Beatrix Potter Styled Shoot | Details | Crystal Belcher Photography | Norfolk Botanical Garden

To say I've been excited to share these photos is the understatement of the century. I HAVE BEEN DYING TO POST THEM ON MY WEBSITE. Before I get into my favorites from this shoot, let me start off by saying that Crystal Belcher is an absolute gem. This girl. You guys. I emailed Crystal back in early Spring. After a few emails back and forth, we decided it was a match made in heaven and we would have so much fun putting it all together. And when I asked if it would be okay for Cal and I to model, she was 100% okay with it. Thanks to her, Cal and I have pictures I've always dreamed of having. Also, I'm thrilled our shoot was featured on Love and Lavender.

The Peter Rabbit theme was special for a number of reasons. I have always loved the story. More significantly, Cal's grandma called him Peter Rabbit when he was little. (ps- she still does.)

There are SO MANY good photos, I had to split this into two posts. Here are a few of my favorite details. I'll share my favorite portrait shots later this week. Full vendor list below!

Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events
Oh my gosh! This dress from Maya Couture! Swoon!

Oh my gosh! This dress from Maya Couture! Swoon!

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
My grandmother let me wear her mom's ring set. After a few threats that I had to bring it back, she dropped it into my hands. Don't worry, I gave it back! ;)

My grandmother let me wear her mom's ring set. After a few threats that I had to bring it back, she dropped it into my hands. Don't worry, I gave it back! ;)

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography

#powerteam Ashley Bush and Kristen Caudill!

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
Kristen was so clever and pulled inspiration from the Peter Rabbit story. This one might be my favorite!

Kristen was so clever and pulled inspiration from the Peter Rabbit story. This one might be my favorite!

John of Glass Gardens loaned us about 3 dozen succulents and we sure did have fun with them!

John of Glass Gardens loaned us about 3 dozen succulents and we sure did have fun with them!

Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events
This was shocking to even me, but I made this!! My flower arranging skills are improving and I'm having fun instead of being intimidated.

This was shocking to even me, but I made this!! My flower arranging skills are improving and I'm having fun instead of being intimidated.

Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events
Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events
Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
Not sure if you remember, but Peter's mom would give him a spoonful of chamomile tea before bedtime.

Not sure if you remember, but Peter's mom would give him a spoonful of chamomile tea before bedtime.

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
Vegetables as party favors! I love this cart so much! My friend Ruth took the mountain of veggies I brought and made it beautiful. Shout out to  Handsome Biscuit  for letting me borrow all of this!

Vegetables as party favors! I love this cart so much! My friend Ruth took the mountain of veggies I brought and made it beautiful. Shout out to Handsome Biscuit for letting me borrow all of this!

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
This cake! Chelsi outdid herself!

This cake! Chelsi outdid herself!

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
Little cutie!

Little cutie!

sterling dawn events | crystal belcher photography
Crystal Belcher Photography | Sterling Dawn Events

I could have kept going. Seriously, it was so hard to pick just a few (or a lot!) to post here. Crystal did such an amazing job and captured this shoot PERFECTLY!

Please check out our team of vendors. All of them seemed to look into my brain and exceed my expectations. Love you guys, seriously! I have included their Facebook links so you can go follow them! :)

Photography: Crystal Belcher Photography

Gown: Maya Couture, Norfolk

Venue: Norfolk Botanical Garden

Linens: Waterford Event Rentals

Paper Suite: Kristen Caudill Invitations

Calligraphy: Ashley Bush

Cake: Chelsi Davis

Hair/Makeup: Beauty by Sharra

Succulents: John of Glass Gardens

Florals: Yours Truly :)

Shoot Assistant: Raise the Ruth Events

 

Becoming the Bride Again | Styled Shoot with Crystal Belcher Photography

On a perfectly sunny Monday, I was excited, jittery, and could not believe the day had arrived. I was going to play the bride....after six years of marriage, I got to put on a gown again. I had my hair and makeup done, and my dude wore a fancy suit. (He was looking pretty good, if I may say so.) As I've mentioned before, Cal and I did not have a lot of portrait time on our wedding day. This has always bugged me and left me short on images to blow up for our (one day) house. So FINALLY, we will have some naturally lit portraits to hang on the wall. Another benefit to doing this shoot was networking with new local(and far) vendors! The shoot theme, which is still a bit of a surprise, has been something I've been dreaming up for a while now. FINALLY seeing it come to life made me so happy.

