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Bridgerton Garden Tea Party; Sustainable Elopement Inspiration

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Part 1 of our Green Elopement Styled Shoot Challenge 2022, in partnership with ElopeNC

Emily Katherine Events planner Eva teamed up with Cirque91 Photography to create this enchanting elopement theme, inspired by Eva's love of tea and the Netflix show Bridgerton (she's also read all the books)!

"I have recently discovered my love for tea! So I've been consumed with the need to create a little tea corner in my kitchen that (of course) includes a narwhal sugar bowl. So when I heard the venue for this shoot was going to be Old Lystra Inn, a garden tea party theme for the shoot seemed like the only logical option to continue my healthy obsession! I originally was thinking of an Alice in Wonderland theme with some Mad Hatter elements, but after talking over florals we thought Bridgerton was the obvious inspiration coming forward. Probably due to season 2 coming out so soon! "

Eva's words speak to how planning can morph, and as planners we see this happen so often! Couples shouldn't feel like they're stuck with a theme they've committed to, but rather should let inspiration take them where it will while they work through the planning process. If you're caught by an idea that you just can't shake, see how you can work it into your plans! Weddings and elopements should be a reflection of the couple, and that means including any details (big or small) that speak to you, and excluding anything that doesn't fit your vibe. Don't want an evening party? Celebrate at tea time! Not a fan of cake? Have some macrons!

Planning this shoot with sustainability in mind, Eva brought together a team of talented vendors to bring her Bridgerton tea party dreams to life. Here are some of the details they focused on to keep this elopement inspiration shoot as sustainable as possible!

Gown: Beautiful & Borrowed Bridal (Green Wedding Guild Member)

The dress our model wore was brand new, and currently being consigned with Beautiful & Borrowed Bridal by their previous owner. Borrowed and Beautiful rents gowns out for styled shoots and weddings, giving brides the options to rent out their gowns after the wedding! This helps cut back on wedding waste in two ways: 1) Brides can rent from Beautiful & Borrowed instead of buying something new that they'll only wear once and 2) Brides who do choose to buy a new gown can then consign it after to give it new life, avoiding the one time wear problem!

"Borrowed and Beautiful was amazing in finding a tea length gown! We wanted to be able to show off a pop of color with the bride's shoes (which the bride already owned!). I also loved that it was a two piece outfit. I haven't seen a lot of that style in weddings lately. " -Eva

Jewelry: Hamilton Hill

Hamilton Hill considers themselves slow fashion, in that they aim to provide quality, custom pieces that can be worn in all stages of life! "Most metal that circulates through and around Hamilton Hill is refined and recycled metal" -Hamilton Hill

We picked out some beautiful pieces for this shoot, and enjoyed learning about the sustainable practices behind each piece! Here are just a few notes on the sustainable pieces used in this shoot:

Ken Weston Tiara: "With a 50-year jewelry making career, HH chief goldsmith Ken Weston combines traditional methods with contemporary technologies to deliver heirloom-quality pieces and perform complicated restorations. This tiara was made by a father for his daughter, it is a piece of love that lasts for eternity"

Marcel Roelofs Pearl Necklace and Murano Glass Clasp: Instead of buying new every season-- the 'Vario' clasp system allows for a more "reduce and reuse" mentality in jewelry. Clasps and necklaces can be mixed and matched to create a whole new look with the jewelry that you already have. Grandmother's pearls can also be restrung into a 'Vario' necklace so that you can wear Grandma close to your heart in a way that is fun and authentic to you. Sholdt 3 stone Engagement Ring-- Engagement rings are heirlooms in of themselves, as the plan is to wear it for the rest of your life (and possibly pass it down to future generations)! "The Diamond industry in which we participate is heavily documented and well watched. The Diamonds, whether they are lab-grown or natural, have a paper trail from their birth to their 'death'. If an individual has a family Diamond -- we at HH are happy to work with them to potentially use it if we can." -Hamilton Hill Niessing Multicolor 'Soul' Ring (mens): Niessing is at the forefront of trailblazing sustainable pathways within the fine jewelry industry. "Influenced by the Bauhaus culture fixed in the company, the topic of sustainability has been part of our thoughts and actions for many years in all its dimensions. In 2021 Niessing became a certified member of the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC)" -From the Niessing Website

