I am over the moon that our “Mexi-Modern” Wedding Inspiration shoot is featured on 100 Layer Cake! I am excited to share some more pictures as well as the original sketches for the design. The inspiration for this photo shoot came to me when I stumbled upon a book cover I found in my grandmothers library. The spine was color-blocked with teal, French blue, terra cotta, bubblegum and citron green. This unusual combo surprisingly worked, and I knew I wanted to bring this palette to life with a modern yet crafty design, but needed the perfect opportunity. A few months later, I received an email from Tim Mannle, a Connecticut based wedding photographer who was going to be visiting New Mexico. He asked if I would put together an inspiration shoot at a venue in Santa Fe. Coincidentally, the Center for Contemporary Arts was interested in highlighting their modern space as an event venue. The perfect opportunity had presented itself!
Using geometric design cues and throwing a touch of neon in to the color palette, the theme Mexi-Modern was born. The handmade elements of painted terra cotta, yarn crafts and thread tassels are reminiscent of Mexican folk art and these were paired with patterns of ikat and geometric motifs. The clean setting of whitewashed brick walls and raw concrete was the ideal urban space to allow this modern mixture of craft and contemporary really pop. This modern shoot blended the perfect amount of craft and contemporary.
The concept for the ceremony scene was a bare tipi structure made of large wood poles. I created “Ojos de Dreams;” a melding of the Ojo de Dios Mexican yarn crafts and the Native American dreamcatcher. The result was a graphic and bold design, and paired with rustic wood and yarn, these magical pieces embodied the “Mexi-Modern” theme perfectly. Our “tipi” was decorated with geometric garlands in teal, blue and citron and the “Ojos de Dreams”.
The metal, industrial chairs were also decorated with tasseled garlands and hand-embroidered pillows. Embellished maracas and tambourines rested on the seats for the guests to cheer on the bride and groom as they walked down the aisle.
The bridal bouquet created by Melissa Paquin of Renegade Floral was lush and textural with blooms in peach, pale yellow, coral and ivory. Cascading ribbons with geometric patterns paired beautifully with the thread tassels in neon yellow, coral, teal and blue. The grooms unique orchid boutonniere even had a few tassels on it!
To juxtapose with the lush bouquet and to keep with the contemporary space, my wing-woman Johanna Frenz took on the wardrobe styling and she put the bride in an ivory jumpsuit! It was fabulous with a pair of cobalt J.Crew pumps, a woven sash of Ecuadorian fabric, and a hot pink peony in the bride’s hair. This unexpected look fit right in to our Mexi-Modern scene.
Bringing the design for the tablescape to life was one of my favorite things to create. A weathered wood table was topped with ikat fabric runners and edged with blue, teal and neon tassels. Set diagonally on the runners were long wood boxes filled with sand, a spot for the punch of whole citrus fruits and fresh flowers to gather.
Hot pink taper candles, set in brushed gold candlesticks brought a festive vibe. I painted terra cotta chargers to echo the geometric motif and keep the color palette alive. Individual place settings were kept modern with clean lines of the flatware and place cards made of laser cut wood. We had the ikat fabric to match the napkins and stitched geometric hems in neon thread.
Of course, we had to include the tequila shots, poured into classic Mexican glassware, and accented with key lime slices and salted rims.
The tequila also made another appearance on our Paleta Bar. Johanna also happens to makes a mean popsicle and to spin-off the classic Mexican paleta, she made them a little booze-y; the “Tequila-Limon” and “Guava-Colada” pops. What a great alternative dessert or even a signature cocktail for a summer wedding!
We collaborated with Cassie Templeman of Peanut Press for the print elements. She knocked it out of the park with her design and we were over-the-moon thrilled! It was clean and modern but still carried the thread of our Central American folk-art motif.
To complete the invitation suite, Cassie wrapped it up in neon cord, made custom laser-cut wood elements, and sourced the perfect vintage stamps.
To think that this idea first began with an arbitrary mix of colors on a book’s spine…and the result was a photo shoot that combined handmade folk art and modern neon. We were blown away that it worked! Every element added a particular touch that helped to create this cohesive and distinct mash-up, Mexi-Modern!
