It was a long shot to invite my idol Taylor Swift to my wedding back in 2016, but I took the risk and mailed the invitation anyway. The envelope was completed with a custom liner showcasing the lyrics to a favorite song, “Ours.”
Unfortunately, despite my best effort and the strong Swiftie undertone of my wedding, Taylor must have been busy that day. There’s no bad blood.
So, what does a super fan do to get the attention of one of America’s most famous Pop Stars?
It started on a piece of paper in a notebook. A simple list of ideas. One that kept finding its way to the bottom of the pile. It was a scrap sheet of parchment that I would dig out every now and again to add something new.
A full-on Taylor Swift inspired wedding was being planned.
On May 22nd last year, I filled the entire page. I took a photo of the report and I emailed it to an industry friend. She responded immediately that I needed to create a mood board and carry this out. While I was excited, it was extremely intimidating and I got overwhelmed. The list of ideas was sat aside, again.
At the end of 2018, I started working with Jess Albins Events on a lot of projects. As we entered 2019, we decided to pick a few shoots we were really passionate about to ensure they were carried out. I took the time to revisit my “Secret Session I Do” notes, and Jess insisted it needed to be at the top of our list. Hence, we set a date and started recruiting the squad!
With a shooting date of June 9th, we gave ourself a few months to carry out planning. It was important to us to have a lot of time so our team could curate the best content possible. We were unprepared for what came next.
Jess and I began planning and design. We were deep diving through social media, watching music videos, listening to albums on loop, and studying live shows for anything we could incorporate. When we weren’t dealing with wheels in motion, we were Tay-lurking. As a result, it was a level of Taylor-Nation-know-all commitment that even I wasn’t used to.
Then, something crazy happened.
Taylor Swift emerged with a cryptic countdown. Her Instagram took a colorful turn. She was making tons of appearances in rainbow inspired dresses. It appeared new music was on the rise.
The best part?
It matched EVERYTHING we were planning.
The ME! video provided us with tons of ideas to incorporate TS7. Across the board, all of the vendors discussed changes that could be made to include this new era. Excitement was at an all-time high behind the scenes.
We took a cue from Taylor and began a mysterious countdown of our own. “6.9” was coming and we wanted everyone to be intrigued.
The day of the shoot was a whirlwind. We were at the venue for over 12 hours. It was the most intense and ambitious shoot I have ever been part of. We brought in breakfast and lunch for the team who worked tirelessly until after dinner. While we had a few hiccups, it was truly a blast to create. The weather was amazing, our crew was incredible (and so much fun!), and models brought everything to life. I’m so elated to be sharing these photos with you today!
Are you ready for it?
Scroll down for a video, 13 fun facts, our Tay Day Giveaway details, a list of our marvelous squad members, and one last note from myself… but, first enjoy our passion project!
I normally do a segment called “FIVE FUN FACTS.” Today, I thought it would be fitting to do thirteen.
Since there is so much to celebrate today, we’ve raised the stakes even further by offering a giveaway!
1. Make sure you’re following me at @ashtonkelleyphotography!
2. Comment on this blog!
3. Share this blog post on your platform of choice!
4. Take a screenshot of your share!
5. Upload it to your IG stories and tag me @ashtonkelleyphotography to ensure your entry is counted!
Bonus-Tag @taylorswift and @taylornation to help us reach them! Turn on notifications so you don’t miss the giveaway winner on Friday, 7.5.
People always ask me what I would say to Taylor Swift if given the opportunity. The truth is, that’s one of the hardest questions for me. I know, for one, I’d be emotionally speechless in that moment. Secondly, what could I possibly say to her that could be anywhere as insightful as what she’s spoken to me through her music? Honestly, I just feel like anything I could say would be cliche or self-serving. I just really relate to her, her music, and I aspire to make others feel the way she’s made me feel. I am so inspired by her music.
This was honestly the styled project of a lifetime for me to plan. I got to share my love for Taylor Swift with so many people I appreciate and admire while creating something so beautiful. We had so much fun, on top of it all. Outside of spending this time with people who have fed my soul, I think my favorite piece was the guitar that Jess made to replicate the one used for Taylor’s TIME Gala performance. I’m most excited for everyone to see this and pick out their own favorites. I know there is a lot for fans to discover, and I hope they like it!
Is it cool that I said all that? :)
Photo + Concept // @ashtonkelleyphotography
Venue // @theliriodendronmansion
Flowers // @crimsonandcloverfloral
Video // @jawstudios
Bridal // @jennifersbridal
Bridesmaids // @bellabridesmaids
Groomswear // @tuxedohouse
Jewelry // @nelsoncolemantowson
Cake // @bluelacecakes
Hair // @brushedbeautyllc_
Beauty // @hashtaghannah_pmu
Paper // @rockpapersis
Lettering // @amyscripts
Mural // @deardarlingweddings
Paw Patrol // @fureveralways
Bounce House // @prettylittleweddingco
Rentals // @whitegloverentals
Cotton Candy Cart // @bmorefluff
Jean Jacket // @daily_disco
Styling Goods // @brassandbumblebox
Neon Sign // @litbylo
Veils // @crownandglory_
Ties // @thetiebar
Floral Suit // @asos