If you’re looking for ethereal and majestic bridal pieces for your wedding day, look no further. Meet Susan Gadegaard from Allingåbro in Denmark. She is the self-taught designer behind the gorgeous bridal items of Gadegaard Design. Inspired by her life in the Danish countryside, she has captured the essence of nature and delicate textures to create perfect couture accessories for that special day. Together with her photographer Tina Liv, the beautiful intricacy of her work is unmistakable.
Read on to find out how her own wedding in 2007 opened her up to a whole new world of creativity, glamor and lace – and also, what goes down during a traditional Danish wedding.
What made you decide to join Zibbet?
I was looking for a platform where it wouldn’t require me to set up an entirely new shop. It looked like it would be easy on Zibbet, as the whole shop could be copied from my already existing Etsy shop. I hope to reach even more clients here.
Tell us about how you came to design create bridal pieces.
When my husband proposed to me in 2007, it opened up a whole new world of creativity – a world of lace, crystals and glamor. As we planned our wedding, I found myself making invitations by hand, crafting favors, and of course, designing my own veil and jewelry.
By the time we were married in 2009, I had completely fallen in love with making headpieces. Even after my wedding had passed, I continued making new pieces, focusing on unique designs that weren’t available elsewhere. I opened my first online shop in September 2011, selling fascinators — with moderate success. As I got better and more confident, I started making more delicate designs using lace, pearls and crystals. Eventually, my style evolved into what it is today.
I am completely self-taught, and over the last few years, I’ve learned what it means to be driven by creativity. Author Elizabeth Gilbert recently said:
Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.
I really understand this on a deep level. I can feel it in my core if a design is missing something, and I need to fulfill my vision for every piece I make in order to feel content.
Who and/or what inspires your beautiful designs?
I find inspiration everywhere. The colors of nature, the feeling of spring, Christmas and the texture of lace, the shimmer of pearls. All these are feelings and are translated into certain materials for me.
For my Ethereal Collection, I fell completely in love with a pearlescent faux cream leather and english net, which is a special tulle, that falls very very lightly and has a beautiful flow. These two materials are present in some form, throughout most pieces in the collection, and made it come together to form the Ethereal Collection.
Also I am in love with Claire Pettibone’s dresses. Her designs speak to me of fairy-tales and English rose gardens. I simply love how she uses coloured laces on her dresses. They are simply breathtaking.
Talk us through your creative process.
Most piece start as an idea. Sometimes they pop into my head in the middle of the night, sometimes when I’m working on another piece. A lot of drawing is also done to see how shapes look. Then I often do wire shapes, again to see how they work on the head. After that comes crystal embellishments, pearls and lace. Every once in a while, I just pull out all my materials, throw all caution to the winds and just play around with the materials, just to see what might come to me. For me those are the most fun!!
What’s the best thing about living in the Danish countryside?
I really love the peace and quiet. That I’m able to follow the ever changing weather and seasons just outside my door. When I walk with my labrador Bella, I find magic spots and just suck in all that gorgeousness.
What’s a traditional Danish wedding like?
A traditional Danish wedding is usually very down to earth. The wedding business isn’t as strong as you might see in the UK or US. That often means the bride is very hands on with creating her theme and look. Guest lists are often shorter than 70 people and emphasis is on the wedding that is celebrated, the love and the food. A huge thing in Denmark is when all the guest tap the plates with the knife of fork, the bride and groom have to stand on their chairs and kiss. And when the guest stomp the floor, they have to kiss under the table.
Another important thing is the wedding dance. This is the bride and groom dancing to a very particular piece of music, Niels W. Gade “brudevalseb”. It has to be done before midnight, and after that the veil is ripped apart by the ladies in the crowd to keep for good luck. The groom is lifted up by the men in the crowd and his shoes are removed and he get the tip of his stocks cut of. Lately the American ambassador in Denmark, Rufus Gifford was married here and got the see that first hand.
These are huge traditions in Denmark and is most likely seen at most weddings. When the wedding dance is over, the real party can begin.
You come from a very creative family. How have they influenced your own creative pursuits?
I come from an extremely creative family. My mom and dad both paint, and my brother makes furniture. My dad fuelled my drawing and painting skills when I was very young, teaching me to do perfect shading with pencil and later with paint. My mom always had creative projects. We would sew, sculpture and have fun with whatever materials we chose. She taught me to never limit myself and trust that whatever happens, happens for a reason, and to always take responsibility for myself.
What has been your favorite bridal piece that you’ve created so far?
I have to say the Cassiopeia Star Hairvines. I love how the meanders along the side of the head on the model photo.
What would your advice be for people who are self-taught and starting their own business?
My motto is that you get nothing if you haven’t tried. And yes, there will be mistakes, but learn from it and get better. There also has to be an element of stubborness. It’s not easy, it’s not always fun and money definitely doesn’t just pour in. One element I find very important are the pictures. Find a good photographer and work closely with him/her. Good pictures can often make or break the look of the shop. (See Susanne’s photographer, Tina Liv).
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