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To our feminine-identifying readers; this one’s for you. A bridal shoot that truly embraces the reality of womanhood. Something authentic, completely untouched and unapologetic in its doing so is hard to come by in the current bridal world; but this project is just that.

Irregardless of size, colour or style, photographer Sarah Allen and dress designer Sam Stokes wanted to create a collection of images grounded in the earthy depths of the feminine. The shoot beautifully illustrates the multifaceted nature of women and the spectrum of female presentation: they can appear soft, dripping in delicate lace but simultaneously be fierce and strong as they navigate the wilds of New Zealand’s rugged landscape. Or, conversely, they may appear less stereotypically femme, but be an embodiment of all the wonder that is the ‘divine feminine’ in their character.

Embracing the women’s natural beauty, with minimal makeup and self-styled hair, proves an empowering statement alone. To present the women side-by-side, with such a sense of acceptance and appreciation for one another among them, creates a compelling notion too of the power women gain by coming together.

Following the ever increasing number of women re-rooting themselves in the land, re-discovering their deep, ancient feminine values as guardians and protectors of our precious Earth, this shoot, it’s rawness, sense of unbridled empowerment and striking setting feels particularly poignant for our time.

Inspired by The Womens Empowerment Movement, we brought together a small group of rousing women, who previously hadn’t met. Together we collaborated, exploring The Rocks accommodation, which has been designed to incorporate the joys of rural living with a treat of classic style and comfort. Combined with the timeless elegance of Samantha Stokes collection, we resulted in a moody photo shoot with the delicate lace contrasting with the bold rocks and landscape. Our lovely ladies were celebrated for being a little step out of their comfort zone in front of the camera.

Photography: Sarah Allen Photo; The Venue: The Rocks; Dresses: Samantha Stokes Collection

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