• Emily Gustafson

Winter Content Day with Summer Simmons

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

A beautiful venue, an exciting and unique design style, beautiful coupes galore with hair and makeup on point, and ten talented photographers led by Summer Simmons at the ready to document it all - it's a Content Day!

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

A lot of people have asked me recently to describe what exactly these content days are, how I am involved, and how they can get in on the fun next time. So, here I am to explain it all!

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

It all began with Summer. She organizes some gorgeous photo shoots and other photographers starting asking her how she finds her locations, how she finds her models, styling, dresses, the whole thing. Being the smart lady that she is, she saw a great opportunity to organize a shoot and open it up to a limited number of photographer to shoot in the 3 to 4 separate locations with different models and very different styling. She makes it the easiest styled shoot a photographer will ever attend, basically. Summer and I met working a wedding together and then worked together on another project for Eternal Ivory. I was delighted to hear from her when she asked me to help her style a table for her Fall Content Day. She sent me a few inspiration photos and we were off. I enjoyed being part of the Fall shoot so much and the photos of the day were truly stunning.

So, you can imagine how happy I was to hear that there would be a Winter shoot at Dara's Garden! The inspiration photos showed a color palette of deep jewel-inspired colors, rocky elements, black, and gold. It had romance and drama. I love it and immediately started hunting around for the elements that would bring this to life. We needed some unusal things like stones, crystals, geodes, antiquebrass-style and modern cement candlesticks, florals in tea stain, scarlet, and magenta. Thistle and Lace Floral did an incredible job and brought so much to the setting in their centerpiece and bouquet. But, this styling had major drama and in the wrong setting could have come off as harsh and stark. So, we softened the drama of this styling be using an outdoor location, wooden elements, and soft, gauzy fabrics with movement.

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

An amazing addition to the day was this cake table. The geode cake was made by Krista's cake and was so incredible. Photos really don't do the texture that Krista created justice. The gold leaf and rock candy sections gave this cake the most incredible look and it was a real cake! We all enjoyed some yummy red velvet at the end of the shoot to celebrate a long, but awesome day.

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

And our models Abi and Adam were familiar faces from the last shoot, who were such great sports even in the cold weather! They danced, snuggled, laughed, and twirled the day away with smiles (and smolders) on their faces. It was so good to see them again and be Abi's photoshoot Mom for the day. And it really doesn't hurt that they are adorable together and so great on camera. Abi's dark hair and styling with a dark wine colored lip were the perfect compliment for the day. She was stunning!

Photo courtesy of Summer Simmons

The big question that I get about these shoots is, "where do you find this stuff?" The answer to that question is that Summer and I work together to find these pieces everywhere. Antique shops and thrift stores are my first stops for styling pieces. I also rely heavily on local rental companies and piece together the look. The wooden table and chairs were borrowed from Anderson Party Rentals, the chargers, flatware, and glasses were from All Occasions Party Rentals, Summer snagged the matte black plates at a home decor shop, the brass and patina items were borrowed from Sisters Vintage Rentals, the geodes place cards were the handywork of Scruffy City Lettering and Signs, and the napkins were a last minute addition that I cut down from a few yards of fabric. The stone and rock elements were found or bought all over town and the internet. It takes time to accumulate these items. But with a clear vision in mind, the look comes together every time and it takes a community to make it happen! I've listed all of the incredible vendors for this shoot at the end of this post.

All photos courtesy of Summer Simmons

I am grateful for all of the vendors that worked with us to make this shoot a big success. My favorite part of any content day is the time that I get to spend with people who work in the same business as I do and the freedom to do something really outside of the box. Thanks for including me again, Summer! Let's do it all again soon <3

Happy planning,


Photography: Summer Simmons

Venue: Dara's Garden

Planning/styling: Summer Simmons

Design/tablescape: me :)

Florals: Thistle and Lace

Additional florals at other settings: The Florista

Hair: Alex York

Makeup: Bangs + Blush

Lettering: Scruffy City Lettering and Signs

Table: Anderson Party Rentals

Table settings: All Occasions Party Rentals

Vintage decor: Sisters Vintage Rentals

Cake: Krista's Cakes

Bridal: Bhldn

Models: Abi Adams and Adam Manookian

Additional styling items found here, there, and everywhere. Message me for details and tips at egweddingsandevents@gmail.com

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