This Wes Anderson-Themed Wedding Is Unbearably Charming
I think we're just gonna have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that.
Indiana-based photographer Jennifer Van Elk and her husband have been Wes Anderson fans for years. Recently, she had the idea to create a stylized wedding shoot that was a perfect homage to the twee filmmaker.
The shoot, styled in part by Ashleigh Fisher of AWF Events, took place at The Inn at Irwin Gardens in Columbus, Indiana, and was largely inspired by Anderson's film The Royal Tenanbaums.
The models' poses, the color grading, and the rooftop shots of the bride and groom were all nods to the 2001 film.
Vendors from all over the country came to help with the shoot, which will be featured in an upcoming issue of Utterly Engaged magazine.
"Each detail was chosen to be a reflection of Wes Anderson's characters and the scenes of many of his movies," the 29-year-old Van Elk, who owns Jennifer Van Elk Photography with her husband, Steven, told BuzzFeed Life.
"When it comes to the cinematography in his movies, I love the symmetry and the unconventional composition of love scenes," she said. "Personally, his main characters are a huge inspiration for me."
Because the shoot was so cinematic, Van Elk also decided to use actors instead of models. “Since we were creating a shoot inspired by movies, it was important to create emotion and movement within the images,” she explained.
Other details pulled from Anderson's films include the color scheme from The Grand Budapest Hotel, she told BuzzFeed Life. The invitation also resembles the movie poster.
The way the details were shot, like the campfire and the bride's dress, were all a reference to Moonrise Kingdom.
The elephant detail and the suitcase were inspired by The Darjeeling Limited, and the baby blue details and clam details were from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
"Even the details and meals on the menu card reflect what we thought would be served at a wedding in a Wes Anderson movie," Van Elk told BuzzFeed Life.
She added, "Although we used a lot of inspiration from his other movies, our whole goal was to create a collection that looked like Wes Anderson planned a wedding for his characters for our current time period by putting a creative twist on some of the details."
Van Elk's favorite part of the whole shoot were the flowers, provided by florist The Farmer's Daughters' Market.
"Picking a location to capture that detail and re-arranging the surrounding area of the Inn at Irwin Gardens was the most fun for me just because I loved the look of the flowers so much," she said.
"I love that Wes Anderson's characters are redeemable," Van Elk added. "I like the idea that everyone, no matter how shallow or deep, is redeemable."
Though the shoot looks pretty flawless, the photographer's "favorite challenge" was mimicking Wes Anderson's lighting.
"A lot of the shots are done with controlled light sources instead of natural light, which is atypical for wedding photography," she said. "So it was a challenge to meld the look and feel of Wes Anderson's shots with the look and feel of a wedding shoot."
But she said she was "pretty happy with the outcome."
The couple's love for Anderson is a fond memory for both of them, after they each named The Royal Tenenbaums as their favorite movie after they met.
"Steve still brings this up from time to time as an example of how we knew right away that we were perfect for each other," Van Elk said, "though I hold that he actually said Bottle Rocket."