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Inspiration

Need some bridal inspiration that'll make your melanin pop like there's no tomorrow? Take a look at this bridal portrait styled shoot orchestrated by detail-oriented women of color. Sure, centerpieces and decor matter, but there's no way a bride wants those features to steal all the attention on her big day. That's why we love this bride-focused styled shoot. It shows us that black women can rock traditional princess gowns along with their natural beauty. The model in this shoot simply took our breath away with her tiered lace skirt, veil and flower crown, as well as her striking nude and burgundy-tinged makeup that prove chocolate is the sweetest shade. Not to mention, the lush green backdrops and castle-like architecture that add a touch of royalty to the overall look of this shoot. Check out how you can become the belle of the ball on your wedding day with this gracefully styled shoot captured at the Dogwood Dell in Richmond, Virginia by Kierra Henderson and Rachel May of Taylored Grace Photography

Agape Love Events, a Virginia-based event planning and coordination company teamed up with a handful of talented vendors to bring this effortlessly beautiful portrait session to life. Here is what Kierra Henderson of Taylored Grace Photography had to say about collaborating with Agape Love Events for this gorgeous black bride-focused styled shoot:

"We were all meant to shine -- to glow. No matter how small you think your light is, no amount of darkness can ever overcome it. When you glow, you overcome gloom. When you shine, you overtake shadows. So why not show the world your light? Your beauty, and your brilliance? So many times we have felt the pain, the burden, and the ridicule of being black women. These are our shadows. But when we celebrate our gorgeousness, our texture, our pigments, our fierceness, our tenacity, our grace, and our love, we shine the light on what we are truly made of. This is how we glow. These images were created by women of color for women of color. They are permission granters. You have been granted permission to be all that you were created to be. You are represented. Your individual light is as brilliant as a star in the heavens. And when we collectively shine our light, just as the stars do, together we become an awe-inspiring wonder to behold. This is how we glow."

Shoot location: Dogwood Dell, Richmond, Virginia

Shoot theme: This shoot was inspired by the gorgeousness of black women. It was designed to showcase how effortlessly beautiful a black bride could be. I wanted to keep the details understated to let our model Gloria's beauty take center stage, so we choose not to use jewelry, and our makeup artist used rich yet natural tones that enhanced Gloria's natural glow. Gloria's hair is in a natural puff, a simple style staple for natural women. When we added the flower crown, it was the perfect accessory that draws the eye to Gloria's face underneath the drop veil. 

Color combinations: Ivory, natural green, and of course melanin!

Favorite Detail: A favorite detail from this shoot is the flower crown. It adds an interesting layer of delicacy and femininity. The ivory flower crown paired with the ivory gown work together to harness the richness of Gloria's skin tone. They are like bookends to her melanin and the keep the eye circulating on her face, neck, and shoulders. 

Decor Details:


The bridal gown is always one of the most important details. We choose a gown that made a statement with its ivory color, which contrasted with Gloria's ebony skin beautifully. The neckline of this gown revealed just enough to be wowed by the deep tones of Gloria's skin. The gown's lacey layers fell beautifully on the stairs at the Dogwood Dell's Carrilon. I choose this location because of its grand staircases, and it's regal balcony, which is all set in front of a scene of mature trees in a rich green yard. The final touch was an ivory bouquet made of roses and eucalyptus. These flowers married the colors from the surrounding nature to the elegant bridal ivory flawlessly. 

The women involved in this styled shoot were all women of color entrepreneurs. This shoot was even nicknamed #BlackGirlMagic. Our main motive was to bring more representation of black brides and to show the world that we are "bridal beautiful" just as is. 

We can't get enough of this gorgeous styled shoot. Share your favorite details in the comments below.