design, event styling, summer, weddings

Handsome Hollow Shoot – Part 1


As I mentioned last month, I had the pleasure of getting to design and style a shoot upstate at Handsome Hollow – a beautiful property in the western Catskills.  After renting the house for my boyfriend’s 30th in June, I had been chatting with the owner and found out they would soon be bringing in an 18th century 4,000 square foot barn and were going to become a fully-functional wedding venue come June 2015.  I asked if I could style a shoot on their property – as I had just experienced the most beautiful weekend up there and knew it would be such a magical wedding destination.  Kate (the owner) was all for it and before I knew it, there was a full group of super talented wedding-industry friends on board to help out.  We pitched our shoot out to Ruffled and they ran the piece yesterday, which you can check out HERE.  Huge thank you to the team at Ruffled for the feature!

Now that the Ruffled post is up, I wanted to share a little look at the day with you all.  There are so many great images that I have had the hardest time narrowing them down (all thanks to the very talented Jacob Murphy of JBM Weddings), so I will be back tomorrow with more.  And don’t you worry – all of the vendor links are included at the bottom of the post.

Handsome Hollow Barn

For the overall design – the 90+ acre property of Handsome Hollow is absolutely breathtaking – and I wanted to let that shine, so I kept it simple.  I let nature be the guide for the design, because just look at this place!  The property hosts an abundance of lush greenery, dreamlike valleys of ferns, wildflowers, a creek, an old stone quarry, blueberry patches, wild mint fields, and so much more…seriously, it is total magic.

Handsome Hollow BrideGroom2


I enlisted my friends (and real life husband + wife) Ashley and Dan (“Mira + Gil”) to get married again for the purpose of our shoot.  They are absolutely beautiful people inside and out, and I’m so thankful they were able to be a part of the day.  It would not have been the same without them!

How pretty does Ashley look?!  The lovely Ash Orzol Murphy did all the hair + makeup for the shoot.  I loved that bold lip color with the delicate dress – so perfect for a late summer wedding.  The floral crown and bouquet were provided from the ladies of Foxglove.

HandsomeHollowShoot24bridal prep

Ashley wore an amazing (seriously, AMAZING) Victorian cotton lace dress from Tiny Kingdom NYC.  Susan Van Tassel of Tiny Kingdom has the most spectacular collection of vintage dresses.  She had a pop-up at the Wythe Hotel and did a stint at the Brooklyn Flea last winter, which is where I fell madly in love with her collection.  Lucky for all you NY-based brides-to-be she is now taking bridal clients (by appointment) and her pieces are just WOW…truly one-of-a-kind.   I was thrilled when she said she’d be able to be a part of the shoot, and even more thrilled when I found out that she was bringing not only the beautiful Victorian dress and vintage dressing robe for the bride, but also vintage dresses for all of us girls! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, Tiny Kingdom NYC also provided the rings…yes, Susan also has a perfectly curated selection of very rare antique bridal jewelry in her Tiny Kingdom collection.

Tiny Kingdom NYC dressHandsomeHollowShoot13Handsome Hollow Bride2

Earlier this year I was involved with another shoot that had the groom decked in a very sleek suit from Brooklyn Tailors, and I knew that was who I wanted to enlist for our groom’s suit for the shoot. For the groom’s look, we paired the suit with a summery hat and decided to not do a tie to keep it more casual and true to the relaxed summer wedding feel we were going for.  Sidenote: During the pull I discovered that the owners of Brooklyn Tailors, Brenna and Daniel, grew up in the same suburb I did in San Diego and we even attended the same high school!  It made me so happy to get to meet and work with fellow hometown folks in Brooklyn.

Handsome Hollow Shoot SuitHandsomeHollowShoot14HandsomeHollowShoot11HH Shoot

We kept the décor neutral and added pops of rich color through the paper and florals. For colors we brought in a late summer palette of bold reds, peaches, and yellows, with touches of deep purple and greens. The hand-illustrated stationery was created by Bethany Robertson of Loveless Designs. And check out that adorable Bridesmaid ask card she made!  I am such a fan of Bethany’s illustrations!

HandsomeHollowShoot21Bethany Robertson Card

I feel that personalization can add so much to a wedding, but can also easily be overdone.  So, we brought in just a touch of it for the shoot.  I used Bethany’s creations to add some personalized labels to the dinner table wine bottles and also added some tags to the cocktail jars.


A major décor piece for the shoot was the custom dinner table. As soon as I started brainstorming for the shoot, I knew that I wanted the dinner table to be set outside and low to the ground amongst the wilderness. I built a custom table using local wood and sewed floor pillows from burlap for the seating. The table settings were kept neutral and set alongside the floral centerpieces from Foxglove and an array of candles, which were kept low to allow for flowing conversation throughout the delicious family-style summer meal. Globe lights and a handmade heart (see the DIY HERE) were hung to illuminate the setting and keep the fun going well into the night!

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And last (for today), but certainly not least – the desserts!  I asked Ashley Holt of Sugar Monster Sweets to head up the cakes.  Ashley was the winner of “America’s Next Great Baker” and has been a regular on “Cake Boss”.  Needless to say, her talent is unreal!  Instead of one traditional tiered cake, Ashley made 3 coordinating cakes and adorned them with beautiful wildflowers that she picked morning-of at the property.

Ashley Holt CakesHandsomeHollowShoot22HandsomeHollowShoot28

So much hard work went into this shoot – it was a total labor of love.  Huge thanks to the incredible team of folks involved!  Stay tuned for more tomorrow!  Update: Handsome Hollow Shoot – Part 2

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