One of my goals this year was to organize a photo session featuring former brides who wanted a second chance in front of the camera, or just had that itch to wear that special gown one more time. Not so much trashing the dress, but perhaps remembering it.
After my initial call for models meeting this criterion, the response was great! Setting a time that worked for everyone was a different story. I made an executive decision to limit the shoot to only two brides.
I had my heart set on a location from the get-go: Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary, the perfect setting that fits the personality of both brides beautifully. It’s a nature sanctuary, with a forest preserve feel, a prairie atmosphere with an agricultural setting. LOVE!
Brides – check! Location – check! I wanted to make this special for my brides and arranged for two very talented ladies to do hair and makeup and make these brides even more “ridiculously good-looking” (Zoolander reference – hehe!). Thank you Jenny and Kelly, you guys did an amazing job!
Oh heck, let’s take it a step further and make this a vendor collaborated shoot! A call for bridal accessories went out on Facebook and shortly after I was introduced to Susan, owner of The Left Bank Jewelry and Bridal Finery in Chicago: the cutest Parisian-inspired bridal boutique you could ever imagine! I wasn’t lucky enough to have known of this gem for my own wedding, but all I can do now is spread the word to all the brides-to-be. Check out the gorgeous statement hair pieces and earrings the ladies are wearing from The Left Bank.
Shout-out to mom for the hand-crafted bouquets! Thank you!
Aside from a minor “freak-out” the night before about the expected inclement weather, the shoot went off without a hitch. Thank you Patrick for the weather updates, making sure we remained safe and dry! The skies remained overcast (great!) and the rain stayed away (even better!).
I couldn’t have done it without my helping hands, thank you Ashley (my assistant and “shadower” for the day! – hope you had a good experience and had some good practice time) and Katie (who will probably have nightmares about sheer fabric for nights to come!)
And finally thanks to my husband for getting up way to early on his day off to get us donuts!
Now meet this stunning country bride, Jen.
Model: Jen Molenstra
Hair: Kelly Keslinke
Makeup: Jenny Villegas
Accessories: The Left Bank Jewelry and Bridal Finery
Dress: Oleg Cassini
Bouquet: Iwona Bec
Location: Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary
Photographer: Monika Thorpe
Assistants: Ashley Lauer, Katie Freeman