justin had so much natural chemistry which made the shoot so seamless.
This styled shoot offers engaged couples abundant wedding day inspiration. With this in mind how would you build out the elements of this creative project into a full wedding day proposal?
All my photoshoot inspiration are usually a wedding I hope to plan. I try to never repeat something I previously did in the wedding but instead I am trying to push myself and my clients to go outside their comfort zone just a little. Shoots are usually just a point of reference for colour or rental inspiration but I always try to customize each wedding as much as possible.
This particular wedding venue Toronto offers itself to intimate romantic weddings. What other themes would lend itself to this unique setting?
I think a venue like The Berkeley Bicycle Club is so versatile because it has a historical feel but with fresh white walls and lots of wood so you can basically do any colour palette. You can approach it by bringing into more whimsical, modern looks or play off that vintage, antique look; the possibilities are plentiful! I love the space and hope to do a real wedding in the venue soon.
When you were styling, planning and conceiving of this project how significant was it that there was going to be a film as well as still photographs taken. How did this inform your choices?
I know many styled shoots don’t include a videographer but I loved it; it adds a completely different perspective. In a real wedding, couples often have videographers and they get to capture the moving moments, even candid and awkward moments. Since we use all other wedding vendors, it would only make sense to also use a videographer. Photographs are amazing but video is just so beautiful to see people move, the bridal gown flow and the way people change their expressions whether it be a kiss, a smile, tears.. it’s all so beautiful. Video in a styled shoot may not be vital but it really elevates a shoot and changes some choices like the models and their attire.
Venue: Berkeley Bicycle Club
Produced by /styling & planner: Bisous Events
Photo: Alyssa Wodabek
Florals: Ashley Elaine Kimmel
Video: One Heart Films
Stationary: Castlefield Design Co.
Groom’s accessories: Tytan Ties
Dress: Maureen Patricia
Bridal accessories: Posh Veils & The Loved One
Makeup: The Look Bridal
Hair: Puzzle Creations
Rentals: Plate Occasions
Cake: Crumb and Berry
Ring: Look At the Moon