Good Morning Romancers! This morning we have a whole bunch of behind the scenes shots and additional pictures from our Harry Potter Wedding Inspiration shoot [originally featured on Green Wedding Shoes]. Here you will get to see some amazing shots from Abby Grace Photography that didn’t make it into the Green Wedding Shoes post AND a ton more “inside” scoop from what went into the shoot. The DIY projects, the vendors, the details – the entire story of how one simple email exchange between Abby and I turned into a full-scale wedding shoot based on Harry Potter.

[image via Green Wedding Shoes]

So as I mentioned, it all started with a simple email thread between Abby and myself. I had just gotten back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter … and I was depressed. So Abby mentioned ~ why don’t we do a styled wedding shoot, based on Harry Potter. And I was sold. For one, we are both HUGE Harry Potter fans, and for two, there was really nothing else out there.  A million months ago, when I first started my blog, I had done a “Harry Potter Wedding Inspiration” post, using images I had collected from Google.  The post surprisingly gets a decent amount of traffic to my blog … so I knew that there was a desire out there for this sort of shoot. People love Harry Potter, and like me, it is a part of their lives; it was only natural that people would want to include Harry in their wedding.
The hard part is the how – how do you incorporate a magical, fictional story into a wedding, without it coming across cheesey or like a child’s themed birthday party? Abby and I decided that we would have the Harry Potter themed shoot hint heavily at elements from the books – but never point directly at them. If you weren’t a Harry Potter fan, then the wedding style would just appear organic, aged, slightly rustic, with a wink at the magic within.  And so it began ….

One of the first vendors we pulled on board was Tyler Fitzhugh of Voila Events Studio. Tyler was not familiar with Harry Potter – but we were OK with that, because we wanted to make sure our ideas were staying wedding-appropriate, and that a non-Potterhead would still like what we were designing.

Tyler in action putting the finishing touches on the pie dessert table

After Tyler, I knew we would want an invitation suite for the shoot, and I immediately knew the right woman to call on. Wendy of Weswen Design. Wendy and I had been email buddies for a while [and you might remember that she has done some guest posting here on Capitol Romance] so I already knew she was a Harry Potter fan. One email was all it took – and Wendy was instantly on board to create the most amazing Harry Potter inspired wedding invitations, menus & a wedding program based on the “Daily Prophet”.

The rest of the vendors came together rather quickly. Tyler hooked us up with an amazing hair & makeup team, and Abby found the amazingness that is Concepts Created for the farmhouse table [never underestimate the power of Craiglist]. Bryan was insanely generous – offering to deliver and pick-up the beautiful hand-crafted farmhouse table, made from repossessed wood. I think he said the table in our shoot was from some REALLY old bank. Love it.

Now onto the pie table …

The pie table was actually a blessing in disguise. We had originally wanted to do a Harry Potter themed dessert spread, but fairly last minute, the baker we had lined up, backed out ~ so I immediately thought of PIES. What is more British [and thus – Harry Potter appropriate] than pie? A quick Google search brought me to Mom’s Apple Pie Co., in Leesburg, VA, right near our shoot location.

One quick email later ~ and bam, we had a very generous donation of 3 fruit pies and 4 mini pies. They looked incredible, and they tasted even better.

For the display we used one of the many, incredible vintage pieces from Maggie & Jason [more on Maggpie Vintage Rentals in a bit], my mom’s lace runner [thanks mom!] and we actually used Harry Potter books to make the stands different heights. Did anyone catch that?? We took the dust jackets off so that only REAL Harry Potter fans would notice….

I had seen Maggie’s suitcases on her website, and I just KNEW we had to have them. I wasn’t sure where we would use them, but once things started rolling at Lost Creek Winery, the idea popped into my head to use them to display the mini-pie wedding favors [that Ms. Abby Grace painstakingly slaved over to make]. The way they stacked up, a bit haphazardly, evoked a somewhat eclectic feel ~ which for some reason made me instantly think of the Weasleys. I could imagine suitcases being all stacked and mismatched in their house.

This next shot was an absolute accident.  I literally almost stepped on poor Trevor here, and Ashley [our beautiful model] graciously agreed to take a pic with him. I joked that this was a great alternative to that “couple holds inanimate object in hands” shot, that seriously every wedding/engagement shoot seems to have recently. This one was cool, because Ashley was holding an ANIMATE object. Take that!

