Warning: This post is wordy. With lots of photos. I couldn’t help myself – there was too much good stuff to leave any of it out.

So many of the photos that end up in a real wedding feature are about little details, things like confetti in glassine envelopes or designer shoes. And those things are wonderful and lovely and I enjoy them as much as the next person. And maybe 90% of the weddings that get featured are outdoor daytime weddings because, well, the lighting is gorgeous. Nick Tucker’s photos from Kate and Felix’s winter wedding are something else entirely. Instead of gauzy afternoon light, they’re beautifully composed high-contrast nighttime shots. Instead of details, his photos capture energy – you can just feel the joy and love that were present at this wedding. Why did the couple choose this photographer? “We wanted someone who was instinctive, embraced chaos and didn’t mind low light levels,” says Kate. Brilliant.

And that brings us to the specifics of the day. Kate, a media producer for The Tate, and Felix, the artistic director of an immersive theater company, chose for their venue “a rambling empty old house near North Wales, that hadn’t been lived in for over 60 years.” Says Kate, “We are very lucky and have a lot of very talented and creative friends, who camped in the house the week before the wedding and set about transforming it from a shell into its former glory. Lots of ivy, enormous branches of mistletoe, rich brocade, beautiful furniture…”

In Nick Tucker’s words (since he was there and since I couldn’t possibly say it better), it was “a genuinely strange wonderland wedding…a blend of gothic and 1950s high society Manhattan, the whole place peppered with dandies, roustabouts, raconteurs, and Belle Époque beauties. And yet the day’s crowning achievement was that none of the spectacle ever overshadowed what was, at heart, just a very beautiful marriage. The whole thing was personal and idiosyncratic, but it was never self-consciously eccentric and never lost sight of its being a wedding day and amazing party.” Have you ever heard a more delightful description of a wedding? And the best part is, you can see all of that in these photos.

Okay then, on with the photos already!

From Kate: My dress was vintage, late 1930′s silk and tulle from a wonderful shop on Portobello Road in London called Jane Bourvis. Jane also found me a beautiful long Victorian veil. I wore dark blue velvet ballet shoes from Emma Hope and my great grandmother’s gold and pearl necklace. The New York artist Jude Miller handcrafted bluebell flowers from paper for my hair (Felix had proposed in a bluebell wood the spring before).

My favourite moment was seeing Felix for the first time, it was extraordinary and spine tingling, the best feeling I’ve ever had. And as I walked up the aisle, my little nephew said in a stage whisper saying ‘Goodbye Kate Vogel,’ which was extremely perceptive, since I was becoming Mrs. Barrett…

How about those gigantic mistletoe “chandeliers” – what a clever idea for a December wedding!

We wanted to have lots of music and dancing at different times throughout the day. We had a Welsh choir in church, Morris Dancers (old English pagan tradition), Music Hall Sing Alongs, a British Cockney knees-up with Chas & Dave and English folk music for dancing and reels with the band Bellowhead.

Yes, that is a 30-foot wedding cake fireworks bonfire…

A huge thank you and congratulations to Kate (a Snippet & Ink reader!) and Felix, and thanks to Nick Tucker for sharing this spectacularly beautiful and eccentric wedding with us. A perfect reminder that there’s not one right way to have a wedding, and that above all, a joyful marriage celebration – whatever it looks like – is the whole point. And if you can’t get enough, see the rest of the photos from this wedding over on Nick’s blog.

Photography: Nick Tucker

Bride’s dress / shoes: Jane Bourvis / Emma Hope

Paper bluebells: Jude Miller

Music: Chas & Dave / Bellowhead

Immersive theater company: Punchdrunk

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This is one of the longest posts I’ve done in awhile, but I just couldn’t help it – Braedon Flynn sends me a gazillion gorgeous photos, and I’m supposed to pick just a few? Right. But with this fun wedding, I really didn’t think you’d mind: a California girl and her Aussie groom wed at the playfully chic Parker Palm Springs

Says the bride, Courtney, of their venue choice: Palm Springs is where I was born and raised and also a place where most Australians do not go and visit when touring the States. The Parker was the first place we looked at and we pretty much knew upon walking in that it was the place. We knew we had to have it somewhere that people who were staying for the whole week would want to be. The Parker is that and more!

Every little thing meant something to us. From the feathers that covered my dress in memory of my grandfather, to the hibiscus in my bouquet in memory of Adam’s father, to my uncle marrying us and the friend who introduced us saying a beautiful poem, even down to the desserts and sweets that were our favorites from both countries.

Favorite parts of the day? Says the bride: Wow that is a hard one. The whole day was amazing, But one of my top favorites would be standing at the altar while my uncle was marrying us. Also the moment of walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Adams face was another priceless moment. And then not to mention my amazing “blonde-tourage” of bridesmaids. Getting to be with all of my closest friends for a whole day was priceless as it is rare that I even get to see them every year now, living on the other side of the world. Overall the whole day was absolutely magical – having all of our family and friends from both countries come together and mix and mingle, drink tequila and dance the night away was unforgettable.

