love letters from WWI

From Claire Marika Photography “The drawers in my family’s ancestral home in Alsace France are filled with letters. Among them are the love letters written between my great-aunt Madeleine Dethorey and her first husband Pierre while he was a soldier in World War I. He never made it home from the Battle of Verdun and she became a widow at 23. In this shoot I wanted to re-imagine a different ending to their story…”

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From Claire Marika Photography – “We worked to invoke a time when words on paper and the small mementos and perfumes folded between pages were all we had of each other when apart.

I wanted to convey two different moods with this shoot. The first being absence, and the second the joy of reunion. It’s hard for me to imagine what it must have been like for Madeleine. The waiting and hoping that she would have experienced while she and Pierre were separated.

They wrote to each other daily, and those letters formed the basis of my inspiration for the shoot. We re-created Madeleine’s room with sparse antique furniture, original photos and mementos, a writing desk, and of course, love letters.”

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From Claire Marika Photography – “For the second portion of the shoot, we imagined what might have happened if Pierre had returned to Madeleine after the war. What joy they would have felt at being reunited. We researched the wedding traditions of that time and let history guide our aesthetic.

Annie crafted a paper suite using wording from wedding invitations of the time and delicate handmade paper (check back tomorrow for a DIY tutorial!), Val created a bridal bouquet using blooms and styling that was favored in the early 20th century, Cassidy made a gorgeous traditional crepe cake, 4×5 film photographer Alisha Stamper took heirloom portraits of the couple, and Martha brought together all of the details to create an ethereal, romantic scene inspired by history and love.”

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Photography: Claire Marika Photography // Styling & Design: Martha Hatfield // Floral: Flower Afternoon // Handmade Paper: Remnant Paper // 4×5 Film Photography: Alisha Stamper // Cake: Flour and Flourish // Paper Suite: Wildfield Paper Co. // Hair & Makeup: Vivian Makeup Artist // Jewelry: Heidi Gibson // Gown: Mary’s Bridal // Veil: Gossamer Vintage // Vintage China & Linens: Blue Bird Vintage Rentals // Vintage Furniture: Perfect Statement // Models: Miisskates and BennyWright.

Arabian Wedding Academy
About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much Sara! We are absolutely thrilled to be featured on your beautiful site!

  2. Makes me think of Atonement. If you haven’t seen the film, you must!

  3. This is perfect and so sweet. Love the colors and how they tie in with the letters, too.

  4. Sabrina says:

    This is my favorite back story of all time!

  5. So romantic!