I could not have had a better team for the day. Everyone seemed to read my mind, which is far more than I could ever hope for. Ruth of Raise the Ruth Events staged the vegetable cart (yes, vegetable cart!) EXACTLY how I envisioned it. She also played a huge role in putting the finishing touches on some things after I got all garbed up.

Ruth of  Raise the Ruth Events  and a preview of our sweetheart table

Ruth of Raise the Ruth Events and a preview of our sweetheart table

The ladies of the Norfolk Botanical Garden wedding team were SO HELPFUL! Between the four of them, we had an extra set of hands for the duration of the shoot. They even drove us around in one of the fancy NBG golf carts. I will forever be grateful for that because my dress weighed approximately 87 lbs and it was 87 degrees. (Slight exaggeration on the dress, but not on the weather.)

The wedding team of Norfolk Botanical Garden. I like to call them "The Hair Club."

The wedding team of Norfolk Botanical Garden. I like to call them "The Hair Club."

ps- Ladies, thank you for the snacks! ;)

Crystal and I talked via text message and email for the majority of planning. It was so nice to spend the afternoon watching her work. I first met Crystal at a wedding I was in over two years ago. I am so impressed by her ability to take command of the scene while shooting. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to connect for weddings, portraits, or styled shoots. Plus, I'm fairly confident she made me look a whole lot better than I actually did. #magiccameraskills

My fairy godmother, Sharra, worked her hair and makeup magic on this mug. Then, she stayed on set to do whatever needed to be done. I'm quite sure she spent the majority of the time following me around with my train so I could do stuff. Girl is a champ!

Overall, everything went according to plan. As soon as we started shooting, a dark, scary cloud moved toward us like a full-throttle steam engine. We nervously scooted around the gardens, all the while keeping our eyes on the skies. Thankfully, we captured everything, packed up, and cleaned up without a single drop of water. I cannot wait to share the shoot with you....but not until it gets published. So this iPhone photo will have to do...

I'm wearing  Maggie Sottero  from  Maya Couture . Cal is wearing  Jos. A. Bank .

I'm wearing Maggie Sottero from Maya Couture. Cal is wearing Jos. A. Bank.


May Styled Shoot Vendor Lineup

I cannot contain my excitement over this! The next Sterling Dawn Events styled shoot is May 18th at Norfolk Botanical Garden!! The theme and space are a surprise, but I will tell you it has to do with gardening. ;)

Please join me in applauding our POWER TEAM of wedding vendors! It is such an honor that my lovely friends and collaborators would take time out of their busy start-of-wedding-season schedules to join me!

Crystal Belcher Photography - photography

Norfolk Botanical Garden - venue
with Rodyan Quinonez, Wedding Director

Kristen Caudill Invitations - paper suite

Ashley Bush Calligraphy - lettering

Maya Couture - gown

Waterford Event Rentals - linens

Glass Gardens - succulents and plants

Adele Diamond - engagement ring

Beauty by Sharra - hair/makeup

Chelsi Davis - baker

Raise the Ruth Events - assisting

I hope this shoot turns out to surprise you, in more ways than one! As I was thinking about this shoot and who to work with, I ran into some problems: THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD WEDDING VENDORS OUT THERE!!! What a tough spot to be in. ;)

 


Brunch Wedding | Styled Shoot

After Tidewater and Tulle featured our shoot last week, I received such kind words from so many of you. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! Being my first time coordinating a shoot, I was so nervous about it being well-received. I mean, I know it is beautiful, but my aim is to always be original. (Trying to be original is scary!!)

Working with our vendors was a DREAM! We had established businesses and newbies (like me). I could not have asked for a better combination! Working along side Daytona was so much fun - that girl has an eye for style! I wanted to take a moment to thank her. I don't think I'd be quite this far along, or even doing this at all, without her support. After all, it was our conversation on July 19th that prompted me to think seriously about taking this journey. Okay, weepy, teary-eyed Sterling is done now.

sterling dawn events brunch styled shoot

A girl's gotta risk her neck to hang a chandelier in the woods. Special thanks to my friend, Rosanne, for letting me borrow her (extremely heavy) table. And to my husband and his buddy, Derek, for moving said heavy table! ;) ps- That chandelier stayed in the woods for about a month. Oops.

