Truth be told, I've had a vision for this shoot in my head for a long time. It wasn't until I started meeting up for lunch with Marvyl and Christi that I started to put pen to paper and get the wheels turning. Marvyl just kinda brings that out of you. She's the busiest human I know, but also possibly the most thoughtful. She goes 110mph in life, but her joy, even for simple things like southwest eggrolls from Chilis, is tangible. You can't help but love her. She is also a hell of a planner/coordinator. She shows up ready to work with a smile on her face. Her problem solving skills and creativity make her the perfect person to plan your day with, I sorta wish she'd plan all of my days for me.
Christi has become another one of my favorite people. Christi is the hair stylist for all of my boudoir clients (see her work here and here) but she has also become a good friend. She is far more talented than I think she knows, the evidence is in this shoot as well as in every client project I've ever worked on with her. She also has the most incredibly calming presence, something I think must really be awesome for her brides on their wedding days. Also, shes really funny and laughs with me about life and The Office regularly, so she's an ace.
Beauty by Blair did the makeup for this shoot. I often joke that Blair, Christi, and I are a package deal, but its kinda true. We've easily worked on over 100 clients together at this point, and they've become like family. Blair did the makeup for my own wedding, will probably do the makeup for any other event I ever do, and I'll more than likely force everyone I know to use her as well. Don't get me wrong, I've worked with lots of gifted MUAs, but again, we're just kinda a package deal. I love how subtle and feminine the look she created was. It perfectly tied in with all the little details, and especially with the soft curls Christi pulled off.
I'm gushing now, but hey, I LOVE my people. Melissa Timm and her team created the most jaw dropping floral arrangements. I actually threw my phone and squealed when Marvyl sent me a picture of them. Melissa stepped in at the 11th hour and saved the day with our flowers. With it being busy season, we had a really tough time finding a florist that was available but Melissa fit us in and really showed off. The favorite part about the arrangements was her creative use of rosemary! Every time I smelled them I wanted a steak, but hey, I like a good steak. The flowers completely tied everything else together and I cannot say enough about how happy they made me.
Kim with Cakery Bakery was a new friend, but I'm so glad we met. I told her to have fun with it, but I wanted to have a subtle nod toward the royal wedding with multi-tier cakes. She delivered and man oh man, was that cake good. I won't even tell you how quickly we ate it. Kim and her daughter also stuck around and decorated the cakes for us with fresh flowers from Melissa and some peaches I picked up. They really did go above and beyond and were so kind throughout the whole process.
Brittany with the Tristar Scribe is another new friend that we're really excited to have gotten to work with! I've followed Brittany's work for a long time, so when I reached out I knew she'd come up with something great. I shot her a list of stuff we'd love to have be a part of the shoot and she quickly sent me back her idea, including an acrylic sign (praise be, I LOVE acrylic anything) and the coolest ribbon place "cards" for the head table. She hand lettered everything and stuck around to help us throughout the shoot, even though it got pretty humid outside. Brittany was an absolute treat to work with!
We picked a Hayley Paige dress from Lillian Ruth Bridal in Market Square and it could not have fit the scene any better. I have to admit, though I loved the Hayley Paige dress, any dress from Lillian Ruth would've been fantastic. Their collection is incredible and unique, and their showroom is one of the prettiest little pieces of downtown Knoxville. Even if all of that weren't true, Leslie and Liz make the experience of picking out a dress, even as a vendor, something special.
All Occasions lent us all of our beautiful staple items, like the tables, linens, chairs, plates, glassware, flatware, etc. Basically everything you'd need to actually pull off a styled shoot ;) AOPR's team is always such a delight to work with. They had no problem with us coming into their showroom and laying everything out so that we could narrow down the style. They even helped recommend items. Knoxville really is lucky to have such a killer group of people.
Last but certainly not least, a massive thank you to our real couple, Kelsey and Saxon. We always use real couples for styled shoots because they bring an extra level of emotion, intimacy, and, our favorite thing, joy. Kelsey is photographer in Knoxville as well and we met by both being Preferred Photographers at The Hive. We instantly clicked, because I'm not sure who wouldn't click with Kelsey. Shes a precious human being and an excellent photographer. When she volunteered herself and her husband, I knew it was kismet.
PHEW. I know. I ramble. I just feel like thanking people for their time and talent is really important, especially in this industry. If you're looking for any vendors, please check out our friends. They really are second to none and they all care massively about the time it takes to make you day spectacular. Plus, hey, we all work really well together :)