Classic With a Twist: A Savannah Styled Wedding Shoot
It was when wedding events planner Megan Elizabeth DeChant and photographer Esther Griffin discovered a surprising break in their busy calendars, that this spectacular event happened. The two were determined to produce a fanciful editorial shoot that would present the area’s top wedding pros and combine it with the scenery of one of Savannah’s most beautiful spots, Beaulieu.
What is Beaulieu? Well, it’s a charming family home overlooking the Vernon River. This magical place, with its centuries-old, moss-draped oaks that provide cozy shade, has been the backdrop for many family weddings. However, these days, it’s been the setting for a very limited number of other prestigious weddings, and for the filming of a few feature films.
One of the family members, Catherine Cooper, who is also the director of Beaulieu Events, accompanied Esther (Esther Griffin Photography) and Megan (Megan Elizabeth Weddings and Events) on a short tour of the place. It all started with the opening of the gate, as the path led them under the trees to the beautiful home constructed a long time ago, by Catherine’s great-grandparents. Both Esther and Megan immediately started styling (in their minds) where and how the young couple would be seated.
Megan started envisioning how a floral arch would encircle the bride and groom in a ceremony arranged among the elegant oak limbs. Later, she saw a dried slice of blood orange, which turned into the starting point for the color palettes and other lovely ideas.
As their creative Ideas took form, Esther and Megan approached other wedding pros for florals, linens, dresses, furniture rentals, paper goods, classic car, catering and cake. (You can find the full list below.) On top of that, Esther asked her former wedding clients Nicole and Taylor Gerlinger to be their models.
“With a styled shoot, you can definitely lean into going big, maybe a little more exaggerated than a typical bridal couple would choose to do for their wedding day,” Megan said. “We were able to go elaborate on all fronts and present the talents of our fellow vendors, and by sharing the images and film, we hope to spark creativity as future couples plan their wedding days.”
Megan, who put together the detailed design boards, said the styled shoot came to life exactly as she dreamed it would.
“I saw a picture of a dried orange with a calligraphy card, and that was the inspiration for the entire shoot,” she said. “I wanted the end result to be classic with a twist, marrying timeless with trendy.”
Esther and Megan selected Beaulieu as the ceremony location mainly because of the oak limbs and how they reached down to the ground, creating a unique outdoor, natural room-like space with curtains of Spanish moss.
“We wanted the florals to feel like part of the earth, as if they were growing up from the ground and encircling the couple to produce a very private, intimate feel,” Megan said.
Megan and Esther chose a few bridal looks to use all through the day in spaces set up for the ceremony, reception, and farewell. They also chose some really fun accessories such as voluminous overskirts, lacy capelets, and even live-floral earrings.
Megan emphasized how each of the vendors put in their very best, from custom-made invitations to custom-designed bar arch, to dazzling hair and makeup to sensational food and cake design.
“Esther and I get along extremely well, and we also wanted the entire team to be able to contribute creatively and enjoy working together,” Megan said. “It all came together exactly as I wished on the design board … even better! On the shoot day, each of us was helping the others, still creatively thinking about each part of the day. For instance, Nabia, our hair, and make-up artist had the fabulous idea to use one of the cape-wings as a headscarf, and wow. What a fun look!”
Esther added that shooting the day was fun as well as intense.
“There was so much beauty to capture, and I felt such a huge debt of gratitude to each of the vendors who put in their absolute best. And I can’t say enough about Nicole and Taylor. Shooting their actual wedding was like a dream, and I felt so thankful to get to capture such an absolutely gorgeous couple again,” she said.
Wedding Planner: Megan Elizabeth Weddings and Events https://www.meganelizabethevents.com
Photographer: Esther Griffin Photography https://esthergriffinphotography.com
Videographer: Two Arrow Films https://twoarrowfilms.com
Models: Nicole Carpenter and Taylor Gerlinger https://www.nicolecarpenter.net
Florals: Harvey Designs https://harveydesigns.com
Paper Goods: Shayla Parker Design https://www.shaylaparkerdesign.com
Car: Callan’s Classics https://www.callansclassics.com
Cake: Vanilla and the Bean https://vanillaandthebean.com
Caterer: Savannah Event Catering https://savannaheventcatering.com
Hair and Makeup: Nabia Beauty https://nabiabeauty.com
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