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Featured on 100 Layer Cake

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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!

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Of course, we had to include the tequila shots, poured into classic Mexican glassware, and accented with key lime slices and salted rims.

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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!

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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. 

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To complete the invitation suite, Cassie wrapped it up in neon cord, made custom laser-cut wood elements, and sourced the perfect vintage stamps.

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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

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From Rendering to Reality

Brainstorming with my clients has got to be one of the best things ever! There’s nothing better than throwing around ideas and letting the creative juices fly! It’s so exciting to get inspired and super pumped for a wedding design!

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That’s exactly how it was with Tracy and Scott. We we’re on the same wavelength right from the get-go! They wanted something colorful, unique, funky and truly Santa Fe and I was ready to deliver. We had a blast sitting in my studio, testing paint chips and succulents, swapping vases and playing with textured linens.

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Once we had an idea of our color scheme and vibe, I went to town and drew up a table rendering. What I love about this us that it helps give the client a visual-especially when we’re brainstorming, this ensures that our levels of expectation are the same.  After seeing the rendering, Tracy asked for more punchy floral and I said, “Oh, heck yes! Yippie!”  It also helps to keep a matching color palette throughout the entire wedding design and maintaining a consistency with our design motifs.

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Then comes the execution of the rendering. The tables were uniquely styled with pincushion Protea, succulents in planters adorned with gilded lace, agate slices, cactus terrariums and gorgeous floral arrangements of Billy Balls, peonies, sweetheart roses and lilies, freesia and honeysuckle, which I was lucky enough to forage as it had bloomed at the perfect time! I’m always amazed at how much it matches our original idea; it’s so wonderful to see it come to life!

To see Tracy and Scott’s full wedding, click HERE.

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Deep Breath.

Phew, I made it.

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Wedding season has officially come to a close.  2012 was a stellar year filled with more work than I have known and more reward than I have known.  There were challenges, lessons and a whole ton of personal growth.  I now realize I am capable of more than I thought was possible and that I actually made it through the big beast of September…which I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to do.  I did not do it alone, there are many friends, family and colleagues that have offered their hands in support and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I look forward to the coming season, one that is swiftly filling up.  But before I do, I have scheduled some much needed rest and time for re-creation.  Yes, that actually needs to be scheduled around here.  I even have a small beach trip in my future.  Standing on the edge of the ocean always opens a sense of awe and wonder and will pave the path for fresh ideas and inspiration.  Of course a few deep breaths of the salty sea air won’t hurt either.

Photo: Nick Abrams

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