Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I can think of no better way to mark the occasion than with this stunning red and gold styled shoot at one of my favorite Bay Area venues, from three (three!) of our brilliant Select vendors. With design by Shannon Leahy, flowers by Max Gill, and photography by Josh Gruetzmacher, you will definitely want to check out the gallery for every last detail.

From Shannon LeahyThe inspiration for this photo shoot comes from the fabric, toile. Toile du Jouy (named after a French town) originated in 18th century Ireland and traditionally was used for window treatments and upholstery. In many ways toile has come to represent stuffy, outdated design and I wanted to find a way to take a relic of the past and update it in a fresh and modern way.

Of course, the photographs from Josh Gruetzmacher who found the space and spearheaded the shoot take it all to the next level. The crisp, classic look of his film in this light and bright space bring everything to life and let us all step into the fantasy of what it must have been like to sail across the ocean in a 22-carat gilded saloon.

Many of the traditional toiles are made in blue-and-white but for our shoot at the golden hued China Cabin we thought bringing in warm tones of yellow and cream would blend with the gold beautifully and set a perfect backdrop for Max Gill‘s dramatic red and burgundy toned flowers.

The China Cabin is a historical location in Tiburon, just right over the Bay from San Francisco. The walls are gilded in 22-karat gold in this space which was once an elegant social saloon of the PS China. The ship was originally built in New York City in 1866 and was one of the four sister ships the United States Postal Service ordered to carry mail and passengers from California to Asia. The China Cabin, now docked permanently in the Bay Area was the officers stateroom.

We really wanted to carry the toile through from beginning to end and so we incorporated a toile ribbon on the bride’s bouquet, a custom tabletop runner of yellow toile, a welcome box made we made for out of town guests made of toile and accented with glittering, over-the-top gifts that would set the tone for an evening in the China Cabin.

The toile carried through to the paper products and invitations by Mira Aster as well. We adore the unique place cards she came up with that are made from gilded edged paper to look like a ribbon fluttering in the breeze, perfect for a wedding on an ocean liner.

For this shoot, I found the perfect gowns from local San Francisco designer Trish Lee. The main dress for the shoot is called The Lady. We love the supremely elegant and refined look of this gown and can imagine a Bride who adores the traditions of the past but still wants a fresh and updated look slipping into this gorgeous gown. According to Trish Lee, The Lady was inspired by the poise and spirit of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aunt San Suu Kyi and is a tribute to the designers Burmese heritage. We can think of no better dress for a 19th-century ship that sailed between Asia and the United States.

We imagined a second look for this Bride in the dress Joni also from Trish Lee. According to the designer this dress epitomizes that certain “je ne sais quoi” the elusory “it” factor. The fluttering capelet over the shoulder gives an effortless bohemian effect and to us, symbolizes the China Cabin’s final home in the free-spirited Bay Area. (See the second look in the gallery!)

Julie Morgan styled our Bride perfectly with an elegant and refined Downton Abbey look for the first dress and a more sultry, whimsical look for the second dress complete with a crowning head wreath by Max Gill.

We were so excited to use San Francisco’s own Frances Lane for the vintage tabletop rentals which really elevate the tabletop. Accents like the settee and vintage cake stand from One True Love vintage complete the story of romance rooted in tradition. The deep burgundy and fig tones of the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres from Max Gill add richness and contrast to this glittering gilded yellow and gold tablescape.

To complete the entire look the toile coated cake by Sweet On Cake is the crown on top of the jewel box. Inspired by the architecture of the space, Amber from Sweet on Cake created a real masterpiece.


Photographer: Josh Gruetzmacher / Venue: China Cabin in Tiburon, California / Event Planner, Designer: Shannon Leahy Events / Floral Designer: Max Gill / Dress: Trish Lee / Hair, Makeup: Julie Morgan / Shoes: Valentino / Stationery: Mira Aster / Rentals: Hartmann Studios, Frances Lane, One True Love Vintage Rentals / Cake: Sweet On Cake / Hotel Welcome Gift: Shannon Leahy Events

Josh Gruetzmacher, Max Gill, and Shannon Leahy Events are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

  • Gold and Red Valentine Wedding Inspiration

    10 February 2014
  • 29 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Inspired Ideas

    The lovely and talented Sarah Winward is back with some stunning January flowers for us – has she convinced you to have a winter wedding yet?! She’s one of our Select vendors, and as soon as you see these flowers you’ll understand why. I just love the neutral tones here, and I can just imagine these flowers in a room full of candlelight… Photos by Leo Patrone.

    From Sarah: “I love a neutral color palette in the months after the holidays. This one has some golden hued accents with the copper beech and mocca amaryllis to keep it from feeling too icy. The Nymph amaryllis has a double bloom, so it is full and works great as a focal flower. Anemone are a great seasonal attention grabbing flower, and are wonderful if you trying to tie some black or navy blue into your color palette.”

