Introducing The Sophia Project + The Story of Forgiveness

the sophia project

I’m so excited to share this feature + introduce you lovelies to the sophia project today!

the sophia project, conceptualized and produced by the talented photographer Clayton Austin + cinematographer Derrek Sullivan, is a unique styled shoot that gives the viewer a peak into the life of the couple (the video) the morning of the lovely shoot (the photos). I love that they wrapped a traditional styled shoot in a carefully crafted story that seamlessly joins their talents and allows us to better understand the design/styling decisions and the emotions conveyed in their lovely work below. It’s great to see talented artists evolve their already great work and push the limits of what the wedding world has to offer!  I love seeing artists take chances and it sure works here.

In addition to producing a beautiful final composition, it’s great that the story is abstract enough to allow the viewer to extract their own meaning from it. My takeaway was that while I love love, it’s important to remember that for a great relationship to work, it really does take work from both people. the sophia project explores different perspectives on love, relationships, and human nature. Perseverance, humility, commitment, forgiveness to name just a few.

Here’s a bit more about the project from Clayton:

I once read that forgiveness is a virtue of the brave. I truly love Addison, my partner of five years, more than life itself. We have endured more together than one can imagine and I am humbled by his commitment to me. But the truth is I have a propensity to leave wet towels on the floor and refuse to scrape my plate before loading it into the dishwasher. Sometimes we argue about these things, as minuscule as they may be, and sometimes we even go to bed angry at each other because we both have a tendency to take things personally, our pride making for a cold, cold night. But thankfully the sun waits for no one and blesses us every morning with a brand new start and a chance to be right again. “Good morning (forgive me)” follows a theme of morning time from breakfast to alarm clocks to razor boutonnieres. Whenever Addison and I have a falling out, breakfast is chance for us to make amends with one another.  ”I’m sorry. I love you. Pancakes or waffles?” can heal all kinds of wounds.

The video is pretty stunning and really brings their concept to life. The song used is ”About Today” by The National (one of my fave bands!) and it fits perfectly. I hope you enjoy this feature and thanks so much to Clayton + Derrek for creating such a gorgeous piece of art to share with us today!

the sophia project

the sophia project

desert styled shoot

the sophia project

lace veil

desert styled shoot

the sophia project

succulent pieces the sophia project

desert styled shoot

the sophia project

skillet succulent table design

the sophia project

driftwood floral piece

the sophia project

the sophia project

the sophia project

the sophia project

the sophia project

the sophia project

the sophia project desert bunting

the sophia project

pancakes desert

donuts, lavender

pancakes wedding bar

wire bow tie

the sophia project

the sophia project

razer boutonnierethe sophia project

From Clayton who designed + styled the shoot: I collected the wardrobe and details over many months. The main look, the white dress with the big furry bottom I actually created myself out of a vintage top, while the bottom half I sewed from a bean bag slipcover I discovered at a Pottery Barn outlet. That entire look cost less than $40. Obviously I am pretty proud of this particular look. Half of the shoot took place in Austin, Texas while the second was shot in the Colorado and Utah. Derrek and I drove an RV pulling a trailer the 3000 mile roundtrip to Utah specifically to shoot the “apology” in the Bonneville Salt Flats because we wanted to give a sense of isolation to the couple as if at that very moment what was happening between them was all that mattered in the world. We spent two days there shooting in by far the most beautiful light I had ever seen. The entire project was an experience that we will not soon forget.



concept + design + photography: Clayton Austin // cinematography: Derrek Sullivan // style assistant: Country Sugar //  hair: Kendall Koehler // makeup: Adrienne Pitkin // paper goods: Purplest // fabric boutonniere: The Chica Boutique

While the sophia project is not for hire they are excited about their next endeavor. If you feel you have a unique story to tell and would like them to consider it for the sophia project please send a note to clayton@claytonaustinlovestories.com They are interested in exploring all aspects of love and forgiveness and the people that are brave enough to endure both.

 

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Get to Know a Flower: Peonies

peony-bouquet

What bride doesn’t love peonies!? They are a beautiful, fragrant, truly an effortless flower and one of my favorites too! :) They are gorgeous designed with other pretty florals and they are naturally stunning on their own. Big thanks to Janie of The Bride’s Café for sharing some easy Peony DIY inspiration with us today! From Janie: For a bride who wishes to DIY her wedding flowers, peonies are a perfect choice – you can place single stems in a cute vessel of choice or you can easily group 4-5 stems together for a sweet bouquet. These beautiful blooms will definitely brighten up your reception or dinner table with their vibrant yellow centers!

An excellent source for purchasing beautiful peonies for your wedding day is Fifty Flowers.com. They provided the pink peonies for the shoot and they are a great source for all the beautiful types of peonies which come in a variety of colors – white, blush pink, hot pink, burgundy red, coral and yellow.

diy-peony-tabletop

DIY pink peony tabletop


Peony Conditioning Tip: Cut peony stems on an angle and scrape the bottom 2 inches of the stem. Place the peonies in warm water with flower preservative for a few hours before arranging them in your final vase of choice.

