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Arriving at the Winery![/caption] Mother Nature gave us a picture-perfect Spring day as the Fashion Team left behind our desks in St. Louis to scout locations where we can shoot our Spring 2015 collection on informal plus size wedding dresses. We set the GPS for Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Missouri, an historic town overlooking the Missouri River Valley. The vintage charm and the timeless beauty of the rolling countryside make Hermann a favorite spot for brides to wear destination wedding dresses. And did I mention it is less than a scenic two-hour drive from downtown St. Louis? [caption id="attachment_5205" align="aligncenter" width="449"] The Gift Shop at the Stone Hill Winery[/caption] Stone Hill stands out as Missouri's oldest and most-awarded winery. The cluster of buildings dating back to the 1870s has earned the honor of a listing on the National Historic Register. Our hostess greets us in the parking lot where busloads and car fulls of visitors park to take the winery's guided tours. Armed with our cameras and notebooks, we wind our way through tasting rooms in the main brick building where hand-carved bars welcome guests ready to sip wine. Up the steep flight of steps to the second floor, we discover a wrought-iron balcony overlooking the vineyard. What a picture- perfect backdrop for our bride to toss her bouquet! [caption id="attachment_5199" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Perfect Balcony for tossing a bouquet[/caption] Down the hill, we stop outside the stone facade of the arched cellars. It will make a romantic and interesting backdrop to pose the bride. The spot is sheltered from direct sun. Best of all, it's directly across from an over-sized barn that has been converted into a reception room. The sprawling space, with endless electrical outlets, is ideal as a backstage area. That's where the crew will set up wardrobe. The wedding gowns will be meticulously steamed, carefully racked and screens set up so our Jewel, our gorgeous model can change in privacy behind the screens. Hair and make-up will get their own area. [caption id="attachment_5207" align="aligncenter" width="468"] Wine Cellar full of barrels[/caption] Large round catering tables provide endless room to spread the jewelry, hair pieces, wedding shoes and endless accessories. And we'll reserve one of the tables for 10 for our crew to sit down for lunch! Speaking of lunch...touring Stone Hill works up an appetite. Just after noon, we head over to the former carriage house, now the Vintage Restaurant. The menu boasts traditional German favorites including schnitzel and potato pancakes. Very appropriate considering that German immigrants from the Rhine Valley first settled in Hermann after they discovered the Missouri land reminded them of their native country. [caption id="attachment_5216" align="aligncenter" width="477"] Restaurant at the Winery[/caption] We enjoy every last bite before heading back to explore the fireplace in the gift shop as a possible backdrop. What would a scouting trip be without a taste-testing at the sweet shops and bakeries that line the quaint main street. At Ricky's Chocolate Box we indulge in milk chocolate truffles and chocolate covered pretzels. Next door at Battocletti Bake Shoppe loaves of German rye bread wait to be sliced. But it is the bear claws and donuts that prove too tempting for us to resist boxing up for the ride back to the office. There is no doubt that we will be bringing goodies from both these local shops on set the day of the shoot. Who can resist a jolt of sugar to keep the energy high! [caption id="attachment_5201" align="aligncenter" width="488"] Carly and Mat pose for a picture![/caption] Keep your fingers crossed that the weather will as breezy and warm the day of the shoot as it was for our scouting trip!