Twice a year Carly Romeo, Catalyst co-founder and lead photographer at Carly Romeo & Co., organizes a small retreat called Feminist Photo Vaycay. Each retreat is at a different location and is a mix of community building, relaxation, and styled shoot workshop. Carly and styled shoot designer Dawn Mauberret work to increase diverse representation in wedding imagery by always including real couples in their shoots, with a focus on LGBTQ+ folks and people of color.
“This was my third time designing the FPV shoot and I was so excited that this season’s shoot was in upstate New York. Being based in Brooklyn, New York, the Catskills is one of my favorite places to visit year round. There is something so serene and majestic about the air and mountains up there.
I explored a lot of different themes and design ideas when working on this shoot. Ultimately, the overall inspiration came from sunset skies, pearls, and sustainability.
I’ve long been a superfan of Scribner’s Lodge, a gorgeous boutique hotel in Hunter. They are so thoughtful in everything they do — the design of the hotel, their food program, sustainability practices, and the daily activities they offer to their guests. I was absolutely ecstatic when they agreed to host the shoot on their property.
Because the Catskills and Scribner’s are already so stunning, I wanted our design to complement the natural surroundings rather than attempt to upstage it. Scribner’s in-house florist, Andrew, put together a gorgeous spread of florals grown from right on the property’s farm!
Based on Andrew’s sunset watercolor palette of yellows, violets, and orange flowers, I Can Do That Designs put together a stunning custom invitation suite. Allison Vaz’s brightly colored hand lettering complemented the design perfectly.
In keeping with the idea of sustainability, I knew I wanted to go vintage for the rings. Erica Weiner has been a leader in sustainable, vintage and handmade jewelry in NYC since 2004. As her website says, “Our antique and handmade jewels have a weird, wonderful story to tell.” I chose a gorgeous cluster ring of pearls and emeralds from 1820 — yes, the year 1820, and a Victorian diamond starburst ring from the year 1880. After the shoot, we started wondering about who and how many hands things rings have adorned over the last 200 years!
This was our second time working with Floravere for FPV. It’s always difficult choosing from their gown selection, as they are all so beautifully made and modern! We settled on the J. Mitchell gown paired with their pearl beaded veil, which stood out beautifully against the very chic low cut back and oversized bow.
Willowhouse Beauty kept the look natural and fresh. I had seen an inspiration pic of faux pearl hair pins on their instagram that took my breath away. They happily recreated the look and it turned out to be a fantastic complement to Megumi’s pearl ring and veil.
I wanted the suit to really pop, so I chose a bright teal blue suit. It looked great against the muted skies, but the real star of the show was Sydney’s smile every time she looked at Megumi!
Engaged in real life, our couple, Megumi and Sydney did such a phenomenal job as our models. These cuties met in school and were excited to get some practice in for the real thing, which is happening next year.”
Words by shoot designer Dawn Mauberret