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Featured on Style Me Pretty ~ Galia and MikeDecember 14, 2011

I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that one of my favorite weddings of the season has been featured on Style Me Pretty, a spectacular wedding blog.  You may remember this inspiration board I posted a while back:

Galia and Mike were a dream to work with!  I’ve mentioned before how I love when couples let me just run with the design…well Galia and Mike were fully on board and trusted me to create their day when they said, ““make it pretty, make it earthy, and give us a little Georgia”. Well, here is the real deal….all of the details and DIY ideas that came to fruition for a lovely wedding day!

All photos provided by the ever-talented Kristen Williams of Articulate Photo.

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum provided the perfect backdrop for their wedding ceremony.  I created a fabric “Love Birds” banner for them to have…aren’t they cute!

Mike carefully constructed the chuppah which was shaded by a glorious apricot tree.  He even used sweet bird finials to keep within the woodsy “Love Bird” motif!

Galia’s stunning bouquet was created by Margaret Bost of Santa Fe Floral.  It had gorgeous Succulents, Lambs Ear, Calla Lilies, Cymbidium Orchids, Dusty Miller and Gardenias.  It smelled heavenly!

We served Agave sparkling sodas with adorable stripey straws and Gruet Rosé, a local New Mexican favorite!

After the ceremony the couple paraded through the Plaza to the reception location, led by the talented musicians of Savor!  I applaud anyone who can play and instrument and walk at the same time…I can hardly clap on beat!

Now, I mentioned that Mike made the Chuppah, but I must also note that he designed the invitation suite too!  All the stationery was printed on a Kraft paper stock and really tied the look together!

Instead of a traditional guest book, Galia and Mike had their guests sign a Georgia O’Keeffe Poppies poster that they framed and have hanging in their home.  We also paid homage to Ms. O’Keeffe, by having gorgeous black and white images of her tucked in the bookcases at the Anasazi Library where the dinner was held.

Speaking of the Library, the Inn of the Anasazi was the perfect space for an intimate and cozy dinner! The tables were dotted with votives wrapped in Kraft paper and suede cord and small birch log planters (Remember the tutorial here?) The dark wood furnishings and candlelit glow created a divine ambiance for great food and fine conversation.  It was truly a wonderful evening filled with laughter, songs and many heart-felt toasts!

Click here and head over to Style Me Pretty to see more photos of Galia and Mike’s beautiful day!

Ceremony Venue: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Reception Venue: Inn of the Anasazi / Wedding Dress: Watters / Deerskin Belt: Mano Bello / Event Design + Coordination: MARRIED by Jessie Abrams Baca / Wedding Photography: Kristen Williams of Articulate Photo / Floral Design: Margaret Bost of Santa Fe Floral / Stationery: The Groom / Musicians: Savor / Wedding Cake: The Plaza Bakery


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Glamour-ama!December 12, 2011

Images via Jess Evans

When I look back on my own wedding experience, the one thing I wish I had done was get my make-up done by a professional.  Of course, I was the CA-RAZY bride that chose to make her own bouquet and centerpieces just hours before the wedding and hardly had time to take off the old nail polish, let along get a manicure or pampered with a make-up pro.

Looking back on that, I really do encourage brides to spend just a little extra money to have this done on their wedding day.  First off, it is a really great excuse to “Treat Yo’ Self”, because let’s face it, how often are you gonna be doing this?  Secondly, it is the perfect opportunity to relax, sit still and calm down before your big day.  Let someone powder your nose and delicately sweep your eyelids with pearly shadow.

And….there is a lot to be said for professional make-up.  It stays on longer, looks better in photos and you can do a trial run to make sure it is the perfect wedding day look!

To make up for my amateur wedding day make-up, I had the pleasure of getting my glam on with the ever so talented Jess Evans.  Holy crap, she is good!  She dolled me up for a ladies night out and I never knew it was possible to feel so beautiful! I kept thinking how lucky brides are to have Jess create the perfect look just for them! To top it off, she’s just a wonderful person to be around and would definitely ease any wedding day jitters a bride may have.

