Dead Garden Party | Styled Photoshoot & Winter Event Decor Inspiration

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of collaborating with some pretty incredible ladies on a styled photoshoot...

This idea started back in October, when my friend Savannah (also our wedding photographer!) asked me if I would be interested in helping to style a shoot she was planning for this winter. After talking to her about her ideas and goals for the shoot I came up with the theme of a "Dead Garden Party".

Whenever I'm starting on a new design project, I like to begin with putting my ideas into words. I'm an Interior Designer (and otherwise a very visual person), so it makes sense that I brainstorm in three-dimensional images. The problem with this is that my ideas can be pretty ephemeral if I don't take the time to give each thought a name and write them down. I write concept statements to help me wrap my head around an idea that I am seeing in my head. Sometimes these are a few sentences and sometimes they are just a couple of words. For this "Dead Garden Party" theme, my concept statement looked something like this:

An outdoor garden party held in the dead of winter. Contrast bright, beautiful models with dewy, flushed makeup against a stark winter background. A pretty, vintage tablescape with tortured-looking centerpieces made of dried flowers and dead sticks. Like the moment a crocus flower blooms through a blanket of snow, announcing the arrival of spring.

TIP: Writing a concept statement is a great idea if you are in the beginning stages of planning a special party or wedding! Having a singular, specific vision or "story" for your event's look will help to guide you in making cohesive decor selections.

{Dead} Garden Party - Outdoor Styled Photoshoot & Winter Event Decor Inspiration #winter #vintage #blush #gold #green #lace #flowercrown #tablescape

Selecting the decor for our shoot was relatively easy! Both Savannah and I love collecting vintage housewares. She had a great collection of depression-era china from her Great Grandmother and I had recently purchased two French wingback chairs from the 1960's on Craigslist. We used these things as a starting point for our color scheme of pale pinks, golds, creams, beiges and light greens.

{Dead} Garden Party - hand lettered place cards by Stevie Storck Design Co.  #vintage #lace #handlettering #tablescape

I hand lettered place cards for our two table settings, choosing the names Eloise and Maeve to fit our vintage-inspired shoot. The antique lace table cloth is another heirloom of Savannah's family, passed down from her great grandmother. I had never seen it in person, so I brought two options for tablecloths to layer under it hoping one would be close enough in color. I ended up layering both my ivory table cloth (ok, it was actually a bed sheet!) and my brighter white table cloth (an actual table cloth!) under the beige lace. It's a little counterintuitive to mix shades of white, cream and beige but it ended up working perfectly! The bright white makes the beige lace pop in a way that it wouldn't with a matching ivory or beige cloth underneath. 

Our shoot's theme could easily be adapted to a winter bridal shower, or even a wedding! Something about the dried florals and icy pastels seems so sweet and romantic to me. What do you think?

{Dead} Garden Party - Pair icy pastels, vintage china and antique lace with dried flowers and branches for this wintery affair! #blush #gold #green #vintage #lace #winter #gardenparty #tablescape #flowercrown #statementnecklace

I had such an amazing time styling this shoot and watching Missy and Savannah do their work! I'd say we make a pretty excellent team...

Behind the Scenes - Dead Garden Party Styled Photoshoot Team

Photography: Savannah Smith Photography (seated left)
Styling, Props and Design: Stevie Storck; Interior Designer & Blogger (seat right)
Makeup: Missy Weisser; Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant (standing center)
Jewelry: Andrea Svrjeck; Stella and Dot Stylist (not pictured)
Models: Lauren Beard and Hannah Beard (standing left, and right respectively)
Venue: private home
Wardrobe: Dresses provided by Cory Hoffman
Floral Crowns: Handmade by Savannah Smith
Name Tags: Hand lettered by Stevie Storck

A special thank you to Kyle Soskin and Anthony Storck (not pictured) for helping us to set up for the shoot! 

Now head over to Savannah's blog to see the rest of the photos!