KY Derby Inspiration Shoot

While visiting my sister in Lexington, KY this past summer, Sarah was blindsided with a flood of inspiration.  She became enamored with the style, tradition, and look of all things related to the Bluegrass state and its long history of horse racing.  After getting back home we decided to stage an inspiration shoot with a Kentucky Derby theme.  Sarah’s first step was to find a wedding coordinator in the Lexington area who shared her vision and could help bring it to life.  We were extremely fortunate to find Augelique Gross from Blue Quail Events to help plan our shoot, connect with local vendors, and create the vital details needed to capture a Derby style wedding. Not only did Augelique understand exactly what we were aiming for, she shared our vision for the shoot – which was crucial for its execution.  Of course a vision and the details that make it come to life are only a part of the kit and caboodle.  We needed a venue and our bride and groom.  Luckily my sister Abby and her husband Jeremy gladly agreed and were extremely enthusiastic to participate.  Despite temperatures in the 30s they were adamant about making sure we got the shots needed.  Even our niece and nephew got in on the fun as the flower girl and ring bearer.  Though only an inspiration shoot, we were able to capture the love between Abby and Jeremy and give them the wedding photos they never had over ten years ago when they tied the knot.   The venue was not as easy to acquire however.  Augelique  and Sarah put out feelers and called contacts looking for the perfect place.  In October, with the shoot nearly a month away, Sarah was contacted by Lexington’s premiere horse track – Keeneland Race Course – and given permission to use their grounds as the wedding’s backdrop.  The Keeneland news made our day and helped motivate us through the last stages of the planning.  What would a Kentucky Derby inspired shoot be without the actual equine element?  Luckily one of Jeremy’s colleagues who owns a private horse farm with two horses gladly allowed us to photograph our bride and groom with her horses, Gandalf and Grace.  Thank you Annette for lending us your time and wonderful horses.  The details and decor of the shoot were amazing.  Augelique’s creatively went wild and it showed.  From the bourbon barrel bar with homemade mint juleps to the southern dessert inspired table, we tried to incorporated all things Kentucky.  We even carried out the Southern tradition of burying the bourbon bottle at Annette’s farm.  Many of the details were handmade by Augelique and even a few by Sarah, while other details were obtained with the help of local vendors and family members.  We loved the chandelier Augelique created for over the dining table.  The battery powered lights entwined with reeds and baby’s breath provided the perfect anchor for such a great setting.  The tables and chairs used throughout the shoot were graciously provided  by Carrie of Events with Design.  All pieces are vintage and were refurbished and reclaimed by Carrie and her brother – a perfect touch and foundation for the decor.  Augelique even convinced Andrew from Forever Films to participate in the event.  We can’t wait to see his artistic interpretation of the day’s events.  Though we lost feeling in much of our extremities due to the cold, everything went without a hitch.  Our deepest gratitude go out to everyone who made this shoot possible.  Thank you for enduring the chilly weather and the months of planning and insanity that accompanies making a vision come to life.

Photography – Spottswood Photography
Venue – Keeneland
Floral – Blue Quail Events with flowers from Stems
Bouquets & Boutineers – Emplume
Event Design and Coordination – Blue Quail Events
Stationary – Minuteman Press
Videography – Forever Films
Bakery – Confused Confections
Rentals – Events with Design
Gown – Allure
Bridal Boutique – Ruth’s Bridal


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6 thoughts on “KY Derby Inspiration Shoot

  1. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you guys don’t get picked up by some national agency there is something wrong with this world…

    Fantastic, beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, and every other adjective that I can think of describes these images… you guys ROCK!

  2. Oh wow! How could you miss with all this creativity???? Just fabulous! Congratulations on bringing things together!

  3. Simply beautiful! Wonderful ideas and images! Love everything!!!!

  4. Everything you guys do is inspiring! Lovely just lovely!

  5. This was the first time that I saw the wedding photos for Jeremy, Abby, Phil and Laura. How beautiful! What a wonderful presentation of a beautiful family in a beautiful context. You guys rock. Happy New Year.