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The ART of a wedding . . . in a gallery

 

Did you know that Santa Fe is the second largest art market to New York.  A fun fact, yes?  Well, one of my favorite things about designing weddings in Santa Fe is showing off that fact! The best way to do this is by hosting a wedding at one of our many, MANY art galleries!  While not primarily designed to host events, they become a wonderful space to do so.  Of course, there is an ART to this, which brings me to one of the toughest part about hosting a wedding at a gallery.  (Pictured above, a bride in front of a Kent Monkman painting, photo Alicia Lucia Photography)

Often, when my clients book, they don’t know what the exhibition will be during the wedding.  Talk about a crapshoot!  I had a client once that toured and booked the gallery for her wedding while a large format, black and white photography was on exhibition.  When her wedding came around the exhibition was an hard-edged, LARGE sculpture exhibit.  She ended up paying an extra 3K to have a fire engine-red sculpture, can lifted out of the middle of the room…because it did not go with her pale sherbet color scheme.

Many of my clients love hosting their wedding at the Peters Projects, a mainstay in the Santa Fe art community. They have a beautiful outdoor garden, often showcasing large-scale sculptures. The indoor gallery is an open, bright space with modern (sometimes provocative) art.  Sarah and Oriol chose to host their June wedding, here and as you’ll see, there are a few great reasons that it worked so well!

First, set the tone. The couple choose a very light and art-inspired invite suite.  There were no competing motifs and the simplicity played well with the modern, open space of the gallery.

I adore this portrait of the bride sitting next to a Chuck Close painting as she awaits for the ceremony.

Work with the art, not against it.  The ceremony took place in the garden where Duncan Chamberlain sculptures were placed in the grass.  Instead of moving them to make room for the ceremony, we set the chairs around and let them be part of the space.  I think it was fun for the guests to be in the mix with the sculptures.

The indoor exhibition was a collection of Duncan Chamberlain sculptures which were all brushed and polished stainless steel.  So ultimately there wasn’t much color.  Sarah of Viva Flora brought in the color with the floral arrangements. They punched brightly and beautifully in the white canvas of the room.

We continued the thread of simple, art-inspired print with a very clean escort card display.

Clean white linens allowed the floral to shine, rather than to compete with it, like dabs of paint on a fresh palette.

The tables were set around the sculptures, giving the guests a very interactive experience.  The Peters Projects is also very accommodating when it comes to moving things around.  Luckily the large pieces were on rolling bases, so we were able to shimmy according to our floor plan.

I have to say, we were extremely lucky with this exhibit.  It was easy to move around, subtle in color and there was even a “happy couple” sculpture at the entrance to the space, perfect for a photo opportunity!

Photos~ Alicia Lucia Photography | Venue~ Peters Projects | Florist~ Viva Flora | Invite~ Paperless Post

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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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Lally & Doug

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Lally and Doug were married on a crisp autumn day on October.  The most amazing thing about this wedding was the amount of love that  poured out of everyone’s hearts.  The couple and their families have such a close bond and it was highlighted for such a special occasion.  Many of Lally and Doug’s close friends flew in from all over the country to celebrate with them and it was very clear that the friendships are held near and dear to their hearts.  It was a beautiful thing to witness such a profound and genuine love.  Twin Lens Photography did an impeccable job of capturing this love and highlighting the perfect moments between the bride and groom and documenting an incredible day!

To honor a tradition of the past, Lally wore the wedding dress that not only her mother wore, but her grandmother wore as well.  It fit perfectly and looked incredible on the third generation bride!  The bridesmaids were in beautiful, flowy Joanne August dresses in a dark teal color.  This was accented perfectly by the coral junior bridesmaids dresses for a nod to the vibrant Santa Fe color palette.  Lally and her father had a grand entrance to the ceremony via horse and carriage.  This was kept as a surprise from Doug as he awaited at the altar.

