I’m not the first photographer to plan a style shoot. In fact, within at least the last year styled shoots seemed to have spread like a wildfire, likely due to the inspiration of the amazing Heather Benge. Due to the relaxed nature of styled shoots (compared to real wedding timelines) and ability to network and extend ones portfolio, these shoots are in very high demand for photographers and other vendors.
Last Thanksgiving, I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to design my first styled shoot. Hindsight tells me that planning my own wedding with my mother-in-law (who is very sweet) was a literal cakewalk compared to creating this "styled something" where no one was even going to be married in the end. You would think the real deal would be more strenuous, right?! The thought has crossed my mind to write a blog post coming up about the planning process of this styled shoot, but that’s for another time. What I really want to do here is show you how everything turned out and tell you about some of the amazing vendors that helped create this day and make it absolutely perfect. Y'all - check out this venue! I’m not sure we could have asked for a better place. Squirrel Oaks Farm is family owned and operated and is available for weddings, showers, parties and is also on Airbnb. If you are just looking for that perfect girls getaway or a romantic weekend retreat, there's no doubt this is the place to be. While I was walking around the property during the planning process, it was easy to picture a group of friends around the campfire, a bridal shower in the main room, or a holiday party complete with the gorgeous fireplace. It's a beautiful southern getaway still within driving distance of several popular Bowling Green attractions.
When planning a wedding the details are either something that is mostly ignored or positively obsessed over. I’m the kind of person that obsesses over details, at least when it comes to pictures. I love the creativity in designs / DIY and love how details knit a wedding day together.
Something I wanted for this styled shoot was a romantic invitation suite. I didn't have an exact picture in my mind but I had a vision and wanted my vendor to be creative and include their touch as well. I trusted Just Create by MJ with this vision and the result was better than I could have ever thought! Six other photographers were coming to photograph the shoot and it was so hard to keep the stationery under wraps. Having this flawless stationery was just the start of a great vendor team. I was fortunate enough to have Jo and Thomas Ferguson of Ferguson’s Fine Jewelry loan two gorgeous ring sets. The uniqueness of their items is incredible and I found myself struggling to find the perfect ones for the shoot. I completely understand now why a man can fret so when it comes to finding the love of his life the perfect ring! Look how beautifully the invitation suite and ring sets go together....... Amazing!
I haven't even mentioned the dreamy place setting yet.. Let me just say, brides, look no further than IronGate Event & Vintage rentals & Salvaged Junk Sales. It's owned and operated by two of the sweetest ladies, one whom spent an afternoon helping me choose this place setting. Check out the detail on the plates (yes, back to the detail. See? I told you it brought everything together!) Also, those elegant, heart-backed chairs were found at Squirrel Oaks Farm and were such a subtle feature that was the perfect touch.
Savanah, the bride model, was a last minute addition due to some unfortunate events with the original models (back to the stress factor I mentioned, right?). The weather that day was not cool by any means and we all found ourselves basking in the ocassional breeze. Regardless of the heat, Savanah and groom model, Conner, were a great team and handled the entire shoot like pros. I was so happy to have Kayla Gilbreth referred to me for our hair and make up artist. She took Savanah from her ponytail and jeans to a gorgeous 'do and elegant makeup in a very precise timeline and exactly as planned. I was impressed. Look how gorgeous Savanah is in this crochet-lace bodice dress from Lulu's! And when photographers say, "Bonus points if groom has a suit" this is what they mean! Look at that! Conner brought along his navy suit from Macy's and honestly, I couldn't have picked out a better one if I did it myself. We had two great models!
There are some other things that made this shoot everything that it was. I know you've been eyeing that bouquet and maybe wondering about that necklace too! Kacey and Blair from KB Events and Design were the florists and I wouldn't change a thing about that. I'd never met them before this day, but they are so sweet and after delivering the flowers offered to help out setting up if I needed anything. Kacey and Blair are a do it all duo offering planning and coordinating services as well. Again, brides, look no further!
The jewelry was from Chloe and Isabel by Lindsay Montgomery. This necklace I had loved for a long time and the bracelet just went with it so well. You can believe I added both of these to my personal collection and I love them! The bride hanger was a popular little detail from Truly Taylor'd and was brought along by one of the attending photographers. It's always fun to have other people bring in things they think would work well, and that it did!
Finally, but never last, was the simple single tier cake made by O'livia Oliver. It was simple, elegant, with a hint Southern magnolias and I mean, who doesn't love cake? I loved the pink flowers that she used and how they really complimented the bouquet.
Styled shoots may be stressful, real wedding days can be hectic; but I've decided that picking the perfect vendors can help tremendously and I'm so grateful for them. We had a real team here at Squirrel Oaks Farm. The proof is in the pictures.
Styled by Shayna Johnson venue | Squirrel Oaks Farm models | Savanah Peters and Conner Sturdevant hair and make up | Kay’s Creations by Kayla Gilbreth gown | Lulu's bride hangar | Truly Taylor’d heels | Sarah Haught party table setting | IronGate Event & Vintage rentals & Salvaged Junk Sales chairs | Squirrel Oaks Farm cake stand | Hobby Lobby bouquet and boutonnière | KB Events & Design stationery | Just Create by MJ / MJ S. Mendoza videographer | Rhonda Estes cake | O'Livia Oliver champagne glasses | Shayna Johnson rings | Ferguson's Fine Jewelry ring boxes | Patricia Jackson and Christy Hunter necklace and bracelet | Chloe and Isabel Boutique by Lindsay Montgomery
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