Play off the Halloween mood with locally available dark colored foliage and carefully curated vintage place settings to create a dark, glam, and sophisticated Halloween Wedding. Oh, did I mention it's inside an old dairy barn?
It is no secret that Dairyland (Snohomish, WA) is one of my favorite venues. It is literally a big blank canvas that fits nearly any style and definitely any color pallet. I dreamed up this style shoot while looking at the two reclaimed iron chandeliers Amee Quiriconi and John Beal repurposed from the Lake City Way Elk's Club. The black metal had a charm to it which I hadn't seen used in an event. So I made it happen with a styled bridal and wedding inspiration shoot.
The theme of this Styled Wedding Inspiration is Dark elegance. October in the Pacific Northwest brings in many changes in the area, most notable may be our never ending rain, less daylight, and gorgeous changes in color. The area that was lush and green in the summer becomes a mood-filled yellow, orange and burgundy play land. Keeping in line with my love of all things locally-sourced, I kept it very Washington with a team full of Snohomish County wedding pros and locally sourced or repurposed everything.
The first thing I purchased for this styled wedding inspiration shoot was the black taper candles, then I designed everything else around them. I wanted the moody Halloween touches to be obvious, but not the focal point.
Candles come in many colors and are an easy way to bring unique elements to your wedding. Candles are also a great way to shop small or local, handmade businesses. I often find a great selection of candles at my local thrift stores. Repurposing something that would otherwise be thrown away my number one tip for saving money on decor.
For example, take a look at the urn Paeonia Pine's (aka, me!) floral centerpiece was arranged in. This was a thrift store find. It contained a worn out silk arrangement that I carefully removed. I cleaned up the urn and it was ready to have new life! My favorite part of it was the worn paint, which played well with the worn whitewash of the barn.
While we are on the topic of flowers, all flowers used in this styled wedding inspiration session were from Field to Heart, a local, woman-owned flower farm in Snohomish, WA. Danielle has beautiful flowers available, does u-cut flowers so you can pick exactly what you want, and will even have a DIY flower party in their potting shed to help you create your bouquets. It is a great way to get guidance if you want to go the DIY flower route.
My favorite part about using local flowers is the excitement of finding out what is going to be available the week of. Unlike commercial facilities that grow in greenhouses or in warmer regions and then transport flowers around the world, local farmers are at the mercy of the climate and must learn to grow what naturally thrives in the Pacific Northwest. The blooms are always beautiful and add depth and variety to any color pallet, which is exactly Paeonia Pine's aesthetic.
What about the greenery on the barn door?
One of my favorite things in October is the climbing ivy plants changing from green to yellow and burgundy. I wanted to bring that inside, making it appear autumn was creeping its way inside the barn. The greens are from my verbinium tree in my back year. Verbinium are also known as a snowball tree for the white puffs of flowers in late Spring. Through the early summer they drop those lovely little flowers all over, but come Autumn you'll again appreciate the tree as it's leaves begin to shift to a deep green and lovely red. It is another part of the shift in seasons I could not leave out.
There was another vendor on the shoot who favors using local and often edible flowers is Pacific Northwest Cupcakes. Lauren does not make only cupcakes. Through her artisan bakery she provides organic and locally sourced cakes and confections. Her signature style is her genache drizzled almost-naked cakes decorated with locally sourced botanicals. Lauren loves using the edible flowers that Danielle of Field to Heart grows in her recipes.
Lauren also works behind the scenes with the florists at weddings and events to use the same flowers, colors and textures as the rest of the floral decor. This process uniquely ties together multiple elements of your wedding day for one cohesive look.
Enough talking about it. Here are photos of her drool-worthy cakes and cupcakes.
But first, you've got to know - Pacific Northwest Cupcakes bakes vegan and gluten-free!
I know, the cakes look good enough to eat, and I can tell you they most definitely are, I know because I buy them from her frequently at the Snohomish Farmers Market in the summer and I'll be damned if we all didn't finish a cake together after this shoot.
But let's take a minute to admire the vintage cabinet upon which the desserts are styled. Becca from Northwest Vintage Rentals loves all things vintage and adores sharing the story behind each piece she rents to her couples. She is always on the hunt for new items and loves to hear what you want to rent.
I knew I had to use vintage place settings and furnishings for this shoot for the Elegant side of the Dark Elegance. If you've been around for a while, you'll also know that my roots as an event planner started as a thrift-o-holic wedding venue manager who craved styling weddings with vintage, upcycled, reused and local items (can you say dream job? I am amazed every single event that this is now what I get to do for you!). So it is no secret that I have a special place in my heart for my vintage rental companies, like Northwest Vintage Rentals. All the place settings, glassware, and furniture with the exception of the farm tables are from Becca's inventory.
Do not worry, we are going to talk about this breathtaking hand-lettering next!
Vintage chairs are perfect for your head table or sweetheart table.
Vintage trunks are great for gifts and cards at your welcome table, too!
Ginger is the artistic talent behind Chalk.Ink.Style. She does a variety of graphic design and created-by-hand signs, stationary, invitations and more. I asked her to get creative and do something a little different in this shoot. She rocked it! (Sorry, not sorry. I had to put a pun in here somewhere!)
Ginger hand painted these names onto agate circles which she custom orders. She is always blowing me away with how uncommon and thoughtful her pieces are.
Ginger teaches calligraphy, design and hand-lettering classes in Marysville, WA on a regular occurrence. Be sure to follow Chalk.Ink.Style on Facebook to know when her next class is!
Even a simple piece of plywood can tie in well with nearly any event's style. The texture of this piece, when stained, looked just like the agate name cards and worked beautifully
Now, I don't want to leave anyone out, but Dairyland is going to be featured this winter as a featured Wedding Venue of the Week, so I don't want to give too much away before then. But I can't have you leave without knowing that Dairyland is one of the Top Barn Venues in the World. You can read more about that here!
I bet you're wondering who made these amazing photos happen. Kate of Gsquared Weddings is one of the most adventurous photographers out there. She works between Washington and Montana, traversing much terrain to be exactly where her couples will shine. So when I needed someone I could explain my vision to and know that they would capture it perfectly, Kate was my obvious choice.
Now, you may recognize the couple modeling as bride and groom in these photos. That's because it's me! What you may not recognize is that I was 8 months pregnant! Kate is a posing and styling genius when it comes to her couples. When we needed a model last minute and Andy and I were what we had, it was no big challenge for her to hide my giant bump.
So what are we wearing? And who did the makeup? I'm going to make you wait for the posts on how I DIY'd this look and how I DIY'd the skirt for under $30 for those answers!
Before you go, you have to check out the video Red Class Media captured and created of the setup and the shoot. Kateri and Tanner captured all the best moments and did it so skillfully. I highly recommend getting all day footage if seeing and remembering everything that happened during your wedding day is important to you.
Thank you to all my fellow professionals who made this shoot a success.
Venue - Dairyland
Photography - GSquared Weddings
Videography - Red Class Media
Planning & Styling - Prudence & Sage
Floral - Paeonia Pines
Bakery - Pacific Northwest Cupcakes
Rentals - Northwest Vintage Rentals
Hand Lettering and Invitations - Chalk.Ink.Style