The ceremony took place in a large open field with a stunning backdrop of the sweeping Sangre de Cristo mountain range, dotted with golden trees in a crisp autumn day.  Andrea Soorikian Design  built a custom wood arbor for Lally and Doug to stand beneath as they said their vows.  The poles were adorned with gauzy fabric drapes and blooms in soft blush,  peach and dusty green.  The ceremony was filled with beautiful readings and songs performed by family members.  The guests were led to the cocktail hour by a mariachi band where they sipped margaritas and enjoyed ceviche shooters and mini tuna tartare tacos.

The reception was held is a beautiful tent adorned with chandeliers and tables with richly colored centerpieces.  Amber candles, dried Choya cactus, air plants and succulents accented the hot pink dahlias, orange roses, coral Gloriosa lilies and antique hydrangea.  Guests dined on a deconstructed salad with pears, goat cheese, dried cranberries and a balsamic drizzle accompanied by a gazpacho shooter.  The entree nodded to Santa Fe fare with a local poblano stuffed with calabacitas (a local New Mexican of squash ans zucchini) and braised short ribs on top of a green chile polenta. The dessert also had a little Santa Fe spice!  Mayan Chocolate Cake was mixed with a hint of red chile for an added kick!  It was draped with a cascade of beautiful flowers.

After dinner and a series of heartfelt toasts guests enjoyed the most epic dance party.  Funkiphino, a 13 piece band based out of Denver put on an unforgettable show!  The dance floor was packed until 2 am!  A late night taco bar was set up to keep guests fueled and even had mini churros with a dulce du leche dipping sauce.

 

Photography ~ Twin Lens Images / Cocktail Musicians ~ Mariachi Pourvenir  / Hair and Makeup ~ Jess Evans / Bridesmaids dresses ~ Johanna August / Calligraphy ~ Sherry Bishop  / Rentals ~ Classic Party Rentals  / Venue + Catering ~ Las Campanas / Floral Design ~ Andrea Soorikian Design / Cake ~ Chocolate Maven / Band ~ Funkiphino /

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Real Wedding ~ Shawn and Elizabeth

Shawn and Elizabeth hosted the perfect Summer-time soiree, complete with a beautiful outdoor ceremony underneath an apple tree, wildflowers galore, lawn games and the most scrumptious brunch inspired by Southern fare.  Shawn and Liz are dear friends and I felt so privileged to design a beautiful wedding day with such a lovely couple!

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How beautiful is Elizabeth’s Lazaro dress?  Talk about a stunning bride!!The gorgeous ruffles and perfect lace detailing just had Southern belle written all over it!  I love the color palette for the wedding party attire.  The gents sported J.Crew grey suits which I think looked so dapper with Shawn’s navy Hugo Boss suit.  The gals chose their own dress style in either taupe or fig, also from J.Crew.

 

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How sweet are these flower girls?  I love their laid back, cotton summer dresses; they’re not too fussy and perfect for the outdoor venue.  Elizabeth and her bridesmaids crafted custom fans that doubled as programs to let guests know who the players were.

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The apple tree under which the ceremony took place was strung with hanging vases of wildflowers and satin ribbons.  They looked so lovely swaying in the breeze!

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Every outdoor wedding has got to have lawn games!  How adorable are the custom corn hole bags?

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Now, I’ve got a funny story and a few words of wisdom for you.  If you’re going to infuse your own vodka with rhubarb a few days before your wedding, wear gloves!!  Liz, a connoisseur of gourmet cocktails, single-handedly infused all of her vodka with rhubarb to make the glorious “Taste of Summer” signature cocktail.  The only downside, rhubarb will dye your hands hot pink as Liz unfortunately found out!!  She was lucky enough NOT to sport hot-pink palms for her wedding, but it sure was a close call!!

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These escort cards were such a fun project.  We put a handful of wildflowers seeds in a kraft paper pouch and then sewed them to a card printed with the guests names.  They were placed in flats of wheat grass with a sign that said, “Sow the Love!”  I just adore sweet favors that do double duty as escort cards!

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For a touch of vintage elegance, Liz and her mom sourced mismatched china from thrift stores and garage sales all over Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  There were hundreds and plates and a ton of delicate tea cups and saucers.  The coffee and tea display was just darling!