I really can't say which detail is my favorite, as I have so many favorites! However, I LOVED these diamonds from Adele Diamond. They just recently relaunched their business as Adele, and they have exploded on social media. Their rings are BEAUTIFUL and they have found a way to keep their costs down, and pass that discount along to their customers.

Swoooooon!

Swoooooon!

adele diamond brunch wedding shoot

Another player on our team was my friend Brianna of Geminis Boutique. She is a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel and her jewels are TO DIE FOR. Before the shoot, she sent everything to me and said "wear them!" Ahhh!! YES! I think I wore that pendant necklace every day for like 3 weeks. At the end, her gift to me was the gold leaf cuff. {insert heart-eyed emoji}

chloe and isabel brunch wedding shoot
chloe & isabel brunch wedding shoot

Our invitations were created by the lovely April of PaperDolls Design. I have seen April's work on blog after blog for a few years now, and I was so excited when she agreed to participate in our shoot. I love the details here! Burlap, the green and rose colored ink, the NAMES! How clever! Woods and Hunt! I got a big kick out of that!

paperdolls design brunch wedding shoot
paperdolls design brunch wedding shoot

Can we talk about flowers for a second? I would call myself floristically-challenged. Did I just make up a word? Spell check tells me yes. When our plans for a florist didn't pan out, Daytona and I went to Norfolk Wholesale. With my novice opinions, and her more advanced skills, we came up with this. When I say "we" I really mean her. I love this bouquet so much!! The variety and texture worked so well.

bouquet daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
bouquet daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

I almost decided on penning some place cards and addressing the envelop myself. That would not have been terrible, but then I learned about sweet Emily of Lindsey Lettering. Her cute Etsy shop offers hand lettering and greeting card design. I'm so glad we decided to use her skills, as they provided a delicate touch to our table.

lindsey lettering daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
lindsey lettering daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

Let's talk about cake, aka: my favorite thing about weddings. Because our main dish was breakfast, I wanted to do something simple. Even brunch weddings still need a cake. I attend church with the sweetest young lady, Chelsi Davis. She has been baking for quite some time, and just recently started culinary school. I am so impressed with her skills. In fact, another one of her cakes was included in a Tidewater and Tulle feature. If you'd like to get in touch with Chelsi, please let me know.

rosette cake daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
rosette cake daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
rosette cake daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
rosette cake daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

Let's talk about the FOOD! Waffles are something you can use to measure love. They are everything. When I first had Waffletina's liege waffles, my eyes were opened. Pearls of sugar in a yeast dough....DELISH! You can catch Waffletina in pop-ups around Norfolk. Follow them on Instagram to stay in the know! And the macarons from Hummingbird. AMAZING! We ate every last one. Kisha's macarons are famous in Hampton Roads - and with good reason! She is getting ready to open a shop in Ghent!! Wooo hooo!

I could not believe we had this perfect combination of eats. Still in shock.

waffletina waffles daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
waffletina waffles daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
waffletina waffles daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

When I thought about the type of dress I wanted for this shoot, I never expected to end up with this one. Boy, am I glad we did. This blush Martina Liana gown from pure english couture bridal was THE PERFECT FIT for this shoot. Our model, Ally, looked like she was floating.

Daytona, seriously? Girl...you're a wizard!!! :)

Daytona, seriously? Girl...you're a wizard!!! :)

pure english couture bridal daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
pure english couture bridal daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
pure english couture bridal daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
pure english couture bridal daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

Hair and makeup was provided by my dear friend, Sharra. After working for MAC for YEARS, she completed cosmetology school, and now works as an independent stylist. She worked her magic on Ally's hair (she has A LOT of hair!) - it could not have been more beautiful!

wedding hair and makeup daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
wedding hair and makeup daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

And now for more of my favorites! Ally and Alec are a real couple - you can totally tell!

daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
So cute, Alec!!!

So cute, Alec!!!

daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot
daytona may photography brunch wedding shoot

A HUGE thank you to everyone involved! You are my heroes!

Photography - Daytona May Photography

Gown - pure english couture bridal

Invitations - PaperDolls Designs

Sweets - Hummingbird Macarons, Waffletina, & Chelsi Davis

Jewelry - Geminis Boutique

Diamonds - Adele Diamond

Lettering - Lindsey Lettering

HMUA - Sharra Encarnacion

Models - Ally Sortino & Alec Ferley

Also, thank you Tidewater and Tulle for featuring this fun bunch!!!