Hey hey everyone! Monica here! I’ve been so thrilled to share my experience with managing one of my favorite styled shoots at Tenth Ward Distilling Company’s unique and fantastic event venue. But first, a little quick narrative on how we went from spirits to weddings!
When we expanded our tasting room into downtown Frederick, MD to open our first Cocktail Lab, we just so happened to move into a fabulously historic building with an extra 4,000 square feet of space that needed a purpose. After exposing the natural brick and hardwood floors and having recognized the constant need for event space in our location, it seemed a no-brainer to offer it for rentals. While Tenth Ward is primarily a distillery, the event business has been an extra source of revenue that supported the growth of the distillery and I’m so grateful to be able to leverage that opportunity. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how it organically became a great marketing tool. Hundreds of people coming through our door every weekend for events many times had never heard of us or been to our establishment.
The types of events we host have varied from the standard wedding with ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception to any other type of event – holiday parties, showers, nonprofit fundraisers and so much more. Our two venue options, the Whiskey Hall and Barrel Room offer different sizes and styles to fit anyone’s needs. Tenth Ward’s slogan is Ward Off Ordinary (#wardoffordinary) and it meshes well with our clients who are typically looking for an unconventional yet unforgettable space that feels warm and less stiff and standard.
Most importantly, I’m writing to share with you, my FIRST EVER hosted Colorful Styled Shoot! For those that aren’t familiar with what a styled shoot is, it’s a super fun and very collaborative marketing tool used to promote certain services. In this case, Tenth Ward served as the venue and to promote what we offer. We organized a team of vendors (listed below) to come together to style a mock wedding day. I’m super passionate about sharing the local love so it was important to me that we work with vendors in the Frederick County area. Every time a photo is shared from this shoot, we continue to support every business on that vendor list.
How does it work? We start with a theme or develop what you might call a “mood board”. Then we reach out to vendors that we think might want to work in that theme and start to build a team. While the planning and attire take a little bit of prep, most of the action happens the day before and the day of. I was thrilled that two of my fave furniture stores on our block offered the chance for us to borrow any piece we could grab! So the day before was just a wild experience of mixing and matching colors, furniture, and decor. Day of, each vendor dedicates their time and services to executing a wedding shoot that perfectly showcases the best of what we all offer. From floral arrangements down to the couple’s jewelry each detail is a unique display of local artistry and industry expertise. Then the photographer steps in and takes over to document everyone’s hard work.
Because Tenth Ward’s venue is so timeless and classic, many of our styled shoots have perfectly highlighted the space with beautiful neutral tones and natural decor. So I knew I wanted to do something different! Part of the colorful theme was inspired by our bride models and good friends of mine, Jess and Marley. I wanted a colorful theme that was bright and stayed funky and fun but didn’t quite scream full-on rainbow. So we went with the first three colors below as primary and the last two as secondary in the color pallet below. Once developed, this color pallet then served as the starting point for our vendors to get creative and plan something super bomb and extraordinary!
Now for the rundown on all the cool stuff everyone brought together, starting with the fabulously eclectic furniture! Vintage MC houses some of the coolest mid-century modern furniture, funky and quirky items that you know you have to have as soon as you walk in the door, and a ton of amazing vintage pieces that you def aren’t going to find on Craigslist. Major thanks to Mindy for the last-minute suggestion we snag the plants and for letting us use your entire stock of pink disco balls. Dream House stays fresh and surprising with their high-end style, unique arrangements, and just super cool stuff like green velvet couches and golden rabbit heads! I knew I could blend these two styles to fit our theme, but when all the furniture showed up I was second-guessing myself for a bit.
Once we began layering items and putting things in place, I started to see our vision coming together! However,it wasn’t until the flowers showed up that I really got pumped about how everything was going to look. Jennifer and her West Virjeni team put together an array of floral decor that perfectly complemented the furniture arrangements. Their work always seems so natural and effortless, as if Jennifer just dreamed it up, snapped her fingers and came up with something you never would have seen or thought of before. She came to the table with these crazy purple roses, feathery greenery and even some super fun, giant poppies. I have so much appreciation for the wonderful effort that went into the altar piece, each bride’s bouquet and all the extra table accessories.
Speaking of the flower arrangements, check out the coolest detail from our shoot, in those macrame plant hangers! DeAnn, one of our participating vendors from Grandma’s Couch Creations, also happens to be Marley’s awesomely supportive mom! Not only did she fabricate and hand-dye some neato macrame hangers, but she also happened to be the talent behind the dyed dress worn by Jess. We took a gamble on our first attempt at this and I’m so thankful to Dee for killing it on the first shot.
Moving on, the styling of each lady involved incredible effort with classic and natural styled hair from The Beauty Company and perfectly neutral makeup to give the colors room to pop from JKW Beauty. One of the more exciting moments during our styling planning was when In Bloom offered to design custom jewelry pieces for our two brides. I had so much fun working with the In Bloom team to select the right pieces that complimented each woman and what they were wearing. Seriously though, take a look at those rings!
Lastly, the final touches for the shoot (and completely necessary for all weddings) was the dessert. Liz from Another Slice of Cake SHOWED UP for this shoot and went above and beyond with gorgeously colorful cookies, cupcakes and even macaroons! The wedding cake was a serious piece of art that stood out and popped on the bar cart from Dream House. We were all fortunate to get to sample her wares, so I can also attest to the deliciousness of the product!
Now I can’t forget to mention the backbone of all styled shoots, and that is the photographer. Moy from Moy Dumadaug Photography is a DREAM to work with! He’s so pleasant and positive, is wonderful with clients and led Jess and Marley through a super fun and easy day of photo taking. I’ve had the pleasure to work with Moy in the past on some of our weddings, expos and even with the launch of our Microwedding sessions right when we opened back up from being closed during COVID. I knew he’d be the right fit for our shoot and he jumped at taking on the role as soon as we asked him. I don’t think I need to tell anyone how phenomenal these photos turned out.
I can’t thank Jess and Marley enough for volunteering their time, although I know that any opportunity to dress up and get fancy is a skip in the park for them. These ladies are vibrant and colorful in all aspects from their style, to their music choices and down to their outgoing livelihoods. They are also both so independent in who they are yet perfectly and adorably inseparable in their relationship. Their excitement and support throughout this process made it even more fun to plan! Marley looks killer in the vintage dress they found for us with real ostrich feathers. And Jess, breaking out her perfect teacher handwriting, was the talent behind the calligraphy on the nametags. Major hugs to both of them!
I had a blast with this shoot and I hope everyone else does while looking through the photos. I can’t thank each vendor enough for their participation. Major thanks to my significant other for working late with me, drinking whiskey, and spending our evenings hanging macrame and disco balls and steaming the wrinkles out of chiffon. I’m sure when we met he didn’t know what he was getting himself into, but I can say we certainly keep ourselves from getting bored! Click here to see the full photo gallery, because you know you want to see more. For anyone interested in working with these vendors, their websites are listed at the bottom of this blog.
I’m also excited to announce some elevated and new services we are offering to our event clients in 2023. Tenth Ward’s wedding packages now include a day of coordination in the rental price. This is HUGE! No need to worry if the caterer remembered your linens or who is going to keep your bridal party walking down the aisle in order. Our beverage packages have new and upgraded items such as custom cocktail recipe development and full absinthe fountain service. I welcome everyone to browse our photo gallery to see more. Click to learn more about weddings and event rentals.
Thanks for reading and cheers!