Click HERE to see the feature on 100 Layer Cake
Concept + Art Direction ~ Jessie Baca of Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Styling, Paletas~ Johanna Frenz of Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Photographer ~ Tim Mannle / Stationery ~ Cassie Templeman of Peanut Press, / Floral ~ Melissa Paquin of Renegade Floral / Make-Up ~ Svetlana Britt / Models ~ Nicole and Kai Kuller / Venue ~ Center for Contemporary Arts
Dreaming up unique ceremony altar spaces is one of my favorite things to do. When Carrie and John asked me to design something crafty, yet modern, I was totally on board! Their save the date had a palette of burnt oranges and turquoise with a Southwestern geometric motif. I wanted their backdrop to mirror this with dramatic scale and a contemporary design. I also wanted to bring in native succulents and dried Cholla cactus.
It began with a sketch and then I needed to brainstorm what it would actually be made of. I wanted to use lightweight materials like paper for an airy and delicate garland. I cut different sized triangle and diamond shapes in varying shades of orange, and to bring a little depth and a contrasting pop of color, I made geometric boxes out of turquoise and aqua paper. I cut out feather shapes from a scrap piece of leather and painted one side of them with metallic paint in gold and copper.
I went out into the New Mexico hills and foraged fallen Cholla cactus. Luckily, once it has dried, the skin and very sharp spines fall off, making it a wonderful, natural material for a Southwestern installation! The groom’s mom had a perfectly complementary rug to place under the altar and I just love how it tied everything together!
The ceremony took place at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. I am in love with the way the garland’s geometric shadow played on their beautiful white gallery walls! After the ceremony it became the backdrop for the photo booth; I love when installation pieces serve double duty during a wedding.
It truly was a joy to custom design something so unique for such a wonderful couple ! I am so glad it was part of a beautiful wedding day!
Holy Himmelis! What the heck is a himmeli, you ask? Well, they’ve been popping up all over the internet, and these geometric tube structures are all the rage! Himmelis are a Finnish type of mobile originally made out of straw. The word Himmeli is Swedish for “Sky/Heaven” making it very appropriate to use these lil’ guys as a hanging decoration.
I had an idea to install a TON of these awesome geometric designs over a dance floor for a recent wedding. My initial search for the “how-to” led to tutorials made with brass tubing. Not only did it seem a little heavy and dangerous to hang brass tubing….but dang…it was getting expensive. Enter: The Himmeli Hack. It begins with my favorite mantra, “There’s nothing a little spray paint can’t fix!” Yup, you guessed it, a little metallic spray paint and an Amazon order of 500 clear plastic drinking straws and we were in business! Himmelis for days! They are lightweight, cheap and easy to transport! Boom-shaka-laka!
The best part is that there are so many options for the types of shapes you want to create and you can really let your imagination run wild! Above are a few of my favorite designs. Now, for a tutorial I recommend checking this out…I totally renegaded this DIY and didn’t measure a thing. Sometimes it is more fun to fly by the seat of your pants! Here’s a peek at the finished design-it’s a Himmeli Party!
Here’s a little behind the scenes sneak peek for you! As part of “The Makings Of” series, I am excited to show you the inspiration for Aaron and Johanna’s wedding tabletop. To complement their modern and whimsical invitation, we designed a tabletop equally as fanciful, with pops of neon and geometric motifs. We wanted to bring elements of weathered wood, copper and yarn together with natural florals and ferns.
Of course it starts with a sketch. The long reception tables will be set with white linens and grey napkins. Thrifted silverware dip-dyed in neon coral, copper and burgundy would frame a geometric menu printed on blush paper and a triangular first course plate.
We had to design a table that could accommodate a family style dinner service with multiple dishes and serving platters. That meant we couldn’t have large centerpieces that took up the whole table. But we didn’t want to compromise on design. The plan was to have a small, floral centerpiece of coral Godetia, burgundy dahlias, trailing vines and ferns. Down the center of the table would be a weathered wood plank which would be wrapped with various yarns to complement the color palette of burgundy and neon coral. But of course, finding the perfect shade of neon coral yarn is tough. So….