Ok, this next part ~ the Harry Potter inspired assignment cards was one of my favorite parts. Possibly because I was so proud of the idea, but also because I thought it was a perfect example of how our shoot was perfect for both Harry Potter fanatics, AND non-fans. We wanted to do something different for the seating assignments display – ie. not folded cards on a table.

The idea of hanging keys sort of floated into my mind ~ it reminded me of at the end of Book 1, where Harry is down the trap door and he is in Professor Flitwick’s protection. All the flying keys, and Harry needs to fly on his broomstick to find the one that fits. Not everyone might have realized that was what I was going for [I am seriously obsessed with Harry Potter] but, it was still a cool effect. Don’t you think?

Plus, Tyler’s sister, Leta is a calligrapher [Decorative Lettering by Leta Layne] and she HAND WROTE the names on these cards. Abby & I used lesser known characters from the books for the names.

We bought the keys on Ebay [the best place to find affordable skeleton keys] and then used twine to hang them from the trees. A pretty easy DIY seating assignments display.

Ingorgio! For more on the behind the scenes details from our Harry Potter Themed Wedding shoot … be sure to click inside.

In addition to the pies, we wanted to have a “tea” table. Tea, obviously, is very British, but we also wanted to include some of the Harry Potter treats from the books. Abby & I are both proud owners of the Unofficial Harry Potter Cook Book [of course we are]. Pumpkin Pasties, treacle tart, scones & lemon bars accompanied the Harry Potter themed dessert spread.

The drink display – OH the drink display. This one came SO easy to us. All four drinks are pretty heavily based on the Potter books, and we found eclectic, mismatched glasses to display them. True fans will instantly realize the Polyjuice Potion and the Liquid Luck [Felix Felicis] and even only casual fans know that Butterbeer is a staple among the  Harry Potter universe. We topped off the display with some pumpkin juice too!

The display came together quite nicely on Maggiepie’s vintage trunk, and we added a few details with leftover flowers, a set of keys, an owl feather, and the lantern by the bottom.

PS- The butterbeer was delicious. Yes, I drank it …

Ashley & Zach enjoy some Butterbeer too!

Ok, so now I get to gush about the seriously incredible duo that makeup Maggpie Vintage Rentals, Maggie & Jason. I met Maggie through my blog and we quickly got to emailing and found we had a lot in common. I was in awe of her and her fiance’s company – which they quit their jobs to start – and I was scheming ways to try and meetup. A few weeks before the shoot, and Abby & I were still without some pretty major details; so I emailed Maggie on a complete whim and much to my shock [and utter joy] she accepted.

Maggie & Jason are based in PA – they drove 3 hours (maybe more) each way, to help us out with the shoot. And obviously, you can see how much their stuff just MADE our styled shoot. The chairs, the suitcases, some glasses for the bar, the display tables, and table settings were ALL courtesy of Maggpie Vintage Rentals.

I was insanely stoked that Maggie & Jason agreed to be a part of our shoot … we could not have done it without them AND I was so excited to get to meet them in person. People, if you need a vintage rental company in the Northeast (PA, VA, NJ, DE) … hire Maggpie Vintage Rentals. They have more amazingness in their arsenal of vintage rentals, than I know what to do with. Check it all out here.

Maggie & Jason at work on the table setup!

We were super proud of the wine bottles with candle centerpiece. We saw the idea on Pinterest – but made it our own with just putting them in the center of the table, and using different sized wine bottles. What did you think?

No one had any idea how to fold a napkin, so Maggie & I set to work on how to best display the menu, to include the owl feathers! I tried the “roll-up” [yes, I made that up] and it seemed to work. Wendy’s Harry Potter inspired wedding menu is perfect, and so was her verbiage, “We will FEAST on….”

More from the insanely talented Wendy of Weswen Design. The Harry Potter Wedding Invitation Suite, in all it’s glory. Whimsical font, royal purple, an “aged” brown tint to the paper, an over-abundance of stamps on the envelope, and our RSVP response …

“____ Accepts: I wouldn’t miss this for the Quidditch World Cup”

“____ Declines: I’m not letting some crack pot old fool teach him magic tricks”

Ok this one was just too hilarious not to include. Yes, that is me, with my owl necklace. And yes, I am wearing 3d Harry Potter glasses. I am just too cool for words.

Melanie of Fleurs made the bouquet, boutonniere, and other flower accents. Abby & I gave her an insanely generic “natural, lots of “wild” greens, eggplant purple, and make it magical” and THIS is what she came up with:

Can we say floral design genius? The twine around the handle was PERFECT.

