Blogger turned bridesmaid: My day at the Premier Bride fashion shoot

January 10, 2014

As I pulled up to Twisted Willow Farm in Grafton for Premier Bride‘s Rustic Romance photo shoot, I felt like Anne returning to Green Gables. The sun peeked out over a white farmhouse with forest green trim, a big red barn, and a shimmering pond in the midst of it all — and the picture-perfection had only just begun.

I’d never been to a photo shoot before, so the opportunity to come along for the ride and later blog about my experience was exciting enough; being asked to dress up and play a bridesmaid in the shoot made it all the more thrilling. Though apprehensive at first, the hustle and bustle of photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, prop vendors, stylists, and Premier Bride staff allowed me to just blend in — at least for a little while. I took it all in: the unpacking of flowers and cakes, the setting of tables, and the constant running to and fro. Then someone asked if anyone could write nicely; I can, so I was recruited to craft a chalkboard sign for the sweets table. “Sweets & treats,” I scrawled with my new favorite thing: a chalkboard marker.

When the bride, Danielle, emerged from the farmhouse in a slinky, Gatsby-style gown, her hair and makeup utterly flawless, only one descriptor entered my mind: fairy princess. The team of stylists and photo- and videographers led her to a scene they’d created — a velvet, mustard yellow couch perched under a tree complete with an antique trunk, potted topiaries, and birdcages hanging from the branches above.

It was so magical, I almost hated to be torn away and ushered into the farmhouse for my own hair and makeup session. But really, what girl can resist some pampering? Nicole, the hair and makeup artist, pinned and painted until I felt like I fairy princess myself. Stepping into a blush chiffon dress and heels, the bridesmaid illusion was complete.

Enter the butterflies in my stomach. Luckily, my first photo series was with our darling flower girl, Arianna. We became fast friends, and I quickly used this to my advantage; keeping her amused gave me something to concentrate on other than my own self-consciousness. But everyone was so complimentary and encouraging, the photos became more relaxed than nerve-racking in no-time.

In fact, my second dress (bright coral) and second photo series was set under a tree at a table dressed with fine china, pink champagne, and a crystal chandelier — and they wanted me as the sole model. This was when I learned one very important trick: If you want to look like you’re laughing, try actually saying “Ha Ha” aloud. It worked for me — and there’s photographic evidence to prove it.

The rest of the afternoon flew by. Arianna, Mike the groom, and I had some photo fun by the Relics Vintage Rentals sweets table (where hung my “Sweets & treats” sign) — though Arianna was seriously bummed that she wasn’t allowed to stuff an entire pie in her face. Then there was the forest path behind the farmhouse — Danielle looked gorgeous in a full-length lace gown, her hair swept over one shoulder. We then moved into the big red barn for some dramatic shots of the bride and groom. While we waited for our next turn, Arianna and I spun in circles, visited the resident goats and chickens, and ate plenty of homemade lemon bars to keep up our strength.

By the final shoot of the day, it was windy, our feet hurt, and Arianna and I were in great need of a nap. I can only imagine how Danielle and Mike felt — not to mention the many talented people running the show. We traipsed out past the shimmering pond to the middle of a field where a backdrop of rustic white doors waited for the bride and groom and their entourage. Arianna and I spied a prop bench off to the side of the scene; our amateur modeling not needed at the moment, we claimed it as our own, leaned on each other, and chatted about how she wants to be a “vegenarian” at the zoo when she grows up. It was lovely to sit with my new little friend and watch a gorgeous couple play husband and wife for one last series of photos.

Check out the behind-the-scenes video below for a glimpse at the magic — and find the complete collection of beautiful bridal inspiration in the Winter/Spring edition of Premier Bride.

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