“Romantic nostalgic couture”. These are the three adjectives that I used to articulate and inspire the vision for Kylee and David’s wedding.
Kylee and David found the most special setting for their wedding in Guerneville, CA. The Dawn Ranch Lodge is a unique venue with a resort, restaurant and pool. The land is sprawling and diverse and the owner is extraordinarily flexible and accommodating. Michael worked with us to curate our event exactly as we imagined it.
A ring of trees in the forest set with a collection of furniture became the perfect stage for the wedding ceremony, while an open meadow felt appropriate for a photo shoot and an apple orchard became just the right site for a dinner and a first dance, followed by a scene change to the historic lodge for coffee. Kylee and David rented the resort for the weekend and their families were able to enjoy time together swimming in the pool, skipping stones off the river and roasting marshmallows over the fire.
I have always thought of Kylee as a classic woman and I knew I needed to see white somewhere on her on her wedding day, when she modeled her fanciful wedding dress in beige, it was missing an element of tradition for me. As I explained that an all white bridal bouquet would pop against her almond colored dress, I excitedly grabbed a white ceramic artichoke from the chest of drawers in her childhood bedroom and placed it in her hands clasped against her dress.
A classic all-white rose bouquet was a hard sell because Kylee transcends the typical, but Kylee was surprised at the different personalities that exist among the rose community! I used 3 different varieties of roses: white avalanche, sweet small bridal akito’s, and giant headed polo roses. I used white scabiosa flowers to add movement and texture, Kylee was so delighted by how much character that little flower brought to her bouquet that she wanted to see those on every table. I collared her bouquet in maidenhair fern, which has a really soft and dreamy texture but a bold and unassuming bright fresh green color. To tie off and trim Kylee’s bouquet I cut and ripped, braided and wrapped, strung and hung wide long strips of fabrics in neutral tones of cremes, grays, browns and navy.
We decided right away that Kylee’s maids needn’t carry a mass of flowers, we wanted something more ethereal and cooler than an ordinary maids bouquet. That white ceramic artichoke that I shoved into Kylee’s hands as a mock bridal bouquet gained significance, it dawned on me that a single artichoke would make the perfect prop for Kylee’s maids. The structured long-stemmed artichoke wand complimented her bridesmaid dresses in both form and color. I collared the chokes in million star babies breath accented with small sequined wire branches that mimic the shape of the babies breath. I fashioned a metal mesh screen around the stem and laced it together like a corset with a hand dyed silk ribbon. These made for lightweight yet durable, interesting yet affordable alternatives to a maids bouquet and a nice new inventive style to juxtapose her bouquet that honors the past. I carried this juxtaposition through to the groomsmen’s boutineeres. While on a walk one day, I happened upon the pod of a magnolia flower and noticed its similarity to the artichoke and it became the perfect companion to a rose.
Kylee wanted an array of cakes rather than one stacked cake. I set the scene for the cakes with metal, glass and wood, lace and linen. Candlelight and indoor furniture looked so dreamy outdoors in the apple orchard. We liked the starkness of the white cake and the interest of different frosting textures so I decided to minimally decorate the cakes. I found the seed pods of the scabiosa flower which correspond with the shape of the billy balls but are softer in color and texture and look so magical. Peony’s have always been a favorite of Kylee’s and the fluffy white multi petaly flower fit right in next to the frosting.
Kylee wanted a collection of vases on her tables so I gathered vintage milk glass of varying shapes and sizes and chose to cluster and showcase in them several types of plant matter: live earthy green moss, delicate and airy white million star, the flouncy scabiosa that Kylee loves so much, fun bright green spriggy structured Kermit poms, and mustard yellow geometric billy balls. Hydrangea plants planted in tin can’s on kids tables tied in the imagery from their save the date of a heart talking to a brain by means of a tin can telephone. The table numbers that I used came from the hardware store for marking house addresses. I chose scrabble pieces for place cards to represent the wholesomeness, fun, and braininess that Kylee and David both bring to the table. It was my first time choosing table linens; I never knew it could be so difficult! I had fun choosing the name for their rosemary infused signature cocktail: RoseMarryMe.
This was plant-matter’s first ever event design! It was also the first time I acted simultaneously as maid of honor and full service event/flower designer. But it wasn’t the last of the summer! (See Sonoma wedding). It really was an honor and a joy working with Kylee and David, Kylee’s mother Debbie and Dawn Rach Lodge coordinator Michael. Vision actualized.