Orchestrated Updates! Yellow & Grey Backyard Soiree

Since I was asked to join another wedding planning company back in September, I’ve put my own company MeghanBlair Weddings on hiatus while I pursue a season full of weddings with a whole team of fabulous women.  In the meantime, I still continue to design and create Orchestrated photo shoots 3-4 times a year but since I’m not updating my MeghanBlair website anymore, I’m realizing that I don’t have anywhere to show you the photos!  So I’ll bring Orchestrated to you.

What the heck is “Orchestrated”, anyway? Oh goodness, let me give you a little background information…

The way Orchestrated came to be was actually over a very casual lunch meeting between two vendors who had been hired to work on a wedding together.  Chelsea LaVere and I had been exchanging emails back and forth for a little while and eventually decided to meet for lunch and “talk shop”.  This first meeting was the birthplace of Orchestrated, when Chelsea just came right out and said, “By the way, I think we should do a photo shoot,” and of course I was all, “Heck Yeah!!!”  I’ll take any excuse or reason to design and create and Chelsea is the same way… so Orchestrated was born.

Orchestrated is a series of stylized photo shoots, which are designed and produced by Chelsea LaVere and myself. Chelsea always wishes for more time at a wedding to take the perfect photos in the perfect lighting, the ability to move the subjects around however she chooses, the ability to add or take away items from the photo in order to create the best shot, and unfortuntely you can’t do all this with the restrictions of an actual wedding.  And me?  I just wanted to create something beautiful with my own ideas, my own creativity, my own passions, without a bride telling me she doesn’t like it.  That can be kind of a bummer sometimes.

This is how “Orchestrated” came to be.

For each Orchestrated event, we create an entire mock-up wedding (unless it’s a Vignette event, which are individual shoots… more info later).  We set up verything from a ceremony to bridal party portraits to a reception table and lounge areas. With details. With models. With a story. We invite other photographers to join us so they will have the opportunity to expand their portfolio and work directly with models who don’t care if you move them around or change their positioning a million and one times to get the best shot.

But that’s not all. It’s also a chance for us to get to know other vendors and photographers. We always host a “Wine & Dine” social right after the shoot.  We figure “Hey, we just set everything up for a party, we have real food, real cake, real wine, let’s enjoy it!”  We’ve had some great times hanging out with all of our participants after the shoot and have also made some great friends in the process.

Yellow & Grey: Backyard Soiree

We were so excited to design our first (very low-budget) shoot around a yellow and gray backyard event.  My inspiration for this shoot was from a collection of items: yellow ribbon, river rocks, apothecary jars, pomander balls, and succulent.

I’m thrilled to share the photos of our humble first attempt with you now on Life As Meghan:

Tyler Adams, of The Girl Tyler, created all the stationary for the event.  We definitely wanted bold yellow and black/grey to reflect the color scheme of the decor but after our site visit, Tyler came up with the idea to add in beautiful black details to reflect the design of the black iron furniture we would be using at the shoot.  I love the final product and I think she did such a phenomenal job of bringing it all together.

We utilized available furniture on site for our reception table and chairs, and added a very simple color palate of yellow, white, black, and grey.  Simple white votives peppered the table and we added our token item for the shoot: lemons.  Each place setting was garnished with a single lemon to complete the look on minimalist rounded square dishes and contemporary flatware.

Escort card flags were displayed in small votive candle holders filled with yellow and white candies including gum balls, lemonheads, lemon starlight candies, gummy bears, and old fashioned lemon balls.  The wine glasses, “Cheers” by Mikasa, are my favorite in the world and if I can convince Chelsea to do a repeat on them, they’ll be making an appearance at every photo shoot we ever do because I’m totally obsessed with their etched glass designs.  In the background, you can get a glimpse of the black silhouettes contributed by Chelsea, (and a total nod to her love of Jane Austen… Bit of Ivory Photography? Get it?  Ok, maybe not.  Go read Jane Austen.)

