Shoots! Shoots! Shoots!

When I first dove into the wedding industry (literally head first, eyes blinded by the lights), I thought I would just be playing my role by providing cakes and desserts, and that was that. But then I realized how crucial it is to network to be successful out there- and here I learned about Styled Shoots.

A styled shoot is a photo shoot put together by a group of wedding vendors, in order to network, showcase their talents, land the pictures on a swanky wedding related blog or magazine, and hopefully get some clients. It can be a wedding shoot, or an engagement, something to do with love. Someone comes up with an idea and then begins reaching out to other vendors to see if they are willing to offer their time and services for FREE. The florist provides real flowers- bridal bouquets, centerpieces, large arrangements; the stationery company composes fake wedding invitations, programs, and placeholders; the caterer provides real food; the wedding coordinator (or creative mind) provides props, organization, a venue, models, a timeline, and structure; hair and make-up offer their services; wardrobe are to be found; the pastry chef makes a wedding cake, and so on. Sometimes there are months that go into planning a styled shoot that is over in mere hours.

View More: http://shellyandersonphotography.pass.us/fiestaoflove

View More: http://shellyandersonphotography.pass.us/fiestaoflove

So it’s day-of a shoot and everyone is getting ready, setting up a fake wedding ceremony, a fake reception, while a fake bride and groom are getting their hair and make up done. The photographer has been given a list of shots to be captured and is peaking around the venue for ideas, and the coordinator is zig-zagging around, keeping everything in line and on schedule. There are boxes of props and wardrobe everywhere, the chef is plating appetizers. Then all of the sudden, out of the chaos of the morning, everything comes together, and it’s beautiful.

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The shoot goes for a few hours, then it’s clean up for the crew. Everyone is exhausted! But it doesn’t end there- the photographer spends the next week editing all the photos, then the coordinator checks them out and prepares them for blog submission.

Then, we wait.

The submission process is painfully long. At protocol, you can only submit your styled shoot to one blog at a time, and they can take up to a month to let you know if you’ve made the cut- or not. If your shoot gets picked up, thats great! If the blog feels your shoot wasn’t the right match for their audience, they politely decline and you must start over and submit somewhere else.

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Great, you got picked up by the blog you submitted to! Now you must wait 6 weeks for the blog to be featured. It is so hard not to share your work ahead of time, because it is exciting and you feel proud of it!

The day your shoot is featured on a blog is like Christmas! It is exciting, and you get to share it with all of your social media followings. Pin it, tweet it, hashtag it, whatever you do. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment. To anyone who gets their shoot picked up by a blog, my hats off to you- well deserved! Now the public will see your work- and hopefully will spark interest of prospective clients!

So here, you all can get a better understanding of what goes into a styled shoot in the wedding industry, and WHY we professionals put all this effort into something.

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Thanks for reading!

XOXO

Baylee

 

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Test Kitchen: Vegan Banana Bread

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged! Why? Because I’ve been suffering from severe writers block! Every time I start to write on a topic, I delete it and don’t post it because I find someone else out there has done it with better words- it is intimidating! There are so many rockin’ blogs out there that have hundreds of thousands of followers, that I think, “Baylee, no one is going to read this!” Then I remind myself that I am doing this for me- for my pleasure. If some people happen to read it, great, and if someone loves it, that’s amazing! So I need to humbly remind myself sometimes why I am doing this.

So I’ve got a topic that I feel confident blogging on- Vegan Banana Bread! Many people try vegan recipes, and something goes wrong. I feel that starting with something like banana bread is great because with the moisture of the bananas, it’s hard to mess up! I have tried some different recipes and some send you on a scavenger hunt at the grocery store looking for something you’ve never heard of- and that is ridiculous! All you need to make a delicious, moisture rich, not too dense vegan banana bread are basic pantry ingredients. Here goes my recipe!

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Vegan Banana Bread

5 very ripe bananas

1/2 Cup Bran

1/4 Cup Water

1 Cup Sugar

2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

3/4 TSP Baking Soda

1/2 TSP Salt

1/2 Cup Apple Sauce

1/3 Cup Soft Coconut Oil

1/2 TSP Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

Grease a loaf pan- I use coconut oil baking spray from trader joe’s

Mix bran and water. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

Mash the bananas into the bran mixture until the clumps are the size you like them! I like mine a bit clumpy- the bites with banana chunks are my favorite!

Add the sugar, vanilla, apple sauce, and coconut oil and mix well.

Add the flour mixture in 2 parts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy warm or cold!!

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I do- let me know how it goes for you!

