Out Back Counting Stars: An ISO:ALT Milky Way Wedding Styled Shoot
Misty: A little piece of me has always been obsessed with the stars. Literally for as long as I can remember, even back when I was a kid – I had star trinkets that my mom bought me, I read all the things about the stars, I studied the constellations. Anytime there was a song on the radio about stars, it instantly became my favorite song. Then, when me, Mike, and my husband, Chris, went out to the mountains last October, I couldn’t get past the idea that we needed to do a styled shoot under the stars with the Milky Way. It would be a Milky Way wedding inspiration.
There was a Van Gogh quote that I read after we got back from our trip to the mountains in October – “For my part I know nothing with certain, but the sight of stars makes me dream.”
Our trip to the mountains in October immediately sparked the conversation, and we started to plan. When we picked out the date, we picked the date that the Milky Way could be best seen from the Virginia skies (this year, that day was July 23rd). Then, we took it a step further. We found the darkest area of Virginia that we could drive to, got an Airbnb, and spent two nights there waiting for clear skies for the most epic shoot ever. Liz from Behind the Veil took the trek with us so we could have hair and makeup on site. Jeilyne Santana created a stunning black bridal gown that we got to preview with this incredible shoot.
There’s not one doctored star in these pictures. This is LITERALLY how many stars we could see from the backyard of our Airbnb. I’m not ashamed to say it. I totally cried real tears. Then I cried them again when Mike sent me these pictures. This Milky Way wedding inspiration took months to prepare for, and we stayed up until 2am to make these amazing photos happen. I can’t thank everyone enough that contributed to this shoot. Whether it was a small trinket, or spending three days and two nights on an adventure of epic proportion for these amazing photos – we couldn’t have done it without you.
Mike: This shoot was one that we had planned for a LONG time. It was one of those things that just lived in the back of your mind and fumbled around in there for a couple years before it finally busted out.
This was one of those projects that came with SO much work and yet was so fulfilling in the end. There were many obstacles and things we had to overcome to make this thing happen. Creating a wedding that was going to be completely in the dark was hard enough. Then we decided we wanted the tones to be dark blues, blacks and some pops of pink and purple. So mimic the colors of the night sky. If you notice everything has a sparkle to it; as to say that it was all made of star dust (which we all know is completely true).
Coming up with the look and feel was tough. The hard obstacles seemed, at times, to just fall in to place. Giving everything this nice easy “meant to be” type feel. We thought “Hey! We should use a BLACK wedding dress.”- cool… now where to find one. Oh. Hey. Santana Designs is hand making a black wedding dress that will be ready JUST in time for the shoot. Then we thought “Hey. We need to go to the darkest area we can find [within reason].” So we took to AirBnB and found a couple places. Misty reached out to the first one (which was our first choice) and they just happened to need new marketing photos and were willing to work out a trade. AWESOME!!! It was little things like this that happened the entire time.
Our model was incredible. Perfect. Everything that I had hoped and dreamed of for the day. She fit the look amazingly.
We start to look at the weather a week out… Rain. Clouds… not cool bro. Not. Cool. At. All.
So we did what anyone would. Obsessed over it. Refreshed the weather report every hour.
Inevitably we got to the point where we had to say “Fuck it” and just go. So we did.
On arrival to the property it was a nice day. Blue skies. Slightly cloudy. We were hopeful. Then the sunset and clouds rolled in… OH! I forgot to mention there was no WiFi OR cell service with the exception of a 5 x 5 ft area in the very far corner of the property.
Ok. I know I’ve been talking a lot and no one wants to read all this shit. So I’ll cut to the chase. The next night everything was perfect… as seen below… aside from that DAMN cloud system that would NOT move. I digress.
Photography & Styling: Dragon Studio
Styling & Coordination: Misty Saves the Day
Hair & Makeup: Behind the Veil Studio
Model: Jennifer Linke
Gown: Jeilyne Santana
Jewelry: Either Ore Jewelers Strawbridge
Linens: Waterford Event Rentals
Florals: Fluttering Flowers
Calligraphy & Hand-Lettering: Ceindy Doodles
Cake: Kadi Bakes
Constellation Glasses: Ballou Sky
Bride & Groom Cut-Outs and Stars: Jollity & Co.
Chargers: At Home
Plates & Flatware: Bed Bath & Beyond