Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular television shows out there, and it is definitely a popular one in our house. My husband and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together since we both run our own businesses, so the things that we do plan to do together are extra special. Game of Thrones is one of the shows that we will NEVER watch without the other person. I had the idea a while back about creating a styled wedding shoot based off the show, but never really delved too far into it. This year, I really wanted to make it happen.
I had a basic idea in my head of what I wanted to do, so Kellie and I met with Samie of Something Perfect Events in December to talk details and vendors that we wanted to include. Basically right after that, all hell broke loose in my life and let’s just say styled shoots were put on the back-burner. About mid-January, Tyler and I saw an ad that the Game of Thrones premier was going to be in February. I started scrambling to see if we could get everything put together in about a week and a half to post everything in time for the premier. Turns out, the date for the show got postponed to the Summer, but we didn’t know that until after the shoot! I am however glad that we got it together because it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in my career.
Two of the more memorable characters, and frankly two of my favorite, in the show are Daenerys Targaryen and Sansa Stark. These two women are both very strong and beautiful but have a soft, elegant side to them as well. We wanted to portray this in both the dress styling as well as their attitudes. We reached out to a local designer, RCB Fashion, to create gowns that would fit the characters and leave others breathless. After deciding on the fashion, the location was the next critical element of planning. Smithmore Castle, a 121 acre private mountain estate, provided the perfect setting. This “castle in the sky” in the Blue Ridge Mountains was the perfect place inside and out to set the atmosphere for the inspiration shoot.
From there, an epic team of vendors came together to create a whimsical medieval wedding, fit for royalty. Heather Feather’s Art and Ambur Rose Designs completed the look of the models with gorgeous period headpieces while the stunning vintage rings came from Trumpet & Horn. The hair and makeup, from Mirror Bomb Studio and Lauren Cirillo respectively, transformed models Austen Mauney, Courtney Edelman and Max DiNatale into real life versions of their characters. For Max, we decided to give him a general strong warrior look rather than having him emulate a certain character, though it didn’t hurt that his look was similar to Jon Snow!
“Moon of my life. My sun and stars,” a well-known quote from the show inspired the stationary suite, which was hand-drawn on hand-torn cotton paper by Writing on Hearts. To complete the invitation suite, a “dire wolf” wax seal was placed on the back of the envelope.
A Game of Thrones shoot wouldn’t be complete without dire wolves. Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary, a not-for-profit sanctuary for abused wolfdogs who find themselves in need of love, shelter and care, provided the model: “River the Ambassadog.” River stole the show with his regal nature and was a true testament to the incredible work done on the farm, which is one hundred percent funded through donations and sponsorships, which can be made here!
The Great Room with an eight-foot Swarovski Crystal chandelier, stark white walls and a large stone fireplace, served as a gorgeous backdrop for the start of the shoot, which was perfectly captured by Katherine Elena Photography. We were immediately reminded of the quote, “Winter is coming” when we entered this room.
Afterward, the models moved to the outdoor balcony, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, for scenery and cake photos. The custom designed cake from Celestial Cakery was created to emulate dragon scales on the first layer, and the style of Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, on the top two layers. The cake shone against the mountain backdrop with details of moss and pine to complete the medieval look.
Back inside, the dining room was transformed by Something Perfect Events & Events by Elizabeth Ashley. The 10-foot antique wooden table was set with branches, moss, greenery, a faux fur runner, endless candles and candelabras, and a grand feast from Reid’s Café and Catering. Antique finds from Miss Match Rentals were the perfect touch for the place settings and table details while florals from Fuschia Moss Floral Designs were placed sporadically throughout to bring in a pop of color.
Dorn-Long Films captured the entire day, showcasing behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the shoot. If you haven’t seen this video, you’re seriously missing out!
P.S. If you are a wedding photographer or aspiring photographer, you need to check out ShootDotEdit‘s article on how to edit wedding photos! The article can be found here. I use Lightroom for 99% of my editing workflow and if you haven’t ever seen these tips, they are HUGE timesavers!
February 12, 2017