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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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You had me at “Alfresco”

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Ahhh, Summer in Santa Fe.  Everything about it is so wonderful, qué no? My favorite thing about summer here is dining alfresco.  Oh, to be sitting under a portal, cool breeze on your skin, sipping a fabulous cocktail as the sun dips below the horizon. There’s really nothing better than enjoying a meal with friends as laughter bubbles into the dusk and the stars begin to peek out of the cooling blue sky. I had the pleasure of working with my good friend Shanti to bring such a night to life.  She is a wonderful chef and wanted to create a lovely dinner party in her backyard. I brought in the décor, and we designed a menu that would highlight the bounty of the Santa Fe local harvests and treat the guests to a delectable and beautiful celebration.

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First, we started with a cocktail. We served a prosecco cocktail with a splash of rosé Lillet, grapefruit soda and lavender-infused simple syrup. Let me tell you, they were amazing! We also served a Basil-infused martini with basil straight from the Shanti’s garden.

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Along with the fabulous sips, guests nibbled on chilled watermelon bites with feta and fresh chopped mint. Is your mouth watering yet?

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I created a tabletop filled with festive, rich color. Silk Dupioni runners from Thailand were layered on the table to bring punches of teal, magenta and saffron to the table. They coordinated beautifully with the fuchsia napkins. Citron bud vases filled with Crespedia dotted along the table with local dahlias set in low bud vases.

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Each setting received an individual demi-baguette from a local bakery, wrapped with parchment and tied with teal raffia. We decided to serve individual baguettes because…

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…we had an heirloom tomato bar! It was complete with gooey Burrata mozzarella, flavored olive oils, aged balsamic vinegar and specialty sea salts. There was also fresh chopped basil, sopresatta and fried sliced of bacon! Guests served a thickly sliced slab of tomato and decorated it with all of the fixings their heart desired. So, of course, what better way to sop up the leftover goodness than with a fresh baked baguette of your own! Oh my goodness, I can taste it now…it was heaven!

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Shanti is an amazing chef and pours her heart into each dish she creates. Her meals always use fresh ingredients and are thoughtfully prepared–if I could eat at her house everyday, I would! These soup shooters were also served as an appetizer and believe me, they were as delicious as they were beautiful. We enjoyed a roasted red beet gazpacho and a chilled avocado soup with spicy Pepitas.

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She roasted local Shishito peppers from the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and they were topped with edible violas for a beautiful visual contrast.

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Along with the heirloom tomato bar, guests dined on herb-garlic grilled eggplant, a white bean and sage salad, home-made icebox pickles, a lemon-ricotta asparagus tart, assorted cheeses, and the most beautiful watermelon radishes you ever did see! Since I’m a sucker for signage, I calligraphied little tags to highlight each amazing element of the vignette.

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I mean, that color, c’mon!

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We plunked bottles of rosé down the table and let guests serve themselves.  The table was bountiful and the company was adorable!

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The best part was as the sun began to set, the twinkle light above began to glow and the candles flickered among the glass. There’s just something about that light that gets me every time.

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Then there was dessert! Shanti whipped up the most decadent 6-layer lemon chiffon cake, complete with edible pansies and orchids as the garnish. To complement dessert, guests sipped on a delightfully fizzy moscato that we served in colorful Moroccan tea glasses.

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We also commissioned specialty peach-mango-coconut paletas for an after dinner treat. I just love the diagonal two-tone.

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Even though summer is coming to an end, I am so thankful for evenings like these. Thank you Shanti for the opportunity to create with you and to have the pleasure of enjoying such a beautiful meal! Goodbye summer, ’til next year!

Featured image, Cameron Johnson, All other photos, Andy Johnson

 

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Be Cool Baby Bash

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I am so excited to share the images from my baby shower! This event was a joy to plan…scheming and crafting with the little babe in mind was so thrilling.  I wanted to host a party that not only celebrated Baby Baca, but also honored the women in my life that have been so extremely supportive and loving, especially throughout the pregnancy.

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But first, a little back story to the design inspiration for the baby shower.  We decided to keep Baby Baca’s name a surprise and as a joke we referred to him as “Lou Diamond”.  Naturally when it came time to choose a motif, I thought, “diamonds” as a homage to his fun nickname!  I also love the phrase, “Be Cool Baby”….an obscure Pulp Fiction reference and decided to run with that too!

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I  incorporated the geometric motif throughout the entire event with diamond honeycomb paper products, 3-D geometric paper diamonds, confetti and kept it modern and fresh with a punchy palette of teal, aqua, coral and gold.

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I chose the Teresa Neptune Gallery, a local photography gallery in Santa Fe as the venue.  It was perfect for a brisk February day; cozy and intimate while providing the historical artsy Canyon Road charm at the same time.

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Wood blocks and paint pens were provided for guests to creatively contribute to a set of building blocks that would grace Baby Baca’s nursery.  It is so nice to have a reminder of all the lovely ladies in my life when I look at each block!

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Guests were entertained with metallic (!) temporary tattoos from Flash Tats and I even sported a special diamond tat from Tattly to honor my little man.

