Two Day Styled Shoot Challenge: Equine Beauty


Two Day Styled Shoot Challenge:

So what do two southwest Florida wedding professionals do when they take a trip to Virginia for a baby shower? They decide they are going to whip together a styled shoot in 48 hours. That’s what they do.

Courtney Armen of CocoLuna Events hails from Northern Virginia, and was returning home to host her best friend’s baby shower. The busy schedule that comes along with that was clearly not full enough because when Brooke Price of Brooke Price Photography, who came along to photograph the shower, suggested that while they were in such a beautiful area, they should also do a photo shoot, Courtney responded with “I have been wanting to give myself a 48 hour challenge during one of my visits home.”

So, fast forward to lots of errands, Courtney ransacking her mother’s antique filled house, throw in an excursion to our Capital’s monuments (because taking time out of the 48 hour time-limit just adds a fun, new dynamic to the challenge), a trip to the floral department at Wegmans, and thus, a styled shoot came to fruition in a mere two days.


The Process and the Style from the Planner:

The western portion of Loudoun County, VA offers elegant hills and sprawling landscapes. Historic buildings abound. An equestrian lifestyle is well loved by many in this area. I always knew that if I ever got the chance to give myself this challenge, that I would do a Hunt Country style since one of our favorite parts of our Christmas time visits is the Horse and Hound Review in Middleburg, VA. I just love the beautiful attire and the elegance of the group riding down the main road of the town. But, aside from a Pinterest board with a grand total of 9 pins, I had not really thought about more than a passing fancy. That is, until we put this challenge in motion.

3:00pm Tuesday: We were driving to lunch and Brooke said, “We should do a styled shoot while we are here.”

3:30pm Tuesday: So, our first stop in our two day planning adventure was the Middleburg Tack Exchange, one of the best places to find all things horse and hound. The proprietor helped guide us to the beautiful green and gold Side Saddle Habit and necessary accessories. Now, we just needed a skirt. We started at the craft store to find some tulle because the original vision was a full skirt, but with our time limitations, we started feeling like it just might not happen. That is when my mother walks down the stairs with my old cotillion gown. We were in business. Add some feathers to the hat and a beautiful brooch to the stock tie, and we had the perfect ensemble for an equestrian bride.

6:00pm Tuesday: Next up was the model. Since I have been out of the area for so long and many of my friends have moved away, are currently pregnant, or just can’t take off work for a last minute photo shoot, we looked again to my mother. Thankfully, her good friend’s daughter was the absolute perfect model for the style we were going for.

9:00am Wednesday: Once the attire and model were secured, Brooke and I knew we needed to kick it into high gear, so we headed off to our Nation’s Capital for some site seeing.

4:00pm Wednesday: After returning from our excursion, we started shopping and three stores later, we emerged with two adorable fox busts, paper and embellishments for the place cards, and stunning orange sunflowers. It was at this point, that the vision was coming into focus.

8:00pm Wednesday: Now enters a bottle of wine and some paper crafting. We whipped up some place cards with gorgeous scrapbooking paper found at the craft store. Once we had that done, I ransacked my mother’s cabinets and found green goblets, bronze chargers, awesome rattan place mats, and a half dozen mini hunt horns. It’s great having a mother who also has a fondness for tablescapes (yes, she has a new tablescape in her dining room every couple of months). It was at this point, that we decided planning Brooke’s 10 year vow renewal was a crucial part of our schedule (yes, it’s going to be Southern fabulousness).

2:00am Thursday: We finally decide that sleep might be a good thing.

11:00am Thursday: After breakfast and answering some emails, it’s time to pull it all together. I start to make the bouquet with the sunflowers and some greenery purchase from Wegmans. I also added in some peony greens and vines from my mother’s garden. The look was finished with some blue and brown eucalyptus and two long feathers purchased at the craft store. I kept the bouquet loose and organic for a more natural look.

1:00pm Thursday: My mom’s dining room table was exactly what I wanted, so we carried the antique, three leaf, cherry table out to the yard. Between the basement and the garage, we were able to find a good assortment of chairs to give it a slightly eclectic look. We then scouted the yard for greenery to provide the base for the sunflowers, eucalyptus, and feathers and started styling the tablescape. I also setup a smaller setting with nesting tables, a decanter box, and a Windsor chair.

2:00pm Thursday: The model arrives, we realize just how perfect she is for the look. After some hair and makeup, we style our gorgeous “bride.”

3:30pm Thursday: In spite of a little rain, Brooke starts working her magic behind the camera!

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Planning, Design, & Florals: CocoLuna Events

Photography: Brooke Price Photography

Side Saddle Habit, Stock Tie, and Beaver Top Hat: Middleburg Tack Exchange

Dress: Jessica McClintock, circa 1999

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