Modern Opulence in the Fairmont Empress

The newly renovated, historic Bengal Lounge of the Fairmont Empress sets the tone for this British Colonial-inspired shoot (as feat. in Real Weddings) The well-travelled look suits the Fairmont Empress well - having been a cornerstone of iconic Victoria for over a century, the Bengal Lounge was first built in 1912 as a reading and writing room for hotel guests. In 1954, it was renamed the Coronet Lounge, becoming the first cocktail lounge in Victoria.

Although the Fairmont Empress has since undergone a century-wide series of transformations, it will always be considered the ultimate splendour lounge here in Canada’s capital city.

Inspired by the romance of a bygone era, our collaborative team of Vancouver Island creatives decided upon as the Bengal Lounge as the perfect backdrop for a British-Colonial style shoot.

Behind the lens was Dragonlight Photography, with florals by Platinum Floral Designs, décor rentals by Trend Decor and BASH Specialty, stationery by Emma Allen Photography+Design, planning by Emma McCormick, and many more of the island’s top-tier wedding talent (see below for full list of creatives).

The dramatic, coffered ceilings and mahogany and brass finishings offset the Indo-English inspired jewel tones; capturing the adventuring spirit of yesterday’s British colonizers. Bringing their traditional English decor with them as they travelled, they would add items from their travels as they built their new empires.

To capture this wordly look, we selected none other than the opulent Velvet - Navy linen.


The rest of the concept came together beautifully. Staying true to historic British Colonial style, the dramatic floral installations took centre stage; a mix of flowers and foliage both familiar and exotic. Details were everything; from the elaborate, brass-accented stationary suite, to the signature martini matching the bride’s fuschia lip color (no doubt, in homage to the lounge’s famed martini bar history!).

Two unexpected design motifs - formality and the tropics - meet in the renowned lounge; for a timeless, contemporary look. This shoot is a true testament to the creative vision of some of our industry’s leading wedding talents; proof that with the right team, you can bring any theme to life. Need inspiration for yours?

See the full feature in, see here.



Photographer: Dragonflight Photography Planning: Emma McCormick Venue: Bengal Room at the Fairmont Empress Florist: Platinum Floral Designs Décor Rentals: Trend Decor and BASH Specialty Stationary: Emma Allen Photography + Design Linens: Faire La Fête Gown & Jewelry: The White Peony Shoes: Gianvito Rossi from Saks Fifth Avenue Ring: Vanna K Suit: Hughes Clothing Makeup Artist: Erica Harris Hair Stylist: Mirjana Rousseau for Shampoo Hair Bar Cake: Executive Pastry chef AJ Thalakkat for Fairmont Empress Cocktails: Provided by Q Bar at Fairmont Empress Models: Madelines Anderson & Jackson