No matter what type of business you own, what product you sell, a popular question is, “what does your client look like?” or “what type of person is attracted to your product or services?”. When thinking about ‘the bridal finery client’ and what she looks like, we can’t narrow down to a specific demographic or type of person. Our brides are in different industries for work, practice different religions, wear different dress sizes, and have different zip codes. Since the beginning of The Bridal Finery, our brides have inspired us. We make every business decision based on our clients and their specific needs. It was important to captivate and represent the diversity and individuality in each of our clients through this project.
Inspiration: How This Project Began
I (Jamie) was hired as The Bridal Finery’s Fashion Director in June 2018. In July, only a month after I started, Tali, Roberta, and I started began spitting out ideas for the first year anniversary project for the store. Because my years of experience in the industry, I have planned photo shoots and fashion presentations before. However, I wanted this shoot to be different. It needed to be more than just pretty models wearing pretty dresses. It needed to represent something bigger. I spoke with Tali and Roberta about the pros and cons of a fashion show. While it’s a fun social event, our team is very small. At the time, we were a team of three. (Meaghan joined the team in November 2018!). Planning and putting on a fashion show with only three people would be difficult. So, we moved onto the next idea: a video shoot. I started looking on YouTube for inspiration. I first showed Tali Kanye West’s Runaway 35 minute music video. She laughed and said it was just too abstract, so I then showed Tali the Heavenly Bodies Video from the 2018 Met Gala. I loved seeing stars & celebs like SZA, Kate Moss, and Rihanna posing and strutting around in their amazing gowns to 80’s jam, Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode. Keeping our diverse brides in mind, I pitched this concept to Tali one Friday afternoon at work. “Let’s do a fashion music video concept with 5 models. They will strut around a gorgeous local venue. I also want them all to be diverse, just like each of our clients.” We reached out to KEJ Productions for videography, Kristen Weaver for photography, Makeover Station for hair & makeup, and Raining Roses for floral design. They all jumped on-board and wanted to be apart of this shoot! We all agreed, because it’s summer in Florida, we needed to plan for this shoot to be in the winter or early spring.
The Met Gala Inspiration Video
Next up: selecting the perfect venue & floral design
Once the vendors were on board, it was time to find the perfect venue. We needed a venue that was on brand with us, had a variety of spaces to shoot video, and multiple areas to showcase Raining Rose’s floral design. Jesus with Raining Roses has a natural eye for what looks good. He has a background in fashion with over 20 years of experience in floral, so it was important for us to select a venue that he liked as well. Because of the concept of this project, we weren’t only looking at wedding venues to host the shoot. I spent some time on Airbnb looking at homes but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Tali was attending a wedding at the Sydonie Mansion in December. I heard of the venue before, but hadn’t seen too many photos. After the wedding Tali attended, she let me know the venue was gorgeous and we should look into it as an option. So, I contacted Stacey at the Sydonie Mansion, and she was so kind and willing to allow us to use the venue for this shoot.
Once the venue was booked, it was time to talk floral. I asked Jesus with Raining Roses to join me for a tour of the venue so we can talk about floral design and what he was envisioning. We chose 5 spots to shoot and Jesus chose the floral design and color pallet. Because the venue has a ‘old Florida’ feel with blue details, white & ivory flowers, oranges, gold accents, and greenery was chosen. Here’s a couple of photos from our tour and his sketches to design the spaces.
Selecting the perfect models to represent our clients
Selecting the right female models was so important for this project. We needed women that represented our clients. As I mentioned, each one of our brides are diverse in ethnicity, age, and size. The first model I reached out to through Instagram DM was Ashley (@orlandocyborgashley). I worked with Ashley a couple of years ago at a fashion show. She is incredibly beautiful and professional, so it was a no brainier that I wanted to book her for this video shoot. Though it was September, I let her know to save the date for February. A few months later, in January we touched base and I wanted to make sure she was still interested and able to model for us. She was interested, and also shared exciting news… she was married AND pregnant! She asked if she could still model even though she was showing. I said ‘absolutely’. We have a few clients that are currently pregnant, so it only made sense to have a model that was also pregnant.
After booking Ashley, I reached out to Premiere Model Management to book a few more models for this shoot. I booked Madison, Jasmine, and Alayzia. These three ladies are fantastic women. I have worked with Madison a few times before this shoot, so I booked her immediately. She has a bubbly personality and is so easy to work with. Attitude is EVERYTHING for models. Because I knew the 5 models would be working together the day of the shoot, they need to all have a good attitude and be genuinely happy people. I booked Alayzia and Jasmine on site of their fitting. They are beautiful women and are diverse from the two models I had already booked. Alayzia has a contagious smile and this deep stare that I knew we needed for this shoot. Jasmine is a natural model. The moment she walked in the boutique for her casting, I knew I was going to book her! She has a kindest demeanor, a chic haircut, and gorgeous height! For the final model, I was looking for someone specific. Having curly hair, I was looking for a model with curls. I posted on my Instagram story that I was looking for diverse models. I was referred to Loni. Loni and I started DMing on Instagram and I shared more about the shoot. She seemed interested and agreed to come in The Bridal Finery for a fitting. Within the first minute of meeting her, I knew she was perfect. Loni is so captivating. She has the most beautiful green eyes, curves, and spirit. She is so kind and sweet. I loved that she had curves and naturally curly hair! Our models were booked and all so diverse. I couldn’t be happier with who I booked to represent our clients.
So here it is, our video shoot that was inspired by our clients:
MEET OUR MODELS: JASMINE, ASHLEY, ALAYZIA, LONI, & MADISON.
MODEL | ASHLEY
MODEL | ALAYZIA
MODEL | MADISON
MODEL | LONI
MODEL | JASMINE
A Little Behind the Scenes
It takes a full team to get it right! Here’s a behind the scenes shot from this shoot.