In case you missed it, a few months back, we launched a campaign to end child marriage.
Our campaign went viral.
30 million views on Facebook, four million views on YouTube, 75,000 views on Instagram, tweets from as far as Australia, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Ireland, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Mongolia, coverage on the Daily Mail, A Plus, AJ+ and Mashable and shares from The Huffington Post, Ashton Kutcher and George Takei.
But this wasn't just about creating one viral campaign. It was about making this a cause we continue to champion by keeping up the conversation about child marriage, spreading the word and making change.
Visit our new End Child Marriage resource page for more information on how you can help end child marriage (and use your wedding to do good!).
And now that the dust has settled a bit, we wanted to take a moment to thank all the incredible vendors who so generously gave their time, talents, space and products to our campaign and share a closer look at the details behind this unique shoot.
When you're creating a project around something so sensitive, it can be tricky to get people on board.
Even we were reluctant at first, because as much as we wanted to join up with UNICEF on the issue of child marriage, we were worried we might strike the wrong tone or create something that would jar with our readers.
But as we assembled this crack team of talented wedding vendors, our confidence grew and grew, because not only did we know we were creating something important, but something that would resonate with people around the world.
The simple concept of a beautiful traditional wedding day, a storybook wedding, except for one thing…
The beautiful photographs were taken by Claire Graham Photography. Claire is an insanely talented wedding photographer in both digital and film, and we just knew her delicate, light, and airy style would be the perfect fit for this shoot.
We had a feeling on the day that we were capturing something pretty special, but when the pictures came back, we were blown away by how beautiful, poignant and powerful they were.
Claire worked so quickly and so subtly, we can only imagine how amazing she'd be to have by your side on your big day – check out her fabulous real weddings.
The Styling & Planning
The marvellous Always Andri Wedding Design was the creative whizz behind this shoot. She took our concept to another level, and the moment we told her about what we wanted to do, she had so many ideas.
From planning the colour scheme and recruiting the vendors, to decorating the venue and making all the little details, we could not have done it without her (and her pro planner kit of on-the-day essentials!)
We must give a special shoutout too to Andri's wonderful assistant, Gemma Hallett!
The stationery was beautifully designed by Kate Ruth Romey, who didn't flinch at our odd requests for a wedding menu that had chicken nuggets and jelly and ice-cream!
Her bespoke paper goods really are so unique for each couple she works with, so be sure to check out her site.
This venue was so incredible! Even on the most busy shoot day, with the most unsettling subject matter, we could all do nothing but stand back and marvel at the beauty of Nonsuch Mansion.
Room after room, each space is so grand and elegantly decorated, while the grounds around it are equally enchanting (and we were there on a dull day in November!).
A truly romantic place to get married (and just outside London too!), the light-soaked bridal suite is perhaps our favourite part of this amazing place. The team there are wonderful too.
There were severeal wonderful decor vendors who helped us create the classic, elegant look of our shoot, from the breezy chiffon chair covers with embellished ties to the smart floral arch that was the backdrop for our powerful reveal.
It's not every day the groom of the piece isn't supposed to come across as a dashing hero!
But even though our groom was a faceless figure, it was still so important that he looked the part, and this three piece navy suit by Alexandra Wood Bespoke was smart, sharp, and the perfect fit.
An award-winning Saville Row tailor, we were so thrilled to have Alexandra Wood on hand at the shoot.
The Dress & Accessories
The wonderful Karen of Rock the Frock Bridal was tasked with dressing our bride, which is no easy ask when the requirements are a wedding dress to fit a child, without her looking like a flower girl!
But with this gorgeous vintage dress (it's actually a tea length dress for an adult) we found something timeless and classic, with beautiful lace and a pretty bow.
Rock the Frock is a lovely store brimming with gorgeous gowns, both vintage and vintage-inspired, from some of our very favourite designers.
The crowning glory was this ethereal veil and accessories by Kelly Spence.
The Hair & Make-Up
Lovehair & Co founder, Jo Irving, was such a gem to have on hand at the shoot for hair and make-up (along with her beautiful daughter/chief assistant/bride body double, Georgia).
We're pretty obsessed with following Jo's Instagram for the stunning looks she creates on her brides, and her site is most definitely worth checking out for beauty tips and inspiration for your own big day.
This cake was the skilled work of Ceri of Olofsen Design, who came up with the ingenious idea of using a child's drawing as the cake topper, and adding a chain of daisies (which were actually made from sugar!)
With a background in art and design, her cakes are feats of creativity, skill and engineering, the things she can do with sponge and icing is pretty incredible!
Visit her site for edible marble, floral masterpieces, and tiers upon tiers of texture.
While we haven't named them, to protect their privacy, we have to extend our massive gratitude to our two models for this shoot. They were incredible.
With subject matter that was so sensitive and distressing, this was not the easiest of assignments, and it took a lot of trust and bravery for each of them to take part.
You both rock!
And last but most certainly not least, the video, which got over four million views on YouTube, and was shared by millions on Facebook, all over the world.
This pair are visionaries when it comes to capturing weddings, and they work with some of the coolest couples around, and jet off to the most epic locations to party with them.
It was such an honour to work with them on this campaign, and as you can see when you hit play below, the results were pretty evocative.
Finally of course, we must thank Nic and the social media team at UNICEF for helping us along the way, and for their mammoth effort in making our campaign go viral. We went to visit them at UN HQ in New York when we were over for Bridal Fashion Week last October, and let's just say a UN boardroom is just as cool as an NYC fashion show!
And thank YOU! Each and every person who read, watched or shared our campaign, you guys gave it legs, and we cannot thank you enough!
Find out More about our Campaign
- – Check out our Child Marriage resource page.
- – See our full campaign launch post.
- – Real read stories from child brides.
Shoot Coordinator & Stylist: Always Andri Wedding Design / Photographer: Claire Graham Photography/ Videography: Studio 1208 / Video Music by SuRie & Nick Bentley of Studio 1208/ Venue: Nonsuch Mansion / Special Thanks To: Coco Wedding Venues / Stationery: Kate Ruth Romey / Cake Designer: Olofson Design / Wedding Dress: Rock the Frock Bridal / Suit: Alexandra Wood Bespoke / Bridal Accessories: Kelly Spence / Florist: Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design / Linens: Table To Dine For / Hair and Makeup: Jo Irving LoveHair & Co / Aisle Runner & Chair Covers: Stress Free Hire / Assistant Stylist: Gemma Hallett / Art Direction: Elizabeth & Claire of Bridal Musings
Spread the word. Use the hashtag #endchildmarriage