A Surprise Styled Military Wedding

Hey Friends! It feels like it's been forever since my last blog. Well it was last month, but so much has happened in one month. Where do I begin?! I have been super busy with wedding consultations, planning upcoming Spring weddings and styling some fun inspirational photography shoots with other talented wedding service providers! My latest styled shoot started of with a small beautiful idea of gifting a military couple a styled wedding shoot for their future generations to look at. Marissa and Mike are originally from Chicago and landed in California after being relocated by Mike's job, the Marines. It was such an honor to do this shoot for them.

  Shelby, of Shelby Danielle Photography, and I met at a Tuesday's Together meet up for The Rising Tide Society in October. The Rising Tide Society is a group created for creative entrepreneurs to network and truly learn and help each other grow. Their motto is "community over competition", you find it on all social medias as a hashtag. The Rising Tide will be next month's topic so, check back to see my adventures with them. Anyways, Shelby approached me and talked about working together on a small photo shoot. Naturally, we exchanged information and went about our lives. December comes around and I get a message from her about meeting up for the photo shoot she had talked about. I am all about helping others so, I said of course! It was a cold December night at a Starbucks in Fullerton, CA. What should of just taken maybe an hour to talk about ideas of what she was looking for, became two and a half hours of just connecting and learning about each other. This young photographer, just full of talent and a genuine bubbly personality, wanted to gift a military couple a small styled wedding shoot.

I was amazed by how someone so young can be so giving. It completely reminded that kind people still exist in this world that is constantly in a rush to succeed no matter who they bring down. Life is a constant rat race for most. I, like many people I like to associate with, believe in kindness and helping your competition grow. OK back to the story(Sorry, I get side tracked easily). Shelby told me Mike and Marissa's story and how they did not get the opportunity to have their dream wedding because of their current situation in life. Oh, you know the typical military dilemmas: not being close to your loved ones, finances, moving, deployments, etc. I was more than willing to help them out. Shelby asked me for a bouquet and she would provide the wedding dress for Marissa to wear. Mike was planning to wear his formal military uniform. It would have been super cute and simple. All she asked was that the bouquet have a touch of Aqua (Shelby's favorite color) and I could have creative freedom. All I asked was that she not tell Mike and Marissa what we had planned. We agreed to surprise them with this "all out wedding mock up" for them! I just knew I had to do more. Here is this young couple who did not get the wedding of their dreams because he was willing to sacrifice his time for our country. It was the least I could do!

So, the next morning I started on the logistics. I posted (on a Facebook group I am part of that consists of all types of wedding vendors) Marissa and Mike's story and how I need help to make sure they get the perfect shots of a wedding. Even if it wasn't their real wedding, I wanted them to get a bit of the experience of a real wedding. The positive responses I received left me in awe! Many vendors wanted to be part of something this special. I asked Nicole of Nicole Bakes Cakes to please make me a cake that would reflect the style and colors I needed. For most styled wedding shoots the cake is typically fake, but I wanted this couple to experience cutting a real wedding cake! So I asked Nicole to make the top tier with real cake. She did an AMAZING job! She made a two-tiered cake. The first tier consisted of chocolate cake with vanilla icing, the fondant was white and brushed with an edible metallic gold paint. The second tier was a simple Aqua color. It was gorgeous, you just have to see for yourself!

We ended up with this incredible day planned out to take place on Sunday, January, 31st. Living in California is amazing except when the weather decides to become unpredictable at times! The forecast was scheduled to be a wet rainy day. The entire week was scheduled to be sunny in the high 80 degrees, except for Sunday! I didn't want to risk the weather ruining such a wonderfully planned day. So, I contacted everyone to see if we could possibly reschedule it for Saturday, the 30th. Fortunately, most were available; the other vendors who were not available allowed me to pick up their items the Friday before the shoot.

The results were Spectacular!! The pictures below do NO justice to how much fun and love went into this shoot. Also, every emotion, smile and laughter captured by Shelby were real! It was such a pleasure and wonderful experience to work with everyone and create this styled shoot with so much LOVE!

A big Shout out to all my Friendors who made this happen!

Floral arrangements/ Planning/ Management: Pure Serendipity Events

Venue: Harmony House, Corona, CA: Hutchinson Weddings

Photography: Shelby Danielle Photography

Vintage Dinnerware: Vintage Owl Rentals

Rustic Table & Bar: Rustic Events

Stationary: Tange Designs

Cake: Nicole Bakes Cakes

Linens: Glow Concepts