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Creating the Ceremony Scene: Southwest meets Contemporary

Dreaming up unique ceremony altar spaces is one of my favorite things to do.  When Carrie and John asked me to design something crafty, yet modern, I was totally on board!  Their save the date had a palette of burnt oranges and turquoise with a Southwestern geometric motif.  I wanted their backdrop to mirror this with dramatic scale and a contemporary design.  I also wanted to bring in native succulents and dried Cholla cactus.

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It began with a sketch and then I needed to brainstorm what it would actually be made of.  I wanted to use lightweight materials like paper for an airy and delicate garland.  I cut different sized triangle and diamond shapes in varying shades of orange, and to bring a little depth and a contrasting pop of color, I made geometric boxes out of turquoise and aqua paper. I cut out feather shapes from a scrap piece of leather and painted one side of them with metallic paint in gold and copper.

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I went out into the New Mexico hills and foraged fallen Cholla cactus.  Luckily, once it has dried, the skin and very sharp spines fall off, making it a wonderful, natural material for a Southwestern installation!  The groom’s mom had a perfectly complementary rug to place under the altar and I just love how it tied everything together!

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The ceremony took place at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe.  I am in love with the way the garland’s geometric shadow played on their beautiful white gallery walls! After the ceremony it became the backdrop for the photo booth; I love when installation pieces serve double duty during a wedding.

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It truly was a joy to custom design something so unique for such a wonderful couple ! I am so glad it was part of a beautiful wedding day!

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The Makings Of: Aaron and Johanna’s Tabletop

Here’s a little behind the scenes sneak peek for you!  As part of “The Makings Of” series, I am excited to show you the inspiration for Aaron and Johanna’s wedding tabletop.  To complement their modern and whimsical invitation, we designed a tabletop equally as fanciful, with pops of neon and geometric motifs.  We wanted to bring elements of weathered wood, copper and yarn together with natural florals and ferns.  

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Of course it starts with a sketch.  The long reception tables will be set with white linens and grey napkins. Thrifted silverware dip-dyed in neon coral, copper and burgundy would frame a geometric menu printed on blush paper and a triangular first course plate.

 

We had to design a table that could accommodate a family style dinner service with multiple dishes and serving platters.  That meant we couldn’t have large centerpieces that took up the whole table.  But we didn’t want to compromise on design.  The plan was to have a small, floral centerpiece of coral Godetia, burgundy dahlias, trailing vines and ferns. Down the center of the table would be a weathered wood plank which would be wrapped with various yarns to complement the color palette of burgundy and neon coral. But of course, finding the perfect shade of neon coral yarn is tough.  So….

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We dyed our own yarn!  We watered down the perfect shade of neon coral acrylic paint and dyed loads of yarn that Johanna had scored at a garage sale for $5!  The result was the perfect shade of retina-bleed neon!

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And oh my goodness does it look fabulous against the neutral grey of the wood.  Along with the yarn, we also wrapped the planks with delicate coral threads and (my new most favorite material ever) copper foil tape!  It brings the perfect pop of metallic and bling!  I am also loving how the silverware is turning out.  These little details are what creative dreams are made of!  Aaron and Johanna’s tables are going to look so spectacular and be extra special because of the personal, crafty touches.  I CANNOT wait to see it all come together!

 

 

 

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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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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Erin and Reid featured on Junebug Weddings!

I’m thrilled to share that Erin and Reid’s romantic cowboy wedding is featured on Junebug weddings.  I just adored working with this couple; they are two of the coolest, most sincere and loving people.  Kitty and Craig of  Twin Lens documented their very special day so beautifully and I can always count on them for photos that give me butterflies.

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One of my favorite projects to create for them was a pair of  portraits that we set above the mantle for their reception at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado.  They brought a personal and rustic flair to the party.  Their wedding also sported a life size cactus made entirely out of succulents!  Reid came up with this amazing idea for the entry table and the talented Andrea Soorikian made his vision come to life!  Click HERE to see the entire feature on Junebug Weddings.  You’ll be glad you did!

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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?!

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Annie and Will featured on Style Me Pretty!

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I’m so excited!!! It was just about a year ago that we were putting the finishing touches on this beautiful wedding!  Today it is featured on Style Me Pretty- wahoo! Click HERE to see the post and click HERE to see their event gallery.

 

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