Once upon about a year ago I was cruising the art aisle of Hobby Lobby and said to myself, “Those wooden artist palettes would make fantastic serving trays! And I could use pallet knives for cheese knives!” And so the idea began forming to do an art themed styled shoot. But then my plan came to a screeching halt because I had vowed to myself (and my husband) not to do another one for awhile. Well you can’t keep an obsessed Season down and I kept acquiring the ingredients for the shoot. Then I found the giant sunflowers and it was on! Unfortunately they were not long for this world and I needed to put some hustle into this project. Because my time was limited and wedding season was still in full force, I knew that having other vendors involved was out. So this one was all me. I’m sure things would have been better with help but at least I had the ability to get my ideas out there and take about 2 months setting it up and shooting it while wrangling a toddler. Remember that I’m not a photographer, florist, or caterer. Try to just appreciate the ideas!
Since I was going to go very themey, I decided to do a bridal brunch instead of a wedding. I thought it would be fun do something akin to the “Canvas and Cocktails” concept. (Note: If you wanted to be racier, you could do a nude figure study instead of a painting.) I wanted it to feel like an art gallery with a very neutral backdrop and all the focus on the “art”. In this case, the artful elements were the flowers, the food, and the tools of art itself. I tried to place all of the emphasis on them. In keeping with the art house theme, I went with white, raw wood, and exposed brick as backdrop elements. Other repeating elements include the sunflower motif and the use of unfinished wood art supplies (figures, pallets, easels, etc.)
The fonts I used and the style of the writing are supposed to feel like a pencil sketch. I was really excited to find grey and white bakers twine that really compliments the look. The RSVP has a request to create a self-portrait on the back. In the following images you will see Maggie Burns’ artwork in pencil, which totally fit the theme. Those wonderfully creative and varied responses I received from friends were also used as a decorative element at the entry table for the party. (NOTE: If you are interested in these invitations, I would be happy to make them available.)
The entry to the party is a fun brick wall. This veneer panel can be found at Lowes in the paneling section. It comes red with black mortar but I stayed up very late one night in my driveway to distress it like this. I wanted it to look like walls of industrial turned commercial/residential spaces often do – with the remnants of previous paint and plaster. I love the way it turned out.
The floral arrangement is a funny story. The giant sunflowers (including the spray painted ones) are from a real sunflower crop that I found way out by the airport. I had no clue that they even came that big (about 12-14 inches in diameter). I had to saw them down with a pocket knife and I couldn’t select any more than 3 ft from the car because my son was asleep with the door open. But because I left the doors open and brought giant sunflowers into the car, there were grasshoppers and all other sorts of bugs scaring the crap out of me in my car for awhile! Sadly I didn’t get them at their peak but I enjoyed the overall effect anyway. Very sculptural. Totally worth it. The smaller sunflowers were from the grocery store. There were three varieties used. To create a huge contrast against the yellow and red sunflowers, I collected branches from my neighborhood trees on stroller outings. They are so dark purple they almost appear black. The white vines were hanging over a fence somewhere in Littleton, the berries were from a little wall beside a cigarette shop, and bell shaped flowers and their pods are from a very creepy school (?) in Thornton. I had to park very strangely, remove the keys, jump into action, and then get back in before my son could realize we weren’t moving or anyone saw what I was doing. Being a parent is all about time management and creativity. I also use those precious car naps to clip his nails. Anyway…the vase is a lovely carnival glass pitcher (another repeating element).
It wouldn’t be a bridal brunch without the food. For this table I put together a rainbow palette of cheeses and their sides, “Sunrises” comprised of fruit with mint, egg baskets, chilled vanilla lates, veggie stacks with seasoned vegetables on a pad of polenta, and a Mimosa/Bellini bar. For place settings I went with napkins make of fun, breakfast pop art towels from Target, bamboo spoons that look like the rest of the raw wood, and square plates. Another fun element was the cake in the center of the table. To echo the brick, I took a store bought red velvet cake, scraped the sides to look like the splotches of paint on the brick, and used the remnant icing to pipe vertical mortar lines. It’s a little goofy but I was alone on this, remember? The topper is of course the little bride and groom made of artist figures.
For the painting lesson portion of the party I selected a vibrant painting that I already had. You could certainly base some of your theme off of the painting itself. The lovely red folding chairs were from IKEA. Each seat has an easel with a name tag, a pretty jar for water, and paint brushes. I really liked those brushes and bought them early on because I liked how the bristles matched the handles. I also like the number on them for the gauge of the brush. They would make really cute escort cards with a name tag appended and the number being the table number! One last thing I considered but didn’t execute would be fun men’s shirts used as smocks for each lady.
