The stylized shoot was intended to showcase Bermuda's unique wedding style representing several vendors. As the shoot plans progressed, I hired two models to play the roles of bride and groom; they are not a real-life couple. The models are Rachel, a professional local model and entrepreneur, and Ryan, a Para-Olympic hopeful athlete and bartender. I had worked with Rachel before, although I had not yet met Ryan when I asked him to pose for the shoot. After seeing an interview from Bermuda Broadcasting about Ryan’s decision to amputate below the knee after a series of unsuccessful surgeries following a moped accident, I was inspired by his positive approach toward recovery.
The images were shot at my in-laws' property in Hamilton Parish, Bermuda; they were both kind enough to let myself and the other vendors take over their house for the day. I took the detailed shots in my husband's childhood bedroom, and with the french doors wide open, the sunlight beamed onto the Calla Gown, which was loaned to me for the photo shoot from BHLDN's Corporate Office. I arranged the Pearly Black Drape Necklace, earrings, and sash, which I wore for my own wedding, also purchased from BHLDN, on an antique tray my mother had given me.
It’s important to note that not only did my in-laws allow us to take over their house, they also worked for weeks preparing their yard for the shoot! My mother-in-law, Jenny, is a gifted horticulturist, who has a knack for gardening. My father-in-law, Blake, and husband, Jim, are both commercial fisherman by trade, although they also pitched in to “tidy up” the yard for the shoot.
The items that I chose to decorate the table with were also personal choices: the plates, napkins, and cutlery were wedding gifts Jim and I received. The cedar roots, an important tie to the history of Bermuda, and vintage bottles were décor from our wedding. I left all of these items in the hands of Michelle Geary of Flowers by GIMI to arrange them and add her floral touches. When Michelle had finished her arrangements, the words “simply elegant and stunning” came to mind!
With the sunset fast approaching, I re-located our models from the lower garden to the top of the hill, which overlooks the north side of the island and has a stunning view of the sunset. The glow of the setting sun through the fluffy Bermudian clouds did not disappoint!
Words and photos by Melanie Fiander of Fiander Foto
Photographer | Fiander Foto
Location | Private residence - Hamilton Parish, Bermuda
Bride model | Rachel Swanden
Groom model | Ryan Gibbons
Bride's Gown | BHLDN
Bride's Floral Crown and Bouquet | Flowers by GIMI
Styling | Michelle Geary of Flowers by GIMI
Groom's Bermuda Shorts | TABS
Groom's Blazer | The English Sports Shop
Seamstress | Gail Musson of the English Sports Shop
Hair | Jenn Doe of Studio Wedding Hair Bermuda
Makeup | Keisha Ramsay of Chrysalis Cosmetics
Video | Lara D. Smith of LDS Multimedia
With over fifteen years of photographic experience, Melanie Fiander of Fiander Foto offers a professional, fun, and unobtrusive approach to destination wedding photography. Melanie is based out of two unique locations, Bermuda and Washington D.C., although she travels around the globe to photograph weddings.
Shot in both the photojournalistic and traditional styles, her images capture the special and unique moments of your big day, which will be looked at and enjoyed for generations to come!