Wedding Inspiration: Northwest Salmon Bake Styled Shoot

April 27, 2016


Today is the day!! It has been soooooo hard waiting to share this gorgeous styled shoot with you all, but I’m still just as excited today as I was back when this beautiful scene came to fruition. Last summer, my good friend Cheryl of Cheryl Ford Photography and I collaborated with some uh-maaazzzing Seattle vendors for a ‘Northwest salmon bake’ wedding inspiration shoot – and I’m very proud to say that we have been featured on Borrowed & Blue!

Last spring, Cheryl and I were working together regularly on business and photography, and one morning at a Starbucks we decided to collaborate on a styled wedding shoot…

Our initial inspiration came from clambakes in the Hamptons, but we wanted to make it uniquely Pacific Northwest, because, duh, it’s gorgeous here and we’ve got our own vibe. We also wanted a nautical feel without being too sailor-y. Key words that helped guide us were: clean, tailored, classy, bold, masculine, dapper. We quickly settled on navy and coral as our main colors with gray and white as accents. As for the setting, well, it is my most favorite part – we set up on the small peninsula at the mouth of Gig Harbor, WA, right next to my family’s beach home, and a place that I have long dreamed of doing something like this. Gig is my happy place. Surrounded by water with a view of Mount Rainier, we knew this inspiration shoot would be something magical.

We assembled a team of remarkable vendors, some of whom have been friends of mine for a while, which was extra special. When the day came together and we all got to hang out, it was one big party. I even cooked the food for the shoot, which everyone enjoyed at lunch! Each contribution was essential and done with the utmost of care. Seeing it all come together gave us grins from ear to ear. I have nothing but rave reviews and the utmost gratitude for everyone involved.

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We started photographing the day how we usually do, with the details. Eunice Song of Lemonade Letters, who lives in LA, started her own lettering business last year. Eunice and I went to high school together, and once I saw her graceful calligraphy, I knew I wanted to involve her in this project. It was such a fun way to reconnect with an old friend, too! Everything you see came from her talented fingertips, and she even learned how to screen print for this project! We were blown away by how stunning her work is and how the invitation suite pulled together everything about the shoot.

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She made those stamps, y’all!gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_45 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_46 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_48gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_47

What the heck is a wedding day without some bling? Arguably the most fun to ‘shop’ for, Cheryl and I had the fun task of selecting an engagement ring, wedding bands, earrings, and a necklace from Sholdt Design. Kalee Scholdt showed us all of their unique and custom designs, but as soon as we saw these pieces we knew they would fit our theme perfectly.

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Eleanor Blackford of bash & bloom is a floral design genius. The morning of the shoot she took driftwood that we had collected and created teepee-esque structures for the ceremony setting and then built the bouquets into them. It was bittersweet when it was time to take everything down. Eleanor’s floral creations added the necessary feminine elements without overpowering the clean, masculine feel we were going for; it was a perfect balance.

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I could have photographed this bouquet all day…gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_06 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_07 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_11

Each element of our shoot could stand on its own as a work of art. Our tablescape was curated with pieces from Grand Event RentalsBBJ Linen, and Vintage Ambiance. Once Eleanor had put her final touches on it with her overflowing centerpiece and Eunice’s paper goods, we couldn’t have been happier. We are so grateful that these three vendors allowed us to combine their contributions to fulfill our vision!

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Cheryl and I both gasped when we saw our sensational cake. Baked. won a challenge on Food Network’s show Cake Wars for their unique design used in The Knot’s Dream Wedding back in June 2015. Kristina Serfass and Natalie Vorpahl from Baked. always come with thoughtful, beautifully designed cakes – and this one fit our theme to the T, with strong lines and colors, but also beachy driftwood textures and rope detail. And c’mon, check out that coral piece! You’d think those shells were real, right??

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Our models, Kelsy and Allen have been married for almost four years now, and their anniversary was just one week prior to the shoot. Allen was especially excited because he admitted that he didn’t like how his hair was for their wedding, and he wanted a re-do. 😉 Kelsy and Allen were a dream to work with. Beautiful inside and out and truly in love. They’re also friends of mine from college; Allen and I met hoopin’ it up at the University of Washington IMA. 😀 Cheryl and I had so much fun spending the day with them.

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Amy Lee at A Princess Bride Couture provided us with a stunning wedding gown by La Sposa, complete with a pearl and floral lace belt.

gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_04 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_05It was so fun taking our bride, Kelsy, to the boutique to try on dresses and choose which would finally work for our shoot. Isn’t she somethin’… gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_24 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_25

Megan Bingham of Off White Makeup & Beauty multitasked eating lunch and working on hair + makeup at the dining table like a boss. 😉 She enhanced Kelsy’s natural beauty, and Kelsy was simple radiant. Her look lasted all day and photographed so well. And who doesn’t love lush, long lashes!gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_26 gig-harbor-northwest-salmon-bake-wedding-inspiration_27

Allen looked like the perfect gentleman in his navy blue suit from The Tuxedo Club, which is individually owned and operated by Bob Buhrman. Incidentally, they are also who Allen used for his groomsmen when he and Kelsy were married. We love how many connections there were for this project! And doesn’t Allen’s hair look goooood? 😉

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Cheryl and I shot late into the night with Kelsy and Allen (and even a bit the next day)…it was so much fun, we didn’t want to stop. To celebrate the end of such a memorable day, Kelsy and Allen shared a bit of bubbly.

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We could not have had a better group of people to work with on this project. These folks deserve every ounce of recognition and accolades that come their way! Can’t wait to work with this team again. Every time I think about this collaboration it puts a smile on my face. I cannot end this post without acknowledging how much I treasure my partnership and friendship with Cheryl – we had a full three days of work at Gig, not to mention all of the planning, and it was so rewarding to share this experience with her. We’ll have to make it a tradition, for sure. HUGE THANK YOU to Borrowed & Blue for featuring us today!

What’s your favorite element of this wedding inspiration shoot? I’d love to know! Drop me a line in the comments.

Creative team for this super awesome day:


L to R: Eleanor, Cheryl, Meghan, Tara, Micah, Allen, Kelsy

Photography – Tara Brown Photography
Floral Design – bash & bloom
Paper Suite – Lemonade Letters
Bridal Shop – A Princess Bride Couture
Men’s Attire – The Tuxedo Club
Hair + Makeup – Off White Makeup & Beauty
Cake – Baked.
Jewelry – Sholdt Design
Models – Kelsy + Allen
Rentals – Grand Event Rentals
Linens – BBJ Linen
Other Decorations – Vintage Ambiance
Videographer – Blue Cake Films

NOTE: At the time of this post being publishing, Cheryl’s name is not associated with this inspiration shoot on the Borrowed & Blue feature. We have contacted Borrowed & Blue to correct this omission.