In the end I’m really happy with the results. It was nice to be able to space it out over 3 shooting days and about 2 months of prep. While I would have loved to work with great people, it was all I could do at that time in my son’s life. Mommy first! But I think it’s a testament to what a person can do on their own to throw a great party for a friend or family member. I hope you like it. What do you think??
Sometimes perfection is in simplicity. White baby’s breath and soft pink astilbe are hit for creating a wispy, magical quality. (Submitted by Lace and Lilies, Photos by One O.A.K. Photography)
Seriously, step back a tad and you’ll do a double take.
I might get flack for this one but it can be easily avoided and often is in fact. If you are going to pick nude/champagne/blush/flesh dresses, consider the tone of your bridesmaids’ skin. And if you insist on making it an exact replica, at least choose a bustline that isn’t too suggestive (halter styles are the worst). If the idea was to make your bridesmaids disappear (hehe) you won’t achieve it this way after all. Everyone will be looking at them because their peripheral vision is giving them false information.
I’m loving this engagement session on the tarmac at the Air Force Academy! Really it’s like two engagement sessions in one because of the styled portion. Janelle and Dan had Callie Riesling Photography capture a beautiful dusk engagement session in this perfect location. I’m very partial to aeronautical themes as my MIL and my husband fly. It’s even the theme of my son’s room. But long before I met them I had this romantic WWII military romance ideal in mind. Makes my heart go pitter-pat. Even though the couple chose to keep it pretty modern, there is just enough vintage to make me go to that happy place.
Air Force Academy
4700 Ponderosa Dr.
Air Force Academy, CO 80840
Happy First Monday! It’s time for another beautiful mood board. This month I was inspired by honeybees. Our hypothetical wedding takes place on a honey farm and pulls inspiration from vintage beekeeping devices and old anatomical figures. I’ve seen a lot of bee weddings that become very kitschy very fast. To avoid that, I chose bee details that aren’t cartoony with scientific illustrations and truly sculptural pieces from the farm. I also muted the typical black, white, and yellow color pallet to neutrals and a wide spectrum of yellows. There are tons of weddings out there that chose grey and yellow but I think the tan/beige brings a warmth that grey simply cannot. It takes the modern edge off the wedding for those who prefer a more romantic look. Instead of the typical honey favors and signs with “Meant to Bee”, I went a more grown up and original route with beeswax taper favors and an emphasis on song lyrics (I know, I know, I do this all the time but I find my inspiration in music). I particularly love the invitations, super original seating chart (follow links for credits to see more of it because it’s really cool), and the necklace. I actually loved the necklace so much I put it on my Christmas list as soon as I found it. (They have tons of cute designs that are hand ribbon embroidered!) Another fun feature is the use of Peruvian Lilly/Alstroemeria for the flowers. Typically these aren’t my favorite flower because they always remind me of the grocery store bouquets. In this case, however, I really love them because they also remind me aesthetically of bees with with their little striations and color. Finally, all of the food from the raw honeycomb to the beautiful pastries makes me super hungry. I hope you love this one like I do!
Neckace | Flower Girl Dress | Bee Ring Shot | Bouquet | Bridesmaids | Wood and Glass Honeycomb Seating Chart | Vintage Illustration | Invitations | Bee Skep with Illustrations | Table | Raw Honey | Cake | Drawer | Cupcakes | Beekeeping Couple | Beverage Station | Flask | Bee Smoker | Beeswax Candle Favors | Bee Boxes on Farm
I’m still really feeling fall and this copper and green inspired set of floral arrangements really hit the spot. They are so unusual, warm, and almost edible. Ingredients: Chocolate cymbidium orchids, Sahara roses, black dahlias, magnolia leaves, hydrangea, kangaroo paw, plumosa, and flat fern. Don’t you LOVE them? (Submitted by Quintessential Weddings and Events; Photos by Yeager Creative)
Photo by Shareeography
I’m missing fall already and sad to see the trees so naked. There is a good reason why many people choose the autumn for Colorado weddings and that reason is PHOTOGRAPHY! The warm cast of the light and the vivid colorful backdrops make aspen groves the quintessential Colorado scenery. But truly all aspects of fall in our little rectangle are drool worthy. So let me see your fall colors! Send your best fall wedding photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and your photos may be featured in a gallery post with associated credits.
(Submission deadline: December 7, 2013, Colorado locations only please.)
Sure this seemed like a good cost-cutting measure, but then again….
