Summit Hill Gardens// How I Did a Styled Elopement Shoot

Updated: Jan 2

I've been wanting to put on a Styled Bridal Shoot for OVER a year now and finally worked up the courage to do it.


I put it off forever because everything seemed so challenging and daunting about it because weddings are EXPENSIVE. How in the heck was I supposed to put on a faux one without spending thousands of dollars?! Well, imma bout to tell you how!


First, make a mood board and set a date. Pinterest the shiz out of what kind of style you're going for. This will help with the rest of the planning and make it cohesive. It will also be very helpful for vendors to see what you are envisioning.


Second, I chose a venue. Now, I had this part easy because as you know my MIL is the owner of a wedding venue here in town, Summit Hill Gardens Event Center. So this is the place I chose. HOWEVER, talk with vendors you're interested in using. Tell them they will receive FREE high resolution photos to use for marketing if they will work with your budget. You'd be surprised how many yes' you'll get.


Third, I chose a model + a dress. One of my best friends was kind enough to be my bride and helped me choose her gown. For cheaper gowns I used Lulus Bridal which has several elopement style wedding dresses for only a couple hundred dollars. But, I also reached out to an SEK local bridal store and they said they would love for me to use their gowns for styled shoots in the future. By the time that had sent that response, I had already bought the other. You can also use a Bride + Groom, but for my first one I just wanted to focus on one person.


Fourth, talk with a florist. I used Hometown Floral and Gifts in Humboldt for the bridal bouquet and I HIGHLY recommend her. Her work was incredible and Megan is so nice! Talk with your florist and come up with a budget or a deal with what you're thinking. Let them know how many arrangements you think you'll need from them.


Fifth, look up rentals or start buying some details. I knew I wanted a baller table scape. So I went to the local home goods store and she let me borrow tablescape items FO FREE. I also bought inexpensive candles off Amazon, so don't be afraid to get creative! Also, talk with your venue and see what they have that you would be able to use while you're there. Summit Hill already had tables and chairs AND goblets, so it made the rest super easy.


Sixth, hair and makeup. I decided I wanted simple hair because I was going for a boho look with a straw hat from Binge Boutique. So I did my models hair. Makeup was important to me so I used a local artist, Reagan Johnson. She did such a good job and I was able to get photos of her doing the makeup to use for her own marketing as well as the finished product!


Seventh, make a timeline for the day of. Let your vendors know when you need things to be ready. This will help keep stress levels down.


Eighth, HAVE FUN. Afterall it's not a real wedding day. It's just a chance to connect with local vendors and build portfolios!






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Southeast Kansas based photographer and photo booth rental