If there is one thing I have learned about myself over the course of my life is that I love to collaborate with talented creative people, plan and organize events, and document the entire process. After participating in two other styled shoots and learning from the best, I knew I was ready to organize my own.
This weekend, I got to work with some of the finest creatives in the Greater Southern California area including Josh of Dapper Vintage Rentals, Jessica of Flourish Paper Co., Andria of Divine Blooms and Design, Morgan of A Little Creative, and Amber and Portia of AP Beauty.
We collaborated on a Fall Destination Engagement Styled Shoot in the mountain town of Wrightwood, CA. The stars aligned for me before and after the eclipse because all the pieces fell together beautifully. The end result was beyond my wildest imagination. It was breathtakingly gorgeous.
The Lineup of Incredible Contributors:
Photography: Jax Connolly Photo
Florals: Divine Blooms and Design
Rentals: Dapper Vintage Rentals
Calligraphy + Invitation Design: Flourish Paper Co
Hair + Makeup: AP Beauty
Coffee Mugs: A Little Creative
Dress Boutique: Rent the Runway
Dress Designer: Kate Spade
Ring: Artisan LA
Getting to work with a real couple makes all the difference in the world.
Sari and Greg live in Los Angeles and found each other through an online dating app in 2012. On their first date, they kept it simple and met for coffee. It was Thanksgiving weekend and while friends of theirs were hustling and bustling preparing for the holiday, Greg and Sari were not. That’s because Sari and Greg are Canadian. After sipping the last bit of coffee from their cups, Greg asked if Sari would like to continue their date by taking a walk on the Santa Monica Pier. Sari replied yes. They ended up on the ferris wheel where they shared their first sweet kiss. As it started to grow dark around them, they decided to head back to where they parked their cars. Sari was 15 feet away from saying goodbye when Greg interjected, “Hey... I would like to keep talking to you... Do you want to get dinner?”
Greg popped the question five years later in 2017, while the two were on vacation in Hawaii. And he popped the question in a way that is so perfectly them. While taking a break from a hike in the crater of Haleakalā National Park, Greg full steam ahead began telling Sari that he had looked at engagement rings and had been asking his mom which one he should get Sari. Sari stared at Greg, and with excitement in her voice she said, “Greg, you forgot to ask the question!” As the story goes, with all the excitement Greg assumed that Sari would say yes, but without missing a beat, he asked her if she would marry him. They customized her engagement ring at Artisan LA by creating a band similar to Greg's engineering ring (which Sari would always steal and wear). As this destination couple would have it, they will be tying the knot in Banff, Canada in 2018.
Sari and Greg have so much chemistry and so much cute back and forth. What made Sari and Greg the perfect couple for this Wrightwood Fall Engagement Styled Shoot was being so madly in love with each other, having a love of Wrightwood and the outdoors, and being an untraditional adventerous bride and groom.
The day started at a gorgeous cabin in Wrightwood, CA where the dynamic on location hair and makeup team, Amber and Portia from AP Beauty, arrived early to pamper and beautify our bride-to-be. As a team, they worked efficiently: Amber did Sari's hair at the same time Portia did Sari's makeup. Throughout the getting ready, many stories and laughs were exchanged. I mean, what fun is getting ready without a little girl talk? Based out of Riverside, AP Beauty offers bridal airbrush and standard makeup serving the Southern California area and the best part is, they travel to you. For this styled shoot, AP Beauty used standard makeup.
After Sari was ready, we headed out to the town of Wrightwood. We stopped at the only coffee shop, The Village Grind, as coffee is a must for these two love birds. In the name of the environment and because they are so stinkin’ cute, we brought our own coffee mugs designed by A Little Creative. Honestly, we are so lucky to have these coffee mugs on the shoot because they literally were delivered from the print shop to Morgan’s doorstep the night before! And just to say a couple of words about Morgan. She’s a badass designer who seriously went above and beyond to get these mugs designed and delivered on time (so thank you!). After checking out the Village Grind, we settled ourselves outside Wrightwood Brewing Company for some sweet shots with the cute “Forever and Ever” coffee mugs which Sari and Greg loved. I mean, really loved because they actually say this to each other all the time.
Our second destination on our itinerary was Grassy Hollow Picnic Area. Destination engagements and weddings add so much excitement to any planning experience. I mean, it’s seriously the next level to pick yourself and your closest family up to another location to tie the knot, and it’s always great to have a uniquely designed one year in advance save the date to share with your guests, so they can start planning for the adventure. Our beautiful watercolor save the date was designed by San Diego based calligrapher Jessica of Flourish Paper Co. with an add on piece that said, “And so the adventure begins.” She also created a hand painted wood sign with Sari and Greg's wedding date. Jessica was so amazing to collaborate with and 100% accessible throughout our planning process even while being 8 months pregnant! Every time I’d email her I would get a response back within minutes. Seriously, she is phenomenal.
When doing an engagement session, I always encourage my couples to add florals. This is because it creates even more visual interest and an editorial feel. This bouquet of dahlias, quicksand roses, spray roses, stock, hypercium berries, snap dragons, gold carnations, feather and seeded eucalyptus with the trailing blush ribbons from Andria of Divine Blooms and Design was exactly that, absolutely stunning wherever it was placed: leaning against a tree, on the chair, in the bride-to-be’s hands… Andria started her business in the Inland Empire, and while she is now based out of Oceanside, she still serves the Inland Empire region with her Floral Design business. As most wedding professionals will tell you, they work around their own personal lives to make your event a priority. For Andria, she worked around her children’s birthday party to make this gorgeous and sweet smelling bouquet and boutonniere possible (and it smelled sensational all the way up and down the mountain).
As the sun started to descend, we moved to a viewpoint off of Highway 2, which was one of the first places we set down the gorgeous 1900’s golden yellow tufted vintage chair from Dapper Vintage Rentals. I love the story of this chair. The owners, Josh and his wife Maheli, actually found this chair for their own wedding last year, which is also how they accidentally started their business! After their wedding, they had accumulated all this vintage furniture and knowing what a chore it was to do that, they decided to make their collection widely available to brides in the Southern California area. Josh was such a pleasure to collaborate with, but guys, this chair! I want to shoot with a vintage chair like this all the time.
It was a seriously stunning sunset during an amazing evening with an unbelievable couple. Thanks to all the vendors for their generous contributions (go follow their work on Instagram), my amazing couple for modeling, my ever so sweet husband for driving us up there, and his lovely parents for giving us a comfortable home base for this styled shoot. You all made this shoot a success!
If you like what you saw, please leave a comment below. :)