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“The Sound Of Music” Styled Shoot (Illinois)

Photographer Holly Birch Smith has loved the Sound of Music since she was a little girl. She knows the movie by heart and sometimes watches her Blu-ray copy with the sing-a-long lyrics turned on. A few months ago, while Holly was watching the movie, she suddenly had the thought that the story and movie were the perfect inspiration for a wedding styled shoot. She immediately began jotting down ideas, browsing Pinterest, and thinking of potential vendors to contribute. A few Google searches turned up very little in the way of Sound of Music themed weddings or shoots and so the planning began.

When Holly approached Julie about doing a Sound of Music inspired shoot, Julie didn’t even need to think about her answer! Yes, yes, yes! The two went right to work planning every detail of the shoot. They both agreed to put a modern spin on the classic film but maintain hints of the film throughout the shoot. The selection of the couple was really important to Holly & Julie. They wanted a real couple to capture true intimacy and they also wanted a groom with a military background. They decided to go with Julie’s niece and her soon to be nephew-in-law, Adreana Foster and Devin Waterstradt.

 The owner of the home is a successful retired Los Angeles interior designer, so the home was perfectly appointed with beautiful designer furniture from around the world and perfect accessories.  Holly and Julie decided to focus on soft neutrals of ivory, white, light blue and green tones. When it came to selecting the flowers, Julie wanted to create a soft garden feel with fresh picked and locally sourced flowers. So Julie focused on  seasonal product with most of it sourced directly from their garden. She focused on Kousa dogwood as a focal, peonies, campanula, lisianthus, light blue delphinium, hydrangea, Queen Anne’s lace and mixed greens for texture.

Music obviously was also a very important aspect in the film. Austria was the birth place of Mozart, Strauss, & Haydn to name a few, so Holly and Julie brought in Rachel Elizabeth Norton whom is an accomplished area musician. Not only did she fill the shoot with beautiful music, but Holly was able to capture some elegant shots of her violin accompanied with the bridal bouquet. Holly also took some detail shots of the homeowner’s baby grand piano with fresh floral accents.

Holly recruited Emily Cavanagh from dash/wood shop to design an invitation suite. She came up with a gorgeous design with navy, cream and gold with some tea staining for an extra layer of detail. Sarah Heller of Sugar by Sarah contributed with the authentic dessert spread. With all the other desserts, they decided to keep the cake simple with two tiers, buttercream, and Edelweiss gum paste accents. Sarah chose mini apple strudels as they are featured in the lyrics of “My Favorite Things.” Through research on authentic Austrian desserts, Holly knew she had to have linzer cookies, which look almost too pretty to eat!

Prior to the mock ceremony, they travelled to the neighboring county to the grounds of Robert H. Allerton Park to a white gazebo and meadow to pay homage to the von Trapp’s gazebo and Maria’s singing on a hillside.

Julie and Holly invited friends, family, and neighbors to attend the ceremony and sit in as guests. Sugar by Sarah’s husband Sid Majumdar stepped in as the officiant. A guitar case served a different purpose as a cardholder and place for “love notes,” and a retro navy suitcase was a nod to both the von Trapps’ escape through the mountains and Maria’s arrival as governess. Following the ceremony, everyone was invited inside to partake in the abundant food spread, prepared by John Odum. The colorful appetizer menu was both savory and sweet with a little something for everyone.

Get inspired and check out this beautiful “Sound of Music” styled shoot below, as beautifully captured by Holly Birch Photography.

Event Date:  May 28, 2017
Private Residence
Photographer: Holly Birch Photography
Hair Stylist: Shear Excellence Salon
DJ: Visit Champaign County
Musicians: Rachel Elizabeth
Event Designer: Palace Events
Lighting: Crash Events
Calligrapher: dash/wood
Ring Designer: Champaign Jewelers
Dress Store: Michelle’s Bridal and Tuxedo
Cake Designer: Sugar by Sarah
Floral Designer: Flora Design Studio, LLC