Duet Weddings

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

And I'm back..
July 8, 2011

I've long had dreams of what my "I'm back & blogging!" post would be like. My "drafts" folder resembles something of a wasteland of half-written posts- weddings I've planned, shoots I've styled, press that I am proud of.. All buried beneath half-written posts of apology- explanations for my lack of posts, and the various "good reasons" as to why I've been kept from blogging.
I was stalled in a place of no return. Easier to post nothing at all. Like I needed something really good, something really big to come back with.
So here it is. My biggest, best work to date.
Holden William Stone.
Isn't he scrumptious? I can't help but just stare at him all day long..
Motherhood is the most remarkable, exhausting, rewarding, incredible job in the world. There are no words for how lucky I feel.
I've closed up the studio this Spring/Summer season to enjoy this special time, but will be opening up shop again in the early fall booking for 2012. Deepest apologies to any unreturned inquiries (I've recently learned that my "out of office auto-reply" function was not working properly!) and thanks from the bottom of my heart for all of the warm wishes I've received!!
ps- I DO plan to put up those aforementioned posts as well as others- stay tuned!


S + D's Wedding
October 12, 2009
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Ok, so I am way behind on blogging. I am also way behind on my emails & calls. And on cleaning my office. And on working out..
It is that end-of-summer, how-is-it-really-fall-kind of time- a strange place where the frenzy of the summer wedding rush may be winding down, but I am still in a constant state of catch up as fall weddings begin and 2010 is strangely right around the corner..
But, I digress. That is not what this post is about. This post is about S + D and their incredible wedding.
I often find myself stuck with a serious case of writer's block as I begin a post about a couple and their wedding. So much emotion comes rushing back to me as I reflect on the couple, our planning journey together, and of course, their beautiful day. With S + D, I am truly overwhelmed. Can I really put all of my feelings into words in a simple blog post?
I'll never forget the first time S called. Her familiar voice was hard to place, but there was a soothing, comfortable way about it- like I'd known her forever. When I met her, I found my star-struck feeling was quickly replaced with something bigger- I was human-struck. Because it isn't her gorgeous, movie-star beauty or the fact that she is a brilliant actress that makes S, S. It is the fact that within moments of meeting her, she is embracing you with a warm hug, inviting you in her kitchen and serving you eggs. It is her gentle and caring smile as she describes the way she envisions her wedding day. It is her loving glances toward D with every word. Theirs is a love that is so true and so real. Something completely inspiring and enviable. And their wedding day would be a reflection of that in every way.
The breathtaking Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse, deep in the mountains of the Santa Barbara wine country would provide the setting for the beautiful celebration. The farmhouse was built in the 1700's and moved from New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia (respectively.) I love old houses- and this one in particular- with it's old, wood-smoke smell and stories literally echoing from the walls, will truly transport you to another place. The setting may be rustic- but more so, it is majestic. In a way that would take anyone's breath away the very moment they drive in. And what a drive it is! As you wind through the mountains on a twisty, one lane "road" you may likely find yourself doubting whether there could be *anything* out there. Being so far removed from civilization- from lights or paved roads or cell phone towers- almost to a point of discomfort, you will stumble upon the small gravel driveway. And just as S + D's guests did, you will enter another world.
The farmhouse provided inspiration for the design of the day. It would be simple but thoughtful, rustic and vintage, mismatched and colorful, with a touch of country charm- which when all placed together in such a beautiful, natural setting creates a tone of relaxed elegance. Rather than commit to a specific color palette- S wanted it to come naturally via whatever the freshest, local flowers were that weekend. We focused on textures- like raw wood and burlap alongside linen kitchen towels (which were used in place of napkins!) I collected vintage tins during the planning process to hold loose blooms (Any tin from England on ebay and local fleas were quickly snatched up by me to honor where S is from.) Mason jars, vintage furniture, antique quilts and loads of little collected bits and pieces were incorporated..

Enjoy these jaw-droppingly beautiful photos from the talented and amazing, Max Wanger.