Until next time!

XOXO

Baylee

Love is in the Air

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog entry since the holidays were so wild (in a good way!) but I’m back and ready to fill your hearts with love and cupcakes once again! I know most of my blog posts travel back in time a few months, so they are “late-posts,” so this time I decided to I wanted to show you what I’m working on right now!

 

Since it’s February 1st, I’m sure you guessed it, VALENTINES DAY! I’ve got my custom cupcakes ready for order in quantities of 4, 6, and 12 this year, and I have to admit that I am pretty darn please with the results. Feast your eyes!

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This is also the first year I will be shipping nationwide! If you love these cuties and want to order some for your cutie, just email us over ay elevedesserts@gmail.com or call 707-280-4661.

Until next time, stay sweet!!

XOXO

Five Star Declaration of Love

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A stunning couple. A top notch San Diego location. A knockout ceremony. More laughs than a stack of comic books. PURPLE. A very gratifying dinner fit for kings. The dance floor packed with more moves than a Lady GaGa concert. This ladies and gentlemen, was the wedding of Alex and Jennifer Brown; a truly spectacular evening at L’Auberge Del Mar!

Let me set this up for you a little- the ceremony started on the rooftop. The guests were welcomed to the setting of white rose petals and tall lavish bouquets that overlooked the ocean and courtyard, romantic music playing harmoniously and champagne being offered. Once the ceremony was about to begin, even the balconies started filling up with hotel guests eagerly spectating the affair.

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Then began a wonderfully orchestrated ceremony with heartening vows. I almost cried but I pulled through- it was just so beautiful and what can I say, I’m a sucker for love!

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Once the absolutely flawless ceremony had ended, guests were guided to a patio in the courtyard for cocktail hour. During this time the staff was hard at work flipping the rooftop from ceremony to dinner. When the guests walked up the stairs for a second time for dinner, it was completely transformed for an exquisite meal. The tables were ornamented with gorgeous white florals, purple, and touches of silver.

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I really enjoyed their color choices for this wedding- and not just because I like the colors, but because they really suited the location. After dinner, the party moved two floors down to an incredible white dancing lounge; a backdoor to the coffee and beverages bar, cake and dessert bar inside, and glow necklaces placed all around for guests. All the moving around kept guests attention, I found it to be very well thought out, and new rooms add for new excitement!

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There was the most unique photo booth I have ever seen! Instead of the normal strip of pictures, this photo booth took a short video of guests acting something out with props, and instantly made them a pocket sized flip book!! Such a great idea, I don’t know how I hadn’t seen this one before!

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My contribution to the wedding was a fun little dessert bar with candied bacon s’mores pops, fruit tartlets, and more.

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Another amazing wedding in the books- it unquestionably was a nice day for a white wedding!

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Other Vendors and Credits:

Photographer (seriously?! these pictures are unreal!)- Lauren Scotti Photography

Florist- Green Fresh Florals

Backyard Refined

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A Gorgeous backyard wedding, with a whimsical outdoor reception, lit up by the night sky. Florals bursting with vibrant purples and pinks, touches of teal throughout the night. An affair with so much personal meaning to the couple, it was one I was especially happy to take part in. It was a very special wedding because she chose to get married at her parents home- where they had gotten married, and on the day of her grandparents anniversary. There were many particular touches at this wedding, some only noticed if you really paid attention. A truly dazzling wedding for Peter and Mikayla.

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One thing I loved about this wedding was the reception set up. It was outdoor, in a circle, leaving the center open as a dance floor. It felt open in every way, with lights strung above, and the tables with just enough on them; very graceful candle holders, flowers, and china. The dinner was a very divine buffet of salad, pasta, vegetables, chicken piccata, and beef brisket; a great variety for all types of eaters. I tried a little of everything, and  my personal favorite was the sundried tomato cream pasta. Perfectly done by HS Catering and Events.

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An old hat from a late Grandfather that everyone had a chance to wear, a wall of childhood pictures at the cocktail hour, a purse made out of her Grandmother’s wedding dress. All these unique touches made the wedding feel more close to the heart than any other. Not only did this couple and their families spend a year getting the property ready for the day, they thought of all these charming little additions. When a couple pours their heart into their wedding, it just makes it that much more meaningful to be a part of!

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Those shoes!! The teal at this wedding really popped; they knew where to use which color and it really showed in the overall atmosphere of the wedding.

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For the desserts, Elevé made an assortment of mini cupcakes, with a small cake for the brides and grooms cutting. Date, coconut, vanilla, and gluten free chocolate.

