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
Raise your hand if you want a life-size cactus made out of succulents and moss at your wedding!! You’d be surprised that this request has come more than once after Reid and Erin popularized the living cactus at their wedding last year and the talented Andrea Soorikian made their vision a reality with the original “Curtis the Cactus”. This time, I tried my hand at constructing a lil’ Saguaro of my own. I loved creating it so much, I wanted to show you how!
To make your own (almost) 4 feet tall cactus, here’s what you’ll need:
One thing you should know about me, I hate measuring, reading directions or anything that will make your life easier. So for me to record actual measurements, is a really big deal. You’re welcome. Also, I purchased 3/4″ PVC pipe and just stood in the hardware store fumbling all the fittings, making sure they fit. I also made sure the PVC fit snugly into the metal pipe base. Also, with a little elbow grease and the wonderful help of my assistant, Sarah, we were able to cut the PVC pipe into the proper sizes with a regular ol’ hand saw…forgot to draw that.
I found all of these moss-y, foam-y goodies at Hobby Lobby. The moss is awesome-it comes on a thin, plastic grid that can easily be cut with scissors and molded however you want.
Now, some of you may know that I start every wedding season with a succulent farm. By the end of the season, it has grown, been used for multiple weddings and I am usually sad that I can’t drag every single one of them in for the winter. Every time I do, the poor little things get leggy and sad and there’s not much hope for them by the spring. So, that said, this project was absolutely perfect to use up my 250+ succulents for their last hoo-rah!
So, once you’ve got your PVC pieces cut, as you begin to assemble, stab the foam disks and stack them as you go, securing the PVC fitting with epoxy once the foam is on and the pieces attached. The parts that go around the elbows and tee fittings were done afterwards by wiring separate pieces. Then, begin the very satisfying moss wrap. The moss ribbon is fantastic for the corners and tops of the cactus and the moss sheet easily goes around the base and secured with moss pins.
Now, time for a little personality. I gave my cactus some cute racer stripes to define where his spikes would go with the brightly colored Spanish moss….yes, I think it’s a “He.”
Then I prepped all of my succulents. The larger ones I put onto toothpicks (unpainted) and the smaller ones I just used a thin gauge wire. They were easily stuck into the foam, through the moss.
Once all the succulents were in place….dang it took a LOT! I put the painted toothpicks in clusters of 3-4 along the moss stripes. The finishing touch were the paper “flower” blooms placed on top of on the arms. Que cute, no? I just love this little guy! He is going on the center of the place card display for this weekend’s wedding. It is a surprise for the bride and I think she is just going to pee her pants, it’s so cute!