I am so excited to share images from a recent styled shoot I did on the Connecticut shoreline! Styled shoots are a love/hate thing for me – I love them because it’s a great way to work with new vendors in a low stress environment and see how we vibe, flex my creative design muscles and expand my portfolio. Styled shoots let me pick elements that I really want to feature, color palettes I want to see more of and create something entirely from scratch. However, I am also a SUPER perfectionist so styled shoots take up a huge block of my time because I am so particular about the design aspects and want to make sure every little thing that I select fits in perfectly (this is where the hate part comes in haha!) My husband rolls his eyes a bit every time I say I have another shoot coming up because I always finish one and say OK that’s it – I’m taking a break from shoots (and then I never do!). In any case – for 2019, I am being super intentional about styled shoots and only had two planned. This coastal shoot was one of them!
I had been wanting to do something on the beach for a while now. A lot of the shoots I do tend to be designed with a bohemian concept in mind so I thought it was time for something new with a light, bright, airy coastal elopement. When I start to put a shoot together, I always begin with a design board to share with any vendors I ask to participate. This design centered around the natural ocean setting and a color palette of white, sandalwood and various shades of blue. I wanted the design to feel organic, natural, calm and classic.
Next step – find a photographer who would be a good match for this vision. Shelby from Shelby Ann Photography had reached out to me just before I started thinking of this shoot and we met up (with my husband and her fiancé Zac in tow) for dinner & drinks to network and chat weddings. We all clicked right away and left knowing we wanted to work together soon!
A couple weeks later, I sent Shelby the design board and she was in! We set a date in March and I went to work on finalizing the rest of the vendor team.
Choosing the beach: Again, my perfectionist tendencies came out and I visited multiple beaches before deciding on Hammonasset Beach for this shoot. I loved the different areas within this state park that we could use – a great mix of long sandy beach with rocky coves for portraits. Plus, there was driftwood galore which I loved!
Choosing the attire: We wanted a very minimalist, fitted white dress for the shoot. We also were hoping to keep with the blue color palette and add in a blue dress with loads of movement. Enter Julie Allen Bridals! Lauren, the owner of the bridal salon, is always willing to lend out dresses for my shoots and has a great selection to choose from. I told her what I was after and she put aside several options for us to borrow. Both fit the model like a dream! For the model groom – navy blue was the only choice! Our model had a suit of his own that fit like a glove and was the perfect color complement to our bridal gowns.
Choosing the stationery: This one was a no-brainer for me on who to work with! Amanda from XO Art & Design and I had connected via the virtual universe and she designed my new logo for me! She is a super talented graphic designer based in Chicago and she had been wanting to create wedding invitation suites. I reached out and gave her the overall design concept and told her to get creative! Her end product did not disappoint!
Choosing the florals: I worked with another vendor friend for florals, Amber of Amberworks Floral Design! Amber has worked with me on several other styled shoots and I always give her an overview of what I’m looking for and she never ceases to exceed expectations. I loved her idea to use a wood planter box for the centerpiece to keep with our natural, coastal theme. The various shades of whites, blues and greenery accents were right on target with the romantic, classic vision!
Choosing the cake: I wanted the cake to be a show piece and Alyssa’s Cakery based in Wallingford nailed it. I really wanted to do a three-tiered, blue geode cake and when I walked in to her bakery that morning to pick it up, my jaw nearly hit the floor! She hit this one out of the park – if you’re looking for a cake for your coastal wedding, reach out to her – like now!
Choosing the design pieces: Tablescape design is actually one of my favorite parts to a shoot. I spend a lot of time (probably too much time) looking at pieces, mixing vintage finds with modern rentals and creating & re-creating the look. Fun fact – I literally set up a mock version of this tablescape in my living room, didn’t like it and totally changed the concept. I had originally planned to use a white linen and decided that just wasn’t going to have the right look so I changed the design to center around a sky blue linen. I rented the crossback chairs, linens, flatware and charger plates from CT Rental Center and then the rest of the pieces were personal ones that I sourced from local thrift and antique shops.
Models: Lucky for us, the models for this shoot are ones Shelby and Zac knew and had worked with before. They were so perfect for this shoot and had exactly the look I wanted to feature. Plus, our model bride is an expert at hair & makeup and did her own before arriving to the shoot. Doesn’t she look gorgeous?!
Shoot Day: When it comes to outdoor shoots, the only thing you can’t control is the weather. Leaving West Hartford that morning, I was so excited because we had a beautiful, sunny March day! It wasn’t cold but it wasn’t warm either. Well, the weather up here was NOT the same weather at the beach! Upon arrival, it was SO windy that Shelby and I literally could not even get the linen on the table. We packed everything back up, got in her car and drove around the park hoping to find a cove that had some protection from the wind – and we did! We got everything set up and started with detail shots until our models arrived. Despite the wind and the cold, we all had a blast working together on this shoot. Shelby’s photography perfectly captured the aesthetics and vibe that I was after and I couldn’t be happier with the way these images turned out!
I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do!
Thank you to the amazing team of vendors that made this shoot happen! Click on each to check out their website and follow them on Insta!
Planner & Creative Designer: Alyssa Jean Signature Events; @alyssajeanevents
Photographer: Shelby Ann Photography; @shelbyann_photography
Florist: Amberworks Floral Design; @amberworksfloraldesign
Cake: Alyssa’s Cakery; @alyssascakery
Stationery & Agate Slices: XO Art & Design; @xoartanddesign
Dress: Julie Allen Bridals; @julieallenbridals
As always, Happy Planning!