Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Styled Shoot: Inspiration from Point-to-Point + Kentucky Derby

All photos by Hudson Nichols Photography
It is three days and counting to the Kentucky Derby (May 5th) and four days and counting to Winterthurs annual Point-to-Point steeplechase races (May 6) , so when I was asked to pitch a story for the Hunt Magazine, my first love came to mind... Horse racing! As the story goes, I spent 8yrs (from 18yrs-27yrs) working at Delaware Park Race Track, and inside grew a strong love and appreciation for horse racing. No, not the gambling (however, I will admit it lined my pockets a few times), but the beauty of the sport! I think I was meant to live in the forties, because I have an appreciation for the sport - the strength and beauty of the horses and what it meant to society during that time. I honestly own both the original and modern Seabiscuit on DVD, and have watched about every horse racing movie out there. Yes, I know... sap. Did I mention that I got to sit on the starting gate one day for a ten race card? Oh I did... and that was the best!

Since we were sharing our awesome tailgating tips with the Hunt (check out that here) for a horse themed tailagate for all of the upcoming races, we decided to a back it up with a styled shoot. Horse racing is all about strong patterns and bright colors with the jockeys silks. We decided on a pallet of mint greens, peaches, and corals, and added in some bold patterns with an ikat pattern on bowls (C.Wonder), salad plates (C.Wonder), and pillows (Christmas Tree Shop). We brought in natural elements through straw bales for seating ($2-$8 a bale), iron horseshoes, farmhouse tables, and added a bit of feminine and softness through lace and romantic florals (think peonies, garden roses, and ranunculus - however the peonies neon hues stole the show!). We decided to mimic the jockeys silks by spray painting gold striped and polka dotted patterns onto mason jars which would display our floral (this by far might have been my favorite element!).

AllieRuth Designs customized a themed invite just for us, and we couldn't have been more in love with its horseshoe shaped wreath, multiple vintage horse stamps, kraft paper, and white calligraphy!

We decided on a traditional Kentucky Derby themed menu complete with Pecan Pie with Bourbon sauce, Mint Juleps, Fried Chicken, Jack Daniels Pulled Pork Sliders, Potato Salad and Coleslaw, Watermelon Salad Bites, Lemon Mint Sorbet, Grapefruit Crushes (for those early morning tailgaters!), and also a Watermelon Mint infused water to remain hydrated throughout the big day! Enjoy the rest of the photos from the shoot taken by the ridiculously talented Kristen of Hudson Nichols Photography. Girl is amazeballs!

We absolutely love the Watermelon Salad cubes with a fruit and yogurt filling garnished with a sprig of mint! Just slice the watermelon into cubes and use a melon scooper or a peeler to place a hole into the watermelon to hold the fruit salad on top. We love all things watermelon during these warmer months!

We had our shoot in the Brandywine Creek State Park due to its rolling hills that remind me of Kentucky and of course of the Brandywine Valley (did we mention it is right around the corner from where Point-to-Point is held?). Downside... it was windy as all get out. I guess you cannot tell by the shoot, but some things were omitted due to the wind - like our tailgate identifiers... we had those amazing round balloons from Shop Sweet Lulu that saw no use other than for making it difficult for my mom to drive home (big thanks for all of your help!). The lace tablecloth had to go as well, but then we used those for covering our straw bale seating area, so they were still worked in!

All of our glassware was purchased from the Christmas Tree Shop at $1.99 each, and they had a great selection. I was honestly surprised. We also purchased our lace tablecloths from there as well at $3.99 each. It is hard to say what my favorite buy was for that evening!

Invitation by AllieRuth Designs. Find her shop on Etsy for Save-the-Dates, Parties, and Weddings! Check out more of her Kentucky Horse Farm invite goodness here... I almost wish these were ours now. In LOVE.

Stripey Straws were purchased in Mint and Orange Sherbert from Shop Sweet Lulu. Beverage dispenser from Target. Lace runner purchased at the Christmas Tree Shop.

Undeniably the Pecan Pie was purchased from Arners Restuarant and it is absolutely fabulous. It is definitely very heavy, but not overly sweet, but you have to watch the slice! Secretly still eating it a few days later... Ssh.

A big thank you to our bride Devon for participating in this shoot while her lovely fiance was out training for a triathlon. They will be getting married in July. Go Devon + Doug!


Courtney said...

This is amazing! TALENTED gals!

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