S+D's wedding weekend was kicked off with a Friday night "welcome dinner" at the Farmhouse, complete with enormous pans of paella, (courtesy of the always fabulous "Duo,") a Beatles karaoke band (seriously, does it get ANY better than that? I think not..) and an overwhelming sense of excitement and anticipation.


These bags welcomed guests as they arrived to their hotel rooms. I used burlap and screen-printed muslin tears to personalize the bags. They were filled with yummy treats like Santa Barbara pistachios and toblerone chocolate and also practical travel bits- sunscreen, lipbalm, advil, etc.

On the wedding day, guests were treated to a pre-ceremony cocktail gathering where they were greeted by beautiful rows of mason jars with freshly squeezed greyhounds, sipped through old fashioned, paper straws.





Old drawers held S & D's programs which we displayed on an antique table. Old cabinet doors got new life as sweet signs that we dotted throughout the wedding. 


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Vintage trunks at the ends of the aisle held parasols for guests to shade themselves during the ceremony.



Bowls of dried flowers were placed on the ceremony benches for guests to toss on the newlyweds as they came back up the aisle. 

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Easily my favorite escort card display I've done yet! We collected dozens and dozens of vintage, mismatched bottles, each which held a single bloom and featured a small tag with names and table numbers. We displayed the bottles in a vintage desk. :) Big thanks to Bianca of Little Miss Press for her beautiful calligraphy!


There is an ostrich farm on the property, and this little guy wanted to join the fun.







Charming, vintage tins overflowing with colorful blooms, courtesy of my dear friend Camille..

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There was such a beautiful, loving energy in the air all night..

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Yes, those stars in the sky are real. 

S+D, I cannot begin to thank you enough for all of your love and kindness and for entrusting me with your beautiful wedding day and letting me be a part of something so unbelievably special. I feel forever changed by knowing you, and am so grateful for our friendship! Drinks soon!! :)

A big thanks to our vendor dream team-
Location- Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse (xoxox Gretchen!!)
Photography- Max Wanger (and Margaux!)
Catering- Ashley & Brian and the amazing team of Duo Events!
Flowers- Camille Panzarello, Modern Day Design
Lighting- Bella Vista


Shout out- Mary Ann Goodhue
October 5, 2009
I am not sure if I will ever, ever come down off the high from this past weekend and June & Paul's most incredible wedding. I cannot stop smiling from it all. (A huge post will come as soon as I get the pics!)
I am way behind on a lot of things right now- but I wanted to do a quick post to give a shout out to Mary Ann Goodhue for not only her beautiful calligraphy, but her beautiful heart and ability to pull off a small miracle for me. When the company misplaced the order I put in for the walnut wood escort cards to be sent to her (something I found out just days before the wedding) I felt completely panicked. Mary Ann would literally have hours to complete all of the cards before overnighting them to me (she is in MICHIGAN, no less!)
Not only did she get everything done in time, but it was absolutely beautiful work, and when I opened the box, I almost cried- the cards were even alphabetized for me!!!
Thanks to Mary Ann, we created an escort card display hung along lengths of twine that was gorgeous- (even if it was a bit difficult to untie them from the line! :)
Thanks from the bottom of my heart, Mary Ann!!


Chris & Ainjil's wedding
August 6, 2009

Behind Chris & Ainjil’s tattooed, rocker exteriors are utter romantics. They of course would never admit this out loud, but a peek into the files of ‘Ainjil’s favorite things’ would reveal a love of the French countryside, dried lavender, antique chandeliers, a home filled with imported scented candles, and loads of overstuffed lacy pillow shams. A simple question of how they met would reveal a soft glint in each of their eyes bringing them back to the moment- a truly romantic tale- she a singer in a band, he recording her album.
The wedding design was inspired by their love story, and their love of beautiful things. It would be elegant without being fussy, and it would transport guests to another time and place. Vintage touches, a bit of mismatched charm, comforting foods and music dancing on the air- all night long.
The photos below are all from my dear, dear friend Jose Villa. Jose's photos are always so pure- his film captures such beauty and emotion. His work is timeless, elegant, dreamlike. Jose- a million and one thanks for everything that you do!!






























