Arabian Days inspiration shoot by Jose Villa

Categories   Wedding Fashion, Wedding Inspiration

Your week is not complete until you’ve set eyes on Caleb the Camel, and peered into the mind of the seamlessly artistic Cortnie of Canvas & Canopy. So, might we recommend a photo shoot to haunt your oh-my-goodness-I-want-everything-in-that-shoot-to-be-in-my-wedding dreams? Alright then. We just couldn’t resist from sharing such a beaut after seeing the spread in the latest issue of Rue, shot by the incredible Jose Villa. Lucky for us, Cortnie couldn’t wait to share all the deets on how her travels to Egypt inspired the shoot!

arabian days inspiration shoot

arabian days inspiration shoot

arabian days inspiration shoot

arabian days inspiration shoot

The true inspiration for the tablescape came from the history of Egypt itself. I was so inspired by my travels to Egypt and Jordan – by all of the ancient history, artifacts and archaeological digs.

arabian days inspiration shoot

The inspiration behind the color palette came from observing how the Bedouin people of both Egypt and Jordan don their camels with brightly colored garb to serve as a colorful contrast against the stark desert. Muted grays, mustards and reds of the Wadi Rum desert were toned down, while pops of bright pink peonies served as our bold Bedouin inspiration.

arabian days inspiration shoot

For lounge décor, La Partie Events filled small bowls with vibrantly-colored spices gathered from the spice markets of Egypt & Jordan. Not only were we inspired to incorporate the raw textured sheets of papyrus, but we were really excited to use them to wrap votives and vases in. They provided the perfect texture, and we loved the way the soft candlelight peeked through.

arabian days inspiration shoot

We returned from our travels with a few alabaster vases and objects – a huge handicraft for Egyptians, and used them as containers on the table. We then scattered rock fossils and old pieces of crumbled buildings onto the table.

arabian days inspiration shoot

We incorporated gold bracelets bought from the streets of Jordan/Egypt onto the napkins – channeling a bit of Cleopatra herself. The raw earthenware plates we paired with the napkins that looked like they could have just been uncovered in an archeological dig worked perfectly.We loved the gilded gold contrast against the raw earthy archaeological table we were creating.

Momental Designs hand painted triangular pyramid like shapes onto papyrus menus and crafted papyrus napkin treatments that we wrapped around each napkin. We loved the papyrus plant so much that we incorporated it into the arrangements as well.

arabian days inspiration shoot

Large wicker peacock throne chairs were our updated version of the thrones of the Kings.

arabian days inspiration shoot

It doesn’t get any better than this. A dream team of professionals collaborating on such a shoot = the perfect amount of eye candy to get us through the weekend. Happy Friday, Cakelets!

Photography: Jose Villa / Wardrobe & Decor: Canvas & Canopy / Beauty: Team Hair & Makeup / Floral Design: La Partie Events / Stationery: Momental Designs / Production Coordination: Be Inspired PR / Wardrobe: provided by Bona Drag

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Social Love

Megan Fickling on Jul 29, 2011

Thanks so much for featuring our shoot! Meg, La Partie Events

Lisa on Jul 29, 2011

This was my favorite shoot in Rue... I couldn't even vote for a cover because I loved both shots so much! Love seeing all the stunning pictures again :) Lisa P.S. I think you mean the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan...might just be a typo?

jillian on Jul 29, 2011

all of the gold touches are so pretty and exotic! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

Lacie Hansen on Jul 29, 2011

AMAZING!!!!! LOVE this shoot!!!!!

Lindsey on Jul 29, 2011

stunning! this is sooo beautiful =)

.modern vintage bride on Jul 29, 2011

Gosh Jose Villa is such a genius. I wish he did London weddings!

seesaw on Jul 29, 2011


Canvas & Canopy Events on Jul 29, 2011

Thanks so much for this feature! It was a fun adventure creating this!

jose villa on Jul 29, 2011

thank you ladies for the feature.. it was one of the most exciting shoots i've ever shot.. and of course cortnie, mar and meg killed it!!

Jesse on Jul 29, 2011

This shoot is stunning! Cortnie.....beautiful job on the design I think it really helped that you had traveled to Egypt. Jose, once again, beautiful shots.....the whole team did an awesome job, these are the type of pics you want to look over again and again!

Patrice of Wedding Ideas Now on Jul 29, 2011

Love the all white with the pop of pink on the tables. Love, love, loved the white gowns!!

Deidre on Jul 29, 2011

Wow! This shoot is incredible! The entire team that put this together is so amazingly talented! Old Egypt meets a modern glam Egypt was translated impeccably! This makes me want to step into the pages and be transported to this beautiful place!!

