¡Día de Los Muertos!

Weddings, too, will give a nod to the Día de Los Muertos traditions.  It’s not uncommon to see tiny skeletons in wedding garb perched on top of wedding cakes. (Sometimes out-of-towners are unnerved by the morbid image, but it’s all in good fun!)

This weekend we will be gifting guests with these sweet hand-made sugar skull cookies from Picket Fence Confections.  ¡Qué cute!


Real Wedding~ Melinda and Jim

Melinda and Jim’s nuptials took place at the beautiful Hacienda Doña Andrea on clear and warm day this Spring.  You may remember their inspiration board that I shared a while back.  Rustic charm with subtle hints of New Mexico tradition were woven throughout the day and culminated with a glowing evening of live musical performances and a rockin’ dance party!

Enjoy a few shots of the lovely details from the talented Jennifer Dudley.

Artichokes and Pomegranates created a textural floral display using wild flowers, succulents, blue thistle, calla lilies and a few orchids. I really liked the monochromatic and natural palette that echoed the dusky hills after a Santa Fe sunset.

Melinda and Jim incorporated a really special element to their ceremony.  Instead of doing a unity candle or sand ceremony they did something much more symbolic and meaningful.  They each wrote each other love letters and during the ceremony, sealed them in a box with a fabulous bottle of wine.  On their one-year anniversary, they will open the box, drink the bottle of wine and read the love letters to eachother.  So sweet, no?

We also had a great musical twist on typical ceremony music.  Todd Lovato, of the local Santa Fe Band, Todd and the Fox,  graced us with his banjo skills.  Now, you may immediately envision plucked honkey tonk, but Todd played the most beautiful renditions of Vivaldi’s “Spring”  and “Grow Old with Me” by John Lennon!  I love when you hear a familiar song but on an instrument that is a-typical and out of context.

Guests enjoyed lavender champagne cocktails and their potted succulent cards doubled as adorable take-home favors.

I’m always a fan of keeping the kiddos entertained during dinner.  I found these adorable “Goodie” bags and Melinda stocked them with all sorts of distractions.  Needless to say, they were all happy campers!

It was indeed a beautiful night and as the sun set behind the Ortiz mountains, the bistro lights glowed upon the Papel Picado and the happy couple danced the night away under the New Mexico sky.


Let’s get physical.

Some things you should know about me.  Working out is a chore for me…I hate it.  I need to be severely distracted to do it and fooled into breaking a sweat.

Another thing, I am a stickler for beautiful surroundings…I will leave places because they have crappy lighting,  I hate being inside when I could be outside and gyms usually gross me out.  All that said, when I wandered into Buddha Fitness Club, I was taken aback by the perfect light and thoughtful layout.  I was actually inspired to get a gym membership and thought, “I could work out here.” What!?!

I was actually going to a yoga class that they had sponsored with my favorite Lululemon gals and I noticed they had a spin class set outside, on their beautiful patio…and get this, they had a DJ spinning sweet mellow beats!  (DJ Celeste actually spun one of my recent weddings and she rocks!)

Not a bad view while you’re breaking a sweat, huh?

I thought, any place that has a DJ with a spin class, has to be awesome, right?  Well I stopped to speak with the owner Douglas, who runs the gym with his wife Tara; he offered me a little work-out sesh, and I thought, why not?

But first , let’s talk about how beautiful this gym is.  The furnishings are natural and modern, it is a big loft space with tons of natural light and open doors (no stinky sweat stench), and you get to work out looking over the lush landscaping of the Railyard.

I tried TRX bands for the first time and WOAH, my little pencil arms got a run for their money!  It’s such a cool way to build strength and work your core at the same time! I just might even go back for more!

The gym has free weights, cardio machines, yoga, spin and TRX classes and personal training.  The best part about the personal training is, say if you are a bride and hate working out too, they’ll offer semi-private training sessions for a few more peeps, so you can bring your bridesmaids to get in gear with you!

Personally I love that your mind can feel good in such a beautiful space while your body is getting healthy too!  It makes sense that the Buddha Fitness Club is all about mindful exercise; I like that!


Sneak-y Peek-y

I wanted to give you a quick glimpse of a few of the goodies for this weekend’s wedding at the CCA.  The aesthetic is modern meets the high mountain desert and I’ve been getting down on some serious crafting here in the studio. I am so over the moon excited for it, I can hardly contain myself!

Personalized Pin Place cards…say that ten times fast!

Fabulous programs attached to….SPIRIT WANDS!!!

Bent wire table numbers. I like that the numbers are spelled out..I think it adds charm!