DIY pink peony tabletop

peony invitation


Add other defining elements to the table with pops of color in the napkins and candles and don’t forget to finish the look with pretty paper items. Here, we added beautiful menu and name cards designed by Kristy Rice of Momental Designs. Kristy designs the most beautiful hand painted wedding stationery. This collection is perfectly named the Trellis, a new pattern from Envelopments using Kristy’s signature watercolors. Contrast painting technique where each are painted in light inks against richer stocks a textured finish.

peony invitation

peony wedding cake


photographer: Amelia Johnson Photography // florals: The Bride’s Café and JMFlora Design // wedding stationery: Momental Designs // stylist: Dana FitzGerald // flowers: Fifty Flowers – find lots of peonies on Fifty Flowers!

The pink peonies used in the DIY above are also known as the Sarah Bernhardt Peony. Right now, you can get the white, pink, coral, and red (mangenta) from the markets in CA and NY. It really depends on where the buyers are getting them from. Some florists will be able to get peonies throughout the year. Since it really depends on where you live and your florist, check with them to see if they are available for your wedding date.

I also LOVE bouquets with peonies! Whether they are hot pink peonies, soft + romantic pink and white peonies, or a mix with tree peonies (love these as seen in bouquets 10 + 13!), peonies in a bouquet are just so beautiful. Here are a collection of some of my most favorite peony bouquets I found online!

hot-pink-peonies


1. Oak and the Owl Interior and Floral Design Studio // 2. Matthew Robbins Design // 3.Sarah of Honey of a Thousand Flowers // 4. AvaFlora // 5. Elizabeth Messina

pale-pink-peonies


6. KT Merry // 7. Garden District seen in this wedding on GWS // 8. Elizabeth Messina // 9. Dawn at Soiree Floral as seen in this Peony Filled Wedding // 10. A Simple Ceremony

whimsical-peony-bouquets


11. Charleston Stems // 12. Pollen Floral Art // 13. La Fleuriste // 14. Sarah of Honey of a Thousand Flowers

Will you be using peonies in your wedding bouquet or day? I’d love to hear how you are using them in the comments! :)

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A Wedding Festival in the Woods: Laura + Alex

wedding couple by pile of wood

When Laura + Alex found their location, they dubbed it Lovestock. Seeing themselves as old souls, it seemed natural to want a huge celebration in the middle of nowhere – much like a festival. :) Their wedding was all about the people they loved and really making it an enjoyable experience for them. Nature, friends + family, good food + wine, music, warmth, humor, love for the olden days – those are the things that inspired the two of them. Laura also created the invitations and decorations for the reception. Thanks so much to ALMA Photography for sending this sweet wedding our way!

camp wedding sign

lace wedding dress


Laura wore her mother’s wedding dress – an Edwardian Cotton Tea Dress that is around 100 years old!

band in the woods

wedding in the woods

bride walking down aisle

bride with floral crown

Laura: There were so many. The whole day was pure magic. Everything just (almost eerily) worked out! But for me, the most memorable was walking up to meet Alex at the 'alter'. Both of my parents were on either side of me, and as we moved closer it was such an amazing feeling. The band were playing my song, the weather was spectacular, the space looked so beautiful, and everyone was just so happy and full of love. It was overwhelmingly powerful.

Alex: There was a moment during the ceremony where Laura and I were placing the rings on each others fingers. Laura was struggling to get mine on, and there was a bit of laughter from the crowd. Next thing you know about 20 or so Kookaburras in the trees above us joined in and wouldn't stop laughing! This made the crowd laugh more and so there was a chorus of laughter all round. We felt like we had the whole universes' blessing at that point.

bride with floral wreath

first kiss

Processional: Excuses by Pop, Etc (played by The Cope Street Parade)

Recessional: He's Smilin Too by The Cope Street Parade

First Dance: Baby I love your Way by Peter Frampton (played by The Mitch Anderson Band)

wedding exit with confetti

bridal party

bride with floral crown

bride with floral crown kiss

wedding couple Lalay sign

wedding tent in woods

wedding tent in woods

dancing in woods wedding

nighttime wedding portrait

nighttime wedding portrait

wedding reception with lights

Laura:
• Go with the flow. Alex +I both work in the creative industry and found it easy to get bogged down in every little detail. But ultimately, you just have to trust that everything will work out.
• Choose your vendors wisely. We worked with the most incredible vendors who got our 'vision' straight away and were simply amazing. Work with people that you trust and that you feel comfortable with.
• Make plan's C D and E....not just plan B! Our original location for the wedding flooded 2 weeks before the day, and there was rain either side of our wedding. We changed location at the last minute and planned to deal with the rain (it never came and were are thanking the weather gods daily!). But some other weddings weren't so lucky.
• Stick to your guns (within reason!). I can't tell you how many times people thought our ideas to be ludicrous but absolutely loved them on the day.

Alex: Don't be a text book bride + groom and don't have a text book wedding. Be yourselves.

photography: Alma + Claire from ALMA Photography (see more photos from the day here) // venue: Touch the Earth, St Albans NSW. A friends private property in the middle of nowhere! // floral design (including hairpieces): Angie Summers from Florid Flowers in Waverly, Sydney // wedding dress: mother’s dress // hair + makeup: Visual Creations Hair Studio (my godparents actually!) They work in Sydney and in Green Point on the Central coast, NSW // groom suit: Mulberry street vintage, Newtown, Sydney // catering: Cafe Giulia in Chippendale, Sydney // cake: we had a buffet of sorts courtesy of Constant Cravings Cakes. as for a wedding cake, we didn’t have a traditional wedding cake – my mum made us a wedding pinata which was stuffed with chocolate love hearts! // ceremony music: The Cope Street Parade // reception music: The Mitch Anderson Band

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