Words by Rosie. Images by Finn & Fox Photography.
The aim of this shoot was to demonstrate that mental illness may not always be visible on the outside. Pressures that couples tend to feel whilst planning their wedding can be very overwhelming, and I wanted to raise awareness and reassurance to all couples that may be feeling overwhelmed, or anxious on the lead up to their wedding day.
This shoot also demonstrates how mental illness doesn’t just disappear on your wedding day despite the stigma of a wedding being ‘the best and happiest day of your life’.
The impact that a mental health condition can have on you on your wedding day is something that often goes unspoken about, and it’s important that couples shouldn’t be afraid to speak out about how they are feeling or include elements into their day which represent them.
‘It’s amazing what a smile can hide’
More often than not people go about life with a smile on their faces, which may seem to everyone else that they are ok. When people ask how you are, the most common reply would be ‘fine’ or ‘good’.
It’s very easy to mask how you are truly feeling. On your wedding day, a day that is often branded the ‘the best and happiest day of your life’, society has already told you how you should be feeling. So what if it’s not the happiest day of your life? Does that mean you should feel guilty about that? Does it mean you’re not grateful to be married? Of course not. It’s absolutely ok to feel that way. If you struggle with any form of mental health condition, it doesn’t just disappear on your wedding day, embrace it, and know its ok to be feeling that way.
The personalised jacket with ‘It’s amazing what a smile can hide’ on the back is demonstrating exactly that. From the front, the bride with a massive smile on her face looks the happiest as she can be, but do we really know how she is feeling on the inside?
Vows and runner
The vows and arch runner have been personalised to represent the couple completely. This is a way of demonstrating exactly how you are feeling if your mental health condition is something you battle with frequently, then being honest, accepting that and incorporating it into your wedding may help you feel at ease. The vows read:
It’s impossible for me to put into words all the ways you make me feel and all the ways you have changed me and my life for the better. We all get carried away with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but everything you do, I appreciate. I appreciate every smile you give me, and every reassuring hug. You know I need those a lot.
There will be days where I struggle more than usual, days where the depression takes over and I have to fight harder to get out of bed, but I promise I will talk to you about it. I promise that even if I direct my upset and anger at you, it’s not because of you, I know you will understand that. You have seen me on my worst days, days where others may have walked away. Days that I wish to forget, but you managed to be still there.
While I can’t promise to be the best wife on those days, I do promise that I will best the best wife on days I am feeling strong. I promise to always love you, and make sure you know how appreciated you are. I also promise to love myself and be kind to myself. Thank you for supporting me, and loving me.Brides vows
To me, you are everything, everything that I could have wished for and everything I will ever want. I see the pressures you put on yourself to be ok, and you don’t need to. It’s ok not to be ok, it’s ok to have rubbish days and it’s ok not to feel up for doing much.
We have overcome so much together, and we will continue to do so, hand in hand. You are the strongest person I know, and the most caring. I know it upsets you when you think you let me down, but you could never let me down.
Your presence lights up a room and lights up my life.
I love how much you try to make me happy and I love how thoughtful you are. You are my absolute best friend, and I could never be without you.
I promise to love you with compassion, respect, and trust, and I promise I am always here for you, for whatever you may need.Grooms vows
The arch runner read:
The cake and flowers
The cake and flowers are inspired by nature, wildness and eco-friendly vibes. ‘Simple yet eclectic floral decor & minimal, elegant, with a slight touch of boho style.’
The cake made from only natural, local and organic ingredients felt very in touch with the brief and colour pallet. It provides the delicate style that this shoot is all about, but without compromising on style.
The flowers used within this shoot were memory lane roses, burgundy carnations, light pink stocks, protea, eucalyptus, and other foliage. Again, it was all influenced by a delicate style, while the overall look that was being achieved was designed to be free-spirited and whimsical.
My style of floristry is designed to be a wild and light-hearted adventure, without any tight, structured elements. ‘Flowers grow back, even after they are stepped on. So will you’.
The main two crystals used are Amethyst and Titanium aura quartz.
The Amethyst can act as an energetic shield and an ‘aura repairer’ helping to clear the mind of self-defeating thoughts and riding the body of difficult emotions. This is particularly relevant for any couple that may be living with any form of mental health.
The Titanium Aura Quartz is the ultimate ‘clearer’ It makes a path for life force to flow through. Worn directly on the head in a crown in this shoot, this allows the bride to benefit directly from that clearing – from her crown chakra all the way down to her base.
Thank you so much to the talented suppliers below, and especially Rosie for highlighting and lighting the way for people getting married who suffer with mental health issues.
planner/stylist and floral design: rose decor styling / photographer: finn and the fox photography / make up: make up by lular / hair: grace bailey bridal hair / cake: cakes and leaves / stationery & jacket: mama inc studio / bridal dress: morgan davies bridal / crystals: twin flames styling / arch runner: no website but purchase similar on etsy