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I love that Beaucoup allows you to upload custom calligraphy to print on cocktail napkins…cause every event has gotta have a hashtag!

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We served coral-colored cocktails, named “Lou Diamond’s Party Punch” made of Prosecco, Lillet, grapefruit and blood orange with a touch of rosemary simple syrup.  Oh my goodness, even though I was drinking the virgin version, they were so freaking delicious!!  I am so excited to bust these out during our summer time alfresco soirees; they are perfect!

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I worked with Walter Burke Catering and  they did a beautiful job!  Guests dined on a yummy brunch of assorted quiches, obligingly cut into diamond shapes.  I asked for an ombre salad of winter citrus.  Isn’t it beautiful?!? It’s made of grapefruit, blood orange and navel oranges.  The best part was the most delicious kale/frisee salad with roasted butternut squash, spiced pecans and bacon!  Oh it was to die for!

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For dessert we enjoyed a beautiful cake by Maggie Faralla of Maggie’s Cakes.  I had so much fun dreaming up the design with her…and the tasting, oh, I was in pregnant lady heaven!  The “Be Cool Baby” sugar-paste letters were custom created by Sarah of Signe Sugar.  Her work is SOOO beautiful, I even kept the letters and display them in a diorama-style frame in the baby’s nursery!

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Let’s talk about those sparkly table cloths…just pure sequin fabulous-ness from La Tavola!

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More diamonds and glitter!  Yippie!

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On March 31 (10 days late!) we welcomed sweet baby Jay Nicholas Baca, the baby formerly known as “Lou Diamond”!  Now to get started on his first birthday party….

 

Photography: Articulate Photo,  Venue: Teresa Neptune Gallery, Rentals/China: Classic Party Rentals, Linens: La Tavola Linens, Floral: Artichokes and Pomegranates, Cake: Maggie Faralla, Sugar Paste Letters: Signe Sugar, Catering: Walter Burke Catering, Decor and Calligraphy/Signage: Mama, Jessie Baca Weddings and Events, Tattoos: Flash Tats,  and Tattly, Custom Cocktail Napkins: Beaucoup, Mama’s belt (aka: pregnancy definer!): Anthropologie, Mama’s hair and  make-up: Jess Evans,

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Southwest Boho-Baby!

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I have been spending quite a bit of time in the studio lately…getting my craft on!  It must be the “nesting” instinct that comes along with expecting a babe.  Our little one is due today (!) and I wanted to share a project that I did for his nursery.  I thought this could easily be translated for a wedding or event backdrop, it is such an easy and neat way to jazz up a space…and did I mention cheap!

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I took it back to camp days and decided to work with a giant pile of yarn I had sitting around.  Do you remember making Ojo de Dios or God’s Eyes when you were little?  Basically, you get two dowels and wrap yarn around them to create a kaleidoscope-esque diamond pattern.  I made a bunch of tassels in similar colors and by mounting the Ojo de Dios on painted embroidery hoops, they created a graphic presentation for a wall hanging.  I totally dig the 70’s color palette and the Southwest-boho vibe it brings to our Santa Fe nursery!

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Since this hangs directly above the changing table, my mother-in-law jokes that they are pee-pee targets for the little man, and I’m sure she’s right!  Eeek!  Nonetheless, he will have something funky to stare at whilst getting his tush pampered and who can argue with that!

 

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Hooray for Swag!

What better way is there to say, “Hey, thanks for traveling all this way to celebrate with us, we LOVE you!”  Providing welcome bags for you wedding guests is a sure-fire way to kick a destination experience up a notch and keep everyone smiling all weekend long!

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How adorable are these bags for Hanna and Reece?  Wedding Chicks has an amazing array of customizable templates for canvas totes.  Re-usable and snazzy…I’m in!

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I also love when a little note can be included, but even better if an itinerary makes it into the bag.  Often destination wedding weekends are full of activities and events so keeping your guests informed with shuttle departures and of course tips about inclement weather and high altitude are always handy.

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I love to include a copy of The Essential Guide, a beautiful publication with shopping and dining info and also fun articles about Santa Fe.  The best part, they’re free! Also…Water, water, water…you can never hydrate enough here in Santa Fe.

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Local treats are always a must.  Walker’s Red Chile Caramel Popcorn (I’m biased because caramel popcorn is my favorite thing in the whole world) is to die for.  They also have a mui caliente Green Chile Caramel Popcorn, yum!  Hanna and Reece also have a tradition of baking each other pancakes, so the Santa Fe Culinaria’s Blue Corn Pancake mix is delicious and I’m also a huge fan of their packaging.  To go with the pancakes we found the sweetest mini honey bears from Sun Mountain Honey.  Señor Murphy’s, a Santa Fe favorite, made us individually packages Piñon brittle, with raffia to match. I love sharing and supporting local New Mexican vendors!

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We also included a little first-aid kit with sunscreen (we are much closer to the sun here in Santa Fe!), Advil for altitude sickness or hangovers…because those margaritas do hit harder at 7,000 feet, Cowboy-themed Band aids for blisters and adorable custom chap sticks.

I’d say this is a pretty sweet bag of goodies.  Let the fun begin!

 

 

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