Clean lines and minimal styling has evolved into my personal favorite aesthetic. Maybe it’s because editing is so much more challenging than adding, that I find it really rewarding. I’m also a firm believer in “less is more.” So, I’m really digging this mood board that I created for a shoot I’m working on this fall.
Christine and Ben area a New York couple who love to spend time relaxing in the southern culture of New Orleans. They feel like the city brings out their fun-loving personalities, in contrast to their busy professional lives in Manhattan. So they’ve chose NOLA to get married next spring and are anxious to share their love of the city with their friends and families! Meghan Kay Sadler and I got a taste of this as we toured some of their favorite spots this past spring for their engagement session.
See the full feature on Once Wed here. Captured by the crazy talented MK Sadler. The way she captures light is magical. This wedding is going to be one for the books!
Our second SEE Sessions was held in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jessica Lorren and I really enjoyed our time with our attendees. The styling practice we do is always everyone’s favorite. This session, we had an optional additional day where Jess and I worked together to style and shoot a story about an artist. The scene was set in a warehouse, where light was filtering in on the canvas that served as the medium for this painter’s work. She works in her free time, as painting is her one true love.
Natalie, one of our beautiful brides, has been known to host very elaborate parties in the past, so for this particular wedding we’re reaching to achieve the “wow” factor! While “wow” goes hand-in-hand with “big,” there is an importance to making sure their special day feels warm and personalized. All of Natalie’s and Everett’s guest will be traveling to Nashville for their wedding, so it was important to set the tone with their save-the-dates. The talented calligrapher, Karla of Written Word, is orchestrating all of the paper design for the wedding. We asked her to scribe “bon voyage”, which we had gold foil pressed into brown leather luggage tags. Each guest received a kraft box with the luggage tags and a map of Nashville to serve as a precursor for their eventual arrival. Below is a glimpse of their stunning invitations that Karla captured.
Natural colors always set a tone even if it’s unintentional. Natalie is drawn to neutrals with deep green and gold accents. This rich color palette allows for us to keep a warm and inviting feel for such a grande event. A prime example of this palette would be the placemats that I sourced for the head table. The mats are square which allows for either parallel or diamond set-ups. Their gold and white colors will be complimentary to the scheme of the wedding.
As if that wasn’t enough gold (because when can you really have too much?) we are working on a gold bead installation that will suspend above the dance floor or band. This idea is in keeping with the common theme of “organic elegance.” By trying something new, we’re constructing an element that is unique to Natalie and Everett and will have guests saying “I’ve never seen that before.”
The great thing about the “before” to every story is that it’s open ended. Things change, ideas evolve and new ones arise. There’s never a dull moment and there’s always room to be better. There isn’t a cookie-cutter mold or predictable formula to follow. Just like each couple has a different story, so does their wedding and I love being the one that gets to share it with all of you. So you can be on the look out for Natalie and Everett’s “after” piece, which will feature the final product. I hope that they will not only showcase the character and personality of the couples I’m so honored to work with, but also the ways to achieve harnessing that personality in decor and style.
Teak & Twine is a company that curates gift boxes that embody everything good about giving. In the owner, Torrance’s words, the brand feels like a cup of coffee and a cozy sweater on a foggy Sunday morning. It embodies warmth, coziness, familiarity. It was a joy to work with the Torrance and Tec Petaja to style shots for Teak & Twine’s website last week. Here’s the mood board I put together for the shoot. I seriously can’t wait for the company’s launch this fall!
Karrah is aesthetically-driven and creative. She knew from the beginning that she wanted to create a wedding ceremony that honored her small-town heritage and a reception that felt like a warm, inviting dinner party with all her close friends and family. The ceremony was held at an old, small church down the street from The Cordelle, a restored Victorian-style home from the late 1800s in downtown Nashville. It was important to Karrah that the ceremony feel like home, a small town in west Tennessee.
For the reception, we drew inspiration from Karrah’s favorite shade of blue. We sourced a West Elm rug for her newly renovated bungalow that became a focal point. Linen lounge seating around the fireplace welcomed guests in. Karrah found the perfect ribbons from one of her trips back to NYC that we paired with ribbon and silks from Silk & Willow. Having worked in the wedding industry and having some experience with floral design herself, the flowers were another focal point in the design. The loose arrangements by Vintage Florals were filled with texture and contrast. Jackson vine adorned every nook.
Guests dined on an Tuscan-inspired meal and enjoyed conversation while a baby grand piano was played in the background. As guests mingled out on the porch, a Barista created specialty coffee drinks to enjoy with carmel pound cake while old vinyl records filled the air. Karrah and Jamie departed through a lawn of candlelight, where hundreds of candles were scattered by the big Hackberry tree.
These two. They’ve been a joy to work with, including their engagement session in Nashville this summer. I can’t wait for their spectacular wedding weekend in a few months! Images beautifully captured by Tec Petaja.
Paper design is an art form, and should be treated as such. Save-the-dates and invitations set the tone for any event. If you give a little extra time and attention to the design, your guests will anticipate the event day.
When it comes to paper, the save-the-dates are often overlooked. This is because it’s one of the first things you have to do and it takes a good bit of effort to get the guest list sorted. We recently worked with a client to achieve an announcement that “wowed” her guests. We sent luggage tags engraved with “bon voyage” and we’re still hearing about it months later. Her invitations haven’t even been printed for her fall wedding, but her guests are already checking their mailboxes in anticipation!
Your invitation suite should represent not only the event, but you and your partner’s values. For instance, this handwritten invitation felt more like a personalized letter. This couple’s wedding reception was a family-style dinner hosted in the Carriage House of the Belle Meade Plantation earlier this year. It was a warm and inviting evening in the middle of winter! All images by Nathan Westerfield
A bride is surrounded by the most important people in her life on her wedding day. She is comforted and cared for by her maidens as she prepares to walk down the aisle. Those few moments are precious and should be celebrated.
I had the pleasure of working with Weddington Way to style a bridesmaid brunch to celebrate the launch of their line of bridesmaid dresses. Here is just a small snapshot of inspiration to spend quality time with your dearest friends and family on your big day. All photos by Tec Petaja.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
There’s a concept I’ve been working on for Cottage Hill’s next magazine and it’s going to be so fun to bring it together in a few weeks. For now, here’s my inspiration board for an evening of community.