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Creative Shoots

Head In The Clouds. Riki Dalal for a Santorini Elopement Creative Shoot

Sarah Symonds

Let’s leave the latest lockdown news behind us today and jet off to (usually) sunny Santorini for a styled shoot full of dreamy Greek scenes and softly lit romance.

We are literally salivating at the thought of hopping on a plane and flying off to sunnier climes, and it doesn’t get much more idyllic and laid back than the Greek island of Santorini. For UNVEILED Network Member Sarah Taylor, it was a dream location. She’d always fancied setting up a shoot over there and now seemed like as good a time as any! Especially with it being such a quiet time for weddings and for the tourism industry. With oddly empty streets and an uncharacteristic but gentle rainfall, the results are pure magic.

If this shoot doesn’t have you packing your bags and rushing to book an elopement or destination wedding for 2022, we don’t know what will! The palette of pale pink, sky blue and grey, coupled with the classic whitewashed Greek buildings, has set a beautiful colour scheme and the shots of the couple high up in the rooftops make it seem as though they’re practically floating on air. It’s simple but it’s stunning.

See for yourself as we speak to Sarah about the process and concept behind the images…

With images by UNVEILED Network Member Sarah Taylor


Sarah says: This whole shoot was designed to inspire couples who want to plan an adventurous elopement with more than a hint of understated luxury and a relaxed vibe. Throwing away the rule book and stripping back to what is important. I nicknamed the shoot ‘Head In The Clouds’, with it’s beautifully clean minimalistic styling and romantic touches, cloud-like florals in a neutral palette with hints of sky hues; pinks and blues. I wanted to allow romance and love to be the highlight, against the idyllic background of quiet 2020 Santorini. It really was surreal to be there when it was so quiet and we even managed to get a cloudy (but also extremely windy!) day which really tied in with the softer romantic, dreamy look I was going for! The elopements and micro weddings of 2020 really have been so special and unique, I feel like it is one positive from this year, to remember what is important.


I have always wanted to do a shoot in Santorini, Greece. It has been on the bucket list for quite some time. Although it was challenging to do my first destination styled shoot in this current climate, it was so amazing to be there when it was so peaceful and quiet! It is such a breathtaking place, and we really got to take in every last bit of it with it being so quiet. The shoot took place in the gorgeous town of Oia, at Canaves Suites, a resort that has been named as one of Conde Nast’s Travellers’ best in the world! The minimalist decor and famous white buildings added to the dream-like feel and the breathtaking view from Canaves Suites ceremony balcony is unmatched. The trendy and authentic feel of the resort blends modern and traditional interiors, complete with the amazing infinity pool! It really is a beautiful oasis for a romantic elopement or small wedding.


The floral arch and bouquet were the centerpiece to this shoot, I briefed Kostas from Red Box Days about how I wanted cloud-like textures mixing both fresh and dried flowers in tones of blues and pinks. The concept was to be feminine yet wild, I wanted to create a romantic, wanderlust vibe for the trend driven couple. This also was reflected in the contrast of a floaty feminine gown on a bride with a unique short cut hairstyle, completed with the celestial statement piece head crown from Lucky Sixpence to complement this feminine yet fashion forward, modern shoot. The stationery from Paige’n’Co was a clean, minimalist design complete with gold foiling of moons and stars to provide that luxury feel. The bride’s jewellery was supplied by gorgeous ethical jewellery brand Loft and Daughter, incorporating more subtle layering of gold accents into the styling.


The bride wore a Riki Dalal gown which was my first pick for the shoot. UNVEILED Network Member Rebecca from Hummingbird Bridal Studio did a fantastic job of picking out the gown that matched my vision from the mood board of a feminine and effortlessly glamorous dress. A delicate 3D flower embroidery lace dress with two thigh high slits and the plunging V neckline and back. The groom wore a stone linen suit from John Lewis, we included a white collared shirt for the more formal aspects of the day and a white plain t-shirt to show a more relaxed feel, to let grooms know that they too can have their unique spin on their chosen attire.


As the bride has a short hairstyle, we wanted to keep her day makeup to nude tones and just add a pop of colour with a red lip for the evening shots. The bride’s short hairstyle was slicked back to further highlight the statement crown by The Lucky Sixpence. This shoot would appeal to couples that are unique and think a little differently to what is considered the norm. For brides that make their own rules and want a day that is all about what makes them unique as individuals and as a couple.


The shoot day certainly had unusual conditions, rather than your typical Santorini bright, sunshine day. It was windy and overcast and even rained! I couldn’t help but laugh as I saw the staff of Canaves Suites rushing to take all the outdoor cushions inside and taking down the umbrellas because of the wind – it seemed yet another thing was against us this year. However, this actually turned out to be a highlight for this shoot as it created that softer romantic imagery and dream-like feel which was absolutely perfect for the ‘head in the clouds’ concept I had and we are all so happy with the final result. We didn’t get the famous sunset but who can be that disappointed when dusky pink skies form in its place? It was so magical and another example of something which can quickly be seen as a negative, actually creating something beautiful and unique. A great inspiration to show what couples can achieve when they are open to adapting their original visions. They say that the hardest things are often the most rewarding and this shoot definitely had its moments while we were organising it, but it turned out to be a career highlight in the end.

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