• Kate Stapleton

Wedding Styled Shoot at Sierra Water Gardens with The Hytch

It all started with a simple e-mail. And it started with a "hello." We met for coffee a few days later and next thing you know I am in a car with them on the way to Black Rock Desert for Steve and Wendy's elopement. And the next next thing you know, the blog about that amazing elopement reaches 698 people. Since meeting Yeliz and Juston of The Hytch earlier this year, I have been inspired to connect with other local business owners. Sometimes I forget how easy it is to make that human connection; it is such a vital aspect in growing a business but so much more important for your own well-being.

It all started through the gates of The Hytch at Sierra Water Gardens. Yeliz invited me over to walk through the garden. As always with my little bear in tow, we brought chicken salads to share for lunch. And just like the e-mail, it started with a "hello." This time, in addition to meeting with Yeliz again, I met Courtney; now otherwise known as the "awesome balloon lady" of Balloons By Court. While my Ella ran around the garden with Yeliz's fur baby, Pasa (reads pasha) the three of us sat down to casually chat about our budding businesses. We shared things that we knew, asked questions, and exchanged useful business information. At one point in the conversation, I casually brought up planning and hosting a styled shoot and Yeliz gladly welcomed the idea of putting it together in the garden. Little did I know, this would be the start of something bigger.

Since that day, so many other connections were made. So many ideas were thrown about. A lot of e-mails were exchanged but most of all: friendships were built. I am excited, no wait, ECSTATIC to share the beautiful work we were able to put together as a team. The drive, commitment, and professional intent each and everyone of these passionate local business owners poured into this styled shoot has left me speechless. And I am just SO honored to have been able to work side-by-side with such amazing creatives in our local community.

From the models to the hair and makeup to the cake and stationary to the venue and the balloons and decor and florals; everything was put together so perfectly. But what is most striking and my most favorite part of all is the HEART of all of these amazing people. The shoot was such a great experience not only because it was beautiful but also because it was fun. Everyone loved and respected one another. The vibe was light and upbeat. We had music playing and there was laughter!

What an amazing experience.

To everyone:

I am looking back at the last few months. All the e-mails. The meetings. The planning. From the very beginning, there's always been that air of confidence that this concept that we so fondly named "Rustic Sweetheart" was coming to life. I could not have asked for a better team - for better people - to be in collaboration with. We may have met earlier in the planning stage or the day of the shoot or we may even have connected after the shoot. Regardless of that, coming out of this experience and having to personally get to know each of you has made a world of difference in my little bubble. When I first launched my photography business this year, I thought I was going to be at it alone. But you all have shown me that a community of like-minded and supportive people exists and for that I am grateful. Knowing that I am part of such a community has me much more driven now than I ever was when I applied for that business license. I hope you all came out hopeful and inspired like I did. Thank you all for your sharing your talents, your commitment, and your time for this project. Can't wait for many more in the future!

The A-Team: Photographer and host: Kate Stapleton | @katestapletonphoto Wonderful Co-host: Yeliz Berg | @thehytch

Breath-taking Venue: The Hytch at Sierra Water Gardens | @thehytchswg

Fun Bride and Groom Models: Maggie Hart and Rodney Ginn | @maggie.roze & @rodeo194

Grand Balloons: Courtney Wallace | @balloonsbycourt Delicious Cake and Dessert: Mollie Connell | @rebelpioneerbakery

Vintage Decor: Shana Conway Schmidt | @renotahoevintagerentals

Elegant Florals: Johanna Villalobos Valenzuela | @boxoflovereno

Talented Hair & Makeup artist: Nancy Rice | @nancyriceartistry

Unique Custom Jewelry: Lindsay and Ryan Bernardo | @bernardoandco

Exquisite Stationery: Ashlee Arias | @lahontanletterworks