So, if you’re looking for a flawless face for your wedding, or want to perfect your pout for a night out, give this lady a jingle!

Oh, and P.S. she can do hair too…or bring a hair/make-up team and get all your ladies in waiting looking gorgeous! How’s that for amazing?!


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Amber GlowDecember 10, 2011

Have I got a fun DIY for you!  Have you ever heard of dyeing glass?  Well I hadn’t either until I stumbled upon this tutorial about creating cranberry colored glass by coating it with a mixture of Modge Podge and food coloring! Wh-what? You can make your own colored glass?  Well, boy was I excited because I had just figured that the magic finishing detail for Kim and LB’s intimate autumnal wedding was going to be amber glass votives.

Photo: Ginger Russell Photography

Oh yes, it adds the perfect warm glow and ultimate glimmer to any table!  See below for the how to’s:

I started with about 30 clear glass votive holders.  I made sure they were squeaky-clean and very dry.

Then, I created my mixture of Modge Podge and food coloring.  Now this was the hard part, because I didn’t know the correct ratio of drops for a deep amber hue, so…as I usually do, I decided to wing it!

Here’s the ratio I found that worked the best: (I tripled the recipe for 30 votives)

2 Tbs Gloss Modge Pdge (Very important that it is GLOSS not Matte)
2 Tsp Water
5 drops red food coloring
5 drops yellow food coloring
3 drops blue coloring

Now stir, don’t shake, because you don’t want air bubbles.  Pour a little into your container and swirl the votive around to coat the entire surface.  You will end up pouring out a bit back into your mixture as you want to get rid of as much excess as you can.

Then set all of the votives open side down on a drying rack….this will get messy.  As they dry, the excess continues to drip and you really don’t want the globby buildup to dry that way.  I avoided this by continually wiping the rims for a nice clean edge.

It will take about 24+ hours to dry… and this part is just torture.  I really like instant gratification when it comes to crafts, so I had a really hard time waiting.  It’s also confusing since Modge Podge is opaque at first and dries clear, so I was really anxious to see how they were going to turn out. (You’ll see above the round votives came out very light as they were my first batch.  I ended up swirl n’ coating another layer, which worked fine, and made them darker as you’ll see below) Also, if you mess up, don’t cry, you can soak them in warm water and start over since Modge Podge is water based.

I was so pleased with the way they all turned out; it was well worth the long wait.  I ended up using the round votives in hurricanes with sand that I had mixed with copper and gold glitter.  It looked really great!  For another metallic touch, I wrapped the square votives with a gilded lace trim; they were so beautiful!

For my next project I am going to try this teal glass tutorial, yehaw!


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Real Wedding~ Kim and LBDecember 6, 2011

Are you ready for the good stuff?  Here are some fabulous detail shots from Kim and LB’s wedding.  Aren’t they dashing?

Kim and LB opted for some pre-ceremony portraits around the Inn of the Five Graces, a beautiful location with so many gorgeous details!

Wedding Paper Divas provided all of the stationery .  Kim chose a beautiful “Royal Monogram” thermographed invite and menu.  The raised print on the thick cards stock was just luscious! Instead of one long runner, we wanted “place mat” runners that striped across the place settings; so I made custom runners out of silk Dupioni fabric in a rich Sangria Red color.  They brought warmth to the room and really popped off the chocolate Bengaline linens!

How about those hanging flowers arrangements?!?  Oh!  They just made the room look so snazzy!  I loved that we were able to hang them directly over the long tables to really define the space!  I really am a sucker for super long dining tables!

Marisa of A Passion Flower kept the centerpieces rustic in a beautiful wood box, but pumped up the glam with gorgeous flowers like Mokara Orchids, Gloriosa Lilies, Dahlias, Bells of Ireland, Hypericum Berry, Celosia, Flam Callas, and a variety of roses!  What are those crazy green balls, you ask?  Well, Kim and LB hail from Oklahoma where “Horse Apples” grow by the dozen.  Since they were the perfect pop of Chartreuse green, they hauled bags of them to Santa Fe to grace their tables!

