If you don’t already know, most of the wedding images you see on Pinterest are styled shoots put on by a professional team of wedding event partners– wedding photographers, bakers, planners, and designers.
Did I shatter the illusion? While it may feel like it ruins everything you thought you knew about weddings, these shoots are actually an asset to real-life couples. Industry professionals come together to combine creative forces to showcase their creative genius and spotlight each other’s talents in ways they wouldn’t be capable of on their own.
I joined in on a styled shoot recently that caught my eye, not only because it was with a photographer I love, but also because the mood + style of the shoot was something that would push my creative skillset.
Amber of Images by Amber Robinson approached me with the mood board below–she thought that my design skills would be an asset to the shoot and bring an element that would elevate the overall design.
I was drawn to the bold punches of color and uninhibited nature of the elements in her inspiration photos. Wild arrangements of flowers and deep richness brought a breath of fresh air to the tight and formal style that I see in the wedding mainstream. I jumped on board without hesitation (mostly because those geodes sold me, I am a sucker for pretty pieces of nature!).
In conceptualizing this suite, I followed much of the same process I do with my couples.
I reviewed the mood and made design suggestions based on Amber’s vision of the shoot. I used creative intuition to find ways to elevate the invitation design, like hand-painting acrylic paint strokes and digitally rendering them to incorporate a bespoke design element found on no other invitations.
I joined the team of hand picked wedding professionals Amber chose from the Raleigh area. We brainstormed together on initial design concepts–and then once I had a handle on what Amber wanted out of the design, ran with it to create coordinating invitation suite pieces: place cards, wraparound labels for the bordeaux envelopes, and square dinner menus that made my mouth water as I designed them. Amber suggested we get an invitation liner from Paper Source, a local franchise of specialty stationery stores, and she was right–it tied everything together perfectly.
When I arrived on set at the Rand-Bryan house, I was greeted by Caroline Cash of The Prettiest Pieces, a vintage furniture and tablescape rental business, Amber, and Katy of The Sweet T monogramming. Our models, Nick and Aria had already started shooting and I caught a special moment as Aria’s completed look was revealed to her groom.
What I didn’t know about Nick and Aria was that they were a real couple, married for nearly 10 years with two children. I always love when styled shoot models are real couples because there is a chemistry and overwhelming feeling of comfort that takes over.
These two were no exception to that experience, and the way they looked at each other still gives me goosebumps as I sit here remembering the day. Aria was sassy and Nick was dapper–but their authentic love came through in every shot. When I tell you that every single time Amber guided them into a shot, I swooned, I am being 100% honest.
I’ve admitted than I am an emotional person, especially when it comes to love stories (it makes me love designing for weddings!) and I caught myself getting choked up despite knowing this couple for a couple of hours. Amber captured their love in absolute perfection–we all kept saying that this was the prettiest shoot we had ever worked on. The weather, the design elements and most importantly, the love was the perfect setting for a magical swirl of events.
Jon and Zara of Jon Warlick Media worked together to craft the perfect video shots. Because they’re married, they are 200% honest when working together. Jon carefully guided Zara into the best shot for the scene while Zara came up with new ideas on capturing special angles and elements.
I arrived too late to see Katy of Katy Lynn Beauty work her magic in Aria’s beauty routine, but the end product was stunning. Both of Aria’s looks were drop dead gorgeous, incorporating Manor House flowers into her hairstyle that was seriously droolworthy.
I have worked on styled shoots previous to this one. What made this one one to remember was the outward outpouring of love each and every person had in their role. Nick and Aria were a decade deep in true love, getting to relive the flutter of early romance. Each event partner invested their talents and brought their A-game to the table (and couch, and mantle and bouquet…). Every element was designed with love and pushed to grow their skills.
So today, after sharing my experience with this shoot, I’m thrilled to say that it was picked up to be featured in Tantamount Love, a wedding blog curated for diverse, real life people without an emphasis on style or type of love.
I am honored to be featured in this publication and would like to thank everyone who participated in Navy + Bordeaux for their dedication and overall love for their craft. There is something palpable that comes from people doing what they love–I certainly felt that in my experience on that day.
Navy + Bordeaux wasn’t a posed photoshoot-but rather a collection of professional passions, guided to combine and create an experience that shares these passions to benefit all who view it.
Photography: Amber Robinson | ig: @imagesbyamberr
Venue: Rand Bryan House | ig: @randbryanhouse
Videography: Jon Warlick Media | ig: @jonwarlicmedia
Rentals/Tabletop: The Prettiest Pieces | ig: @the_prettiest_pieces
Hair/Makeup: Katy Lynn Beauty | ig: @katylynnbeauty
Monogrammed Items: The Sweet T Designs | ig: @thesweettdesigns
Flowers: Manor House Flowers
Jewelry: Diamonds Direct Raleigh| ig: @diamondsdirect
Tuxedo: VIP Formalwear | ig: @vipformalwear
Dress: Gilded Bridal | ig: @gildedbridal
Men’s Accessories: Modish Vine | ig: @modishvine