Anyone who routinely reads the blog knows that I am HUGE on photography and think it should never be skimped on. But even those who think they have their bases covered are sometimes let down. Whether it be that your favorite detail wasn’t photographed, your husband got a terrible sunburn the day before the wedding, you made the decision to go cheap and got cheap results, or your photog’s camera had a corrupted media card, you can have a wedding photo mulligan! If you fall anywhere on the spectrum of wedding photo disappointment, I have an incredible contest to share with you. A simple Facebook conversation earlier this week has manifested into a GREAT idea by Meredith Harris of CMH Photography - What if even one couple could be helped to “fix” their bad photo situation? While you may never get back the chance to capture certain moments, you can have a photo of you as a couple that is worthy of hanging on your wall. For many people, wedding photographs will be some of the only professional photos they ever have (class pictures don’t count) and certainly the only ones where you get to prance around in a dress that costs more than your rent. You put your everything into your wedding and you deserve to have something to show your children. Here’s the skinny from Meredith herself:
“I hated my wedding photos!”
Five words that make me cringe. As a wedding photographer, nothing makes me more sad than hearing stories of couples who had less than stellar experiences with their wedding photography. Other than the marriage itself, nothing lasts from your special day except the stories. How can you tell those stories without the images?
If you are one of those couples who had photography that fell short, this contest is calling your name. We are offering one couple the chance for a “do-over.” No, we can’t re-create the memories. If your photographer was taking a smoke break and missed the bouquet toss, if you hired Uncle Bob but he got too drunk and forgot to take reception photos, or there’s no images of you with your Great Aunt Erma and she lives 1000 miles away, we can’t make that happen again. What we can do is help create photo worthy moments and capture them beautifully so you can have something to hang on your walls; something to show your future grandchildren.
How to enter:
Send in one or a few images along with a short story of why you deserve a complimentary wedding photography do-over session to email@example.com. If your photography gripe is that you never received the images (MIA Photographer?!) you are eligible also. You do not need to tell us who your photographer was as we are not looking to name names or call anyone out. Be sure to include specific things that were not captured or badly captured so we know what you most want recreated (exchange of vows, cake cutting, unique details, first dance, etc).
The contest will be judged by our contributing vendors based on your story, need and who we feel we can best help.
Winners will receive a complimentary wedding do-over photo session along with contributions from local wedding vendors that help make your session as special and wedding-day-like as possible. Actual contributions will vary. Winners will also receive one 16″x20″ canvas print of their choice from their session, as well as use of any digital images that are published. Any other digital images, prints, albums etc will be available for purchase. No purchase is required.
1. You must provide your own attire for the photography session. Preferably the actual dresses/tuxes or whatever you wore on your wedding day, but if that’s not possible you will be responsible for renting or borrowing something to wear.
2. Bring a copy of your wedding vows
3. Your wedding must have taken place in the last year.
4. Open to couples in or near Colorado, or couples willing to travel to Colorado (travel expenses not covered). Actual session location may vary, but likely take place in the Denver/Front Range or Mountain region of Colorado.
5. You must be willing to have your name (first names only), story and resulting images released for publication and use by contributing vendors. You will be required to sign a release.
6. Submissions will be accepted until Jan.1st, 2014. Session must be redeemed by June 1st.
When my friend, Sharee, came to me with questions about creating a styled shoot, I was scared at first. I was so unready to venture into that arena again, wedding season had not yet wrapped up, and the beautiful fall foliage that she dreamed of was disappearing fast. But it seems that the power of her unbridled joy at the mere chance to do a styled shoot could overcome any obstacles. Together we got some minor miracles to occur in a very short time and all the while I was having a blast (much to my surprise). I really enjoyed working with everyone on this shoot. And even in the freezing rain, everyone rolled with the punches, worked together, and smiled. That day of prancing in the brush with new friends was reward enough but we got a beautiful shoot out of it as well. =)
I wanted to do something really special for Sharee’s “first time”. We knew we wanted something original and with an interesting theme. Quickly the idea started to develop to focus the shoot on a favorite love song: “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. (Side note: I totally wanted this song to be my first dance song with the boy.) At first the idea was to have everything under glass as though they were capturing an eternal spring in the fall. But as things developed they took a really fun turn and we decided to have a two part shoot in which the couple digs up a wedding time capsule, falls asleep, and awakens to a place where their wedding day is trapped in time. While the ending was sort of up in the air, the weather that day provided an unexpected conclusion with the reception scene being rained out. The line, “There never seems to be enough time to do the things we want to do once we find them” was given so much extra weight as their beautiful world of make believe dissolved in the rain. But fear not for our couple, they wake up to the also pleasant reality that they are together and get to move forward in time. My favorite details was the photograph bottles. The hovering image really feels like a memory trapped in glass.