Wendy nailed it again with our Harry Potter inspired wedding program. We wanted it to mirror the kookiness of the wizarding newspaper, The Daily Prophet, with it’s whimsical fonts, in different directions. Of course, Wendy hit this one out of Gringotts …

Ok now it’s time to gush about the hair, floral hairpiece, makeup, and the dress. We needed a dress and I knew exactly where to go – Stephanie from Punk Rock Bride. I 100% love her, her designs, and the fact that she is an alternative wedding dress boutique based in DC. She invited us into her studio to try on dresses, and we fell in love with the one Ashley wore below, from Punk Rock Bride’s 2009 collection, Elizabeth. Stephanie just released her 2012 collection – be sure to check it out!!!

The hair and makeup vendors came through Tyler ~ JLindsay Hair Design and Donna KZ Make-up. The hairpiece was by the insanely talented Zazzaretti Bridal. She had-made this gorgeous floral hairpiece and it PERFECTLY matched the dress, theme, and color palette. If you need a hair piece for your wedding … check out Zazzaretti’s Bridal shop on Etsy. You will not be sorry. Christina rules.

Zach’s brown grooms outfit was a bit more eclectic. We used my husband Andy’s brown chords [thanks babe!], his purple tie, and then Abby’s brother’s jacket & vest. I don’t think you would even know that we literally put Zach’s outfit together like a puzzle.

Ok, how could I NOT include this shot. hahahah!

Now, some of Abby Grace‘s amazing talent on display with the portrait shots. Just absolutely gorgeous.

At one of our first pow-wows, Wendy mentioned she had an old, vintage desk. We knew right away we had to find a way to include it. Not only does it remind you of Hogwarts, but we wanted to have a guest book station. Abby bought some quills, and we used a Fujifilm Instax Camera for the “guestbook”. We wanted to make the “book” look like a scroll … how’d we do?

 Me & Wendy setting up the Harry Potter Guestbook Station

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH! This might have been my longest blog post ever. But I just couldn’t refrain from showing everyone what went into our shoot and all the amazing vendors that collaborated to make it possible. We hope everyone enjoyed the Harry Potter Wedding Inspiration Styled Shoot as much as Abby & I did, putting it together!


Photography/Producer: Abby ~ Abby Grace Photography

Creative Producer/Design: Bree ~ Capitol Romance

Direction/Coordination: Tyler ~ Voila Events Studio

Stationery/Invitation Suite Design/Graphic Design: Wendy ~ Weswen Design

Vintage Furniture Rental: Jason & Maggie ~ Maggpie Vintage Rentals

Floral [Bouquet & Bouttonniere]: Melanie ~ Fleurs

Wedding Dress: Stephanie ~ Punk Rock Bride

Hair: JLindsey Hair Design

Hairpiece: Christina ~ Zazzaretti Bridal

Makeup: Donne ~ Donna K Designs

Pies: Moms Apple Pie Co.

Farmhouse Table: Bryan ~ Concepts Created

Calligraphy: Leta ~ Decorative Lettering by Leta Layne

Location:  Lost Creek Winery

DIY Projects: Purple table runner, wine bottles and candles centerpieces, vintage key seating assignments, dessert spread, shoe clips



  1. Behind the scenes!!!!! Aaahhhh.. love it! Great post, I love seeing everyone putting the pieces together. It all turned out so wonderful! :) Btw, awesome owl necklace.. “too cool for words”..yes!

  2. Ahhh! I love your descriptions, they make me laugh. “Engorgio!” lolol. Bree, I freaking love you, and I am so glad we’ve become such good friends. You’re incredibly creative and I love hearing your ideas. I can’t wait til our next styled shoot!

  3. Your shoot showed up on Wedding Gawker today! Just thought I’d let you know that. There is soo much amazing going in this. So much that I can’t pick out a favorite! Maybe the drinks…no, the feathers…no, the keys AH! so much awesome!

  4. I can’t even…so obsessed with this photoshoot. I have only seen one Harry Potter inspiration photoshoot and this is x10 better. I love the little details like the feather in the place setting and typography used! The bride’s dress is gorgeous. And all the purple…I just love everything!!

    What I don’t love is that I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter……

  5. Ooooh, I love seeing the ‘in progress’ shots! The one of you sporting the 3D glasses takes the cake though :) So obsessed with this shoot, and it is super duper inspiring…you guys did such an amazing job!

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