Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kaleigh + Jared

Once in a lifetime a client and event comes along that is so perfect that your heart breaks when it’s time to part ways.  I still have a lot of life to live, and there may be a few more, but when I met Kaleigh & Jared on that January afternoon at the Bridal Extravaganza, I knew they would be one of those clients. I knew I was up against some stiff competition, and after my follow up interview, I prayed and hoped I would be the one they chose.  Of course, I feel like this on all the interviews, but this one, I really wanted.  You know that moment when you find out the good news, conceal your enthusiasm, and then do the "I got it” jig behind closed doors, between you and me, that is exactly what happened.  

The vision was vintage and was to be a celebration of love at their family’s estate with touches of childhood memories throughout the event. It started with a distressed invitation design of blue and gold with vintage stamps covering the envelope.  Over the next year and half, Kaleigh and I collected vintage vases and decor accents. Birds were a consistent theme along with good friends and good food.  The ceremony, the cocktail hour, and the dinner reception each highlighted different areas of the beautiful estate. 

The ceremony was set on the front half of the property underneath the gazebo.  Kaleigh's bedroom was conveniently located adjacent to this area, which allowed for the girls to spy on the guests as they arrived. Guests arrived via trollies and were welcomed with Prosecco and Lavender Sodas placed on a old wood door left in the attic from a remodel done years earlier.  The wedding aisle started at the estate’s double doors and took the wedding party underneath a trellis adorned with a lush rose vine, which Kaleigh built with her Father.  The aisle continued down the garden path to the pool gazebo, which was draped with sheer ivory fabric.  Smylax cascaded over the gazebo while white dendrobium orchids hung down to give the effect of a wisteria vine.  The shepherd hooks along the aisle were wispy and filled with free formed florals composed of sage green hydrangeas, classic mums, baby's breath, and seeded eucalyptus.  The perfect Enzoani dress was found and became the inspiration for a stunning cake.  To compliment the gown, Kaleigh had picked out gold and blue earrings that here dad had given her.  Unfortunately they went missing, but Jared saved the day by finding a pair at a local jeweler. The boys attire was designed by Express and Jared’s outfit was finished off with Etsy customized bird cufflinks etched with their nicknames. The hand-tied bouquets were filled with white hydrangeas, peonies,  lisianthus, freesia, scabiosa, baby's breath, and mini green hydrangeas.  The boutonnieres and bouquets were accented with jewels resembling each friend’s personality. The customized wedding rings were designed by the family's jeweler at Houston Diamond Outlet.  Of course,  the wedding party would not be complete without the family dog, which I might add, was incredibly well behaved. 

Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour was centered around the pool and was filled with so many fun details.  Mint, cucumbers, blackberries, and fresh vegetables influenced the catering menu. Farm tables with vintage style platters became the foundation for the herb and floral encrusted chevre, Canadian cheddar, and St. Andre served with honeycomb, raisin baguettes, water crackers, seedless grapes, and strawberries.  The crudites bar of asparagus, baby carrots, cucumbers, and bright peppers was accompanied by hummus and oven baked pita slices.  

We celebrated the summer heat with a lemonade stand featuring ginger, watermelon, blackberry, and regular lemonade. Ice water with fresh cucumbers came to life when the family harvested cucumbers from their garden the day before.  The selections were served in mason jars with vintage straws and garnished with fresh fruit skewers. Texas Titos vodka was on hand in case your drink needed a little added kick.  Kaleigh has fond childhood memories of growing mint in their family garden (at one point it consumed the entire garden) which led to the selection of traditional mojitos as the passed signature drink. It didn't hurt that this beverage was also a favorite of Jared.  The mint was harvested and given to the caterer to accent the cocktails. 

The escort wall came together when screen doors were also found in the attic.   It was a true vintage masterpiece created by the family and adorned with lace ribbons for the names to be clipped to.  Kaleigh & Jared have a huge collection of photo-booth strips and it was quickly decided that this would become the guest book.  A boxwood backdrop accented with photos, (another Etsy find)  along with some of the coolest props became a huge hit.

Dinner Reception

With no walls to restrict us, the dinner reception’s footprint was a wedding planner’s dream come true. Family style tables covered a vast area and surrounded a wooden dance floor. Light strands and lanterns above gave the area a fairy tale glow.  The perimeter lighting highlighted the surrounding forest and accented the property’s trees.  With no trees or structure to run the light strands, thirty foot poles were augered fifteen feet into the ground to allow the lighting to span across the reception area (over 80’ in both directions).  This allowed for the poles to be weighted and remain unobtrusive.   A little accent of ivy vines and the poles blended nicely into the space.

