Whimsical Marie Antoinette inspiration shoot in Ohio

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Whimsical Marie Antoinette inspiration shoot in Ohio

I was particularly thrilled to receive this inspiration shoot as a submission for a few reasons ... this gorgeous shoot was actually shot in a small Ohio town right next to the tiny one I spent many years of my young life growing up! I also happen to know one of the interior designers, Jean Winham, who helped stage and design the lovely grounds. Her gorgeous shop is always brimming with divine finds so I was obviously super excited to see what she, her fellow shop owners/designers and several other talented designers and wedding vendors from the area came up with ... and ... wow! I still feel like I could be looking at a magazine spread that was shot in the French countryside ... Let's have a look and make sure to scroll down to hear from the talented team about the entire shoot process!


And I love this cute behind-the-scenes photo:

Wow, right??!? I think one of my favorite details is the jazzed-up deer head ... isn't that a great touch? Okay, and maybe the Louboutins, too! ;o) Seriously, everything is fabulous! I think this is a great example of taking a theme and giving it your own spin with lots of whimsical and modern touches. The Hostess cupcakes work surprisingly well amidst all the finery, don't they?

From the talented team who worked on the shoot:
Channeling Marie Antoinette and her regal beauty and the high elegance of French royalty, a collaborative effort was made to design an inspiration-to-reality shoot that would be fascinatingly gorgeous and filled with ideas appropriate for the modern bride.

The team included a wedding planner, a photographer, three interior designers, a makeup artist, a hair stylist and the chic benevolence of a Kettering, Ohio, homeowner, Deborah “Fifi” Froelich, who opened the doors to her Tudor-style home for the early fall shoot.Since Marie Antoinette was an avid equestrian and her mother adored the painting of her in her riding uniform, we were inspired to choose décor straight from the outdoors. Interior designers Debbie Basnett, Dana Hookassian and Jean Winham of Vintage Scout Interiors staged the expansive grounds, keeping scale and proportion in mind to make each scene visually pleasing and electrifying.

Our lovely bride and groom, Ashley and John Lavin, who were recently married, became the stars of the day. Alan Leonard of Square One Hair Salon & Day Spa piled the bride’s brunette lush locks in an intricate up-do, a la Marie Antoinette, that was dramatic, but ultimately flattering for her fine features. “In the up-do, I used different shades of hair extensions and a foam ball wrapped with hair, positioned it and started pinning it together,” he says. “It’s a style that can be re-created to fit anyone.” Pin Me Up Couture provided the beautiful hand beaded hair fascinators and the vintage inspired garter.

Michelle Drake Richardson, A Vogue Idea, styled the makeup to evoke feminine allure by accenting Ashley’s lips and eyes. The effect was stunning, as Michelle created custom blends of different colors, including peaches, pinks and reds.

The veritable feast set on a 24-foot rustic table included French cheeses, artisan breads, fruits, vegetables and delectable sweets. For a tongue-in-cheek nod to the famous quote often attributed to Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake,” we included Hostess cupcakes. The gorgeous springerle cookies were hand pressed and provided by Queen City Cookies.

Photographer Tracy Abston, Pictures by Tracy, used natural lighting. The late afternoon sun was magnificent. “I shoot with the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III SLR Digital Camera. ... The key ingredients for this shoot: a gorgeous model who has worked with me before, hair and makeup, and all the beautiful styling.”

The designers pulled out some interior accents to enhance the natural setting. Fifi brought out her formidable collection of transferware and silver for the table settings. Vintage jewels provided by Vintage Scout were used to adorn parts of the table and Perez, the famous white peacock. The centerpiece was created using an old log, succulents, heads of ornamental cabbage and kale, mushrooms and moss. Vintage pewter goblets paired with thin crystal glasses adorned the place settings. The napkins were repurposed from vintage lace curtains. The effect? Rustic, handmade and decadent.

The bride’s own strapless Pronovias gown and her Christian Louboutin shoes were the perfect wardrobe for our rustic-gone-glam look. The extended A-Line gown with a sweetheart neckline, pearl-and-crystal-encrusted bodice, and a ruffled skirt instantly brought modern elegance. The bouquet was made using hypercium berries, white alstromeria and baby’s breath, with a common weed as an unexpected accent.

The invitations were designed by Kellie Daab of Hand & Hand Bridal with a nod to the outdoors by using elements of wood. The design was completely hand-cut and affixed to the wood before printing. All of the pieces rest in the gorgeous coordinating box. The beautiful flowers and logs you see affixed to the invitation were hand cut using a precision tool and lots of time and concentration. The cheese tags, too, were created using the same wood paper and were backed with the coordinating paper and antiqued.

Overall, this shoot was a huge success and so perfectly vogue. We encourage brides to constantly use images as inspiration to create something totally their own. Here we have taken something so classic and have given it a whole new unexpected twist.

Photography: Pictures by Tracy
Models: Ashley and John Lavin
Cinematography: Impact Video Productions http://www.impactvideoproductions.org/
Flowers: Hand in Hand Bridal http://www.handinhandbridal.com/
Event Design: Vintage Scout Interiors http://www.vintagescout.com/ Hand in Hand Bridal http://www.handinhandbridal.com/
Event Planning: Hand in Hand Bridal
Mis en Scene: Fifi Froelich
Reception Location: Camp Ridgeway, a Private Residence in Kettering, OH
Invitations: Hand in Hand Bridal
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Dress: Pronovias
Sweets: Queen City Cookies
Hair Style: Alan Leonard, Square One Salon http://www.squareonesalon.com/
Makeup: Michelle Richardson, A Vogue Idea http://www.avogueidea.com/
Hair Fascinators: Pin Me Up Couture http://www.etsy.com/shop/pinmeupcouture

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