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Happy Monday, my dears! Now that Christmas is within our grasp, I think it’s the perfect time to share a little Winter Style Shoot that Mack and I did recently!
The style for the shoot was the gorgeous brain-child of Meagan Caldwell Bechtel. Regular blog readers will recognize her name from the two engagement shoots, a picnic session, bridals, boudoir & THREE wedding blogs she’s been in this year! This girl has a really tremendous style, and she discovered a true gift while styling her own remarkable wedding (which was featured HERE). Since then, she’s worked with other people to help style their events, and is working on building quite a reputation as an event designer! She doesn’t have a blog or website yet, but I’ll be sure to tell you about it after the first of the year. Whether a bride does design work on her own, or works with a hired stylist, I can tell you that wedding pictures take a huge leap in yumminess when real thought and deliberation has been put into the feel of an event!
Meagan wrote a synopsis of her style idea for this shoot, so that’s what I’ll share with you… before I get on to all the pictures. (By “all”, I mean a TON, and they’re pretty rockin’, so you want to keep reading.)
“My idea for this shoot was really simple – I wanted to convey a beautiful winter wedding scene, without being overtly Christmas or using any holiday cliches. I tried to stick with a few basics – neutral colored china and linens, antiqued silver and mercury glass, various sizes of pinecones, and just a few touches of bright red. We were so lucky to be granted the use of a local Christmas tree farm, which was the perfect backdrop for this scene. I also couldn’t have asked for better models for this shoot – Emily and Daniel were absolutely wonderful. Besides being beautiful and photogenic, they are so sincerely in love with one another, and I think that really shows in these photos.
When I’m designing, it’s helpful for me to think of what I what I already own, what I can probably borrow, and what I might be able to source cheap, or second-hand. That’s pretty much the basis for my philosophy: beg, borrow, or thrift. Some things, I have to beg for, because they’re essentials pieces of a personal collection (pretty china, classic pieces of mercury glass, antique furniture). Others, I like to source from friends, because I don’t necessarily need to own them (a lovely grey infinity scarf, a tarnished bronze lantern, an antique barrel). And sometimes, when I’m in need of a little something extra, and I don’t necessarily have the means to invest, I head to the Goodwill (for an aged silver tray, or a baroque metal picture frame). I guess my point is, you don’t need a lot of money to set up a fabulous-looking event, or table-scape.
We did two table settings, a desert station, and styled a bride and groom, and did it for cheap – my final total for this shoot was less than a hundred bucks: $20 for the whoopie pies ingredients, $20 for the florals/materials, $15 for 5 yards of cotton muslin to recover the chairs cushions/cloth napkins, $10 for a few well-priced Goodwill finds, and about $20 for the candles, peppermints, cranberries, and rock salt.
As I did on my own wedding day, I trusted McGowan Images to capture this shoot the way I imagined it. We talked about wanting it to feel wintery, but at the same time, warm and sun-drenched. That’s the kind of Christmas you get in Central Texas. I think the images turned out even better than we were hoping for, and I hope they help inspire a cash-strapped bride to think outside the box for winter wedding design.”
So, now you know what we did… and you know WHY, and you know how. It’s time for you to see the results!
I’ll start with our first table setting. As Meg said, we shot this at a Christmas tree farm… Haynie’s Green Acres in Crowley. Such wonderful people!
Meg got her greenery and pine cones at Central Market… inexpensive, and totally gorgeous!
Something about this next photo made it one of my favorites of the day. I can’t put my finger on it, but LOVE.
Need a quick addition to the back of chairs, just to punch things up a bit? How about a sprig from a leftover Christmas tree!
Emily & Daniel were just great models to work with. They just adore each other, and they seemed to quite enjoy being styled and posed. They fit into this setting absolutely perfectly!
Emily… you’re stunning!
Meg through that bouquet together from sprigs of seasonal greenery, berries and seed pods. I really adore it. The evergreen made it a bit… um… “sappy”, but a quick burlap wrap around the stems fixed it right up!
GAH, you guys are so cute.
Time for table setting #2! Using much of the same stuff, we switched the chairs around, replaced candles with lanterns and more pinecones. Voila! Variety!
Another favorite shot of the day, below. Can a pinecone look regal? I think it looks regal.
Emily admitted that she watched a marathon of “America’s Next Top Model” to prepare, after we approached her about being in the shoot. It definitely paid off… I can see her “smizing” here!
GET OUT. Seriously. Too beautiful!
The draft horse thought the bouquet looked pretty… er… yummy!
We mustn’t forget the gorgeous dessert station! Meg did such a fabulous job with a simple setting of homemade whoopie pies, hot chocolate, cranberries and peppermint. Gorgeous to look at, and yummy to eat! (The barrel is a personal favorite thrift store find that I convinced Mack to buy me a few months ago.)
Would you believe that Meagan freehand-wrote that “menu” in about 90 seconds? I want to make a font out of her hand-writing. It’s a heckuvalot prettier than my chicken scratch!
Meagan, you are a fabulous designer. The ideas you had for such a gorgeous set on a barely existent budget really amaze me. I see big things in your future!
Betsy, thank you for being fabulous, and helping SO much, and making us all laugh through our teeth-chattering cold.
Emily & Daniel, thank you for your gorgeousness, and willingness, and sweet spirits. I’m so honored to have met you!
Mack, thank you for whole-heartedly embracing this idea, even though you really didn’t understand why we were doing it.You’re so fantastic, and I couldn’t dream up a better partner in life or photography.
Group shot to celebrate… That’s a wrap!
Thank you so much for checking this out! It was a fun break for Mack and I do to something that was a little more creative and personal. I also think this has the potential to help brides figure out styling for their own events, without breaking the bank. Ultimately, that’s my goal… helping brides achieve their vision for their wedding day!
Please let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this style shoot… we have a few more in the works, and I want to make sure I’m giving the people what they want!