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!


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.


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.




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.


Saving the Date in Style!

“A hand-crafted paper creation from Maggie & Andrew to you.” from Brandon Ray on Vimeo.

I just love clever couples that get creative when it comes to announcing their wedding!  Maggie and Andrew harnessed the fabulous scissor-snipping talents of Brandon Ray to create a hand-crafted, animated save-the-date to send to their guests.   My favorite part is when they gallop off on a donkey; don’t you just LOVE it?!


Featured on the Grace Ormonde Blog~ Kim and LB

I’ve got exciting new folks!  A film by Luminance Pictures documenting Kim and LB’s wedding at Loretto Chapel and the reception I designed at Rio Chama is featured on the Grace Ormonde Blog.  Click HERE to see it all!

Photo by Ginger Russell Photography


Sneak Peek!

Just a lil' preview of some goodness to come!  Photo from Ben Chrisman and glorious vintage umbrellas from Bella Umbrella.



¿Donde es el otro mitad de mi naranja?

In other words, “Where is the other half of my orange?”  This may seem like an odd saying; but incorporated into Amber and Craig’s wedding vows, and thus creating a whole orange, it couldn’t be more appropriate.  These two foodies and lovers of all things yummy came together last fall for a beautiful gathering of heartfelt nuptials, a gourmet feast and stunning Santa Fe sunsets.

The two-day wedding was held in the modern home they share together and began with a gathering set on their own backyard patio and surrounding vegetable garden.  The first evening featured an intimate sunset ceremony with personal vows, gentle Spanish guitar and lit only by hundreds of twinkling candles.

We covered a large woodpile and kitchen window to create a ceremony space with linen fabric panels that I designed and assembled.  Since the space was asymmetrical, I created a halo of hanging candles above the couple to bring focus to the “I Dos”.  The result was a contemporary, neutrally colored space for a modern couple.

Here is a sketch I used as we were brainstorming. I’m always amazed at how things actually turn out when they go from colored pencils to nails, dowels and fabric!

The neutral color palette was accented with vibrant flowers from Artichokes and Pomegranates.  Lucca, the flower girl, was so excited to wear a head wreath made from red spray roses and fuchsia Dendrobium orchids.

The second day’s festivities were kicked off with sounds from Savor, who specialize in Cuban street music. Since the main focus was food, tables were set in the garden to allow all the guests to indulge in an incredible spread provided by Marja Custom Catering.

Now for the food part.  I hope you’re ready for this…if you’re even the slightest bit hungry you will be salivating on your keyboard by the end of the post….don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Guests were greeted with a lavender-infused champagne with fresh picked sprigs of lavender to garnish.

This next part was my favorite piece of the entire weekend: a CHEESE cake!  Amber and Craig were an avant garde couple who didn’t want to bother with sugary frosted cakes; so when I suggested they have the ultimate foodie treat: a cake made of glorious wheels of cheese, they we’re all for it! Marja’s talented chefs, Marc and Jean-Luc did a beautiful job of decorating this masterpiece with baby champagne grapes, artisan honey, purple endive and edible nasturtium.

Since the wedding took place in late-summer/early-fall, we were able to take advantage of the season’s final heirloom tomato harvest.  Marja sourced the most beautiful tomatoes from the farmer’s market as well as from Amber and Craig’s own garden.  We created a fabulous action bar for guests to decorate their hand sliced tomato slabs with burrata, Italian Basil pesto, infused Balsamic vinegars, and an array of sea salts.  Holy molars, this was a hit and tasted so amazing!

Guests were also greeted with incredible bite-sized hors d’oeuvres that tasted as beautiful as they looked.

(A complete menu that was custom created by Marja for the entire weekend is included at the end of the post)

Amber and Craig wanted to gift their guests with a yearly reminder of their weekend spent in Santa Fe, so I created an adorable favor of tulip bulbs wrapped in special bags and a tag saying. “Thank you for joining us! May these tulips be a constant reminder of our love we share with you! ~ Amber and Craig”.  As the evening wound down, the candles continued to glow and the laughter and smiles bubbled like the champagne. It was a truly memorable event with so many gourmet delicacies and special treats.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Private home in Santa Fe / Photography: Ginger Russell Photography / Catering: Marja Custom Catering / Florist: Artichokes and Pomegranates / Spanish Guitar: Yves Lucero / Reception Music: Savor, Cuban Street Music / Event Design and Coordination: MARRIED by Jessie Abrams Baca

To see the complete menu and tease yourself with more amazing foodie treats, read on!


Passed Hors d’oeuvres

Grilled Eggplant Rollatini

with roasted local lipstick peppers, eggplant caviar, and fried oregano

Red Chile Dusted Purple Potato Skewers

Sauteed “Shishito” Peppers with Sea Salt

Porcini Mushroom Risotto Fritters

Roasted Local Goldbar Squash Boats with Mild Chevre and Chioggia Beet Confetti

Heirloom Tomato Station

 Local Heirloom Tomatoes

Assorted Roasted, Marinated Local Peppers

Italian Salsa Verde, Fresh Basil Leaves

Flavored Balsamic Vinegar

Virgin Olive Oil


Local Baby Arugula

Ciabatta Slices

Artisanal Cheese “Cake” Station

Wheels of Fabulous Cheeses displayed wedding cake style

with our famous seeded flatbreads, toasts, and red endive leaves

(cabrales, manchego, Humboldt Fog)


Dark Chocolate Truffles with Rosewater


Passed Hors d’oeuvre:

Local Lamb Burgers with Tomato Harissa and Cucumber Salad

Mediterranean Tapas Station

 Seasonal Vegetable Crudite with

Sweet Lipstick Pepper Hummus, Eggplant “Caviar”, and Tuna Spuma

Dolmas with Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Castelvetano-Olive-Lemon Salsa

Assorted Breads and Flatbreads

Caesar Salad Station

Baby Red Romaine Salad with Aged Sherry Vinaigrette

with assorted artisanal cheeses

Passed Dessert

 Callebaut Brownie Bites with Dulce de Leche, Sea Salt and Rose Petals

Assorted French Macaroons

Lavender Shortbread


Featured on Style Me Pretty ~ Galia and Mike

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


Real Wedding~ Kim and LB

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!


From Beginning to End

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!