    From left: Smilax, Nymph Amaryllis, Mocca Amaryllis, Viburnum.

    From left: Astilbe, Astrantia, Anemone, Quicksand Roses, Copper Beech.


    Honey of a Thousand Flowers is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.

    7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Inspired Ideas, Seasonal Flowers

    Before finishing off the year with a round-up of some of my favorite things from 2013, we have a beautiful winter floral arrangement and bridal bouquet from Sarah Winward, with photos by Britt Chudleigh (two of our Select vendors!). Worried there won’t be beautiful flowers available in you’re a winter bride? Fret not and read on for inspiration!

    From Sarah: “In the winter we are without many of the outdoor grown flowers, but the floral industry is still busy growing lots of other wonderful stuff for us indoors. Roses, amaryllis, and ranunculus are a few. I think amaryllis are one of the best flowers to use in the early winter months: they look seasonally appropriate, they are large, and they come in an array of colors. Roses are also always around and are wonderful. Peonies make a come-back in the winter and come to us all the way from the Southern hemisphere. Throughout December there are still a variety of seasonal fruits and berries available on the stem, too.”

    To create these dramatic winter arrangements, Sarah used: Henry Bockstoce peony, Cinnamon Spice rose, Cherry Brandy rose, Festival bush, Naranja amaryllis, Mocca amaryllis, Persimmon, Ranunculus, Combo rose, Quicksand rose, Putamayo carnation, Nandina foliage.


    Honey of a Thousand Flowers and Chudleigh Weddings are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

    6 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Inspired Ideas, Seasonal Flowers

    Just in time for holiday parties, Snippet & Ink Select vendor Lora Kelley is back with another beauty tutorial: a gorgeous smoky eye!

    Flat Eye Liner Brush
    Eye Color Brush
    Pony Tail Brush
    Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony
    Tightline Activator
    Metallic Créme Eye Color in Platinum
    Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Violet
    Matte Eye Color in Noir
    (above items all by Laura Mercier)
    Eyelash Curler by Shu Uemura
    Lash Curling Jet Black Mascara by Trish McEvoy

    1. Start by mixing the Black Ebony eye liner and Activator to create a paste that resembles shoe polish. To make your lashes look full (and to prevent the white space between your liner and your lashes), line your lashes with the eye liner brush, placing the paste inside the lash bed.
    2. With your finger, apply Platinum Creme eye color all over the eyelid up to the brow bone.
    3. Line your eye with the Black Violet Kohl pencil, continuing along the crease and orbital bone, and stopping about a centimeter from the inner corner of your eye. With the eye color brush, smudge along the lash line, then smudge the pencil into the lid, fanning as you go.
    4. Diffuse the color by applying Noir shadow in the crease with the Pony Tail brush (make sure to keep it in the crease so the lid stays light).
    5. To intensify the look, line your bottom lashes and inside the waterline with the Black Violet Kohl pencil. Keep it fresh by rubbing Platinum cream shadow along the bottom liner to make it smudgy and shimmery.
    6. Always finish by curling your lashes and adding mascara!

    Hair, Makeup: Lora Kelley / Photography: Eric Kelley / Lip Gloss: Laura Mercier Sparkling Lip Glacé / Shirt: Vince / Rings: Cat Bird NYC

    This post contains affiliate links. 
    Lora Kelley and Eric Kelley are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

    3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Beauty Tutorials, DIY, Inspired Ideas

    This photo shoot feels a little like a modern fairy tale – there’s just something so romantic about woodland inspired details! Says photographer Kate Osborne: “Ashley [Tinge Floral] and I wanted to collaborate on a shoot that incorporated ferns and a monochromatic color palette that really highlights the details and wasn’t relying on color to catch your interest. Bride, Jann, contributed her talent with amazing handmade elements including her hand sewn dress and hand silkscreened booklet invites.”



    Ashley on the floral design: “The flowers in this shoot were focused primarily on different kinds of ferns in all shades of green. The shape of a fern immediately creates an organic aesthetic and feel, and when paired with the right blooms they can add to a more romantic shape. In these arrangements I was lucky enough to get a few tree peonies! Contrary to popular belief, peonies come back into season late in the fall. Limited varieties are available but the big blooms pair beautifully with the richness of fall.”

    Photographer: Kate Osborne / Floral Designer: Ashley Beyer, Tinge Floral / Dress, Stationery: Studio Jann Marie / Makeup: Carli Call / Shoes: Dillards / Suit: J.Crew / Shoes: Cole Haan

    This post contains affiliate links.

  • Woodland Inspired Wedding Ideas

    10 December 2013
  • 6 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Inspired Ideas