ga('send', 'pageview');

Styled Shoot {Canaan Valley Farms}

Styled Shoot {Canaan Valley Farms}

Styled shoots are, no doubt, a photographer’s (or any wedding vendor, for that matter) chance to think outside the box and aim for what they want to achieve and worry not about what their couple is thinking or expecting (because duh, the couple is normally composed of models of the photog’s choosing). It’s their chance to shine, their chance to push boundaries, and come up with something that truly represents their brand. Plus, you get the chance to combine forces with a whole batch of talented people, mostly likely those you only come across when working a wedding, and pow-wow about possibilities—always a bonus to work alongside the people you love and respect. So for today’s blog post, we are featuring a combination of two photoshoots shot by the lovely Taylor Heery that will get your creativity gears turning and have your mouth watering. Um, did you spy that opening pie pic? Oodles of goodness right there. Interested in what kind of flavors are on deck? Well, let’s bend an ear to Taylor and the event designer, Belle Crouse, and get the scoop!

Asheville Wedding Guide: For starters, what drew you to this pretty venue, Canaan Valley Farms?

Belle: Canaan Valley Farms is actually my family’s venue. We are an up-and-coming venue just 10 minutes from downtown. We have so much to offer couples. We have enough lodging to sleep 22 people overnight, we have 50 acres of wooded trails that make for endless photography opportunities, we are a animal rescue farm with horses and donkeys that love to be fed carrots and apples, and so much more.

Taylor: Canaan Valley Farms is a gorgeous, sprawling property in Candler, North Carolina. It has it all. A wonderful French country style mansion house that guests can rent for the weekend of their wedding, a tiny home for the bride and groom’s first night, multiple ceremony and reception site options, horses, a pond, privacy, and a full working kitchen. It’s a total gem. There are plans in the works for a glass chapel in the woods as well, which is the most rad thing I can possibly think of.

AWG: Wowza—a glass chapel sounds positively dreamy. On to the pies! What flavor selection do we see here?

Taylor: We had gluten-free pumpkin pie (for Belle Crouse with Wedding Belle’s NC) as well as double crust apple, whoopie pies, honey pecan, cherry, and a few others. Baked Pie Company is one of my faves, so the fact that they were on the roster was enough for me to show up at all. I could just take pictures of pie all day, no problem.

AWG: Drooling. Along with the pies being a genius idea, so is this floral gown. Spill.

Belle: I knew immediately that I wanted a non-traditional gown for one of my brides. My first thought was an ombre or dip dyed gown, but when I saw this one in Wildflower Bridal, I knew it was perfect. I loved that it had the traditional aspects of the silhouette and lace, but the colorful pop of the embroidery. I think it’s a super unique piece and have already had two brides ask where to purchase it.

Taylor: This gown was my instant favorite for this shoot because it’s unique and allows a bride to don something besides just classic white. I’m all about details and personalization in a wedding and what better way to build in flair than with your dress? If you look back at all of the stories surrounding “wedding traditions,” things get a bit strange and archaic. White dresses are timeless and elegant, but life is short so wear a funky dress if you want to. 

AWG: What we really love about this shoot is that it features two couples and two styles. What was your inspo for this?

Belle: I have a ton of trouble choosing just one couple and style, which is why my styled shoots normally end up using more than one couple! I really wanted to showcase all you could do with the venue, which is why I went with one more “traditional style” and one more “unique one.” They were both real life couples. 

AWG: That horse is such a trooper. What is his name?

Belle: Kristi with Stargazers Designs is a magician when it comes to florals. She literally went out in my yard and picked random flowers I had growing to make the crown. I wanted to show the animal rescue part of the venue, so I chose Dusty because he is probably the most well-behaved out of all my herd, and I trusted him not to step on the dress. Dusty was very patient with the whole process and just wanted to get a head scratch from the models. He was rewarded with a peppermint candy at the end. 

Taylor: Dusty. He is the perfect gentle giant, despite our tormenting him with a flower crown that he would have rather eaten. The theme was to capture the range of the property, so he fit right in. There was some wrestling to get it tied on, but that was unrelated to Dusty’s temperament. 

Images: Taylor Heery Photography

Venue: Canaan Valley Farms

Planning: Wedding Belle’s

Mobile bar: Jack’s 47

Beauty: Emily Dawn

Florals: Stargazers Designs

Dessert: Baked Pie Company

Gown: Wildflower Bridal

Rentals: Vintage Indigo Event Rentals

Videographer: Green Mountain Photo + Films

Vintage Cars: Rare Exotic Vehicles

Jewelry: Fox & Beaux Boutique

Groom’s attire: Mitchell’s Tuxedos