Behind the Scenes

Rising Tide Society Styled Shoot | Weddings, Engagements, & Babies

“A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”

One of my favorite parts of my job is working together with the many other talented creatives in our area.  I love getting my client questionnaires back to find that I’m working with some familiar faces, though (aside from your photographer) I don’t always get the chance to connect with them on a wedding day.

For the past 3 years I’ve been a member of the Rising Tide Society.  We’re a group of local creatives that meet each month to collectively improve our businesses.  This group has been hugely helpful for me personally, and I always look forward to our meetings.  Two years ago the leader moved away, and I stepped in to help coordinate our monthly meetings.

The one thing we haven’t done together is a Styled Shoot.  If you’ve spent any time looking at wedding website and publications, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one (hopefully disclosed as such).  Basically, it’s a photo shoot carefully planned to look like a wedding or event, by a vendor (or group of vendors) for a variety of reasons.  I enjoy doing them because unlike your wedding day, often the whole group of vendors will just hang out, and I love the opportunity to chat with them in person.  They are also the time when we tend to try out new things (gear, filmmaking techniques, etc)…..because I’m not playing around on your wedding day!

wv styled shoot

The Planners

wv wedding plannerWhile I love participating in these shoots, I’ve never planned one on my own.  I’m not a wedding planner or a designer, and I don’t try to be.  So I held off on planning a shoot for our group because I wasn’t sure that I could do it justice.  Finally, I realized that *I* don’t have to plan or design the shoot.  I just needed to coordinate it getting done, so I consulted with Allison from Paper Hearts Invitations (she shares in the leadership duties for our little group, and I’m always so happy for her help) and we decided to make this thing happen.  We then reached out to a couple of local planners, Brittany Anne and Theresa Bailey and asked for their help in planning and designing this event.  We gave them each a general idea and let them run with it, and they both did an amazing job pulling things together!

wv wedding planner
photo by Kristin Riley Photography

Brittany planned a colorful, upscale and chic wedding theme, and Theresa planned a fun firework themed baby shower.

Our goals were simple:

  • to provide an inclusive activity for our group to bring all of our artists, planners, and makers together.
  • to provide high-quality marketing material to all vendors and contributors

The Venue

We also wanted to feature a new location.  Crystalline Events is a new venue located in Fairmont, WV.  The space was formerly a mid-century church, which has been decommissioned and unused for several years.  The Michael family purchased the building and put a TON of work into remodeling and converting it into an event venue.  It is now a light and airy, open space with neutral flooring, upscale lighting, and well-appointed prep areas.  They’ve done an amazing job, and personally, I love seeing older building repurposed and put to use like this!

fairmont wv wedding venue

The Artisans and Vendors

One of the difficulties in putting together a large styled shoot is to find a role for everyone who wants to be involved.  We added the baby shower theme to include the photographers who don’t typically photograph weddings (photographers specialize, y’all.  you want a wedding photographer for your wedding and a newborn photographer for your baby, and often they are not the same person) and to give some of our artisans an opportunity to package their goods as gifts for the new family.  Lauren & her husband, Luke (along with her 30 week baby bump) served as models for the baby shower, along with some sweet little mini models, Mia and Lilah.

I was thrilled to find out that Theresa had found a balloon artist to do some really cool things with balloons.  I’ve been admiring the trend of organic, freeform balloon arches and sculptures for well over a year, and wasn’t aware we had anyone locally who could make it happen, but B&B Balloons did an amazing job! I can’t personally shout out every vendor who participated or this post would be miles long, but everything came together so nicely.  Here’s the full list for the baby shower shoot:

Planner | Theresa Bailey
Venue | Crystalline Events
Florals | Gypsie Annie
Hair | Once Upon A Wedding
Makeup | Amanda Vicinelly
Paper Goods | Paper Hearts Invitations
Table Decor | The Mustard Couch
Cake | Cakewalk
Cake Plates | Angi D-signs
Gelato | Tutto Gelato Cafe
Backdrop | Mountain Mama Handmades
Cookies | Honeycomb Baking
Balloons | B & B Balloons
Linens | Elite Bridal and Events

For our wedding theme, Brittany Anne’s fabulous rental walls provided the backdrops for several different scenes, which were made complete with the gorgeous macrame from Carol Marie Artisan Designs, unique florals from Gypie Annie, and the polished signs from Paper Hearts Invitations.  To add variety and options for the many wedding photographers we knew would be in attendance, we brought along two couples to model for this shoot: Callie and her husband Doug, and Matt and his fiance Eddie.

Planner | Brittany Anne’s Rentals & Planning
Venue | Crystalline Events
Florals | Gypsie Annie
Hair | Once Upon A Wedding
Makeup | Amanda Vicinelly
Paper Goods & Signs | Paper Hearts Invitations
Sweetheart Table | The Mustard Couch
Wedding Dress | The Vow Boutique
Macrame | Carol Marie Artisan Designs
Cupcakes + Cake | The Cupcakerie
Wedding Rings | Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry
Gelato | Tutto Gelato Cafe

The Image Makers

Amberlee Christey Photography
Kuirsta + Seth
Alisha Faith Photography
Jenn Luczko Photography
Marcellaneous Photography
Lynda Smith Photography
Kristen Riley Photography
Natasha Anne Portraits
In His Image Photography by Zoe
ReClick Creative
MotionWorks Wedding Films

We’ve also kept busy visiting a few wedding shows this month and sharing our new Video Playbooks!  They have been a huge hit with everyone who has seen them in person.  This weekend, you can catch us at the Bridal Open House at Stonewall Resort and see them for yourself.

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