The table was finished with large apothecary jars filled with black river rocks.  At one point, the jars were also filled with lemons but we decided the simplicity of the rocks just “vibed” better with our overall look.  The great thing about our photo shoots is that we allow our photographers to move things around, as long as they get back to their original position before the next group of photogs moves through. I love the “J” placed in the large jar, an add-on by Tyler Adams halfway through the shoot.  A pairing of “A” and “J” letters later ended up hanging by yellow ribbon on the wishing wall. (You see that wine glass at the bottom?  Yep, totally love it.)

The cake table was actually more of a beverage cart, again already existing on site.  The cake was created by Bella Cakes, and after a few flower and river rock embellishments to the top tier, it was photo-ready! A series of three small hurricane vases complemented the cake with simple white candles and river rocks in the base.  Large hurricane vases also appear later in the shoot.  Since it is a beverage cart, we finished off the look with wine glasses and the most awesome wine bottles… I think I was more excited about these bottles than I was about the Mikasa glasses!  …wait, no not really.  I really love those glasses.  But the design of these wine bottles was just PERFECT for our shoot.  You know what?  I think they deserve their own photos.

Do you see what I mean?  They are seriously awesome.  But enough with the wine bottles.

Here’s a better view of the sign on the cake table, it’s so cute!

And when God gives you lemons…

Make a lemonade stand!  Yes, the lemonade pitchers are meant to be tilted. Yes, they’re gorgeous.  And yes, you can buy one at the wholesale price.  Call me.

We added a few more candies to the lemonade display, complemented by simple glassware.

May I also mention that I love how each sign coordinates with the next but they’re all still different?  Gotta love the details.

And now onto the models…  As this was our first adventure in the world of photo shoots, we asked family and friends to be our models for the day, and luckily we have some pretty good looking family and friends who were willing to bear the freezing cold temperatures and put on a smiling face despite the frostbite slowly settling into their fingers and toes.  It was probably borderline torture and we should probably be sued for it, but bless their hearts, we were all complaining about the temperatures and begging for more hot cocoa in the automatic machine while these brave souls just kept smiling.

Nonetheless, the photos turned out awesome and we have our models to thank!

Before I get any further, I have to give some credits:

(1) Leslie Hartig Floral Design designed all of the floral pieces for our shoot.  We sent her a few photos of what we had in mind and she ran with it and really captured our vision.

(2) Stacie, of Sparrow Blu on Etsy, created the most beautiful hair piece and coordinating sash for our bride and bridesmaid.  Not to mention, when the package arrived at my house it was so cute I didn’t even want to open it.  Love her!

(3) Another great Etsy find was the ties and bow ties worn by our men and ring bearers (you’ll see the adorable 4 year-old ring bearer twins in a few). We have Me and Matilda to thank for those.

Ok, so back to the photos!


Oh yeah, did I mention we had the cutest 4 year-old twin boys as our ring bearers?  Yeah, I thought I did.  Well, I was super excited about it.  Chelsea and I, with their mom’s help, tried every goofy thing we could to get them to laugh and smile for the photos but only with limited success as they are only 4, and they were less concerned with the camera in their faces and more interested in untying the ribbon from their lemons, which held very expensive wedding rings! But hey, they’re still so cute!

Our last shots, just a few minutes before they were allowed to go inside for the day… probably the reason they’re so smiley.










And the whole group!

For our first shoot, Chelsea and I were just thrilled with the outcome.  Actually, we really were wishing we had planned a nice dinner party afterwards just to be able to use all the stuff we spent so long planning and setting up!  We had so much fun hanging out with all the ladies who participated and just getting to know other girls in the business made the day more rewarding than we ever anticipated.

All photos by the very talented and totally rockin’ Chelsea LaVere, of Bit of Ivory Photography.


  1. […] the first shoot (Yellow & Gray: Backyard Soiree) even happened, we were already planning our second one.  We weren’t exactly sure what the […]

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