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Our Unique Story

The Lowdown

Venue: West Reservoir, London

Theme: Tropical and Exotic

Flowers and Stylist: Shilpa Reddy, Flower Design London

Photography: Paola de Paola Photography

The Story

We love a bit of the tropics, but how do you incorporate it into your wedding theme without going all Club Tropicana? Floral and wedding expert, Shilpa Reddy, tells us how to achieve the most sophisticated tropical wedding theme, as illustrated in this quirky styled shoot.

I was talking to same-sex wedding photographer, Paola de Paola, around the time that London Pride was on and we decided we wanted to celebrate the fabulousness of London's Pride in a shoot for fashion forward same-sex couples who appreciate style and structure, but want to inject a dose of fun into their wedding. We settled on a tropical wedding theme and created a styled shoot, using a gay, in-love couple, to convey a strong representation of real life.
Finding a Venue
More and more city dwellers are eschewing the traditional country manors or marquees in favour of something more authentic. Something that represents their day to day life... perhaps the sort of venue they'd choose to party at with friends yet. With this criteria in mind, West Reservoirseemed perfect because it's gorgeous and glam, but also has an urban edge.
The Styling
It's easy to go over the top with a tropical wedding theme and make it look a little Club Tropicana. You've got to strike a balance between the camp and the cliche to create a more sophisticated vibe.
Green was the colour du jour for this theme, but I accessorised the styling with black, white, and gold, to give a hint of the Art Deco and incorporated subtle coral tones to accentuate the colour scheme to give it a more fashion-forward finish. Gold really helps to add that sense of luxury, but you've got to be very careful to incorporate it sparingly; too much and it can look tacky. I also used glossy black to create a boutique hotel look.
The stationery was made bespoke to complement the fabric with gorgeous gold foil detailing and a coral insert. Having items like this made bespoke is something I would definitely recommend as it sets the scene for the day in advance. As soon as your guests receive their invites they get that sense of excitement about your big day, and can't wait to see what else you might have in store for them. Plus, bespoke items give your wedding a personal and more luxe feel, which is what it's all about!
Less is More
It's important that your event spaces tie together - that there's consistency - so that your guests feel as though they've been transported into another world; but it takes experience and a good eye to work out how far to push a bit of detailing. I tend to take lots of photos from different angles when I am setting up a room, and take time to step back and look at them so I can get a fresh perspective. I always walk through a venue in the same way that a guest would... recreating their journey so I can see where I need to add or subtract items.
We chose a gorgeous tropical fabric to dress the table with and this formed our centrepiece'. The fabric had a very strong look so we were careful to keep everything else very clean' in appearance. Cafe style lighting in the evening ensures that the scheme feels beautiful and not bare'.
The little details (gold detailing on the invitations for example) are key, but if you go over the top (which is easily done with a tropical theme) and you could spoil the effect. That meant no blow-up pink flamingos for us! We incorporated beautiful hand drawn tropical bird detailing on our plates and glass etched pineapples on to the tea lights instead. All the key tropical elements are there, but subtly.
Federica and Marianne are a real couple and we wanted their outfits to reflect their unique style. Federica opted for a stunning blush gown whilst Marianne selected a clean white suit from a menswear range as it reflects her usual gorgeous sporty style. Paola kept the photography light and airy, which was important in helping reflect the beautiful weather we had on the day. We were all really pleased with the results.

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