I LOVE to throw a good party, to put my entire heart and soul into fueling the reasons behind the celebrations: making sure that the people present at the party are thrilled to be a part of such a celebration. This has caused me to look more closely at the reasons we host such events. Weddings have the tendency to be swept into a whirlwind of “supposed to” and “well, So and So did it this way, so shouldn’t I?” I am on the quest to find something more meaningful, more authentic, steeped in truth. Not just a wedding. Not just a party. But what makes it something more? I find myself asking clients in our very first meeting, “What is at the HEART of your wedding?” What is going to make this event tick, burst with meaning and be memorable for all who take part?
I received a beautiful book, “The Kinfolk Table” from a dear friend and as I was reading the introduction, something jumped out at me. The author’s purpose is to offer alternative ideas of entertaining. We can create “casual, intentional, meaningful” parties but the author also tries to question the true reasons for inviting friends to celebrate and references “relationships, traditions, community and conversations”. While a wedding is not only entertaining, it highlights the aforementioned points. There is purpose. There is the celebration of union, tradition and a honoring of one’s community.
I am honored when I have the privilege to help create such a celebration. I don’t take it lightly as I understand the gravity of the event. I particularly take joy in the process when the client and I bond and are able to develop a celebration so unique and so bespoke that it could never be duplicated. This was the case for Jaimee and Matt. They wanted a VERY intimate celebration, with only their immediate family, 20 people. They wanted their guests to truly get away and to enjoy all that Santa Fe has to offer, while also being able to relax and enjoy the beautiful nature that they, as a couple, appreciate so much.
After much searching, we chose the Hacienda Doña Andrea, a private 9 bedroom hacienda, nestled in the Ortiz mountains. The house gave everyone their own space, while allowing the community to bond, to share meals, play games and laze about. Then, on the wedding day it was transformed for a beautiful celebration. I love that Jaimee and Matt chose an intimate celebration as it allowed them to focus on the tradition and the bonds of their family and gave me an opportunity to create a very dynamic space for them in which to celebrate. They wanted to share a multi-course meal with their family and be able to enjoy close conversations over a candlelit table. We still honored traditions like the cake cutting and the first dance, but it was truly a unique and memorable event, like no other. Each detail was steeped with intention and thought and most importantly, HEART.
Photos: Rick Scibelli Photography~ Cake: Maggie’s Wedding Cakes ~ Floral: Renegade Floral ~ Invites: Friend of Bride
To see all photos from this wedding, click HERE
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