If you have followed anything wedding the past few years, chances are that you have stumbled across a styled shoot. A styled shoot is where a team of wedding vendors come together and flex some of their creative muscles. A lot of times they are done as a marketing tool to showcase the vendors work. I look at it as a a fun chance to play with a concept and show prospective clients ideas. Usually they are set up as a small wedding with a model couple, beautiful decor, and great photos.
The styled shoot concept has gotten really popular, and one I haven't done too much with in the past. The main reason was time. Working a full time job, running a side wedding planning business, plus travel in free time; doesn't leave a lot of availability. I mean I'm failing at blogging on this as much as I want, so time is not a big thing for me!
However, a couple of months ago I was contacted by Karen from Above the Valley Event Center about doing one for them. I had just been thinking of doing one. Karen had mentioned doing something fall inspired, since its such a popular time of year to be married in the area. I was married in June but part of me had always wanted a fall wedding. I had opted not to because of scheduling conflicts, so I jumped at the chance to create my second choice wedding in a sense.
My role as the planner and coordinator was to finalize the style concept and bring it all together. I wanted to bring in some of the vibrant colors you see in the Autumn season. Trying to keep the overall style simple but elegant with a rustic flair. I gravitated to the idea of incorporating local seasonal elements such as fruits; a trend I am seeing on the rise.
First up, I had to find vendors willing to donate time and services and for my first big shoot; and I was slightly picky here. I would say I found some of the best in the area! Meagan and Adam Jepson of The Jepsons, provided all the beautiful images you are about to see.
Then began the search to find some models. That area was a struggle for me. I wanted a real life couple; people who genuinely loved each other. That way we didn't have to fake the chemistry. Luckily Karen had a beautiful daughter and her handsome boyfriend were willing to be our models. Don't they look great together?
The attire (dress and suit) was provided by Formalities by Tracina Fisher. We went in search of something simple and elegant with our country flair. Plus it had to flatter our model. This dress was actually picked out by our "bride" when we were looking and had just enough touch of the lace and bling to fit the style.
For the groom, we went with nice light tan suit; perfect for a fall wedding. Then added a pop of color and fall flair with the boutonniere.
The day of the shoot, Kelly Clark Makeup Artist, came to the venue. Kelly is an incredible makeup artist who did a a wonderful job of enhancing our brides natural look.
Now lets talk about one of my favorite parts, THE FLOWERS! Erin Carey Florals really knocked it out of the park here. I was leaning towards fall tones and fruits. I saw a color palette that inspired me. I wanted mostly reds and peaches but occasionally working in yellow tones with greenery and fruit. That was one area where I felt like I gave a million ideas and Erin really put the concept together flawlessly. The result was these breathtakingly stunning flowers.
For the "guest table" I had a hard time settling on one idea, so ended up with two. I wanted something slightly more refined and something sightly more casual, but cohesive. The first one was taking rustic wooden planter boxes and filling them with a variety of the fall flowers. I wanted the flowers to pop so stuck to an oatmeal colored linen for Nuage Deigns. To add more of a fall finish to it, I picked a velvet material for the linens. In between the flower boxes I did a mix match of votive candle holder in various matching shades. The complete the tablescape I did a dark green napkin to go with the dark greenery in the flowers and placed apples on top. The only adjustment I would make if it was a real wedding, is having the apple double as a place card.
For the second table I went less flowers with more of the greenery. Greenery garlands are still very popular and something I still love to create. Instead of doing the traditional, one, long piece garland; we went with something loose. Separate leaves of green were laid on the table to create a runner filled in with fruit, flowers, and votive's. A few tape candles were added to add some height and I adored the dark green ones with the honeycomb pattern. The dark green napkin didn't quite feel right with this particular greenery so we ended up with a natural jute napkin with frayed edges to tie in our rustic feel.
For the sweetheart table, I wanted to keep with the velvet material linens but go for a richer toner. Make it feel more special and royal. Keeping it simple and affordable we did glass cylinders with candles surrounded by greenery and then pops of color with big vibrant flowers. I also fell in love with these beautiful green chairs that Above the Valley has in their venue. They only have two, perfect for a sweetheart table. I couldn't believe it when they said no couple's ever use them.
Can we talk about the venue, Above the Valley for a moment? The space we set up our mini reception has big windows that showcase the amazing view of the valley below. Not to mention the various outdoor balconies the facility has. Its a truly what makes this place so special whether you are inside or outside enjoying the scenery.
Katie and Greg of Benches. always provide wonderful benches as guest seating for a ceremony. In this case I wanted to show something different a couple could do with them. They can be used for seating at cocktail hour, or perhaps create a little rustic resting/lounge area next to your dance floor like I did here. Using some various decor elements, I softened the area a little by draping the benches in a simple chiffon runner.
