I have been planning this photo shoot for months. I've scribbled hundreds of notes, sent countless emails, bugged the crap out of my vendors and finally my vision has become reality. This being my first collaborative styled session, I officially feel for wedding planners and brides who go through this...though very fun and rewarding, this project kicked my ass. I'm incredibly excited and proud to show you all of the hard work that my new friends and I have created together. If you're going to be a bride anytime in the near future, here's a place for you to start if you're overwhelmed by the large number of vendor options. Sometimes it's hard to find a good balance of professional and fun but each of these businesses put their heart into everything they do to make your wedding day as magical as you imagine it to be.
Stonegate Manor, a gorgeous estate venue in the heart of Lake Michigan Wine Country. Located 10 minutes North of St. Joseph and just minutes from Lake Michigan, Stonegate Manor is Southwest Michigan’s premier country estate venue. Situated on 26 acres, the estate provides the perfect setting for your wedding or special occasion. The ample indoor and outdoor spaces are able to accommodate up to 175 guests for a fairy tale event. It is more than a gorgeous home turned wedding venue. The simplicity of the exterior brings a country vibe perfectly paired with the interior's elegant Victorian details. If the house alone weren't alluring enough, the property has two other charming buildings, one for each part of your big day.
The newest edition to the venue's amenities, the Bridal Suite is my personal favorite space on the entire property.
Memories Bridal of Kalamazoo Michigan provided the wardrobe for both our bride & groom. Lexi & PJ met me at the shop a while back to pick out the dress and we were pretty much in girly heaven. Lexi and I both were a little overwhelmed with all the glitter and lace but somehow we were able to come up with a clear vision of which dresses fit the look we were going for. I knew I wanted something unique but classy, to accentuate the style of the venue. We apparently had a good idea of what we wanted because unintentionally each dress we tried on were all created by the same designer, Calla Blanche.
I could go on and on about how amazing this dress and the shop is but I'll just let the images speak for themselves.
When I began planning this shoot I had no idea I would end up with two florists- let alone that they would turn out to be old friends. When Beth of Black Dog Farms and Sandy of Sandy's Floral Boutique told me that they would be thrilled to collaborate with each other I couldn't have felt any luckier. They were both incredibly patient with me even though I didn't know any of the florist lingo or where to even start with describing my vision. I'd never worked with a florist before and to be honest this was the part of the project I was stressing out about most. These women are rock stars!
The stunning 8ft long floral swag pictured below on the white door was created by Sandy's Floral Boutique.
The bouquet & boutonnière are the work of Beth at Black Dog Farms
Lexi & PJ have chemistry. I'm pretty thankful for that, what can I say? I got lucky! 😍 6 years of marriage and Lexi is still killin' it with the pick up lines! I had a blast with these two. They whole-heartedly took on their roles of Bride & Groom and they were somehow able to keep up with my madness!
Angie Mamouzellos of The Formal Fork created a stunning cake, which was almost too beautiful to eat. The family that runs the Formal Fork is one of the hardest working, genuine groups of people I've ever known - and man do they know food! They have lots of experience in events such as parties and weddings, they even have an event space of their own.
PS - the frosting was as tasty as it looks, just in case you're wondering :D
A lot of the decor was provided by the remarkable Jennifer of Celery City Trading. This chick has created a new kind of decor rental service that has me wishing I'd thought of it first. I had the opportunity to visit the awe-inspiring barn with a boutique vibe to get an idea of what she has to offer. This building was packed full of her seemingly random but beautifully organized collection of furniture, accessories and odds & ends. I had a blast just looking through my almost unlimited style options. If you love vintage and eclectic kinds of looks, or if you're an off the beaten path kind of bride- you'll want to look into what Jennifer and her picker style collection has to offer.
She has furniture, lighting, dinnerware, signage, birdcages, lanterns, candle holders, doors, ladders, suitcases, rugs, tubs, globes, from table cloths to ceremony arches and everything in between. She is a genius when it comes to decor.
I had a last minute addition to my vendor list when I had the pleasure of meeting one of my new favorite people - Carmen Smith of Cherry Characters. It started with her writing something down - and I was instantly jealous of her handwriting. I'm not sure if that's something normal people get jealous of but you can see why I wish I had her talent. When she told me she does calligraphy and custom hand-lettering, I knew I had to figure out some way of incorporating her work into our shoot. And of course I had to go with Winnie the Pooh quotes <3
I can't thank these talented and beautiful vendors enough. I also wouldn't have been able to pull any of this off without the help and support of my friends and family. To everyone that helped me with this shoot and especially those who had to listen to my crazy thought processes.
Venue located in Benton Harbor, MI
Bridal Shop located in Kalamazoo, MI
Beth at Black Dog Farms
Florist located in Baroda, MI
Sandy's Floral Boutique
Florist located in Buchanan, MI
Models : Lexi & PJ Pollock
Makeup Artist located in Niles, MI
The Formal Fork
Cake/Catering located in New Buffalo, MI
Celery City Trading
Decor Rental located in Decatur, MI
Carmen Smith at Cherry Characters
Custom Signage located in Grand Rapids, MI
A big thank you to Harvey the Horse and his owner Lindsay of Sunset Ridge Stables.