Day of Does: A Styled Shoot, Part III

Missed Part II? Catch up, y’all!

Part III

Welcome back. I can’t believe it’s Part III already, the time is flying!

Where did I leave off? Yes, I was en route to see The Venue!

It was even cooler inside than I remembered! Not only were the owners completely on board with my idea, one of them is a very talented and well known floral designer: Enter Janessa Walter of Gold Dust Floral! I knew we’d make a great team.

We both agreed this shoot would be a little funky, and our aesthetic would be inspired by the space itself. I left our meeting feeling very confident, and got on their calendar for late January.

I had a shoot date!

I decided I was feeling lucky, and went to visit Sam Skelton, the coolest jeweler in Pittsburgh. She worked closely with my fiance to design my own engagement ring, and after a quick conversation while she polished up my ring, she was in!

My vendor list was growing! So far I had:


At this point, I figured I had enough of a story to begin my blog series on the process, and sat down to write Part I. I published a few days later and felt ballsy enough to share it with the world. I posted the link on my social media account and within minutes, Annika Mancini, hair and makeup extraordinaire of Glam to Go, sent me a DM: “Let me know if you need makeup! I’m always down to be creative!” I literally screamed. I had hair and makeup!

I decided to hold off on finding the rest of my vendors until after my consult with Victoria at Burgh Brides. I was really looking forward to it, mostly because I had never had a ‘consult’ about my business before. I knew Victoria had very valuable insight into styled shoots and the wedding industry in Pittsburgh, and from an entrepreneurial perspective, I wondered if I could offer similar services one day.

As predicted, it was a huge help, and 90 mins with Victoria gave me an even better insight on how not just to direct a shoot, but how to best recruit and work with vendors, and also get published. I’m not going to give away her secrets, but I will say that if this shoot is a success, a lot of the credit will go to the nuggets of knowledge and life hacks Victoria shared with me. Worth it!

Not only did she love the concept, venue, and look I was aiming for, she even rattled off a ton of Burgh Brides vendors that she felt would be a great fit! I was nervous to reach out to them, but after sending a few e-mails, I locked in some amazing women to add to my lineup:

Videography: Traveling Heart Productions
Stationary: Oh Joyful Day
Cake: Four Oaks Bakery
Bridal Accessories: Kata Banko Coture

Speaking of women! Katie, Janessa, and I agreed that we wanted to switch things up a bit, and decided to make this a same sex wedding shoot. I had two perfect brides in mind: One of my old coworkers—and very first Pittsburgh friend!—Jamie, was in before I could even pitch my vision, and Victoria, a corps de ballet member of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre also said YES!

Angelea Kuruc of Blanc de Blanc Bridal agreed to dress them, and I made fast friends with Roger and Jeff of Who New?, a vintage boutique that had the perfect flatware for our table.

Things just kind of snowballed from there, and before I knew it, EF Lighting (Amanda, I love you!) signed on, along with linen master Mosaic Linens, and then I found the most killer heels at Macy’s.

And now, here we are: Four days out with a timeline, to-do list, and a team. I invited my assistant Jenny to help out for the day, and ordered a bomb breakfast and lunch for the vendors.

As I shared my progress with the industry professionals around me (Shout out to Tuesdays Together, Sip & Soiree, and the 4th Annual Burgh Brides Bash! Networking was also on my to do list this winter!), one phrase kept being repeated by my vendor friends...and their eyes would widen as they said it:

“Styled shoots are hard work.”

Challenge accepted. See you on the other side!