One of our favorite parts about creating the Southern Weddings for High Cotton Bow Tie Collection was that we got to focus on and celebrate our Southern beaus! It’s not often that we get to create something specifically for men or shine a spotlight on them in our photo shoots — our groomsmen reader models were surprised when our “super secret shoot” put them directly in front of the camera!
Creating this bow tie line with the help of High Cotton was certainly a labor of love, and studded with many tips and expert knowledge from the High Cotton owners, Judy and James. Take a peek into what went into creating each of these bow ties, and our fun photo shoot with Anna Routh!
Like most projects at SW, we started with an inspiration board, pulling together the colors we wanted to bring to life, and the Southern style we wanted the collection to evoke. It was important to us that each bow tie represented a bit of the South and its personalities — from classic blue stripes to cheeky coral check — and that we could envision our own beaus happily wearing each one.
Working with High Cotton is truly like being invited into the family! Thank goodness for Judy and her son, James, who traded dozens of emails, thread, and fabric swatches with us as we narrowed down our choices. Once we decided on patterns, we then sprung into color options. As a designer who lives for nuances in color, this was the hard part! For example, the blue couldn’t be too cool or too warm, the gold had to be yellow enough to read as gold, but not too yellow that it wouldn’t be a classic neutral color.
With lots of patience from the High Cotton team, we finally made our decisions! High Cotton ordered our fabric from all over the world — madras from weavers in India, silk from the same weavers that work with Hermès — and sent them to a local North Carolina manufacturer to be sewn.
Seeing the bows ties in person for the first time was like a blast of spring! Each of the colors was just what we were looking for, and we were happily surprised that many of them matched various bridesmaid dress swatches from this year’s collections. Don’t you agree that High Cotton’s suit-donning mannequin looks handsome in his coral check bow tie?
After picking up our brand new bow ties, our photographer, Anna, and I headed to The Bradford for a photo shoot debuting the goods, crossing our fingers that the forecast for rain wouldn’t be true!
After a few sprinkles of rain upon our arrival, the sun came out in full force, giving us plenty of light indoors to prep.
Meristem Floral created a few different boutonniere options to represent each bow tie’s personality, plus an amazing bouquet for our bridesmaids to carry! We loved using them throughout the shoot and then taking them home afterward to put in bud vases :)
I busted out my bow tying skills (usually only handy at our launch parties) to style some flat shots, while Ashley Mooney gussied up the gals and the gents got dressed.
(Don’t know how to tie a bow tie yet? Stay tuned — we’ve got you covered!)
Y’all, these gents we’re killin’ it! While the guys don’t normally get a ton of camera time, each of our models shined, beamed, and posed like pros. Lucky for us, Anna’s also a blast to work with — making everyone laugh easily and feel totally comfortable.
It was an amazing day for a shoot, leaving Jess and I marveling at the weather and the amazing vendors and readers we get to work with.
Love these bow ties? Read more about the Southern Weddings for High Cotton collection here, and find them in High Cotton’s shop. The bow tie line is also available for Home Try-On, so you can see them in person before deciding which is best for your wedding or event!
Photographer: Anna Routh / Bow Ties: Southern Weddings for High Cotton / Makeup: Makeup by Ashley Mooney / Floral: Meristem Floral / Venue: The Bradford / Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan