It’s so easy to go bright and bold for your wedding (and THIS is how you make it happen), but if that’s not your thing, you can always pull off a more minimal wedding theme that feels just as romantic—and even give it a bit of edge, too. Especially if you have a very, very good muse, like photog Max Koliberdin and Special Day Agency did when dreaming up this moody wedding editorial inspired by the concept of wabi-sabi, or ‘beauty in its most sincere essence’.
“Pare everything down to the essence, but don’t remove the poetry. Keep things clean and unencumbered, but don’t sterilize.” These words of the Japanologist Leonard Koren served as a starting point and a guide to action for the creation of our project. Moreover, they perfectly reflected the work philosophy of our entire team… However, as we usually do in our work, we tried to avoid the literal replication of the traditional style, with the explicit Japanese elements, and the rough imitation of the East. That’s why, we deliberately avoided the kimono, the chopsticks instead of the traditional tableware, and the blooming sakura look. Through our project, we wanted to show just a tender touch of the wabi-sabi that is close enough to the real life, but at the same time is festive enough for a wedding day.
With the shoot taking place in November, the team embraced fall by incorporating simple, minimal hints at the season in the details throughout.
A few notes on the styling by Special Day Agency & Decorate Your Life… In our view, the morning of a couple in love during one of the most important days in their life should be light, informal, and devoid of excessive nervousness. To underline the ease and style of the morning of a bride, we opted out of the traditional lace nightgowns and peignoirs, and instead chose a silk grey top, and slightly shortened harem trousers for her look. Finally, the bed linen, a woolen blanket, a monochrome ink wash painting, and a cup of a green tea completed this look with a touch of warmth and a needed aesthetic.
The natural and textural materials used within their shoot also created a subtle nod to their connection to nature—right down to the natural light film photography.
The grey, beige, along with subdued green and white, are traditional for wabi-sabi, but were also chosen to create an feeling of calm, and they adorned a tabletop designed to be thoughtful and festive, but not too formal.
We love traditions, but at the same time we love to move away from them; that’s why the wedding ceremony was maximally minimalistic and conceptual with the beige branches placed in front of the dark-grey patchy background, and the bride’s gown left white and very simple in design. Her minimalistic jewelry was specifically chosen to simply highlight the needed key accents; in this case we opted for an ivory “water lily” ring, and for “sakura” earrings.
The bride’s second gown, by Tatyana Kochnova, is made from crepe silk. So unique!
Film by meandmywife.
One last note from the team: In this project, just like in any other of our projects, we aimed at preserving the naturalness and closeness of the chosen concept to the real life. We wanted to show the individuality of every detail, while creating the unforgettable beauty without excessiveness, and to preserve the invisible strings that tie all the items in one united whole. That day we caught Zen!
Think we caught it just now, too! Thanks to Max + the talented team below for sharing their creativity…
Photography: Max Koliberdin / Videography: meandmywife / Planning & Creative Direction: Special Day Agency / Styling: Special Day Agency & Decorate Your Life / Florals: Anna Runge & Daniil Borisov / Hair & Makeup: Kate Matyakina / Stationery: Ponch.Me & Krasota v Detalyah / Décor: Decorate Your Life / Decor Rental: Bonrenom / Cake: Yum Baker / Silk Ribbons: Ferns Fairytale / White Dress: Cathy Telle / Grey Dress: Tatyana Kochnova / Silk Top & Bottom: White Chicks / Groom’s Attire: Costume Code