The blue and gold theme continued as the family style tables were topped with dupioni silk linen, antique gold leaf chargers and blue water goblets.  The centerpieces as mentioned above were collected from consignment shops and flea markets.  No two vessels were alike, which made planning the logistical execution a top priority.  The tables were laid out ahead of time so floral could be accurately ordered.  The vessels were labeled and stored until the big day.  It was a very intricate process and my hat goes off  to the floral team.  The floral arrangements included white and green hydrangeas, classic mums, open vendela roses, open white majolika spray roses, green hypericum, baby's breath, star of Bethlehem, white sweet peas, green ameranthus, seeded eucalyptus. Small accents of birds, vintage handkerchiefs, picture frames, and other natural accents pulled together the eclectic table scape.  I wish I could have been in the floral workshop configuring these pieces, unwrapping them, remembering the vessels stored several months prior, and finally configuring them to bring the table to life.  It sounds like a barrel of fun to me!  But alas, much more to do.  Finally, a 50' long boxwood wall, salvaged vintage doors, lounge furniture, and assorted bird cages hung from the trees completed the vision.

The wedding cake design was inspired by Kaleigh's dress. A fondant base with piped detail stitch-work covering the cake with an overlay of heavy lace appliques, flowers, leaves, and vines.  A fondant luster sash and a large flower accent matching the dress completed the masterpiece.  Jared's grooms cake was inspired by his passion for the board game Risk and his love for steampunk. Both were so remarkable that it was hard to cut the first slice.  Iced cappuccinos and passed mango sorbet offered in miniature white chocolate dipped pizelle cones were added refreshment on this summer night.

After the guests danced the night away, wish lanterns were set free.  In doing so, a silent wish was granted to the bride and groom as they departed for their new adventure as husband and wife.  The party favors were also inspired by childhood memories.  The estate has luxurious pecan trees and Kaleigh's Father is obsessed with pecans, so miniature pecan pies were the perfect departing gift.  This was paired with one of Jared's passions, Dublin Dr. Pepper.  When we say passion, it might just be an understatement.  When Kaleigh & Jared started dating, he would visit her at the pizzeria where she worked.  Kaleigh would bring him PITCHERS of the sweet carbonated beverage.  Finally, the departure was finished off with a lavender toss and a vintage 1932 Pierce Arrow.

It was a beautiful, magical summer night.  One I will remember for a long time.  It was a pleasure to work with an incredible team of vendors to create such a beautiful moment in time for two wonderful people and their families. It was truly ENJOYable.

Event Planning & Design:  Enjoy Events
Catering:  A Fare Extraordinaire
Floral:  Dream Bouquet
Event Furniture, China, Silver, Glassware, Tables, Chairs, Boxwoods:  Swift & Co
Lighting:  Bright Star Productions
Dance Floor, Comfort Station, Catering Tent, Generators:  Aztec Tents and Events
Linen:  Elegant Beginnings
Cake:  Who Made The Cake
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music:  Acoustic Productions
DJ, MC, Photo booth:  JPL Entertainment
Guest Transportation:  The Original Trolley Company
Invitations, Program, Place Cards:  Invitation Solutions
Make up & Hair: Your Beautiful Face
Photographer & Videographer:  Steve Lee Weddings
Wedding Dress:  Paravini Vida
Shoes:  Oscar de la Renta
Rings: Houston Diamond Outlet
Groom's Attire:  Express
Officiant:  Dr. Robert Creech
Vintage Car:  Wash Unique Antique Limousines 
Floral Recycle: Floranthropy
Event Recycle:  We Can Recycle

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kaleigh's Bridal

One of my most favorite things is meeting beautiful souls. It just makes what I do truly enjoyable.  Kaleigh is one of those souls and posting her bridal portraits are just the beginning of being able to share that soul.   The wedding was held earlier this month at her families estate.  Not only a flawless setting for the wedding, but her bridal shoot as well.  These are a few of my favorites.

Photographer:  Steve Lee Photography
Flowers:  Dream Bouquet
Make up & Hair:  Your Beautiful Face