The Floral Design
Sarah Cioni of Painted Primrose did an exceptional job with the floral arrangements. Everyone on set was blown away when we saw that she had sent us a bouquet with perfect pink peonies – in OCTOBER. Say what? So we got not only the contrast in colors that we asked for but a great contrast in the seasonality of the flowers with beautiful fall foliage mixed with the singular bloom that always screams spring. And the branches that acted as a handle wrap for the bouquet were a delightful surprise. I love that we gave her a broad concept and a few suggestions and she created something better than we could have mandated.
The Bride and Groom
Our couple, Crystal and David, have been on the blog before. I was so excited that they agreed to work with Sharee on this project. They have always been one of my favorite couples and it was great to meet them in real life. A photographer herself, Crystal came to set with extra props and a firm understanding of the strange methods involved with photo shoots. Crystal and David were such troopers. It’s hard to believe when looking at these shots that it was freezing when we started and starting to snow when we stopped. Crystal was willing to potentially sacrifice her stunning wedding dress to the brush and the rain with no complaints. At the end of the shoot they changed clothes and helped us clean up everything in the freezing rain. I could not have asked for a better couple to work with. They are kind, generous, creative, and open minded.
I met Brittany Slaughter of Alchemy Artistry for the first time the day of the shoot. Perhaps it was because she knew Sharee, but I immediately felt like I knew her. But even more than just her endearing demeanor (she totally charmed the park ranger and prevented a potentially unpleasant situation I’m told), her work was great. She did not one, but two beautiful hairstyles and makeup. Between setups she created a perfect updo in a car with her tools hooked up to the cigarette lighter! And she did all this in half the time scheduled, giving us a head start on more shooting before the rain set in. That is professionalism in the face of adversity – the definition of a styled shoot on location. AND she created the beautiful hairpiece that the bride is wearing. Love her!
We got a lovely cake from Beehive Bakery, the incredible couch from Nancy at Chairs with Character, and the unity hourglass from Heirloom Hourglass. The latter was kind enough to loan me the hourglass from halfway across the country without ever having met me. That is a level of trust and kindness that warms my heart so much. A huge thank you to all of the awesome vendors who helped make a vision a reality!
Photography: Sharee Davenport, Shareeography | Concept and Styling: Season Hurd, A Colorado Courtship Blog | Floral Design: Sarah Cioni, Painted Primrose | Hair and Makeup Artistry: Brittany Slaughter, Alchemy Artistry | Couch Rental: Nancy Sartin, Chairs with Character | Cake: Michelle Nieweg, Beehive Bakery | Hourglass: Heirloom Hourglass
Bride: Jessica Lagana, 33 – Supervisor, Whole Foods
Groom: Jason Dennee, 32 – GM, Green Fine Salad Co.
Date: September 2, 2013
Location: The Hudson Gardens and Event Center, Littleton
Jessica and Jason are one of those couples that you can tell are a kick in the butt to be around and the people they surround themselves with seem to follow suit. Their photos are full of life, emotion, and obvious fun. Their wedding day was a collaborative effort of family and long time friends. Together they created thousands of paper flowers to decorate the ceremony and reception. The simple, handmade signs and bridal hairpiece were also homemade. This wedding is an inspiration to DIY and budget minded brides. (Take note: Simple items en masse create a tremendous impact!) But their favorite part? “The awesome dance party that reminded us of an 80′s movie!” exclaims Jessica. Beat wishes to Jessica and Jason for a lifetime of fun and happiness.
We met while working together at Green Fine Salad Co.. In fact, Jason was my boss. But during my first stretch working for Jason, we were both in relationships and it was strictly professional. But 3 years after moving to New York, I came back to Denver and went to my old job to see if I could part time. Jason was still managing Green Fine Salad Co., and this time around, we hit it off almost immediately. We found very quickly in our relationship that we wanted the same things in life and that we were both becoming each other’s best friend. We talked about marriage as early as April 2012, and in July of that year, while visiting my father and step-mother in Florida, we became formally engaged.
Venue: The Hudson Gardens and Event Center | Photographer: Rayna McGinnis Photography | Bridal Gown: White by Vera Wang via David’s Bridal | Fascinator: DIY | Bridesmaid Dress: Nordstrom and Dillards | Groom’s Attire: Macy’s | Rings: Bride – Every Bear Jewel; Groom – Shane Co. | Pies: Potsko’s Hand Pies | Cater: Krave | Floral Design: Whole Foods Market, Washington Park | Rentals: Event Rents