Some details...
Guests were greeted upon arrival with a “make-your-own” champagne cocktail station, where they could serve themselves with fancy little spoons to create little cocktails of their choice before heading to their seats for the ceremony. Along the way, we displayed vintage umbrellas for guests to help themselves to and use for shade.
A single, massive chandelier hung from the Oak under which Ainjil & Chris exchanged vows and tiny muslin sacks containing dried flower buds were used for tossing as they came back up the aisle.
Cocktail hour was full of merriment- we created little vignettes using different lawn games- an antique croquet set in one corner, horseshoes in another, vintage badminton set in another. The space was dotted with ruffley vintage pagoda style umbrellas- one under which sat a silhouette artist who created little masterpieces with his hands as guests looked on in awe.
An antique riddling rack stood alone displaying guests’ escort tags, and a framed record of ‘Chris & Ainjil’s song’ placed atop stacks of sheet music was used for signing.
Guests moved inside an old barn for dinner, where more chandeliers twinkled from the rafters. The enormous, open barn presented challenges with Chris & Ainjil’s intimate group, so we sectioned off with fabric and ribbon (we created a 24’ wide wall made entirely of ribbon- in varying shades of antique, muted tones) to create different spaces. The ribbon wall was an incredible labor of love, but the effect was pure whimsy and elegance!!
The bride has a serious sweet tooth, so a gorgeous dessert display was in order. (Guests were delighted to nibble throughout the evening, and take home in bags at the end of the night.)
On the table tops, loose creamy blooms filled collected silver pieces, while mismatched china made for unexpected dinner plates. We stamped table numbers on burlap bags which the dinner wine was placed inside of, and wrapped it loosely with antique velvet and lace ribbons.
At the end of the night, the couple danced to their first dance, “performed” by Jim Reeves. (A large screen was placed behind the dance floor, and a black-and-white projection of Jim Reeves singing created the effect of him serenading them at that moment..) It was a truly magical sight!
Ainjil & Chris- thank you so much for allowing me to take part in your amazing planning process and absolutely incredible day. Thank you for trusting my crazy ideas and for allowing me to be a part of your lives for the past year and a half!! I already miss our wine and cheese nights, our afternoon brunches and our back and forth texting sessions on Bachelorette nights!! (hehe..) I feel so lucky to have gotten to know you and to call you friends. :)

Thanks also to-
Anneke & Miki- my girls who make everything that you see possible!!
SBBBQ for the incredible meal and always warm and friendly faces
Camilla Svensson Burns for the yummy florals
Bella Vista for the gauzey fabric draping and elegant chandeliers
Anthony Ybarra- my all time favorite guitarist- EVER
DJ Nahchey for the great tunes
Saral Burdette for the most personal, beautiful ceremonies you have ever witnessed
TEAM for the gorgeous hair and makeup

And saving the best for last-
Joel Serrato for cinematography that will make any grown man cry. (It's that good.) Where to begin with my love for Joel Serrato? His film blows me away every time. I could watch Chris & Ainjil's film over and over (and over) again...
Check it out!!

Untitled from joel serrato on Vimeo.


Photo of placecards

You have just experienced one of the most incredible events of your life. The person who you love most in the world has popped the question and you have answered 'yes!' The whirlwind of the wedding planning world has now opened- questions and excitement from friends and family, your childhood wedding dreams re-visited, wedding magazines taunting you from the shelves of the check out lanes. You are finding yourself with a new language. A vocabulary full of words such as Fiancé, Chivari chairs, fondant--words you had no idea that you knew and now they seem to run off your tongue effortlessly.

I know how fast everything seems and how overwhelming it all can feel at first, so I created this blog to help answer questions, give advice and inspire new ideas.

Something Old
June 2007
July 2007
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September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
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April 2008
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October 2009
July 2011