Inspired by an era of glitz and glamour, we were thrilled to be a part of this Art Deco wedding themed photoshoot in April 2019. Organised by the director of Onyx Weddings and Events, Sarah Bell brought together a wonderful team of suppliers to create this charming shoot at the Crowne Plaza Liverpool Hotel
The Crowne Plaza is near to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, named after the famous Beatles musician. The building that is now the hotel was built in the 1930s and was originally the airport terminal building. In 1986, the terminal was relocated to a more modern building and the original building was left neglected for over a decade.
Although at first this venue may sound unsuitable for the backdrop of a sleek and glamourous photoshoot, it is actually a Grade II listed building and was transformed into an exquisite hotel that opened for business in 2001. The 1930s architecture remains, and within the interior design you will find bold, geometric patterns that reflect the Art Deco influences of the building’s infrastructure.
The area known as the terminal apron is the space where aircraft are parked, boarded and refuelled. Although this apron is no longer in use, it has been well looked after. It is home to a group of vintage aeroplanes, including the Percival Prince, an aircraft with a twin-engine that was used in the post-war period and is featured in the photographs of this shoot.
Another part of the building that is shown in the shoot is the former air traffic control tower. With its yellowy coloured bricks, gigantic size and prominent black clock hands, it is quite striking to gaze upon. The couple standing below look miniature in comparison.
‘Gatsby Glitz’ is the title of this shoot and refers to the name of the main character in one of Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby. The character’s full name is Jay Gatsby, and, in the narrative, he is a millionaire that holds the biggest, fanciest and most extravagant parties – think fireworks, sequins, champagne, feathers and stylish retro cars. The book was published in 1925, right in the midst of this hedonistic lifestyle.
The extravagance of the Art Deco period is highlighted in the colour palette of this photoshoot. Colours that symbolise opulence and luxury like aubergine purple, maroon, burnt orange, sapphire blue, peacock green, gold, silver and black can all be found within the venue’s décor and styling of the models.
Finer details make the photographs compelling to look through. For example, the chairs of the ceremonial room are covered with black velvet material and each is fastened at the back with a peacock feather and silver embellishment. The aisle is lined with glass cylinders that are filled with water and blue marbles. Lit candles are floating on top.
Black silk conceals the table beneath and at either end, opaque glass vases hold magnificent faux, black, Ostrich feathers that are decorated with beads of pearls. Shimmering gold leaf candlesticks are dotted along the centre of the table. Textured gold placemats with black ceramic plates on top also add to the table décor. Even the crockery is gold in colour and the wine glasses have a panel of gold detailing around the rim of each glass.
Debbie Gillespie Cake Design built a bespoke three-tier cake for this shoot; the bottom tier black, the second-tier grey with a marble effect and the top tier white. The cake was decorated with a black ribbon and delicate silver, blue and pearl floral motifs embellished the cake. Bramble Sky Event Décor supplied a geometric stand that framed the cake superbly. The combination of the frame, colouring and embellishments made the cake a centre piece to remember and captured the essence of the Art Deco period.
There is a running peacock theme that is especially highlighted within the flat lays of this photoshoot and the bouquet. Designed by Sugar Crush Weddings, the stationery has peacock feather illustrations and sea blue text. The stationary is laid out on a blackboard with decorative peacock feathers and navy-blue ribbons. Maddison Rocks used black coloured roses, peacock feather adornments and gold beading to craft the striking bouquet. All these different resources create interesting and varied textures within the photos.
The shape of a peacock’s plume of feathers is a popular motif within the Art Deco design period. Not only do the colours of a peacock represent lavishness and royalty but the bird also flaunts its exquisite beauty by fanning out its feathers. Although this is a mating ritual, it could be considered a sign of vanity which is certainly a way to describe some of the youth of the 1920s. Peacocks also symbolise awakening and vision, due to the eye like feature on their feathers. The soft shape is a wonderful contrast to that of the rigid geometric forms often found in Art Deco patterns.
London Victorian Ring Co felt that the ‘Unusual Sapphire Engagement Ring with Swirls of Diamonds’ was the perfect ring to be used in this shoot. The round brilliant-cut, Ceylon blue sapphire weights 0.88 carat and is surrounded by 0.51 carat of round brilliant-cut diamonds. This style was introduced in the first half of the 20th century and reached popularity during the Art Deco period.
The embrace of diamonds is similar to the shape of a Milky Way Galaxy as the diamonds spiral round as if they have been captured by the pull of the enticing ‘sapphire black hole’.
Ceylon blue describes a shade of blue that is rich in pigment. Wearing this colour would have been a way to symbolize your status due to its association with luxury. The sixteen surrounding diamonds add extra sparkle and complete this statement ring design.
Looking through the photos from this shoot feels like you have stepped back in time. Each team member executed every aspect to the finest of details and the outcome is a Gatsby glitz success!
Photographer: Hannah Beth www.annabeth.photos @annabeth.photo
Venue: Crowne Plaza, John Lennon Airport www.cpliverpool-johnlennonairport.co.uk @cpliverpoolairport
Planner: Sarah Bell www.onyxeventplanning.co.uk @onyxweddings_events
Venue Dressing: Karen Scott www.krnevents.co.uk @krnevents
Bouquet & Button Hole: Jane www.etsy.com/ukshop/MaddisonRocks @maddison.rocks.floral
Cake Props: Kate Palmer-Irani www.brambleskyeventdecor.co.uk @bramblesky2014
Stationery: www.sugarcrushweddings.com @sugarcrushweddings
Dress: Claire Sugar www.thebridalsuitecheshire.co.uk @thebridalsuitecheshire1
Faux Fur Stole: www.helenmoore.com @helenmooreengland
Hair Accessories: Heidi Reid www.gloriousbyheidi.com @gloriousbyheidi
Hair: Jess @riverwillow_hair
Makeup: Kelly Ager
Cake: Debbie Gillespie
China/Cutlery & Glassware Hire: www.whitehousecrockery.co.uk @whitehouse_crockery
Groomswear: www.whitfieldandward.co.uk @whitfieldandward
Kyndall Perry @omgkix Harry Scott @harryscottliverpool