Wedding suits are some of our favorite projects. Matching fabrics to the overall wedding aesthetic, inviting the groom and groomsmen for a fitting…it’s a joy, and a true privilege to be part of the couple’s big day. We were recently invited to participate in a styled wedding shoot, and it was an honor to have one of our custom burgundy wedding suits featured in a lead role.
A Perfectly-Tailored Stage
Completed in 1937, the Castle Amphitheater was built as a recreation center for the Utah State Hospital in Provo … one of many public works projects funded with New Deal cash during the Great Depression.
With jagged battlements, orange shocks of pyracantha, arched doorways, and the kind of rakish shadows that cameras love best, the Castle Amphitheater remains one of the most picturesque venues along the Wasatch Front. It serves as a fitting backdrop for photographer Haylee Mazankowski’s debut styled shoot “Noel Castle.”
Building Drama and Old-School Style
An important milestone in her budding photography career, this was Mazankowski’s first “styled shoot” (one in which the photographer dictates theme, subject-matter, props and setting in a controlled and thoughtful approach).
She had previously completed a number of nuptial projects, including a bridal shoot at the old cottonwood mill and an engagement session at Maybird Gulch. “I’m a huge fan of stone,” she added. “Stone walls, large boulders, et cetera. The Castle Amphitheater was the right fit for this shoot … I was pretty much in heaven.”
The vision for the shoot developed partly in response to the environment’s natural drama, and partly from Mazankowski’s affinity for photographing weddings.
“I realized I am obviously a sucker for love and vulnerability!” It was only natural to choose a bride and groom as subjects for this one. And since styled shoots allow for substantial creative freedom, Mazankowski wanted “to create something old school yet magical with an element of surprise.”
The shots themselves carry mystique and a dreamy thematic haze. A sense of seasonality is present as well, as seen in the Christmas lights and the ornaments dangling from the bouquet. The custom tailored suit and the slim-fitting gown beckon to days gone by, while the pitch black fabric of the dress contrasts abruptly with all things traditional.
With the stage queued and the vision well-formed, Mazankowski recruited a small handful of vendors to fill-out the retinue.
The often scene-stealing bouquet was arranged by florist Natalie Wuthrich, who on a number of occasions had been enthusiastically recommended to Mazankowski by mutual clients. “She picked a gorgeous combo, and was very kind.”
Talia Whatcott, who Mazankowski knew had a penchant for creating “beautiful dramatic eyes” brought great nuance to the shoot’s hair and makeup for model Oakley McMullin. “I’ve seen nothing but great work from her.”
Tailor Cooperative worked closely with Mazankowski and with model Brae McMuillin to design and craft the custom tailored wedding suit, in burgundy wool, with cream accent threads and surgeon’s cuffs. The need for custom fit and style was paramount, and we were thrilled to assist.
With one styled shoot under her belt, Haylee Mazankowski is next planning to get out of the cold with an engagement shoot on El Matador Beach, in California. We wish her the best, and want to thank her for showing our work in such great light.
And to Brae McMullin…thanks for wearing it so well!
If you would like to learn more about anyone involved in the Noel Castle 2017 shoot, their work can be seen on Instagram:
|Stylist & Photographer: @hayleemaz|
Models: @Shorty_high_pockets & @braekwon_the_chef
Hair & Makeup Artist: @taliawhatcottmua
Venue: Provo Castle Amphitheater