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Another fun addition to this wedding was a photo booth by FotoBox. It spits out pictures instantly, and the guests get a copy to keep, along with a copy they put in a scrapbook for the couple, and leave a little note! What a great idea for a guestbook!

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The last thing I wanted to share about this wedding was the DRESS!! It had so much detail, and Mikayla looked absolutely phenomenal in it. Wow, right??

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Peter and Mikayla’s backyard wedding was a great start to my summer of (other peoples) love!

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Other Vendors and Credits:

Photographer: Spotlight Studios

Florist: Classic Blooms Studio

DJ: DJ Chamberlin

The Fancy Pictures

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While working on My Big Fair Wedding, I met Cristina Burns, the owner of Bridal Stop and Events, a wedding planning company. We seemed to get along well, and with the success of MBFW, she invited me to participate in my first styled tabletop shoot. You know, all those fancy shots of perfectly placed wedding tables you see on pinterest and in bridal magazines- she was asking for my pastries. For the fancy pictures. For a magazine. To be published. At Hotel Del Coronado. Hold the phone, seriously?? I actually picked up the phone and called my mother who was spending the summer in Germany, because I was even more excited than I normally am. I was given creative freedom, something I’ve always wanted, but now that I had it, I was nervous I wouldn’t deliver, and there would go my big chance!

The theme was “Old Hollywood Glam,” and I only needed to make desserts for 8 settings. I decided to go with chocolate cupcakes, and some detailed gold piping, dusty pink fondant roses, and some edible pearls.

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The tablescape in this shoot was absolutely to die for. So many of my favorite things- pink, pearls, feathers, and bling. Over the top floral arrangements. Bedazzled candle holders. Gold rimmed plates. Everything was placed perfectly and I was so proud to have my silly little cupcakes make it onto that table.

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Even the placeholders were done perfectly. I love the mirrors under the tags!

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I could only imagine this wedding being real!

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The Photos ended up getting published in San Diego Style Weddings Magazine in Fall 2013. Here was Elevé in a magazine for the very first time, in the fancy pictures.

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Other Vendors and Credits:

Photography: Stewart Bertrand Photography

Florist: Indulge Flowers

Venue: Hotel Del Coronado

Coordinator: Bridal Stop and Events

Stationary: Whimsique

Linens: La Tavola

Chairs: Classic Party Rentals

Rentals: Platinum Party Rentals

My Big Fair Door-Opening Wedding

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This past spring I was asked to be a part of an event at the San Diego County Fair, titled “My Big Fair Wedding,” an all day bridal show, complete with 15 real life weddings happening throughout the day. What an event!! It was the first time in my career I helped work on something for several months, and really had an overwhelming sense of pride and joy by the events end. I met a lot of great vendors through MBFW, and we have continued to do work together since. each vendor was given a booth just like at a Bridal Show, where they could showcase their individual talents. Florists, Wedding Planners, Hair and Make up Teams, Caterers, DJs, Officiants. As for Elevé, we had a booth with a few cakes on display, as well as several thousand mini cupcake samples, and some of our “Sweetest  business cards you’ll ever get.”

The week before MBFW, the event was promoted on San Diego Living News- Elevé’s first time on television! A great accomplishment. Click here for the video

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With 15 weddings spread out throughout the day, each came with their own personal touches. Some couples came alone and others with an entire bridal party! For someone who was newly obsessed with weddings, 15 in one day was better than Christmas. 15 dresses. 15 styles. 15 different couples completely in love. I was enchanted.

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The lace on the top of this dress is just gorgeous- it was my favorite of the day. Simple, elegant, looked comfortable.

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Of course there were some amazing floral arrangements at the event, showcasing different styles. One part of weddings I still can’t pick a favorite on- I love all styles of flowers!! Big bouquets, small bouquets, succulents, feathers, bling. Here are some of my favorites from the day:

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Here are some pictures from the Elevé desserts booth:

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At first I was concerned because after all the work I had put into the event, I wasn’t getting a big response. Until slowly but surely, I started getting emails from clients and vendors alike who were interested in doing work with me. And there started my big fair DOOR OPENING wedding venture!

Until Next time!

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Other Vendors and Credits:

Event Coordinator: Bridal Stop and Events

Florists: Trendee FlowersThe Dutch Flower

Photographers: Ashley Williams PhotographyCsttsnRichard K Photography, JBN Photography

Hair and Make up Team: Liz Dion Cosmetics

Harpist: Mary Fawcett

DJ: Unique Mobile Sounds