I love getting together with other creatives.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in an amazing stylized shoot organized by Styled Shoots Across America and the talented Manda Weaver of Manda Weaver Weddings, at the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
From the moment I arrived (yes, I got there over 30 minutes early, it’s how I roll) I knew the venue was different. The staff welcomed me as soon as I exited my vehicle, and even gave me a ride in their sweet golf cart up to the main house. Once there, the grounds manager was so gracious, he opened his office for me to store my gear and take a respite from the scorching 97 degree heat. Not being one to sit idle, I decided to brave the make-up melting temps and tour the grounds.
The historic estate of Bonnet House and breathtaking gardens are literally steps away from the Atlantic Ocean. Rows of palm trees stretch gloriously toward the sky, mirrored in a serene waterway teeming with turtles and fish. A white swan gracefully bobbed his head under water in search of his next meal. A wooden Caribbean style tiki hut offered shade and refuge from the hot, midday sun, and serves as a pass through or bridge over the waterway towards the beach.
Crushed white shell paths amble through lush tropical gardens in a riot of colors, leading through incredible arches and iron gates. Select the path leading away from the estate, to enter a tunnel of trees dense with foliage. Banyan trees with their distinctive aerial roots and hanging branches, intertwined with the Spanish Moss and swayed in the salt kissed breeze. Bromeliad’s sprouted from tree trunks with their flame red plumes. I even saw several large iguana’s scramble by and a family of raccoons. A volunteer informed me they have several 4 foot long orange iguana’s they affectionately call “chicken of the trees”. I kept a look out for him, but I was unsuccessful in my search.
Vendors traversed the property setting up for the upcoming wedding shoot. MI Vintage brought in several unique pieces to create simple, yet elegant seating vignettes. While Nuage Designs was busy preparing the reception area with gorgeous, white ladder back chairs and farm tables.
Sage and Rose dominated the color scheme and coordinated beautifully with the surrounding gardens. The main garden area is in an open courtyard, surrounded on all four sides by the estate itself with its goldenrod walls, masonry arches, and balconies. Cobblestone paths lead to a large tiered fountain, set amid a quiet reflecting pool.
The ceremony site lies just beyond the estate walls, in a quiet glade flanked by towering palms. A white, limestone wall sits atop a raised stone platform and serves as the perfect architectural backdrop for couple to exchange their vows.
A unique cake made by Starfish Cottage Cakes highlighted ocean life in hues of gray and sage. Handmade chocolates from Karin Brush of My Favorite Sweets served both as decor and wedding favors.
The Bride wore an elegant Kelly Faetanini gown highlighting a nude, long sleeve, lace v-neck bodice and cream colored full, sheer skirt. A unique 20 foot long sheer cape attached to the bodice back added elegance and a bit of mystery. Her shoes were from Bella Belle in a beautiful ivory. A chandelier necklace in rose gold from Champagne & Grit completed her look.
The Groom rocked his navy tux from The Black Tux with an hip blue and white floral shirt and bow tie. A stunning rose gold solitaire ring designed by the fabulous Susie Saltzman was the piece de resistance! I mean, just WOW!!
Handwritten calligraphy invitations created by the talented Karissa of Pretty Written Things welcomed guests with personalized elegance. Her work is just ah-mazing so check her out.
The Bloom Floral Company created an elegant bouquet of pale gold, white, and petal pink roses, highlighted with deep crimson carnations and various willowy greens, reflected the garden theme and matched the brides lip color perfectly!
The table decor of white, pale lavender, gold and sage mixed antique elements with lush floral’s and tropical fruits. Any guest would be thrilled to be seated at such loveliness.
Being able to work with so many talented creatives is absolutely a dream, but my favorite part of stylized shoots is the connections and meeting others in the industry. It offers the opportunity to experience a unique, new venue and capture stunning imagery. As a photographer you are constantly moving on a wedding day, and rarely have time to stretch your creative muscles as time is very tight. Participating in a stylized shoot encourages relationships as well as offering the rare opportunity to actually take your time with your imagery, and practice is always a good thing.
So kudos and high fives to Manda Weaver for bringing together such awesome talent, and designing the ultimate Southern Florida Wedding.
Here’s to all the awesome vendors who contributed to this shoot!
@teavona @yoilbert⠀ ⠀
Designer & Stylist Manda Weaver Weddings @mandaweaver⠀
Venue: The Bonnet House
Planning: AM Event CO @ameventco⠀
Photographer: Suzanne Lytle Photography⠀
Floral Designs: Bloom Floral Co @thebloomfloralco⠀
Hair & Makeup: Janine Wehby Artistry @janinewehbyartistry⠀
Calligrapher: Pretty Written Things @prettywrittenthing⠀
Cake: The Starfish Cottage Cakes @thestarfishcottage⠀
Linens/Table &chairs: Nuage Designs @nuagedesignsinc⠀
Vintage Rentals: MI Vintage @mivintage⠀
Gown: Kelly Faetanini @kellyfaetanini⠀
Shoes: Bella Belle @bellabelle⠀
Rings: Susie Saltzman @susiesaltzman⠀
Veil -Necklace: Champagne & Grit @champagneandgrit⠀
Tux: The Black Tux @theblacktux⠀
Fine Chocolates: Karin Brush @myfavoritesweetsfavors⠀
Glasses & Flatware: Events on the loose @eventsontheloose⠀
Styling mats: Olive and Oak @oliveandoak⠀