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This edgy and elegant styled shoot comes to us from Tara of the Berkshire Wedding Collective! Here’s more about the inspiration behind the shoot and the talented team that pulled it all together:

For 16 years, Tara Consolati drove by the abandoned, crumbling Great Barrington Fairgrounds. And for 16 years, she was oddly struck by its beauty. What used to be a bustling center of activity—a horse track which drew huge crowds season after season—was now weathered and forgotten! Then, in 2014, when Tara founded the Berkshire Wedding Collective, she knew that she wanted to assemble a team of wedding professionals to produce a beautiful styled shoot—one that incorporated the non-traditional beauty of the dilapidated structures with the mainstream loveliness of a modern-day wedding. One that encouraged the collaboration of several Berkshire Wedding Collective members.

See more after the cut!


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Enter Soraya Jollon–a boutique event designer from NYC and member of the Collective—whose style Tara fondly remembered from a 2012 event. Under Soraya’s tutelage, this inspiration shoot would turn out exactly as Tara had imagined for all these years! Soraya Jollon of SORAYA weddings & celebrations is known for transforming diamond-in-the-rough locations, be they former warehouses, industrial spaces or overgrown fields, into captivating event venues that thrill guests with their ingenuity, offbeat elegance and fun.

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For this inspiration shoot, Soraya wanted to combine disparate elements with a mix of masculine and feminine textures and colors to play up the idea of having an elegant dinner amidst the overgrown beauty of the horse track. She followed a palate of natural, gray and black–Slate chargers, hand-painted vintage plates, wooden farm table rising from the weeds, crisp flax runners (provided by Classical Tents and Party Goods), and seasonal flowers, branches and berries that seem gathered from the property and arranged effortlessly (black currants, olive branches, poppy pods, wild bittersweet, etc.). Seating vignettes that included leather club chairs and antique pie-crust tables nestled in the winners’ stalls contrasted with the delicate grace of our model.

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Soraya knew that Christopher Duggan, who is based in NYC and the Berkshires, would be the perfect photographer to capture the juxtaposition of graffiti-sprinkled structures and overgrown brush with the classic beauty of the model. Synderela, a designer of bespoke wedding fashions for both brides and bridesmaids, lent us two gorgeous looks each with its own twist on tradition. The wedding ensemble combined traditional bridal elements (beading, tulle) with playfully sexy separates — a beaded midriff-skimming top, 40s-style high-waisted trouser shorts, and a full tulle skirt to keep on or take off! The bridesmaid dress or wedding gown for a bride happy to wear color combined with a stylized strapless bodice with a flowy coral skirt — the perfect material to flutter in the breeze during our shoot.

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Our unexpected fashions required equally unusual jewelry. Laurie Donovan Designs lent us several exquisite pieces that combined rare stones (ex. black diamonds) with bold settings and styles. Our model, Gina Gioiello, had a dancer’s grace and the features of a classic beauty with just a hint of mischief in her eyes. And with the assistance of our hair and make-up team—Brittany Pessotti of Fringe Salon in Boston, and Claudia Frustaci of Ciao Bella Day Spa in Milford–Gina was the perfect embodiment of our out-of-the-box bride.

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This inspirational shoot–edgy, non-traditional, “rough-around-the-edges” combined with the stunning natural beauty of the Berkshires–will appeal to couples who are appreciators of natural beauty, but prefer it to be a little wilder and less manicured. They like beautiful things, but find beauty in unexpected places. They also appreciate the history of a place and how it can still appeal long after its heyday. For more information about the grass-roots effort to restore the environmental health of the land while returning it to the community for recreational, cultural and agricultural use, visit www.gbfg.org.

Thanks Tara! For more information about the Berkshire Wedding Collective, please visit their website.

What do you think of today’s styled shoot? Let us know in the comments below!

Event Designer: Soraya Jollon
Photographer: Christopher Duggan
Decor: Classical Tents & Party Goods
Makeup: Ciao Bella
Hair: Fringe Salon
Jewlery: Laurie Donovan Designs
Visionary: Tara Consolati/Berkshire Wedding Collective 

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