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Each place setting has an adorable, heart-shaped birdseed favor.  This was extra appropriate as the venue, the Randal Davey Audubon Center is also a bird and nature preserve.

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OK, let’s talk food!  Liz is a serious foodie and quite the amazing cook herself!  I am so lucky to have been a guest a her table and to chat menus wit her. That said, the wedding feast was fabulous and inspired.  I love that the wedding focused around brunch, probably my most favorite 6 letter word, ever! Liz collaborated with Marja Custom Catering to create a spectacular menu centered around her favorite seasonal brunch items.  The appetizers were highlighted with tomato soup shooters with slices of grilled cheese and fried green tomatoes with grilled shrimp.  Seriously, guests were in heaven!

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Guests dined on delicious eggs Florentine, grilled asparagus with tomato salsa, red chile bacon and green chile sausages.  But, the piece de resistance was the blueberry-passionfruit blintz; hot dang they were off the chain!

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Then there was dessert!  Yes, I know you thought it couldn’t get any better!  First, there was a beautiful butter cream cake, beautifully accented with fresh summer blooms.  Then there was a delightful array of French Macarons….man, I could eat 1,000 of those!

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But, the cutest part was the individual apple-raspberry rosewater pies with a biscuit topper.  Yes, stop traffic, they were not only adorable, they were delicious!  Marja Custom Catering really knocked it out of the park!

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The Randal Davey Audubon Center is a really spectacular venue.  The kids were in heaven among the orchards and rolling lawns amidst a beautiful historical adobe home.

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Now this is just a smidgen of the photos from their gallery….there are sooo many beautiful ones to see, you MUST click HERE to peep the rest!!

Photography~  Eric Cousineau Photography/ Make-up~ Jess Evans / Bride’s Dress~Lazaro / Groom’s Suit~ Hugo Boss / Bridesmaids and Groomsmen attire~ J.Crew / Ceremony and Reception Location~ Randal Davey Audubon Center  / Rentals ~ Classic Party Rentals /  Catering~Marja Custom Catering / Floral Design~ Artichokes and Pomegranates/ Cake ~ Treehouse Pastry/ Getaway Car ~ Santa Fe Classic Limo

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Real Wedding ~ Tracy and Scott

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Tracy and Scott have the most contagious smiles!  I was so lucky to have such wonderful clients with which to work.  When Tracy first called, she told me how her parents had honeymooned in Santa Fe years and years ago and that this small and enchanting city was destined to be the spot for her and Scott to tie the knot.

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They were looking for something outdoors for the ceremony as they love to spend their time in nature, mountain biking and hiking.  The Randal Davey Audubon Center was the perfect spot.  They have a beautiful, rolling lawn nestled in the mountains and a historic home on the property.  Mrs. Davey’s boudoir, pictured above, is a very special spot for a bride to get ready!  How amazing are the walls that were painted by Randal Davey himself?!

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Tracy wore the most adorable frock from BHLDN and with sparkly Manolos to match, oohhhieee!

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Artichokes and Pomegranates designed a beautiful and colorful bouquet for Tracy to carry.  It had Coral Charm peonies, Gloriosa Liles, Roses, Hypericum Berries, Dahlias and succulents.  It really set the tone for a lighthearted and festive day!

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I love a good “First Look” portrait session.  Its a great way to calm any jitters and also allows the bride and groom to enjoy cocktail hour with their guests if they can get portraits taken care of before the ceremony.

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Tracy’s daughter, Ruby was the perfect side kick!  This was right after I had told them to carry their bouquets low on the hip during the processional and not to do the “Microphone”!

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Paper flowers and colorful ribbons set the tone for the Mexican folk-art inspired design.

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Tracy and Scott chose to do a “Quaker style” ceremony with many readings, songs and participation from their guests.  I always say programs are a great idea when you want to recognize those involved and keep your guests in the loop.

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The ceremony decor was colorful and quirky with paper flowers and garlands of billy balls.

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A little nod to the Guad….more on that later!

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The ceremony was so special and heartfelt; there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

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I absolutely LOVE this picture.  What a truly special moment!