Another area your guest will need to enjoy at Above the Valley is the porch. Outside their Elevation 1809 room is a big deck/balcony with the view. Enclosed by glass that can be open when its nice, its offers a nice location for guests to stretch their legs. Draw guests to this location by setting up a beverage station. Continuing with our fall fruit theme, an apple cider station was the obvious choice. Leaning more rustic here with a wooden table softened by a burlap runner with red stripes. Incorporated wood slices an crates but accented with some flowers and of course, apples.
If you are going to do guest favors, I suggest sticking to something that guests will actually use and enjoy. The most popular favor I see at weddings is something edible. You can never go wrong with things like honey, sauces, jellies, or jams. The obvious choice for our fall f gathering was apple butter. I always recommend going local if you can and Tait Farms is a favorite of mine. They offer a variety of items that would make excellent favors and were kind enough to donate some for our styled shoot. I worked them in with the apple cider table as they fit perfectly in that setting.
You may have noticed by now the signs popping up in these pictures. The gifted Shannon from Swirled Patina provided these. The wooden signs that you may have noticed around are all hers and available for rent. Though used in random decor here, that love quote ones make great ceremony aisle signs. The chalkboard signs she crated on chalkboards I provided but she does have several of those available for rent as well.
If anyone knows me, they know I have a big sweet tooth. That means there was no way I was doing this styled shoot without some sort of dessert involved. One of may favorite bakers, Mary, form Dolce Vita Desserts (who did my own wedding cake years ago) provided some delectable treats. One item was a traditional cake and went a very simple route enhanced with a nice cake cutter and some of the flowers and hypericum berries. The other we wanted something a little unique but tied into our theme. The winner was these delicous hand made apple pies also from Dolce Vita Desserts.
To decorate the table I used burlap ribbon to run through the white ribbon cake stands I own. I used some of my wood crates to add height and dimension to the table. Sprinkled in with some random decor. The linen form Nuage Designs was a flax metallic burlap. A nice, heavy, linen with a look of burlap; but with zero of the mess or smell.
Happen to notice the cute cut out wooden cake toppers or the signs in the apple pies? Alyssa who owns wink! photo booths also makes great detail pieces on her store on Etsy, Wink Events. The laser cut ones like these are my favorite, and she even did one with my logo. Of course I had to stick it in an apple hand pie!
One thing I wanted to do with this shoot was incorporate a nod to something I enjoy. I always think its important to try and do this for couples; but it doesn't have to take over your wedding. My case was doing a nod to Harry Potter. I did this by including Severus Snape's famous one word line, "Always." You may have noticed it in the cake topper above. I also included in two other locations. Just a way to show you can incorporate even a little nerd love in your day without going completely into a theme.
First was chair signs for the sweetheart table. I found these great ones on Etsy provided by PS Weddings and Events. They will be hanging in my office wall now that I am done with them! I also had Swirled Patina draw the word on a jean jacket, because every Autumn bride should be wearing a jacket for the chill in the area.
If you are looking for matching stationary to this wedding, I found the perfect set through Minted. I love their selection of cards and invitations for any occasion.
Last but not least is giving big props to Meagan and Adam of The Jepsons. They did such a fantastic job! Not only with all these stunning detail shots but the pictures of our model bride and groom. They were so good at showcasing the feelings between this couple; and choosing the perfect background. Our bride and groom were super fun and sweet, and clearly in love. They captured their chemistry perfectly. Not only here but in any wedding I have ever worked with them on, they bring their A game.
I hope this post gave you reading ideas and inspiration for your own fall wedding.
I feel I went crazy with the pictures but there are so many good ones. Check out my Facebook page here. By November 1st, 2018 I will have an album dedicated to this shoot that you can browse even more of these stunning images.
THANK YOU to all the amazing vendors who participate in this event. You cannot go wrong hiring anyone on this team for your own wedding.
Photography: The Jepsons
Coordination, Misc. Decorations, & Styling: H&K Weddings and Events
Flowers: Erin Carey Florals
Attire (Bride's Dress & Grooms Suit) and Jewelry: Formalities by Tracina Fisher
Cake & Apple Desserts: Dolce Vita Desserts
Hair: Looks Hair Design
Makeup: Kelly Clark Makeup Artist
Wooden Signs & Calligraphy: Swirled Patina
Linens: Nuage Designs
Apple Butter Favors: Tait Farms Food
Wooden Cut out Dessert Toppers: Wink Events on Etsy
Laser Cut Chair Signs: PS Weddings and Events