A Kate Spade Inspired Thanksgiving Styled Shoot

Hey ya'll!  I'm so excited to share this shoot with you!  I tasked JDE Intern Lauren with putting together a styled shoot on her own as a sort of "senior project" before her internship wrapped up.  To say she made me proud would be a huge understatement.  She totally knocked it out of the park!  Read on to hear all about her process and to see the incredible pictures from Heather Papineau Photography.

"My very first event with Just Dandy Events was a styled shoot at the gorgeous Lee Hall Mansion, so it's only fitting that my last event with Holly was another styled shoot.  Only this time, it was my OWN!  I spent three-ish months planning and let me tell you....it was something!  My planning process was a little confusing and a little stressful but a whole lot of fun.  It was certainly more difficult than I'd anticipated but one of the most rewarding learning experiences I've had!

From the very start, I knew what vision I wanted to bring to life - the holidays!  If you know me at all, you know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my very favorite times of the year.  I wanted to bring to life all of the things I love about it - going to my parents' home for dinner, listening to Kenny G's Christmas CD with my mom, being surrounded by my favorite people in the world, and eating my little heart out.  Another detail that was important to me was the thought of tradition.  In my family, you can count on a few things: One, there will always be collard greens in my Nan Nan's ceramic turkey.  Two, we always put the rolls in a big ice cream bucket.  It's just what we do.  And three, there will always always always be pie!  Since my Nan Nan's passing two years ago, we've made sure to continue her tradition of homemade chocolate, coconut, and pumpkin pies.  Pie isn't my favorite dessert...but I just knew I had to incorporate it somehow!

The other thing I love most in this world is Kate Spade.  I've always said she is my spirit animal!  I wanted to put a modern twist on Thanksgiving - to bring together the feeling of "home" and tradition, but in a modern way.  I thought to myself, "If I was having a friendsgiving, what would I want it to look like?"  The answer?  Polka dots and pretty fall colors and flowers everywhere!  I wanted a metallic color - like copper - mized with cranberry and ivory.  A little neutral with a little sparkle.  And so my "modern Kate Spade inspired Thanksgiving" styled shoot was conceptualized.

From there, I had to decide on a venue, models {or no models}, vendors, and more.  Holly let me tag along on a site visit to Hollyfield Manor in Manquin, Virginia.  As soon as I saw the fireplace and chandeliers, I knew I had to have my shoot here.  It was pretty much the easiest decision I made the entire shoot!  I still wasn't sure about using models....as Holly mentioned, it can make things complicated.  I decided to take her advice and plan a details-only shoot and I am SO glad I did!  I'm super detail oriented so I loved getting to make sure everything looked just right.  I think it made my first styled shoot a little simpler and was a good way to get experience with doing a shoot.

When it came to vendors, the decisions got more difficult.  I'm thankful that Holly had already lined up the lovely Heather Papineau to photograph the shoot.  I struggled, though, and felt stressed over getting vendors booked right this minute.  Holly helped me compile a list of potential vendors and I sent e-mail after e-mail in hopes they'd be on board.  I'd been following a few of them on Instagram, like Rachel of Rachel Bakes and Waterford Event Rentals and had already fallen in love with their work.  I'm glad I was able to use a few vendors I was already familiar with or had worked with via Holly before.  I had no clue about the paper products or flowers, so I went with Holly's suggestions {which were perfect}.  Rentals took a little longer to decide on, so I went and visited Sharon with Chic Unique Rentals & Events.  She showed me her dark wood farm table and it was love at first sight!  It was such a relief when I'd booked all of my vendors....all that was left were the little details!

Perhaps the most complicated part of the shoot was that I had to purchase some items myself.  I knew this happened sometimes, as it did with my first event with Holly.  I felt like a lot of the pressure was on me to not only make sure the color scheme and shoot looked good, but that the details fit in perfectly.  For a few weeks, I hunted for the perfect plates, wine glasses, and other items.  I spent an entire afternoon hunting down those darn mini pumpkins {seriously, why does no one carry those?!}.  My husband can tell you that I was stressed out.  Like, really stressed.  What would I do without the perfect silverware?  Why was the ribbon I bought so stiff?  These worries worried me for weeks on end until it finally came to be the day of the shoot....

By the time the shoot rolled around, I was feeling pretty anxious.  Everything was done, now just came the part where we had to put it all together!  Holly and I arrived at Hollyfield and were greeted by the sweetest little puppy, so I knew it was going to be a good day!  Holly and I started the day by getting stickers off wine glasses {which I completely forgot to do beforehand}, so that was a little nerve wracking.  I had to remind myself to breathe!  Thanks to Tracy at Hollyfiend, we got it done and got everything set up in under an hour.  After the last place setting was set, the candles lit, and the fireplace turned on, I stepped back to admire it.  It. Was. Perfect.  I was so impressed by how well everything came together.  I literally wanted to sit down at that table and have Thanksgiving dinner!  It was that moment that I knew my vision had come to life.

My styled shoot was absolutely perfect.  All of the time spent gathering items, booking vendors, and worrying {as I so often do} was worth it.  Heather gave us a sneak peak of some of the photos and all I could think was "We did that.  I did that!"  I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to experience planning a styled shoot with such an incredible group of ladies.  This process showed me that I need to have a little more faith in myself and learn to relinquish the control sometimes.  I also learned that relationships are incredibly important in the wedding industry; I'm blessed to have built relationships with each of the women I worked with.  Finally, the process reminded me how much I love doing this.  I am so excited to see where this new career path takes me!

As you look through these photos, I hope you'll feel the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I did.  I hope it'll bring a little bit of "home" into your office or wherever you are.  I hope that you have the happiest of Thanksgivings - thank you for following me on this journey with Just Dandy Events!"

Thank you to our incredible team of vendors!!
Photography: Heather Papineau Photography  //  Coordination: Lauren with Just Dandy Events  //  Venue: Hollyfield Manor  //  Linens: Waterford Event Rentals  //  Florals: C&J Floral Design  //  Sweets: Rachel Bakes  //  Paper Products: Paperdolls Design Inc  //  Rentals: Chic Unique Vintage Rentals