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Guests were transported from the Audubon Center to Hotel St. Francis via open air trams.  It was such a lovely warm night, perfect for a little downtown tour!

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The mixologists at Hotel St. Francis know a thing or two about cocktails! We served guests the “Sweet Heat” a orange margarita, infused with Green Chile.  Mui Caliente!

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Guests enjoyed the sounds of Savor, specializing in the sounds of Cuban Street music.  I loved how they contributed to the festive and casual atmosphere!

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Escort cards doubled as favors.  I had stuffed colorful paper bags with Biscochitos, a favorite New Mexican Cookie.  Name tags and heart milagros were tied on the outside to guide guests to their tables.

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The tables were a-blaze with color and texture.  There were succulents in planters adorned with gilded lace, cactus terrariums, agate slices, gold mercury glass with floating blooms and billy balls in citron colored bud vases.  I designed arrangements of Peonies, Freesia, Lilies, sweetheart roses and honeysuckle that happened to be blooming at the perfect time outside of my studio.

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Their reception featured a beautiful meal from Tabla, amazing toasts with lots of bubbly and the most rockin’ dance party I had seen in a while!

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Cheers Tracy and Scott!

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Photography~ Vlad Photo  / Programs, Place cards, Menus,~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Make-up~ Jess Evans / Bride’s Dress~ BHLDN/ Bride’s Shoes ~ Manolo Blahnik / Ceremony and Cocktail Music ~ Victor Alvarez of Savor / Ceremony Location~ Randal Davey Audubon Center / Bridal Bouquets and Boutonnieres~ Artichokes and Pomegranates / Ceremony Backdrop and Centerpiece Floral Design~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Open Air Tram Transportation ~ Custom Tours by Clarice / Reception Location~ Hotel St. Francis / DJ~ Absolute Entertainment DJ Services

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Shawn & Liz

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Photography~  Eric Cousineau Photography/ Make-up~ Jess Evans / Bride’s Dress~Lazaro / Groom’s Suit~ Hugo Boss / Bridesmaids and Groomsmen attire~ J.Crew / Ceremony and Reception Location~ Randal Davey Audubon Center  / Rentals ~ Classic Party Rentals /  Catering~Marja Custom Catering / Floral Design~ Artichokes and Pomegranates/ Cake ~ Treehouse Pastry/ Getaway Car ~ Santa Fe Classic Limo

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Tracy & Scott

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The bride was able to get ready in the historic home of Randal Davey, specifically in Mrs. Davey’s boudoir with walls painted by Mr. Davey himself.  I loved Tracy’s fabulous frock from BHLDN.  It was short and spunky, just like her.  And those shoes…I am a sucker for sparkles!   The bouquets from Artichokes and Pomegranates were so fresh and bright.  They fit perfectly into our punchy and festive color palette.   The ceremony design was inspired by Mexican folk art, centered around paper flowers and colorful ribbons.  Their ceremony was so heartfelt and personal, the best kind!  Did I mention there wasn’t a dry eye in the house?  Guests were escorted from the ceremony site to the cocktail reception via open air trams.  It was a perfectly warm night for the short ride.  The mixologists at the Hotel St. Francis prepared a green chile, orange margarita that was delicious!  Escort cards doubled as favors with a heart Milagro keepsake and goodie bags filled with Biscochitos, a classic New Mexican cookie.   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!  Everything in the room was so colorful and festive; it really added to the joyous atmosphere and paved the way for heartfelt toasts and a rocking dance party!

Photography~ Vlad Photo  / Programs, Place cards, Menus,~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Make-up~ Jess Evans / Bride’s Dress~ BHLDN/ Bride’s Shoes ~ Manolo Blahnik / Ceremony and Cocktail Music ~ Victor Alvarez of Savor / Ceremony Location~ Randal Davey Audubon Center / Bridal Bouquets and Boutonnieres~ Artichokes and Pomegranates / Ceremony Backdrop and Centerpiece Floral Design~ Jessie Baca Weddings and Events / Open Air Tram Transportation ~ Custom Tours by Clarice / Reception Location~ Hotel St. Francis / DJ~ Absolute Entertainment DJ Services

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