Most of you probably know that I'm a firm believer that a wedding can go from simply beautiful, to downright jaw-dropping by maximizing the use of two things - paper and flowers. Flowers, while often pricey, can usually be found at the heart of any romantic love story, and they seem to bring a venue to life through sight and smell...and paper? I often find that paper brings a significant amount of personality and character to an event. Chain link garlands strung from the ceilings, a framed copy of the bride's favorite poem, "Fun Facts" and conversation starters at the center of the dinner table...all of these things bring something to a wedding that no other decorative detail can replicate. I see weddings on a daily basis that prove these theories to be true, and the real wedding that I'm featuring today proves no differently.
The first thing you'll notice about this wedding are the flowers. They're so creative, so bright and so vibrant, that they're pretty much impossible to miss! With a textured mix of golden wheat, cymbidium orchids, dahlias, leonidas, roses and bright blue thistle, dotted with the more unexpected pincushion orange protea, sunset safari and scabiosa pods, the floral arrangements by Fleur Flowers really are one-of-a-kind! Like most details that require risk and show real creativity (how many people hate roses, really?), you're either going to love these arrangements or hate them; I, for one, am completely fascinated!
While slightly more muted, the second piece of the puzzle - the paper, of course - is also prominent in this winery wedding. The bride, Janel, actually designed and printed all of their wedding invitations, save the dates and other decorative items herself, with a "Natural, vintage countryside," theme in mind. Her and the groom, Devin, chose the peaceful and rustic Still Waters Vineyards in Paso Robles, California as the setting for their big day last May. Skillfully photographed by Melina Wallisch Photography, Janel took on most of the decorative wedding details herself, using a unique and slightly earthy slate blue, terra-cotta and gold color palette. The colors used for the day reminded me of a sunset with the blue, golden and occasional bright orange tones.
You'll have to forgive me, because I was going to try describing all of Janel's DIY projects myself, in my own words, but I kept finding that Janel's seemed to describe them best! Here's her breakdown:
"The centerpieces used glass bottles of varying sizes that I purchased from the Pasadena Flea Market and garage sales. We got a bucket of flowers from the florist the day before and spent time after the rehearsal dinner filling them all up. I got pieces of linen in slate blue for the color square accent on each of the tables, as most of the flowers [used in the centerpieces] were gold or terra-cotta colored."
"The check-in table consisted of [wine] corks cut with each persons name on a tag that we had printed in a vintage font. This table also had vintage tea tins, an old produce box and and an urn filled with wheat, peat moss and lavender. These surrounded the base of the "Wishing Tree" that we had set up for people to attach their name tags to with a wish for Devin and I written on the back."
"The candy table containers were labeled with the same tags [used on the Wishing Tree guest book], only larger. These glass containers were wrapped with coordinating color ribbons...to keep with our original color scheme. We put burlap over an outdoor counter with gold chiffon and blue satin to showcase the contrasting rustic surroundings with the more elegant occasion."
"We also made a memory picture area, [which we called "A trip down memory lane,"] where we strung pictures of both of us from childhood all the way up to our engagement using twine and mini clothes pins."
"We weren't allowed [to use] sparklers like I originally wanted, so we got small wooden skewers and gold ribbon to make
small wands people could shake as we left the reception. Lastly, we created a photo booth using a large frame of PVC pipe, draped with muslin fabric... During the reception, guests could head over and take photographs using the webcam we had set up, using a photobooth software that we loaded onto the [accompanying] computer."
Much like their wedding, Devin had his marriage proposal to Janel planned to a "T". After dating for five years and designing Janel's engagement ring together, Devin took it upon himself to set up a proposal that he nor Janel would ever forget. After attending an opera in Los Angeles, Devin escorted Janel on a walk that ultimately led them to the epic Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. From there, Devin took Janel through a maze of stairs and rooms, and they ended up on the roof of the concert hall, where they were surrounded by the city's skyscrapers and lights. It was then that Devin got down on one knee and proposed to Janel, and well, we know how that turned out! :)
Last, I wanted to leave you brides with some great and practical advice from Janel...
"We wanted our experience to feel like the last scene in Under the Tuscan Sun; friends and family, young and old, with good food, good wine, laughing and dancing. Start with an idea of how you want the day to feel, what type of experience that you want to have. Then, think about the experience that you want your guests to have; this makes it more personal and genuine. Don't get too caught up in the small details; no one ever remembers them. Do the trial on the hair and makeup - totally priceless! Look on Craigslist and at flea markets for inspiration and deals."
I really love that part Janel said about the details. For as much time and energy that she put into her wedding decor (and as beautiful as all of the details were), she still reminded us that you definitely don't want to sacrifice your experience for them. I always feel so sorry for brides that let their big day just pass them by because they're too worried about what goes where and when things happen. This is a great reason to hire a professional, if you can, of course, but if it's not in the budget, try to remember that no one really remembers what your place cards looked like. I remember being so stressed the day or two before my wedding day, but when the day actually arrived, I put all of that stuff out of my mind and just went with it. Sure, some things didn't go exactly the way that I had planned (our iPod was hijacked by my MOH halfway through the reception), but you go with it, and it ends up being a funny "Remember when" kind of moment. It's the one thing that I'm the most grateful for...all of the memories. Sure, it went by way too quickly (as most great things in life tend to do), but I remember loving and relishing in it all. And honestly, I hardly remember how my napkins were folded!
Vintage, Sunset Hued Winery Wedding - Vendors & Credits
Photographer: Melina Wallisch Photography
Hair Stylist: Wedding Hair Designs by Vicki Fluitt
Caterer: Pacific Harvest
Event Planner: Captivating Events by Megan
Floral Designer: Fleur Flowers
Reception Venue: Still Waters Vineyards
Cinema and Video: Fig Leaf Productions
Cake Designer: On A Lark Cupcakes
DJ: LaBarbera Sound
Makeup Artist: Eternal Aesthetics