And, my most favorite project to date, the LIVING WALL!  This will be the stunning backdrop for the ceremony.  Blending the raw, urban elements of metal and wire with native Choya cactus, succulents and air plants has never looked so good.  Can’t wait to show you the short movie we’re making to document the process!
Till soon!


Emmy Inspiration

Even though I didn’t watch the Emmys (I don’t have TV), I do love catching up on the fashion, like any red-blooded female!  When I opened up the New York times today, I saw this lovely spread of gorgeous ladies:

They are all hotties, but I was more intrigued by the beautiful palette of the photos.  I was so inspired, I decided to create a little party/wedding inspiration board for you!

Confetti Systems honeycombs, Natalia Brilli Necklace, Martha Stewart Sparkle Pom Poms and floral, Handmade hearts by Ashley Meaders/Photo by Our Labor of Love, Marc Jacobs styling, Sugar Paste Hearts by Signe Sugar, Feather Boutonniere


Where ya’ been, whatcha doin’?

Howdy!  I am finally starting to see the light after THE busiest part of wedding season.  I have so many spectacular things to share, I’m dying to sit down and comb through it all!  But, as a little tease, here are a few snapshots, mostly from my Instagram account that will give you a glimpse into my day to day:

Living dangerously and building martini towers.

Working with photo ninja, Gia Canali…she’s the one under the hood shooting 4×5 polaroids…so rad!

Getting people sent off in style…vintage benz

Getting in some yoga time with the Lululemon gang.  Did you know they offer free yoga in the park?

Trying hard not to shove all the macarons in my face at once.

Oh, just hanging out with the deer behind my studio.

Cruised up to the AHA Fest at the Railyard and boy, was that a good time. Hip artists, rockin’ bands, food trucks…it almost felt like Santa Fe was a big city!

DJ’ing….not really, I was just listening!

Getting down on some cocktail hour chalkboard script….love those stripey straws too.

Getting folks married the artsy way….had the pleasure of hosting at event at the Selby Fleetwood Gallery on Canyon Road.


Real Wedding~Maggie and Kosta, the Reception!

My favorite part about planning a wedding is the design process.  I love getting to know the couple’s aesthetic when it comes to color, texture and style and put my right brain to work!  I usually ask the couple questions like: “how is your house decorated, where do you like to shop, and how would you describe your ideal day?”  Basically anything that gives me insight into their world helps me to develop a look and feel for their wedding. (Might I also add that Pinterest is an amazing tool for helping me understand what a bride has envisioned! )
Once I feel I have a clear idea, I love to draw sketches and renderings of what the designs may look like.  I’m always amazed when the final product is nearly a replica of the sketch.  See for yourself, how Maggie and Kosta’s wedding reception came to life! Photos courtesy of Ginger Russell Photography

The reception took place in the very beautiful Tabla Restaurant at the Hotel St. Francis.  I love this space because it offers a very clean and sophisticated canvas on which to design.  Maggie loved materials like peacock feather, pods, pine cones, moss and succulents.  Luckily the arsenal within my studio had everything she needed, like vintage teal mason jars and birch stump planters (not to mention my succulent farm). But the best thing for me was receiving two giant bushels of dried cotton from her father’s farm!  I worked those into the design of the tables and wow, was it stunning.  It completed the look in addition to being a very sentimental part of the wedding.

Even mother nature pitched in with adorable pine cone place cards!

I created custom table runners with fabric from Santa Fe Fabrics.  We wanted to keep Tabla’s beautiful wood tables exposed, but bring in a touch of teal, while at the same time keep it rustic with a frayed edge linen.

Then, there was cake.  Now this wasn’t just any cake, it was a fine Maggie’s Wedding Cakesexquisite creation, shaped like a church in Santorini! Oh, snap!  The cake was not only an homage to Kosta’s Greek heritage, but it signified the very Church where Kosta proposed to Maggie.  They even had a family friend create a beautiful watercolor of the special spot which also graced the cake table.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without succulents and a peacock or two!

10 months prior, Maggie and I were brainstorming and cooking up plans for a beautiful wedding.  After all of our hard work and thoughtful design it was a pleasure to see a beautiful reception filled with smiles, laughter, great food, fabulous desserts and even some Greek dancing!


Real Wedding~ Maggie & Kosta, Cocktail Hour

One of my favorite ways to create a memorable experience for the guests is to encourage interactivity.  For Maggie and Kosta’s wedding, I wanted guests to feel part of the experience, not just stand around and observe. We wanted cocktail hour to be filled with laughter, smiles, a bunch of fun and guests hollering, “OPA!”