We dyed our own yarn! We watered down the perfect shade of neon coral acrylic paint and dyed loads of yarn that Johanna had scored at a garage sale for $5! The result was the perfect shade of retina-bleed neon!
And oh my goodness does it look fabulous against the neutral grey of the wood. Along with the yarn, we also wrapped the planks with delicate coral threads and (my new most favorite material ever) copper foil tape! It brings the perfect pop of metallic and bling! I am also loving how the silverware is turning out. These little details are what creative dreams are made of! Aaron and Johanna’s tables are going to look so spectacular and be extra special because of the personal, crafty touches. I CANNOT wait to see it all come together!
I am so excited to share the images from my baby shower! This event was a joy to plan…scheming and crafting with the little babe in mind was so thrilling. I wanted to host a party that not only celebrated Baby Baca, but also honored the women in my life that have been so extremely supportive and loving, especially throughout the pregnancy.
But first, a little back story to the design inspiration for the baby shower. We decided to keep Baby Baca’s name a surprise and as a joke we referred to him as “Lou Diamond”. Naturally when it came time to choose a motif, I thought, “diamonds” as a homage to his fun nickname! I also love the phrase, “Be Cool Baby”….an obscure Pulp Fiction reference and decided to run with that too!
I incorporated the geometric motif throughout the entire event with diamond honeycomb paper products, 3-D geometric paper diamonds, confetti and kept it modern and fresh with a punchy palette of teal, aqua, coral and gold.
I chose the Teresa Neptune Gallery, a local photography gallery in Santa Fe as the venue. It was perfect for a brisk February day; cozy and intimate while providing the historical artsy Canyon Road charm at the same time.
Wood blocks and paint pens were provided for guests to creatively contribute to a set of building blocks that would grace Baby Baca’s nursery. It is so nice to have a reminder of all the lovely ladies in my life when I look at each block!
Guests were entertained with metallic (!) temporary tattoos from Flash Tats and I even sported a special diamond tat from Tattly to honor my little man.
I love that Beaucoup allows you to upload custom calligraphy to print on cocktail napkins…cause every event has gotta have a hashtag!
We served coral-colored cocktails, named “Lou Diamond’s Party Punch” made of Prosecco, Lillet, grapefruit and blood orange with a touch of rosemary simple syrup. Oh my goodness, even though I was drinking the virgin version, they were so freaking delicious!! I am so excited to bust these out during our summer time alfresco soirees; they are perfect!
I worked with Walter Burke Catering and they did a beautiful job! Guests dined on a yummy brunch of assorted quiches, obligingly cut into diamond shapes. I asked for an ombre salad of winter citrus. Isn’t it beautiful?!? It’s made of grapefruit, blood orange and navel oranges. The best part was the most delicious kale/frisee salad with roasted butternut squash, spiced pecans and bacon! Oh it was to die for!
For dessert we enjoyed a beautiful cake by Maggie Faralla of Maggie’s Cakes. I had so much fun dreaming up the design with her…and the tasting, oh, I was in pregnant lady heaven! The “Be Cool Baby” sugar-paste letters were custom created by Sarah of Signe Sugar. Her work is SOOO beautiful, I even kept the letters and display them in a diorama-style frame in the baby’s nursery!
Let’s talk about those sparkly table cloths…just pure sequin fabulous-ness from La Tavola!
More diamonds and glitter! Yippie!
On March 31 (10 days late!) we welcomed sweet baby Jay Nicholas Baca, the baby formerly known as “Lou Diamond”! Now to get started on his first birthday party….
Photography: Articulate Photo, Venue: Teresa Neptune Gallery, Rentals/China: Classic Party Rentals, Linens: La Tavola Linens, Floral: Artichokes and Pomegranates, Cake: Maggie Faralla, Sugar Paste Letters: Signe Sugar, Catering: Walter Burke Catering, Decor and Calligraphy/Signage: Mama, Jessie Baca Weddings and Events, Tattoos: Flash Tats, and Tattly, Custom Cocktail Napkins: Beaucoup, Mama’s belt (aka: pregnancy definer!): Anthropologie, Mama’s hair and make-up: Jess Evans,