Maggie and Kosta were married in a beautiful Greek Orthodox church, where the ceremony was steeped with tradition. The reception was food-focused and designed to keep guests involved and having a great time. During cocktails we had a custom cocktail station where guests could choose infused alcohol, pair it with fresh herbs and seasonal berries, top with soda, shake, sip, OPA! The tabletops highlighted Maggie’s appreciation for natural rustic aesthetic. I created a lush woodland array of mosses, succulents, feathers and of course, beautiful cotton pods from her father’s cotton farm. The cake was an homage to the very church where Kosta proposed to Maggie in Santorini, Greece.
Photography~ Ginger Russell Photography / Make-up and Hair~ Jess Evans / Ceremony Location~ St. Elias Greek Orthodox Church Eldorado, NM / Bridal Bouquet Design~ Artichokes and Pomegranates / Centerpieces and Reception Decor~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Cocktail and Dinner Reception Location~ Hotel St. Francis Santa Fe, NM/ Lighting Design~ Alliance Audio Visual/ Cake ~ Maggie’s Wedding Cakes
My favorite part about planning a wedding is the design process. I love getting to know the couple’s aesthetic when it comes to color, texture and style and put my right brain to work! I usually ask the couple questions like: “how is your house decorated, where do you like to shop, and how would you describe your ideal day?” Basically anything that gives me insight into their world helps me to develop a look and feel for their wedding. (Might I also add that Pinterest is an amazing tool for helping me understand what a bride has envisioned! )
Once I feel I have a clear idea, I love to draw sketches and renderings of what the designs may look like. I’m always amazed when the final product is nearly a replica of the sketch. See for yourself, how Maggie and Kosta’s wedding reception came to life! Photos courtesy of Ginger Russell Photography
The reception took place in the very beautiful Tabla Restaurant at the Hotel St. Francis. I love this space because it offers a very clean and sophisticated canvas on which to design. Maggie loved materials like peacock feather, pods, pine cones, moss and succulents. Luckily the arsenal within my studio had everything she needed, like vintage teal mason jars and birch stump planters (not to mention my succulent farm). But the best thing for me was receiving two giant bushels of dried cotton from her father’s farm! I worked those into the design of the tables and wow, was it stunning. It completed the look in addition to being a very sentimental part of the wedding.
Even mother nature pitched in with adorable pine cone place cards!
I created custom table runners with fabric from Santa Fe Fabrics. We wanted to keep Tabla’s beautiful wood tables exposed, but bring in a touch of teal, while at the same time keep it rustic with a frayed edge linen.
Then, there was cake. Now this wasn’t just any cake, it was a fine Maggie’s Wedding Cakesexquisite creation, shaped like a church in Santorini! Oh, snap! The cake was not only an homage to Kosta’s Greek heritage, but it signified the very Church where Kosta proposed to Maggie. They even had a family friend create a beautiful watercolor of the special spot which also graced the cake table.
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without succulents and a peacock or two!
10 months prior, Maggie and I were brainstorming and cooking up plans for a beautiful wedding. After all of our hard work and thoughtful design it was a pleasure to see a beautiful reception filled with smiles, laughter, great food, fabulous desserts and even some Greek dancing!
One of my favorite ways to create a memorable experience for the guests is to encourage interactivity. For Maggie and Kosta’s wedding, I wanted guests to feel part of the experience, not just stand around and observe. We wanted cocktail hour to be filled with laughter, smiles, a bunch of fun and guests hollering, “OPA!”
Enter the custom cocktail bar:
We decided to take the signature drink to a whole new level. We worked with Hotel St. Francis’s very own Santa Fe Barman, Chris Milligan to create infusions of cucumber vodka and lemon infused rum. The flavored spirits were pre-poured into customized jars and then guests were invited to choose their own combination of summer berries and fresh herbs to add to their concoction. The drinks were topped off with soda and ice, covered with a lid and the guests could shimmy and shake their very own cocktails!
Shake, sip, OPA!
First and last photos courtesy of Ginger Russell Photography. Middle photos via the Hitching Post Instagram Feed.
Sometimes, after a wedding I get the blues. I think this happens with any project, or big event, when it’s over, you miss the planning and the camaraderie that comes along with it. For me, the connection that develops with the family is one of the best parts of the planning process. This was the case with Maggie and Kosta’s wedding. I had so much fun getting to know them and becoming part of the family. As an event designer, I so treasure the privilege to be part of someone’s very personal day.
….Ok, enough of that sap. Let’s get to the goodies!
Photographer extraordinaire, Ginger Russell captured some major beauty on Maggie and Kosta’s wedding day. Hellooo Grace Kelly incarnate, right?!? Maggie is gorgeous even without make-up, but Jess Evans rocked her wedding day beauty with custom hair and make-up.
Before I met Kosta, and had only seen a picture, I thought he was going to very serious and mysterious. I was nervous to meet him, but it turns out he is the most lovable and hilarious guy! He and Maggie are a such a handsome couple and so much fun to be around!
One of the most unique pieces of this wedding was that the ceremony took place in a Greek Orthodox Church, specifically St. Elias Church in Eldorado. Kosta is from Greece and Maggie converted to Greek Orthodox to be married in this church. Now, I go crazy over ceremonies steeped with tradition, and this one took the cake!
The inside of the church is decked out in amazing gilded iconography; it is truly a sight to behold! (You can actually behold this sight on Thursdays from 11am-1pm- they are open for iconography viewing- get your buns over there!)
Maggie and I hit it off right away when she requested that some elements be “a little out of the box” so to speak. Instead of carrying flowering bouquets the bridesmaids carried hand-dipped beeswax candles that we adorned with a Kraft paper wax catcher and a sprig of Blue Thistle and Crespedia.
Oh my gorgeous! Now hang on to your hose-panties because the cocktail hour had some fun surprises and the reception was beautiful….be back soon with more pictures!