Opulent Masquerade Ball Styled Shoot

Hanna and I wanted to create a completely different look for this styled shoot, so when I visited the Exchange Hotel in Cardiff Bay last year, I knew we had the perfect venue to create something really special.  With a fantastic team of amazing Welsh talent on board, we got to work to create this Opulent Masquerade Ball shoot which could be used as a stunning style for a winter wedding, a celebration party or a gala dinner.

As well as creating the shoot, we also produced a podcast episode over the couple of days, to give you a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the makings of a styled shoot.

We hope you love what we have created….

Set in the stunning and historic Exchange Boutique Hotel in Cardiff Bay, we faced the challenge of creating something truly incredible within the striking, dark and heavy surroundings.

We selected a vibrant colour scheme of beautiful purples, golds and reds to contrast with the deep mahogany walls.  The backdrop for the shoot – the Great Hall was used for many years, as the trading floor for Wales’ booming coal trade and incidentally, it is where the first ever £1million cheque was written!  We were really keen to give readers the inspiration to create a unique and alternative look, be it for a wedding, celebration party, or black-tie gala dinner.  We deliberately selected a team of incredible Welsh suppliers to provide all of the décor, floristry and cakes for this Opulent Masquerade Ball shoot.

To find out more, have a listen in to our podcast episode into how we created this styled shoot, on The Icing on the Cake: A Wedding Planning Podcast.

The key for creating the look was the use of heavy fabrics, draped as table linens, napkins and over chair backs. Candles softened and warmed the overall look and delicate peacock feathers against the gold charger plates and deep red napkins balanced the style perfectly.

Alternating the height throughout the table using incredible floral arrangements, candlesticks, candelabras, a chandelier and fabulous cake as a focal point, added to the luxe look, completed by the black velvet chairs draped with the sumptuous red fabrics cascading to the floor.

The floral designs, created by the uber-talented Forbesfield, brought height, luxury and a fabulous array of tones, complimenting and highlighting the colour scheme throughout the tablescape.  And to really offer that ‘je nais sais quoi’ our model Ellie wears a completely floral mask and a floral tattoo down the centre of her back.

The Vale Cake Boutique created three incredible masterpieces for the shoot with the pièce de résistance being the collaborative work with Forbesfield, called ‘Exposure’ a cascading floral cake.  An absolutely mind-blowing piece of master crafts’wo’manship and definitely a hot new trend!

Ellie wore two gorgeous ‘Mascara’ evening dresses from Sally Evans at Boutique Box in dark blue and in black and Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring certainly didn’t disappoint with our male model Leighton, showing off two of Nathan’s bespoke creations, the first of which was a black and gold floral evening suit and the second – a white woollen tuxedo with contrasting orange detailing.

Supplier Credits:

Styling: Serayah Styling & Event Management www.serayah.co.uk
Venue: The Exchange Hotel https://exchangehotelcardiff.co.uk/
Photography: Morgan James Photography www.morganjamesphoto.co.uk/
Florist: Forbesfield Flowers www.forbesfield.co.uk/
Cake: The Vale Cake Boutique www.thevalecakeboutique.com/
Dresses: Boutique Box www.boutique-box.co.uk/
Suits: Nathan Palmer Bespoke Tailoring www.nathanpalmer.co.uk/
Hair & Make-up: Minxies Beauty www.minxiesbeauty.com/
Décor: Megan & Claude www.meganandclaude.co.uk
Décor: Pistachio Inc. www.pistachioinc.co.uk/


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