What’s better than a warm, cozy blanket on a cold, dark winter day? That’s how this photoshoot from my September archives feels this week - it warms up the room with its golden-bronze, rich burgundy, and sky blue pops of color. The majesty of a Carson Valley sunset doesn’t hurt, either. The Dangberg Ranch is one of my favorite spots in town to watch the sun go down. Its rustic, historic charm is perfect for a late summer wedding!
This shoot was a fun creative collaboration between myself, the oh-so-talented photographer Amy K Graves, and the amazing hair and makeup artist Jessica Ream (who just so happened to do the makeup for my own wedding day several years ago!). We had fun dreaming up a casual and rustic, but still effortlessly elegant look for the day. Jess perfectly executed a warm smoky eye and romantic waves on our model that beautifully complemented the ivory gown she wore. All looked gorgeous against the historic buildings, barn, and mountain backdrops of the ranch.
This shoot was all about textures. Dried fluffy grasses next to creamy white O’Hara roses, a soft blanket and pillows on a rustic wooden bench, jewel-toned flowers in an antique silver urn. My favorite element was the repurposed wine barrel we found on the property. Aged wood and metallic gold = a perfect combination!
Our gorgeous models, Frank and Amber, are a real-life love inspiration. The way they look at each other had me tearing up a few times during the shoot. Their actual wedding is coming up this fall and I couldn’t be more happy for them!
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let the golden glow of this enchanted evening warm your soul as it does mine.
All the best,
Photographer: Amy K Graves
Hair & Makeup Artist: Jessica Ream
Florals: Sunflower & Sage
Venue: Dangberg Ranch
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
There are so many things I love about this season: Pretty lights and decorations, yummy food, and especially time with loved ones. It’s a chance to see the people we don’t often get to see, and spend even more time with the people we do see on a regular basis.
I’ve had fun getting into the seasonal spirit the past couple weeks. My husband and I kicked it off by joining some friends in cutting our own tree for the second year in a row. I’m somewhat of a holiday purist - no fake trees in my house! Getting a permit and cutting from the wild not only provides a fun, adventurous day out with friends, but also ensures that we get a fresh, beautiful tree that stays alive throughout the month (and gives a clear conscience on healthy foresting practices). We bring a thermos of coffee and Bailey’s and enjoy the crisp winter day. Last year it rained, but this year was bright and beautiful. We all bring our dogs, and they have a blast playing in the snow!
The tree we chose was a lovely white fir. It ended up needing quite a bit of trimming to fit in our living room (images from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ran through my head), so we ended up with a bunch of extra branches. They were begging to be made into something! Our friends, knowing my fondness for making things, donated their trimmed branches to the cause. With a studio full of winter greens, I decided to try my hand at wreath-making.
What started out as a modestly-sized wreath soon grew into a 3-foot-plus monster. It would never fit on our front door, so I started looking for an appropriate place to put it. My family’s annual Christmas party for some of our closest friends was coming up at my parent’s house, which is a large, Craftsman-style affair. Their epic front entrance would be perfect for an epic wreath to accent the occasion.
A splurge on some beautiful hot-pink Chilean peonies provided the inspiration for the floral cluster of roses and tulips that polished off the look. A couple cute little boutonnieres made with the leftovers looked great on my dad and uncle, who got roped into modeling for me. They were good sports about it, though. The party was a wonderful day full of laughs, good food, and time with loved ones.
I hope your holiday season is full of the same. All my best,
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing the flowers for a very special wedding in Santa Barbara. One of my oldest and dearest friends was marrying the love of her life, and I was thrilled to be both their floral designer and a bridesmaid.
The big event took place at the beautiful Riviera Mansion on Santa Barbara St., a stately, old-world university club that was perfect for Audrey and Bharat’s elegant, classic, Old-Hollywood-glamorous day. Neutrals with a pop of rich burgundy were the presiding colors, and the bridesmaids sparkled in rose gold sequin gowns.
The flowers were a joy to create. Audrey and I came up with a vision of classic, elegant, and organic pieces that accented the grandeur of the Riviera Mansion. A large garland of eucalyptus, bay, and pepperberry strung over the grand living room fireplace was the highlight of the indoor area, and similar eucalyptus garlands ran down the long family-style dinner tables. The groomsmen and adorable ringbearer looked dapper in their burgundy boutonnieres, and the bridesmaids’ gowns were accented with lush bouquets of dahlias, garden roses, lisianthus, and blushing bride protea.
Many thanks to Florabundance Inc. who provided me with gorgeous product and a convenient workspace where I could put it all together. Working away from my home suppliers and studio could have been very stressful, but thanks to them the week was as easy as possible. Also, many thanks to Kelly Raba, the awesome day-of coordinator who ensured that the day went off smoothly and without a hitch, and the amazingly talented photographers James & Jess for their warmth and community spirit.
All wedding days are events to be remembered, but this one was extra-special as Audrey had just found out the night before that she had passed the bar exam to become a California lawyer. What a weekend!
Before they headed off on their two-week honeymoon to Italy (!), the bride and groom hosted a morning-after brunch in the gorgeous rose garden of the Santa Barbara Mission for their family and friends. I spent most of the morning wandering the sunny flower beds with coffee in hand, marvelling over the dozens of lovely rose varieties still in bloom. The beauty of the garden, and a wedding made special by beloved friends and family, stuck with me the whole drive home to Nevada.