Anatomy of a Design Shoot: the Dark Side

I remember when my husband and I first started looking at houses because suddenly our TV was permanently set to HGTV. And before long, I too had stars in my eyes. Big plans, I thought to myself as I started buying tools and paint brushes, my plans are big.

Then we bought the house and after three weeks of painting and installing ceiling fans (scratch that, watching others install ceiling fans), I lost the DIY bug. And quickly. Fast forward two years ahead and suddenly the Royal Wedding was upon us, which meant it was time to light the flame once again. With the imminent threat of a house full of friends, colleagues and TV cameras, it was time to dust off the to do list and prep the house- new dining room lights and rugs and more watching of installations from a safe distance.

As you may have already read in Ariana’s post from earlier, we’re doing a fun little inspiration shoot to accompany my upcoming 8th Annual Holiday Cookie Box Social. Once again, I find myself under the weight of self induced peer pressure and this time, with two buckets of cabinet paint and a receipt from Ikea for butcher block. That’s right, it was time to get the kitchen in shape.

Part of our shoot will require some shots of our kitchen, since we’ll be shooting the actual process of making cookies for said party. What better time than now, I thought to myself, to finally knock out the two big to do’s that have been looming over us- installing butcher block counters and painting all 38 kitchen cabinets.

For those not following my Facebook moans and groans about it, I did come upon the unhappy discovery that my kitchen cabinets would require six (yes, six) layers of paint.  So if you do the math, I’ve literally spent the last six weeks of waking hours on a six hour cycle of putting on work clothes and working, changing into painting clothes and painting, rinse, repeat. No bueno.

On a happier note, my new sparkly kitchen (now, with disco lights under the kitchen cabinets thanks to my ambitious husband) makes me want to do twirls and cartwheels because I love it so much. Plus, it will look great for the shoot.

So there you go- the darker side to inspiration shoots. It’s not just about buying fabric, perusing Pinterest and staking out the closest craft store for discounted twine.  It very oftentimes can be about gallons of paint and installing disco lighting.

Okay, watching the disco lighting installing.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.


Meghan Ely

Regarded as one of the leading wedding publicists in the US, Meghan Ely combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of wedding PR. She has earned coverage for her clients with the New York Times, People, Brides, Bridal Guide, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, CNN Money, and more. She is a WeddingPro Expert and long-time contributor to and