It's been quite a week and it was capped off by our feature in Reverie Magazine's Winter 2013 issue.
I am beyond thrilled that Jessica + Joe's Sonoma wedding by the uber awesome team of Allyson Wiley and planner Kelly McLesky-Dolata of A Savvy Event was featured in the Real Wedding Inspirations.
Designing the flowers for Jessica(and Joe, too!) was a dream come true for me. Despite what many people think might be stressful, I found planning a wedding with my out of town clients simply blissful.
Jessica, the sweetheart that she is, had a very clear vision of something romantic, feminine, natural, and all around timeless. Honestly, Jessica and Joe were so laid back and open minded that of the many ideas I remember throwing out, almost all of them were met with an enthusiastic "yes"! Of course, walking around Joe's family Green Acre Ranch, I was immediately captivated by the grand trees -- bent, twisted, arms reaching toward the heavens. It was magical and organic all in one. What a backdrop of design!
This bridge was 32 feet long and a design challenge for me. We had to decorate it so that guests could see if from afar because Jessica was going to walk over it during the processional. But it also had to withstand direct sunlight.
Given that it was also a surprise gift from Joe's mother, Mary Ann. I had to keep it a secret from the couple but also I had to make sure it still blended with the natural grove as well as her timeless, romantic style. Two
I know I often stress that working in a team environment is THE key to a productive and success event design. But it really is. Kelly and I always saw eye to eye on details. Like the hanging lanterns for the ceremony.
We feed off of each other's energy and we always encouraged, not discouraged free thinking(which usually led to lots of giggling and laughing). We bounced back ideas for the ceremony. I remember that we both loved a curved aisle and that's what we do! It was made out of burlap and custom cut and sewn by my dearest friend, Anne Millett of Mira Aster Designs. She is a goddess! I searched fabric stores from San Mateo to Santa Rosa because we needed 50+yards(each store had random bolts ranging from 5 yards to 15 yards). We finally pieced together 2 25 yd bolts side by side to create a runner that was 8 to 9 feet wide. From that we laid it out on the ground the day before and cut out the edges to create a curved aisle. Kelly and Courtney(her awesome assistant) followed the curve of the aisle to set the chairs so that it looks like it was a seamless fit. The curved aisle narrowed to two trees where we hung(actually 3 guys from Wine Country Party Rentals hung) the lanterns. Anne, my assistant Alisa, Courtney, and I all helped supervise the hanging of the lanterns which we hung with hundreds of ribbon streamers.
Due to the heat, we did not want the flowers to be out in the sun so the lanterns with ribbons were hung the day before. Note, that this is a luxury that most clients don't often have but it helped us tremendously the day of the wedding.
Another reason why a wedding can be stressful free is when the client says to you, "use what flowers look best with our style". This is a great lesson!
I don't think Jessica ever gave me a list of flowers that she liked or disliked. Her answer was often for me to use my best judgement and to choose what I knew was the best in the market that week. And truly --- that's what happened!!!! We got wonderful David Austen roses from my go to wholesaler, Torchio Nursery. Our Cafe au Lait dahlias came from Mr Figone's Nursery in Half Moon Bay. They managed to style fresh despite the heat though many did "wilt" We luckily brought dozens and dozens of extras which is key for hot hot water. (One thing you might note for designer, dahlias will wilt so make sure to quick dip them! and put them in deep water!).