Jasmine on Jul 29, 2011

This is an amazing shoot. I love the Egyptian theme. Thanks for sharing with us!

Little Bookworm on Jul 29, 2011

so gorgeous! I especially love the blonde woman's hairstyle xx

Jason+Gina on Jul 29, 2011

Beautiful... down to the smallest detail. Love the fuchsia accent color.

Josh Gruetzmacher on Jul 29, 2011

Unbelievable. I loved the shots in Rue, but there were so many other awesome photos! This shoot is amazing! A home run for everyone who work on it.

Jen on Jul 29, 2011

Jose never ceases to amaze me! Mar, the hare is stunning and the styling is incredible! Well done!!

cécile on Jul 29, 2011

Oooooh!.... I love dresses!...

Señor Wences on Jul 29, 2011

SERENA on Jul 29, 2011

Wow! I am speechless. This is so stunning and gorgeous!

Mike Larson on Jul 29, 2011

Sweet post, so very original and I love it. The votives and vases look like the hand made alabaster we got in Egypt last year! Excellent work!

Erica Ann Photography on Jul 30, 2011

oh. My. Gosh. Unbelievable. Draw Dropping!

a suburban ktichen on Jul 31, 2011

Love these shots. I want to be there now. Just gorgeous.

Southall Eden Farm Weddings on Jul 31, 2011

WOW. This is seriously one of the most amazing inspiration shoots I have ever seen!

Sarah {A Paper Proposal} on Jul 31, 2011

Gorgeous photography, as always! I'm loving the soft braided hairstyles and the accessories on the models, as well!

anna on Jul 31, 2011

Really? 25 comments and only one so far questions the choice to divorce these aesthetic elements entirely from their origins, meaning, people, culture, etc?

Rachel Marie Photography on Jul 31, 2011

Jose Villa's work is always amazing! The details of this shoot are beyond amazing, and the camel just throws it over the top.

Hillary on Jul 31, 2011

Love the photos, everything is gorgeous! Anyone know who designed the white/chain beaded belt shown in some of the photos? I went to Bona Drag's site but it's not on their.

Lotta_heylook on Aug 1, 2011

This is pure perfection!

littlewinterbride on Aug 1, 2011

beautiful photographs. and that braid! love this style

Sadieryn on Aug 1, 2011

I am generally in awe of the beautiful work you post on 100 Layer Cake. However, within the political context of the Egyptian pro-democracy movement and enduring struggles and violence in Syria, this post seems to strip rather than enhance the beauty and meaning of Egyptian or Jordanian culture. I would love to see a post highlighting an Arab-American wedding!

SERENA on Aug 1, 2011

Interesting comments. Take culture out of the inspiration of fashion and home decor and what are you left with? The runways are filled with clothing inspired from Africa, Asia, Europe, etc. As well as home decor in which Moroccan pillows, textiles from around the world and crafts from all sorts of cultures inspire designers. This is no different, in fact I think it's beautiful that my culture is being celebrated in this way and I was excited to see alabaster on the tables! If nobody was inspired by my culture & religion I would be much more saddened than seeing it celebrated.

Anne @ Rue on Aug 1, 2011

Thanks so much to the 100 Layer Cake gals for sharing these bonus pics from our cover shoot! Working with Jose, Cortnie, Meg, Mar and the rest of the team was an absolute dream---and the result is simply mind blowing! Next time...we think a field trip to shoot in Egypt for REAL is in order :)

Wedding Singer Los Angeles on Aug 2, 2011

Great concept! The photos and the theme are very enchanting. Would love to see a real wedding like this.

catherine angela on Aug 2, 2011

one of the lace dresses is LOVER's 'muse lace dress' II have it in nude and I love it to death!

jayma on Aug 2, 2011

I am obsessed with those wicker peacock thrones. Also all of the dresses are absolutely gorgeous.

Gill Maheu on Aug 8, 2011

WOW !!! That says it all i think ... Stunning!

Susannah VanDyke {Lukas VanDyke Photography} on Aug 11, 2011

Ahhhhh... I LOVE it!!!!!!!!

Sonia Sharma on Oct 31, 2011

LOVE THIS! Such an inspiration!

Tracey Manailescu on Aug 12, 2012

This is absolutely stunning! Different and breath taking. Well done!

Alexandra on Nov 17, 2012

This guy is SO incredibly talented

Kyla on Oct 7, 2013

Beautiful! where are these dresses from? I love the one with the wing-themed belt -- i'd love to purchase it as my wedding dress!

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