Enter the custom cocktail bar:

We decided to take the signature drink to a whole new level.  We worked with Hotel St. Francis’s very own Santa Fe Barman, Chris Milligan to create infusions of cucumber vodka and lemon infused rum.  The flavored spirits were pre-poured into customized jars and then guests were invited to choose their own combination of summer berries and fresh herbs to add to their concoction.  The drinks were topped off with soda and ice, covered with a lid and the guests could shimmy and shake their very own cocktails!

Shake, sip, OPA!


First and last photos courtesy of Ginger Russell Photography.  Middle photos via the Hitching Post Instagram Feed.


Real Wedding~ Maggie and Kosta

Sometimes, after a wedding I get the blues.  I think this happens with any project, or big event, when it’s over, you miss the planning and the camaraderie that comes along with it.  For me, the connection that develops with the family is one of the best parts of the planning process.  This was the case with Maggie and Kosta’s wedding.  I had so much fun getting to know them and becoming part of the family.  As an event designer, I so treasure the privilege to be part of someone’s very personal day.

….Ok, enough of that sap.  Let’s get to the goodies!

Photographer extraordinaire, Ginger Russell captured some major beauty on Maggie and Kosta’s wedding day.  Hellooo Grace Kelly incarnate, right?!?  Maggie is gorgeous even without make-up, but Jess Evans rocked her wedding day beauty with custom hair and make-up.

Before I met Kosta, and had only seen a picture, I thought he was going to very serious and mysterious.  I was nervous to meet him, but it turns out he is the most lovable and hilarious guy!  He and Maggie are a such a handsome couple and so much fun to be around!

One of the most unique pieces of this wedding was that the ceremony took place in a Greek Orthodox Church, specifically St. Elias Church in Eldorado.  Kosta is from Greece and Maggie converted to Greek Orthodox to be married in this church.  Now, I go crazy over ceremonies steeped with tradition, and this one took the cake!

The inside of the church is decked out in amazing gilded iconography; it is truly a sight to behold!  (You can actually behold this sight on Thursdays from 11am-1pm- they are open for iconography viewing- get your buns over there!)

Maggie and I hit it off right away when she requested that some elements be “a little out of the box” so to speak. Instead of carrying flowering bouquets the bridesmaids carried hand-dipped beeswax candles that we adorned with a Kraft paper wax catcher and a sprig of Blue Thistle and Crespedia.

Oh my gorgeous!  Now hang on to your hose-panties because the cocktail hour had some fun surprises and the reception was beautiful….be back soon with more pictures!


Where my girls at?!

So, thinking of getting together with your best girl buds before the wedding?  Don’t necessarily feel like strutting around with a “Bachelorette” sash and getting hammered at the clubs?  Well here are a few ideas of some fun things to do while enjoying the company of your sweetest gal pals:


One of my favorite ways to relax is in a hot tub!  Ten Thousand Waves, a beautiful mountain spa nestled in the hills, provides a tranquil and zen escape from town.  They offer a selection of private and communal hot tubs, perfect to laze around and grab some rays at the same time!

Ojo Caliente is another great spot.  It’s a little further out of town, but rejuvenating in one of their hot springs will have you ready for your wedding weekend!  They even offer spa services, yoga classes and lodging. Catch this: they are offering a Girls Getaway Package right now! Hey! Hey!


Take a walking food tour of Santa Fe. Food Tour New Mexico offers a guided historic tour to selected restaurants where you will see cooks in progress and of course grab a sample of the restaurants’ finest offerings.  If you’re feeling saucy, they just added a tequila tasting class at the Ore House Milagro and a wine pairing class at the Coyote Cafe.


Up for a more hands on approach?  Take a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. They offer both demonstration style and hands-on classes.  They have a huge array of classes or you can learn to make classic New Mexican staples like chile, Tamales and Rellenos!


Gotta look fly for the wedding; might as well kill two birds with one stone and have a mani/pedi, facial or even a massage to keep you relaxed.  Many of the hotels in town offer full spa services and can put together special packages complete with champagne and a light lunch for your gals.

A few recs: Absolute Nirvana, La Posada de Santa Fe, NIDAH Spa at Eldorado, Loretto


Feeling a little more traditional?  The Hotel St. Francis offers RESPO, an afternoon tea and coffee service, complete with sherry and sweets every Friday and Saturday from 3-5pm.  You can even make reservations for a private party and enjoy goodies like Pastelles de Tres Leches, Belgian Chocoalte Torte and Farmer’s market cheeses. Num!


Feeling a little more adventurous? Mello Vello, a bicycle rental company offers city cruisers for you to explore town on your own.  Or if you don’t feel like pedaling, rent a motor scooter from iScoot. So European, no?