Hingework Lancaster PA : Mahogany Stories : A Styled Bridal Shoot
Back in October of 2019 I shared my idea with my sweet friend and second shooter Catherine of Tales and Trees Photography. We were driving home from a wedding at Folino Estate and I told her my idea for a styled bridal shoot... modern industrial space, silver pipe arch, velvet bridesmaid dresses, a bridal jumpsuit- edgy but also chic- I could see it in my head and just wanted to make that vision come alive. Catherine is one of those amazing people who is a visionary and literally the best personal cheerleader you could ever have. She was super enthusiastic and said " Let's make it happen... and let's call our styled shoot something fun so that we can do more together in the future." And that's where we left it... that conversation started a spark and soon after through many texts and a few lunch dates- Mahogany Stories was born. Catherine had the idea of taking a word that represented each of our businesses and putting them together to form our styled shoot name- her business Tales and Trees Photography- the word she chose was Mahogany- a beautiful and elegant tree name, and the word I chose was simple- Stories- because my favorite part of being a photographer is telling people's stories through photos. We settled on a date at the beginning of March and as I look around at where we are today- I am SO glad that we had this very special and perfect day of creativity before our lockdown hit. It brings tears to my eyes to look back at these photos and see just how perfect the entire day was- from each and every one of the vendors, to the models, the florals, the desserts... if I could get married all over again this would be it!
This blog post is going to be a long one y'all... because I want to make sure you get to hear all about each of the vendors and all of the things that happened beforehand that made me lean into God's hands and fully rely on Him to handle all of the details.
After Catherine and I chose a date for the shoot I started to reach out to vendors that I loved... Catherine is friends with Mischa at Woodland Floral Design Co. and she was the first vendor to say YES! She totally made our vision come alive and she is sweet and very talented- if you are looking for a florist for your upcoming wedding PLEASE reach out to her!
The pipe arch was inspired by the pipes that I built my pantry shelves out of- I had never seen an arch built out of thicker silver pipes before and knew that it would be amazing... thus the pipe arch was born. It was an easy DIY project and the majority of the time was just spent cleaning all of the stickers off of each piece of pipe.... but the result was exactly what I was looking for.
Hingework Inc. was the venue that I had in my head from day 1 so I was so so excited that they had our date open and it was the perfect modern industrial space for the shoot.
Our amazing video teams are two of my favorite teams to work with- Matt and Andre from Soft Focus Events and Kae from Northwood Films. We cannot wait to share their work from the day.
A little secret most people close to me know- I have been gluten free for over 6 years after discovering that I have a major reaction to it. My favorite gluten free desserts are macaron cookies, and gluten free cookie dough. I reached out to Tara at Baking Tara's Treats and she was more than willing to let us have some of her beautiful macarons for the shoot.... and y'all... Dough and Co from downtown Lancaster brought Harvey the Food Truck and made all my cookie dough dreams come true. When Taylor- the amazing owner of Dough and Co. said she would be happy to participate it took everything to not jump up and down screaming... but definitely wouldn't be acceptable in a coffee shop! God was just working behind the scenes to make all of these details come together and it was amazing to see.
Persnickety Inc. did a gorgeous custom invitation suite and acrylic menus for our shoot. Melissa was amazing to work with and all that I told her was... emerald green, velvet, acrylic, modern and edgy. She ran with it and created lovely pieces.
All of our furniture and candlesticks, dish-wear, etc. came from Caroline's Rentals. I cannot rave about Lindsey enough. She was so attentive to all the details and she helped make this shoot come to life in so many ways. If you need rentals for your upcoming wedding or party- her selection is amazing! The head-table and chairs were perfect for doing a charcuterie board across the front- and idea that I had from remembering back to my own wedding day and being HUNGRY- how amazing would it be it have food on your head-table to pick at whenever you wanted to?! Catherine found an instagram account that was so helpful in creating this @cheesebynumbers ... and the day of.. I painted with food and the charcuterie was born!
Our beauty team was Amanda with Artistry by Blaney and Lia with Hair by Lia Welch. These two ladies worked magic on our models and we loved their joy and passion for their work. It was amazing having them with us all morning and if you need hair and makeup for your wedding... again- I highly recommend these beautiful ladies.
Our models were obviously the stars of the show- Our bride and groom are friends of Catherine- Shantell and Mike Robertson and they rocked being the center of attention and handled it with so much class and grace. Bree was our gorgeous model in the green velvet dress and she also comes from Harrisburg and is a friend of Catherine. Alexa and Jordan were the amazing couple in the full black outfits and they are one of my 2020 wedding couples! They enthusiastically said they would participate and we were so glad to have them model for us. The last model had a personal conflict come up the day before the shoot... and y'all.... my sweet sweet man was willing to jump in and model in his place for the day. I am one lucky lady to call him mine!!
We kept it simple for our menswear and asked them each to wear things that they already owned- all we added were some emerald velvet bowties that I found on ASOS.com. Those men looked sharp!
Shantell wore two separate looks from Rent The Runway and we also found out that her gown was unavailable in her size- about 3 days before the shoot- but thankfully the alternate size worked and we were able to pin it to make it fit! Her gown is the Kellee gown from Badgley Mischka and her jumpsuit was the white ruffle jumpsuit from ML Monique Lhuillier. She styled them both with her own shoes and Lia finished her look with gorgeous glamorous curls.
Bree wore a green velvet Micah Convertible dress from Shop Revelry. I saw this dress online and reached out to Shop Revelry who had one sample dress in Bree's size and in the gorgeous emerald green. They shipped it out almost a month early but we ran into a snag when for an entire week it showed as delivered but was not at my house. They were so amazing with customer service and we were working on an alternate look... meanwhile praying that it would show up.... and it did! One week after the tracking showed as delivered and there it was. Again- God worked out the details. She also styled the dress with her own shoes and Lia worked with her natural curls to create the most beautiful updo.
Alexa wore a gorgeous black velvet strapless gown from Pretty Little Things that I had found way back when we started our vision board. She styled it with gold heels from Lulu's and Lia did an edgy ponytail for her bridesmaid look.
Their jewelry was picked up at TJMaxx just two days before the shoot when we realized that the jewelry that was supposed to arrive from a vendor wouldn't arrive to us in time for the shoot. I chose bold statement earrings because that's a personal style of mine that I just can't get enough of!
Through all of this planning- my family had the flu at the end of January, and then I battled with walking pneumonia and breathing issues for almost 8 weeks after. The day after the shoot I was breathing so badly that I had to go to urgent care again and be put on another round of antibiotics. Through it all God showed himself to us. He took care of all the big and little details and made this shoot the stuff dreams are made of. Huge THANK YOU to each and every vendor, to Catherine who was an amazing partner in this shoot, to Brian my husband for visualizing with me- praying with me- modeling last minute- helping set up and clean up- and just being the most amazing servant leader!, and THANK YOU to each of the beautiful photographers who believed in our vision and came out to create with us. We love and appreciate each one of you!
Now- If you've made it through all that- here are the photos from this EPIC day-