Wow, it’s been a long time since I blogged! This wedding season has been busy, and I’m SO grateful for it. I’ve been slowly gearing up for the off-season and trying to brainstorm ideas for a few shoots during the next three or four months. I just finished one last week, and I want to do at least 2-3 more where I am in charge of all creative direction, as well as the flowers. One of my main focuses for Oak & the Owl is to have more of a presence in the overall design of the weddings we’re involved with. After a degree and 5 years in Interior Design firms, I know how much Oak & the Owl has to offer our clients. So I’m using these shoots as an opportunity to showcase the type of design I’m inherently drawn to, and what will hopefully be known as my creative direction for wedding styling.
I’ve found that I have the hardest time coming up with anything creative when I’m slammed with weddings. Some times ideas come quickly, but more often than not, I have to take my time and let them come to me – most often in my sleep. Take this shoot for instance… I spent about a month last winter winter coming up with ideas for it, and about two weeks to produce all the details. And boy was it worth it. This shoot turned out just as I imagined, and my imagination can be hard to live up to.
I created two totally different shoots for a group of film photographers from Contax 645 in the Bay Area. When I found out there would be close to 10 different (and incredibly talented) photographers there to shoot, I knew I wanted there to be a lot of details to capture, and I wanted it to be spectacular. Everything was photographed beautifully, so I was beyond happy. I worked closely with Josh Gruetzmacher in coordinating the shoot as well as preparing the submissions, which was a treat as his work is stunning and he’s just a great guy. The other photographers involved were Coco Tran, Hannah Suh, Em the Gem, Justin Parker, Michele Beckwith, Spencer Sanchez.
The team of vendors I worked with to make this happen were amazing and I love that I now have a whole new list of incredible artists and designers to work with, and refer my clients to. Lara Choma from Sealed with a Kiss Events helped me from start to finish with coordinating rentals from Hartmann Studios, culling the wardrobe pieces, and bringing on Studio Cake in Menlo Park who made the most perfect cakes for this concept. Lara also found the stunning property to use as a backdrop for the shoot. The family was so gracious and kind as I took over their yard and turned it into two mini weddings. Lara and her handsome fiancé (at the time of this shoot, but now husband as of October 12th!!) also modeled for us. I can’t thank her enough for all of her priceless help and I’m so happy we’re friends now.
La Tavola had the perfect linen for this concept, their black leather dot – and it was even better in person. After I sourced the linens, all that was left was to bust out over 25 gold sunburst mirrors, pack my car full of different odds and ends to shoot, and drive to the Bay. I loved going to the SF Flower Mart again, and found some choice pieces I can never find in LA. Although that trip ended my whining about the LA market. We have just as good of materials, even if it’s not all the same, and the price point is a bit lower here. Still, I wish I could get gardenias on a stem in Los Angeles (you’ll see them in the Nouveau shoot)…
I worked closely with Alexandra of Aerialist Press in the East Bay on the paper goods. Well actually, I just told her what I was thinking, what my inspiration was, and it was like she read my mind. When she sent me the first (and only) proof, I couldn’t believe how exact they were to what I envisioned, yet never fully communicated to her. I’m not a big believer in fate, but it was as though the creative end of this shoot was fated. It all came together so perfectly.
I love working in the Bay. After living there for 13 years, it’s still like going home. And I get to see a lot of my best friends, most of whom I met at Bloomies where we all worked as designers. Which also means I have my friend Jenny P. to help me with install (bless her, she strung up all those mirrors after I had a few choice words with tangled up fishing line) and design when I’m up there for larger weddings. I wish we still lived down the street from each other, but someday our forces will be joined again in a business venture in a more permanent way.
I also had the unbelievable luck of having Alicia Schwede of Flirty Fleurs come and help me with the install too. She was so fun and great to work with. We had been social media friends for about a year before that, and I honestly couldn’t believe that she wanted to come down and help out. Her support and advice from years of experience in this business have proven invaluable. I feel very lucky to call her a real deal friend and I can’t wait to work on another project together, or just get lunch.
This shoot was also featured on Style My Pretty where I included a DIY for the sunburst mirrors. I’ll include it here too in case you want to try your hand at making them. They’re really easy and inexpensive. Let me know if you have any questions!
(1) 5” Round Mirror
(1) 5” Brass Ring
(1) Package of Large Bamboo Skewers
Hot Glue Gun
Step 1: Take your 5” round mirror and draw a template on a piece of thick cardboard. Cut the circle out. Draw a line down the center of the circle, then from the other end, draw another line. And so on until you’ve divided the circle into at least 16 sections.
Step 2: Taking your skewers, divide them into 4 groups of 25. Take one group and cut them by 1”, the next by 2”, the next by 3”. Leave one group of 25 at its original length.
Step 3: Take the longest skewers and using the hot glue, place them equidistant around the circle. Start with 4, then take the next size and place them in the middle of the longest skewers. Do the same with the next size down, and keep going until the sunburst is complete.
Step 4: After you’re satisfied with the mirror, spray it with whatever spray paint you’ve chosen, making sure to coat the sides. Then paint the brass ring to match the skewers. Glue the brass ring to the top of the mirror with a thin coat of super glue, being careful to not get glue on the surface of the mirror. After is has dried, turn the mirror upside down and place a hanger on the back with the super glue. And you’re done!
Shoot Concept + Styling + Floral Design: Oak & the Owl
Wardrobe Styling + Coordination: Sealed with a Kiss Events
Stationery: Aerialist Press
Calligraphy: Michele Papineau
Tabletop Rentals + Chairs: Hartmann Studios
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Cake: Studio Cake
Hair Accessories + Belts: Amanda Judge
Earrings: Waffles and Honey
Hair + Makeup: Kristen and Gigi