1 A view of the beach just outside the house we rented for our shoot.
2 My favorite shot of the whole trip: the oldest-looking gas station I'd seen in a while.
3 Here we are, starting to set up the beach scenario.
4 We brought 40 folding chairs out to the water's edge.
5 Here I am, hiding from the sun. It was incredibly hot and sunny that day, and I was glad I brought my hat.
6 Katie works on the placement of the flags on each chair.
7 Anthony and I start hanging them on each chair.
8 We buried umbrella stands in the sand for the ceremony structure and used the same tactic for poles along the aisle.
9 Here you can see the basic setup before we added in the fabric and roping details.
10 Photographer James Merrell and our art director, Daniel Biasatti, check on the setup through the camera.
11 Naomi gets to work hanging the fabric backdrops.
12 Katie and Daniel prepping the aisle poles.
13 Making progress...
14 James gives us a smile.
15 Finishing up.
16 Daniel takes another look.
17 Anthony and I stand in as a mock bride and groom so we can review the perspective. The height was just right.
18 All couples should have a good laugh now and again, right?
19 Daniel and James look at the photos on a laptop guarded from the sun by a very high-tech shield also known as a cardboard box.
20 Another look at the "computer station" we set up.
21 Daniel made his own hat with an extra fabric flag.
22 All set!
23 Scenery shot #1.
24 Scenery shot #2.
25 Scenery shot #3.
26 A view from the other direction.
27 A close-up of the aisle. I referred to the rope around the poles as "aisle legwarmers" and wondered if that term would stick.
28 Love this shot.
29 We swept the sand so it was nice and pretty.
30 The house we rented. And the sand we hiked through. A much different walk than we city folk are used to!
31 We thought we'd try our beach shot with some people. Our former food editor, Ashley Ristau, was in town and swung by to be our bride. Anthony stepped in as groom. They both wore J.Crew for their faux nuptials.
32 The bride and groom get styled.
33 Katie fixing Ashley's dress for the barefoot wedding.
35 Here you can really get a sense of how beautiful this would be at an actual wedding.
36 After we got our beach photos, we went inside for our wintery lodge setting. How amazing is this ceiling?
37 We set out all of our pillar candles, hurricane glasses, and slices of birch.
38 Anthony and Muzam prepping the fireplace so we can load it with logs and glowing pillar candles.
39 The start of our shot.
40 Another view of the room.
41 Katie takes a look through James's camera.
42 A close-up of the fireplace.
43 A plush felt runner lines the aisle.
44 Pillar candles in hurricane glasses sat atop log slices.
45 Katie adjusts the felt on top of the log stools.
46 And then moves on to fix the logs in the fireplace.
47 James evens out a log too.
48 Last minute adjustments. These felt seat covers were a great touch to bring in warmth and also practicality. No one wants to snag their dress when they sit.
49 We wanted to transform the living room into a wintery-lodge. So we grabbed some wood slats that fell from the fence outside and turned them into window panes.
50 Here, Dan adjusts our "window".
51 Muzam snapped this shot of the team in action. Love it!
52 Photographer James Merrell with Katie and Dan.
53 Nearly there...
54 The perfect couple in stripes? Naomi and Daniel pretend to wed in front of our fireplace ceremony site, with Anthony standing in as the officiant. Sometimes we just need to see how normal people would look in the spaces.
55 We were feeling the winter wonderland, even though it was late June.
56 Here's the hotel room as we finalized the topiaries and did some last-minute pruning.
57 Katie and I finishing up the boxwood letters for the garden scene.
58 Some of our items, on the lawn ready to be set up.
59 Naomi starts to arrange the garden ceremony site.
60 Anthony helps with the smaller topiaries that perched next to the iron chairs.
61 A snapshot of the welcome area.
62 Naomi hanging the welcome garland.