Check out this amazing cake, courtesy of the baking prowess and artistry of Maggie Faralla.  It almost looks too pretty to eat!

All photos provided by the lovely Ginger Russell

Ceremony Venue: Loretto Chapel, Reception Venue: Rio Chama, Presidents Ballroom, Florist: Marisa Peluso of A Passion Flower, Cake: Maggie Faralla, Photo: Ginger Russell Photography, Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Event Design:  Jessie Baca Weddings and Events

Next up: Get out your Modge Podge, I’ve got a great DIY from Kim and LB’s wedding coming up!


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From Beginning to EndDecember 2, 2011

I just love designing a wedding from beginning to end. Often a client comes to me and already has their look in mind, and we go from there; but when a client, says, “I trust you, do whatever you want”, I just get all giddy!  I was lucky enough for this to happen a few times this season, but was especially excited when Kim asked me to create a look just for her!

Kim and her fiancé were planning to get married at the Loretto Chapel and then head to Rio Chama where they would be hosting a dinner reception for their guests in the Presidents Ballroom.  So, naturally after a few brainstorming sessions, I created a “mood board” for Kim with some color palette inspiration and a few design ideas.

We wanted to create an intimate space with rich and warm colors like deep chocolate, Sangria red and bright magenta, popped with Chartreuse green.  Since the focus was the exquisite meal and delightful conversation we created a seating plan of two 30′ long tables and 4′ across which were narrow enough to chat.

Then, I whipped out the ol’ colored pencils for her table sketch and dreamed up the wild idea of hanging flower arrangements form the ceiling.  Rio Chama has perfect beams just for this and since the guest count was teeny and the space was a little bigger than we really needed, I wanted to make the room feel more filled in and extra interesting.

We hired florist Marisa Peluso of A Passion Flower to make the look come to life and she was up for the challenge.  She had one look at my sketch and knocked it out of the park!  Exotic flowers were paired with lovely linens, china and flatware from Classic Party Rentals and you can see, the room was stunning! Copper chargers brought just the right amount of metallic glimmer and amber glass votives captured the perfect glow for a beautiful Fall evening.  It turned out just how I imagined!

Ginger Russell Photography captured the beauty for us and I can’t wait to show you more details! Till soon!


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Giving ThanksNovember 24, 2011

Here are a few snaps of a floral centerpiece I put together for Thanksgiving.  Floral design has always been so special to me as it was what brought me into the world of weddings.  I love how the process of floral arranging is a dialog between the flower and the designer, each dictating the next move to one another. It is almost like a zen practice to me, calming me as I cut each stem and contemplate the perfect position to place it.

It is in moments like these that I let my mind wander over all of the blessing in my life; to think how grateful I am to be where I am and doing what I’m doing.  Gratitude is a practice I strive for every day, but on days like today, I realize there are too many blessings to count and so much to be thankful for.  God has blessed me so.


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A Desert DIYNovember 21, 2011

So, are you having a rustic, yet elegant wedding in Santa Fe? One that echoes the landscape and muted earthy tones of this altitude? Do you need a super-easy and pretty affordable way to display your place cards?  Then, boo-ya, I’ve got you covered.  Check out this no-brainer DIY that I put together for Marja Custom Catering:

Calligraphy by Judythe Sieck

First, you’ll need are some large, WIDE, bowls.  Really, any vessel will do as long as the open surface area is big!  For 80 cards I used 2) 24″ diameter bowls and 1) oblong 18″x 10 bowl. So fill these puppies up with sand and smooth out about 1 inch from the top edge of the bowl.  Then spread a thin layer of pretty polished gravel on top (available at craft stores).

Now time for the cards.  We calligraphied a piece of card stock that was 2″x 4″ on a vertical orientation. That way, when we stuck it into the sand, there wasn’t any writing covered.  Placement is the trickiest part because you want the card to be stuck into the sand at the perfect angle so people can read it as they are going to the reception.  Be sure look at it from their point of view to make sure it’s legible. Luckily, it’s really easy to start over if you mess up.