Hair & Makeup: Reign Beauty

Reign Beauty styled our gorgeous model using a combination of organic, cruelty free, and sustainably packaged products, and they even shopped local (Trellis Beauty) for some of them! Some of the product brands used in this shoot include:

Rituel de Fille (cruelty free with some organic options)

PYT (cruelty free, vegan, and sustainable packaging)

RMS Beauty (cruelty free, some organic options, and some refillable products)

ILIA (sustainable packaging, recycling program)

Florist: Event Flouret

A variety of seasonal flowers were used in this shoot, including tulips, anemones, ranunculus, delphinium, foxglove, foraged hellebores and greenery. "I got most of the flowers from Piedmont Wholesale Flowers. They sell locally grown flowers from several farms around the area. I also foraged some branches and greenery from around my home."- Fay (Event Flouret)

Event Flouret avoided using any foam or wire for this shoot, instead using other techniques to create a beautiful arbor, bouquet, and centerpieces! "The bouquet was hand tied, and the arch flowers were repurposed for the centerpieces. I tied some dried Hibiscus branches that I had clipped and saved a year before to the columns on the arch to form an armature. Then placed greenery and blooms in between the branches. They held up well and just needed some water to be sprayed on them." -Fay (Event Flouret)

Invitations: Kaleh Sampson Designs

The invitation suite created for this shoot by Kaleh Sampson Designs featured recycled and handmade paper products!

"Kaleh Sampson created her own paper for the stationery. She perfectly represented the garden tea theme with the lush floral designs." -Eva

Dessert: Sweet Haven (also our model!)

An assortment of treats is perfect for a tea party, and Sweet Haven provided white velvet mini cakes with a vanilla buttercream and raspberry filling, as well as vanilla bean macaroons with a raspberry mousse filling! Sweet Haven Bakery utilized organic ingredients and focused on seasonal spring flavors (like raspberry) in these tea time desserts. Organic ingredients reduce pollution, soil erosion, and energy use, and of course they are better for your health too! Working with seasonal ingredients allows you to source locally, which cuts down on carbon emissions created in shipping produce. "Everything was absolutely beautiful. I believe my favorite part of the set up was the attention to detail and the ornate feel of it all. I truly felt like I was immersed into a tea party. " -Deseree (Sweet Haven Bakery)

Rentals: Southern Vintage Table

Linen Rentals: American Party Rentals

Tabletop items were borrowed from Southern Vintage Table, and linens were rented from American Party Rentals. "We also used personal items, like the tea tins and the mirror we brought from home (the mirror was used in our own wedding as well). It was fun to go through the house and just see if there was anything that could be used for the shoot. The books were a last minute addition that we borrowed from another planner! " -Eva

"I loved seeing everything come together! Since it was my first styled shoot I was nervous that when it came together it wasn't going to make sense. Finally putting it all together and seeing the models it was amazing. I'm very thankful for Emily and Brennan for keeping me together throughout the process. It was also so fun to meet other vendors! Everyone came up with such unique ideas and pulled them off beautifully. I absolutely loved the experience! " -Eva

Planning: Emily Katherine Events

Photo & Video: Cirque91 Photography

Models: Deseree & Kelly

Florist: Event Flouret

Rentals: Southern Vintage Table

Linen Rentals: American Party Rentals

Gown: Beautiful & Borrowed Bridal

Suit: model owns his suit

Jewelry: Hamilton Hill

Dessert: Sweet Haven

Invitations: Kaleh Sampson Designs

Mirror Calligraphy: Ella Ink Calligraphy

Hair & Makeup: Reign Beauty

Officiant: Ann McKenzie

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