Better Than Tolerance, A Whimsical Great Gatsby Wedding At The Royal Palms
This styled shoot is more than it appears. That’s what happens when you put an artist and a passionate go-getter planner together.lol.
Chaz & I started the design & dream almost a year ago. Chaz had the idea of a Gatsby theme and I came on board with some emotional undertones that I really wanted to see displayed and come through. I have a knack for putting together random things and clashing styles that others might not see. Although sometimes I have a hard time explaining my vision, Chaz was SOOOOO encouraging and gave me the benefit of the doubt! Thanks Chaz!!!! lol. We made an excellent team and with the help of the amazing vendors that stepped in to make our dreams come to a reality, this shoot was perfect. I am so thankful for everything that stayed on board even when the shoot date changed… TWICE! lol.
This beautifully styled wedding is inspired by the roaring 20’s, with a whimsical garden twist and a dash of subversive social commentary.
One of the undertones that I envisioned for this shoot was to tear down social constructs of the era.
Not only did we break through the formality of weddings of the era but we also choose to do a light theme rather than the commonly known dark brooding looks. We mashed up furniture and colors in a way not normally done. I’ll talk more about the design style here in a minute. I want to get to the part I’m most passionate about.
I have been so lucky to have been raised by a mother that has always been kind and loving.
She taught me to love people regardless of their race, customs, cultures, lifestyles, and clothes. She is in all these ways my role model and hero. I know this post isn’t about my mother, but in many ways it is. Because of her I have a kind and accepting heart. I do not harbor hated or intolerance. I love love. lol.
So now that I’m an adult and live a much less sheltered life, I am aware of so much brokenness and racial hate that I never knew existed. Sometimes I just sit down and think “Wow, how can this be? How can humans think this way?” It’s opposite to the God I know and love that made all humanity perfect and beautifully diverse. I am also horrified that people use God and twisted religion to justify hate, rage, and death. Not only racially but across the board. It’s just horrible. This is so so so far from the truth of the God of equality, hope and absolute love I know. But I can’t be blind anymore to the world around me. I can’t just be quiet or tiptoe around the subject because “I’m a small town, sheltered, middle-class white girl that doesn’t get it” Or be quiet because it’s just plain awkward to talk about this subject for me.
I read a book last year called Reading the Bible From the Margins and it was incredibly refreshing for me. For once I was reading a book on Christianity that wasn’t narrow-minded and legalistic and it all made sense to me. There were so many things in the book I had thought before and thought maybe I was just questioning too much, it felt good to know I wasn’t crazy! lol. It was about freedom from the westernized gospel so many of us believe without questioning or understanding. This book brought me the courage to start making up my mind about things and being opinionated. (FYI I’m not a super opinionated person, I’m very easy going, and agreeable” I HATE the word debate. haha. It causes panic.
So that all being said…I do get it…A very tiny bit. I get the racial injustice enough to question it. Enough to say “NO”. So in my own small way, this is my defiance. This is my heart, this is me sharing my moms’ love instilled in me since birth.
So on with it! I deliberately choose to portray an interracial relationship and when model searching we had this goal in mind. Specifically because at the time (the 1920’s) this was unheard of and illegal in many states. Did you know that?
I wanted to defy the injustice, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and hate of the era and REPLACE it with beauty, and whimsical and carefree love. Hence the whole lightening of the mood and the venue/colors/theme. You can read more of my inspiration on this social construct in the 1920’s on NPR speaking on the book: “The House as The End of the Road” https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104190048. I thought it was a good listen.
Obviously, there is a lot of material out there about the laws around the era with interracial relationships and this is just the starting place. I simply want to encourage you to take a stand for love and embrace beauty and step outside the norms… because they aren’t always right. In many ways, question, ask, and seek truth always.
This isn’t just a social piece but also a pushing of the limits for content and design as well as I discussed above. We collided not likely styles into this vision. When you think Great Gatsby, you think… “Black CHECK. Gold. CHECK. Modern Design Lines CHECK”…Nope, not this one friend!
We brought together items and colors that many might not imagine together and made them come to life. Everything from navy and pinks instead of the classic black and gold Gatsby pallets. We mixed several types of metals, randomized the chairs, pulled inmy living room rug, Chaz brought beautiful milk glass, bottles, and boudoirs. Gorgeous antiques came from Az Retro and Antique Gatherings. We had baby blue macaroons, wild and free florals and delightful wines. Every detail was planned and cultivated pre-shoot. We took the classic look of the 1920’s Gatsby look and mashed it together in a garden setting to create this whimsical, lighthearted, and free love, ad we called it “Better Than Tolerance, A Whimsical Great Gatsby Wedding At The Royal Palms”
And a big thanks to the super amazing national bridal magazine (mentioning later) for picking up this inspirational photo shoot. They have been so kind to me and have loved everything I’ve sent them. That made it well worth the hard work, schedule juggling, and many moving pieces. I am honored and thrilled that this shoot and content will be shown to a much larger audience that I could imagine.
Hopefully, it stirs people to more love and less “tolerance” because we deserve better than tolerance. I can’t wait to see the feature.
Enjoy all our hard work!
All The Lovely Vendors Who Made Our Dreams A Reality!
I cannot that these people enough for coming through to make our dreams a reality. This is a breathtaking shoot that is so unique and fun. There are a lot of moving parts but well worth the outcome!
Venue: Royal Palms Resort & Spa
Planning & Design: Sweet Simplicity Events
Photography & Design: Fully Alive Photography
Wardrobe & Day Of Styling: Ristyle Consulting (Typewriter, Vintage Books, Cake Plates: Antique Gatherings)
Cake: Sugar Chic Cakes
Macaroons: Decadent Macaroon
Stationary Design: Page & Parcel Creative
Enaura EF611 Wedding Gown: Mariee Bridal
Hair Stylist: Styled By Jillian
Makeup Artist: Krystal Makeup Artist
Rentals: Bright Event Rentals
(Flatware, Dinnerwear, Barn Tables, Plates, Ceremony/Dining Chairs )
Rentals: Az Retro Rentals
(Sofas, Plush Chairs, Cocktail Arrangements, Vintage Cameras, Arches, Decore)
Floral: Butterfly Petals
Bride Model: Allyssa Dana
Groom Model: Elliot Manson
Lettering: Etchings By Emma
Better Than Tolerance, A Whimsical Great Gatsby Wedding At The Royal Palms
Want to see more of my styled shoots?
Published In Phoenix Bride & Groom Magazine: Sun Kissed
Published in Inside Weddings: Golden & Glowing