Now, the fun part.  Marja had these awesome zinc number stencils to designate the table number.  Set them artfully in front of your card grouping.  If you have more room, you can also use these 3-dimensional numbers. Then we placed a few gorgeous succulents to really hint at a desert landscape and bring a little greenery to the mix.

Here is a quick snap from the ceremony where we featured these lovely place card bowls.  A late-summer storm tiptoed along the horizon and created quite the backdrop for the vows…it literally started to downpour the minute they kissed and the service ended!  Talk about a grand exit!

A few more images from the reception…absolutely gorgeous florals designed by Andrea Soorikian.


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Weddings! OLE!November 5, 2011

I write this post with 7 days until my last wedding of the 2011 season, also my LARGEST wedding of the season. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about it.  With so much planning and prep, it’s sure to be ah-mazing!  Talk about going out with a bang!

Now, as I am sitting at my computer, sifting through my in-box, I am corresponding with brides for my 2012 season.  Everything is new and energizing to them and even though I am completely beat from the 2011 season, I am ignited with their sparks of excitement, the thrill to create something new, just for them!  I am always stunned at how weddings never get old to me; the more I look at them, the more a-flutter I get.  Even in the thick of a stressful installation, or crunching a budget that just doesn’t want to be crunched, or tying the 100th bow on a favor, I am still in love with the thrill of creating, designing, and interacting.

Each weekend I take my post behind the scenes as part of a different story, operating as the (wo)man behind the curtain.  I make sure everything is running smoothly, that all my “i”s are dotted and my “t”s crossed. I  make sure everyone is having a great time; that everything feels right.

I realize this is what makes me tick, it makes me want to sing and dance and laugh. Usually after events my feet are aching and blistered, but usually it’s my cheeks that hurt more, from smiling so much and being part of such a blissful occasion.  I am truly blessed to love the work I do. Rad.

A note about the animation above:  Every wedding I am lucky enough to work with incredibly talented vendors.  Here I am dancing in the glow of a beautiful ceremony altar space I designed while being serenaded by an amazing guitarist, Yves Lucero.  These slow-exposure pics were snapped by the ever talented Ginger Russell.  Is it obvious I am such a ham?

P.S. Yves sent me this…and I now understand why wedding planning is as good as getting 8 hugs a day!


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Streaming Now!October 31, 2011

Photo Suzy Clement

I don’t know what it is, but lately beautiful bouquets with long, gorgeous, ribbon streamers have been on my radar.  It does feel a little throw-back, old-school, but if done right, I think it can completely pull together a look and bring a touch of charm to a bouquet.

Bouquet by Ariella Chezar

I love the extended length of ribbon on this bouquet by floral master Ariella Chezar, it adds so much drama to the bride’s silhouette.

Photo and Flowers by Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua

Oh, SAIPUA, you’ve done it again with perfect Wabi Sabi elegance.  These bouquets have just the right amount of delicate streamers for an effortlessly beautiful look.

Photo: Brett Butterstein, Flowers: Marisa Peluso

I’ve always loved this bouquet by Santa Fe’s very own, Marisa of A Passion Flower. The dark burgundy ribbon was ornate as ever with embroidered, gold threads and beads.

Left, Bouquet: Ariella Chezar, Middle, Bouquet: Mindy Rice, Photo: Aaron Delesie, Right, Bouquet, Ariella Chezar

These punchy palettes are brought to life with a festive array of ribbons. I just adore how they look over the gray bridesmaids dresses too.

Photo: Our Labor of Love, Bouquet: JL Designs

This look can even be done beautifully is a rustic fashion. Braided ribbons, made out of strips of fabric, hint at a casual playfulness!


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Gimmie the loot!October 26, 2011

Calling all brides, bridesmaids, and anyone that likes pretty things!!!  BHLDN is having a sale!

Got your hot little hands on dresses, shoes, fascinators, boleros, purses, necklaces, earrings…need I go on?

They have even slashed prices on décor items like garlands, pennants, cake toppers and more.

So get you buns over to BHLDN, click HERE for some serious eye candy!

You’ll be so glad you did!


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