Even though it’s felt like winter for quite some time, it officially began 7 days ago. Now that we are through the main set of holidays (congratulations to all of the couples that got engaged and those that will become engaged on New Year’s!), planning season is also upon us. Things have been really busy over at AJSE for the past few weeks with helping our newest clients find their dream venues, build their vendor team and assist with design concepts. I love all of this pre-planning work! As weird as it is, I absolutely love the “research and recommend” phase at the beginning. Of course I have my network of vendors that I love to work with, but I always want to make sure that vendors I recommend fit with my clients’ style, budget, date preferences and that the personalities will be a fit on both ends. I’m always networking and building new connections to ensure I surround myself with the best of the best in the industry!
Speaking of my network of vendors – this week’s blog post is all about this beautiful rustic-chic winter shoot that I planned with some of my favorites in the industry! I had so much fun putting together the concept for the design, building the team and watching everything come together on shoot day.
All styled shoots always start with a design concept. Knowing that I didn’t have any real weddings booked in the winter months, I knew I wanted to do something that would let me get creative and design something that a winter bride would want. And not gonna lie – I also wanted some beautiful winter wedding images that I could post on Instagram (#sorrynotsorry for blowing up your feeds this past week!).
My goal for this shoot was to design something that would work for all winter months, not just holiday season. I wanted a neutral color palette (hello whites, deep greens and gold) that would also compliment a variety of venues. The next step was to find the perfect location for the shoot. I originally went to Hartford Flavor Co. to scout them as a possible location for a networking event I was planning, but once I stepped inside, I knew this would be a great venue for the shoot. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful wood bar and living plant wall.
The rest of the vendor team came together easily. November was the end of my wedding season so I was ready for a day with no pressure, no major time crunches and to have some fun. Almost everyone who worked on this shoot were people I have either worked with previously or knew from networking and wanted to work with. Everyone was eager to put their creative spin on things and have a fun day making magic!
For the design – I sourced a lot of the pieces for this shoot on my own and borrowed the rest from Diane Murray at Lady Slipper Events in Simsbury, CT. Diane has been a wonderful resource for me and is always open to letting me come into the shop and choose pieces for my styled shoots. I can’t wait until we get to work on a real wedding together! I am always a fan of combining vintage, antique pieces with more modern touches to create a really unique design. I went to various antique/thrift shops around Connecticut to find those brass candle holders, a set of vintage glassware, and a set of white plates (with some fun design elements, not boring round ones!). The green chairs in the shoot were actually my husband’s and mine first dining set when we lived in New Hampshire (we’ve since upgraded but hung onto everything for when we have extra large parties and need additional seating). I used Minted.com for the wedding stationery and calligraphy was done by Erin at Nob Hill Jane. I wanted everything that you see in the shoot to be something that a real bride could realistically replicate for her own wedding without spending a fortune.
The tablescape set against the living plant wall was center stage on the design but what winter wedding is complete without a cozy hot chocolate and cookie bar! This set-up was a great way to showcase the different liqueurs that the venue makes that would also be a delicious addition to your cocoa. Our photographer, Veronica, had actually referred her friend Emily to me and mentioned she makes really great custom, hand-painted sugar cookies for events. I was so excited when she said she would be part of the team and make a couple designs for the shoot! I mean, how cute are these cookies?! And they tasted great too!
Day of the shoot – we all had an absolute blast working together. From the moment we all arrived, we were spiking our coffees with the Chai Spice Liqueur from Hartford Flavor (I think almost everyone bought a bottle of this amazingness before the day was over) and swapping stories from our busy 2018 seasons. Everyone helped out with everything from offering their input on styling the décor, breaking down and packing up at the end and helping to eat the wedding cake in the shoot. Not pictured: we didn’t have any forks so everyone literally dug in with their hands to enjoy some of this delicious wedding cake at the end of the shoot (thank you Kim’s Cottage Confections!). I mean, the alternative was no cake and that’s not really much of an alternative. That is what is great about working with friends – no one bats an eye when they come around a corner and find you sticking your fingers into a 3-tier wedding cake and getting frosting everywhere.
After finishing up shooting at Hartford Flavor, a few of us drove a couple miles down the road to get in some outdoor portraits at Elizabeth Park … and it was WORTH IT! This park has some of the most beautiful gardens and offers such variety for photography. Even when the gardens aren’t in full bloom, the park still provides such a gorgeous backdrop. Fun fact – you can actually get a permit to host your real wedding ceremony in the park! Imagine being surrounded by roses of every color, green covered archways and family and friends as you say “I Do” – sounds like a true fairy tale wedding!
I want to again thank the entire team that made this shoot possible! It was such a pleasure working with everyone and I think the images speak for themselves with how much everyone truly exceeded my expectations! I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do!
Venue: Hartford Flavor Co. (@hartfordflavor) - https://hartfordflavor.com/
Planner / Designer: Alyssa Jean Signature Events (@alyssajeanevents) – www.alyssajeansignatureevents.com
Photographer: Veronica Green Photography (@veronicagreenphotography) - http://www.vgreenphoto.com
Florals: Sage Hill Florals (@sagehillct) - https://www.facebook.com/shflorals/
Cookies: Emmy Anne’s Cookies (@emmyannecookies) - www.emmyannecookies.com
Cake: Kim’s Cottage Confections (@kimscottageconfections) – http://kimscottageconfections.com/
Stationery: Minted (@minted) – www.minted.com
Calligraphy & Signage: Nobhill Jane (@nobhilljane) – https://www.nobhilljane.com/
Models: Hayley King (@heyhayley_hey) & Ari Burger
Dress: Julie Allen Bridals (@julieallenbridals) – www.julieallenbridals.com
Suit: The Black Tux (@theblacktux) – www.theblacktux.com
Hair – Michelle Anne Hair Design (@michelleanne_hairdesign) - http://www.michelleannehairdesign.com/
Makeup – Makeup by Samar (@4makeupbysamar) - http://www.makeupbysamar.net/
Props & Décor – Lady Slipper Events (@ladyslipperevents) - www.ladyslipperevents.com