The Masculinity of Florals- Dover Hall Richmond Virginia

November 28, 2018

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The Masculinity of Florals at Dover Hall in Richmond Virginia 

Our editorial shoot is finally live and I can now share all of the dets.  This was a shoot that I had been thinking about for a while.  I ran through several concepts, watched several vendors, and edited, edited, edited.  Concepting a shoot of this magnitude is not an easy feat.  Every single detail has to make sense, every vendor has to be able to execute flawlessly, and then I have to pull it all together. 

I know that several designers and planners work with the same circle of vendors who they know and trust to deliver a specific style.  I don’t ever want to be categorized as someone who can only execute one style.  I want to be classified as someone who can execute several styles really well.  In order to do that I have to study various industries, watch their execution, and have a really strong pulse on what is happening.  Each client is different and each event is different.  I need to be able to source vendors and execute each on such a high level.  I use photoshoots almost as a vetting out process, a way to test my instincts on vendors, and a way to try new things.   

For this shoot, I am so happy to have worked alongside such amazing vendors and creative professionals.  I would love to work with any one of them again. 

When I was envisioning this, I really wanted to showcase the masculinity of florals.  Florals can make such a huge impact, but they are always attributed to feminism.  Same-Sex weddings don’t have a long history of tradition or expectations, so this was the perfect space to blur some gender lines.  Many of the top fashion designers have been showcasing florals on the runway for the past few seasons, it’s just a matter of time before it makes it to the wedding industry. 

In addition to florals, we added a crown to the men’s attire.  It just seemed fitting. Crowns have had a major moment in the bridal industry.  From flower crowns to the Royal Wedding, we have seen them everywhere.  This is a special day.  Just as a veil, you may never have an opportunity to wear one again.  It added a bit of playfulness and spirit to this event.

I really focused on the experience and the mood of this atmosphere.  I wanted the guests to feel as if the had walked into a whole other world.  There are so many colors, textures, and micro events happening throughout the space.  For the ceremony, we had a hand-painted backdrop with 3D florals added to it. The wedding party did not wear “traditional” matching gowns.  There are so many options available to bridesmaids and groomsmen now.  You don’t have to wear matching chiffon that you will never wear again.  There is a movement for individuality in the industry and also a mindfulness of experiences and actually being able to re-wear a garment. 

As guests made their way over to cocktail hour there was a Specialty Single Bar.  This is a great way to showcase the couples favorite liquor, specialty drink, etc.  The bartender would be a professional mixologist and entertains the guests with his creations using just a single line of liquor.  The boutonnière bar might be one of my favorite features.  “Bouts for the Boys” is an idea that all of the men who are in attendance to this celebration will get to wear a boutonniere.  This is a great way to welcome guests and really make this event something unique and special.  Weddings are typically so focused on the females, and the brides, that I really wanted to showcase the men and the grooms.  Imagine if all of the men at an event had a flower.  How classy, and what a neat throwback to the days of the “gentlemen.”

Upon conclusion of the cocktail hour, the guests would be invited into the ballroom.  Here we had a new concept for a guest book.  Fete Phones is a company that refurbishes old phones.  The guests pick up the phone and record a message.  After the event, the company sends the couple all of their guest’s recordings.  We built a lounge around this guestbook.  As guests are waiting for their turn to leave a message they can be socializing, enjoying a cocktail, or playing a game. There aren’t any long lines and the person leaving the message will have a bit of privacy.   The amazing florals that climb the fireplace and engulf the furniture add interest and conversation starters.  The idea is to draw the guests over and have them stay awhile, enjoying the artistry of the floral installation.

The tablescape is quite a kaleidoscope of color and textures.  The multi-colored velvet linen, the wooden hand-painted chargers, the vintage glassware, and the gold flatware really added a ton of interest to the table.  The live table runner lightened the heaviness of the table and added some much-needed brightness in color, still keeping with the style of the space.  The place cards and bar signs were made from cut stained class. We totally lucked out with the mustard colored chairs. They are actually the dining room chairs for the venue.  

The cake was set upon a vintage server.  We draped mustard velvet off the side to add some softness and color.  I didn’t feel that this couple was the “cake server” type.  We sourced a vintage dagger and a crystal knife rest for their cake cutting. 

The team of vendors hired for this editorial was very carefully selected.  They have an amazing talent, work well together, and aren’t afraid to take risks and break boundaries. The same-sex wedding space is untethered.  It is enlightening and invigorating to have such freedom in creative execution and design.  Design with gusto. 

The video of the shoot can be viewed here.

We were also published on Bridal Musings!!

Jewelry: Martin The Jeweler

Hair and Makeup: BRIDEface Richmond

Crown: Kato Banko

Bar and Beverage: Belle Isle Moonshine

Cake: Bijou Sweets and Treats

Florals: Photosynthesis Floral Design

Photo: Alex Tenser

Flatware and Glassware: Emerson James Rentals 

Specialty Rentals: Paisley and Jade

Hand Painted Backdrop: By Brittany Branson

Phone Guest Book: Fete Phone

Wooden Banner: Waters Edge Design

Stationary: Curious Fox Pres

Planner:  Swoon Soiree

On Site Fashion Styling: Meriweather Vintage

Linens: La Tavola

Videography: Memories Videography

Venue: Dover Hall Estate

Handwriting: Leah Letters


Female 1: Raven Rigsby @_sungoddiii

Female 2: Ashley Cuffie

Male 1: Kaleb Conner @kalebconner1

Male 2:  Jon Melvin @vapride


As always, I would love to chat.

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