We didn’t want to have just one main color, and I LOVE color, so I needed more than just a few! So the concept of colour was my first inspiration. I had to figure out how to have lots of color without it looking like a circus, which is why I brought in neutrals, and made it like an unveiling of colour throughout the evening for our guests. The ceremony was all white against the natural environment, and we brought in a little pop of colour at the end of the ceremony with the confetti toss. Then guests were greeted with colour as they entered the ballroom – instead of numbering them, each table had a different color.

Guests started dancing before dinner was even served. That was when we knew that our #1 mission was complete – for everyone to have fun!

See more from this fun wedding over on Wiley Valentine’s blog, and of course on Braedon’s blog!

Photography: Braedon Flynn

Venue: The Parker Palm Springs

Week-of coordination: Tiny Bubbles Events

Bride’s dress / shoes: Mara Hoffman / Prada

Groom’s shoes: Urge

Bridesmaid dresses: Witchery (Australia)

Hair: Katie Harkey for Fringe, 951-775-5503

Makeup: Becky Halley, skincarebybecky@yahoo.com

Stationery: Wiley Valentine

Flowers: Bella Bloom Florals

Photo booth: Magnolia Photo Booth

DJ / band: Mixmaster Massey / New Sensations

Magnolia Photo Booth is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve had Scott Andrew Studio’s beautiful photography here on Snippet & Ink, but I think it was worth the wait – Amy and David’s wine country wedding is one of the most charming I’ve had the pleasure to share with you. With 34 guests, it was a truly personal and intimate celebration. The lovely bride shares a bit about the day:

David and I knew we wanted an intimate and unique wedding. I’m a huge Francophile – we were engaged in Paris – but knowing that it wasn’t realistic to get married in France, we thought the next best thing would be a destination wedding in California’s wine country. Filled with French antiques and set on 75 acres of vineyards, Anderson Ranch seemed perfect, so when I called the owner I was thrilled to learn she was willing to let us host our wedding there.

The bride carried a fragrant bouquet of fresh lavender, tied with ribbon and fastened with her grandmother’s brooch. Says Amy: “Your palette, while it should be appropriate, doesn’t have to follow the typical expectations for a season. Everyone thinks orange for a fall wedding. I initially worried about using purples and blues in September, but grounding it with browns and beige made the colors work for a fall wedding.”

Some of Amy’s DIY projects included stationery, napkins, table runners, pillowcases, hand-stamped favor bags, and ribbon wands.

The best part was being able to share this day with our friends and family. We felt so fortunate to have people in our lives willing to travel and take time from work and home to be with us on our wedding day. After the ceremony we served iced tea, lemonade and a small snack so that guests could take a moment to enjoy the scenery of the vineyard.

Keeping with the French-inspired style, a croquembouche took the place of a traditional wedding cake. Congratulations Amy and David, and thank you to Scott Andrew Shoemake for these beautiful photos. See lots more from this wedding over on Scott’s blog. For some sage advice from the lovely bride, see below…

Photography: Scott Andrew Studio

Venue: Anderson Ranch in Sonoma, California

Bride’s dress: Angelina Bridal

Bride’s shoes / necklace: Kate Spade / Lord & Taylor

Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew

Groom’s custom suit: Nicholas Joseph

Flowers: FleurEssence

Guitarist: Mori Achen

Month-of coordinator: A Savvy Event

Catering: Ramekins

Amy shared some great tips that I wanted to pass along to you:

On budget: First, I’ll admit we spent more than I had originally planned. That being said, we cut back on elements that weren’t as important to us, and focused our budget on those that mattered the most such as food and wine. We didn’t spend a lot on flowers – rather than a lot of small arrangements, we used one statement piece, and used it at the ceremony site and on our welcome table. The arrangements for the dinner tables were also rather small, but we placed big candelabras on the tables and tea candles, which created great lighting and the tables didn’t look like they were missing anything. The venue itself saved money in décor – since the ceremony site and house were so beautiful, they didn’t need a lot of embellishment. Also, don’t be afraid to ask vendors to work with you on price. Our florist cut back and made adjustments to meet our budget, and our photographer worked with us to make a custom package. Instead of a band, we had a solo guitarist for ceremony and cocktail music, and used an iPod for dancing.

On having a destination wedding: If you’re having a destination wedding, a planner is essential. I thought I could do everything myself but began seriously worrying in the last months leading up to the wedding. We hired A Savvy Event for month-of coordination, and they saved us! Also, if you’re bringing décor for the wedding, ship it beforehand. We brought everything with us, and it was not easy getting through the airport with six suitcases plus a wedding dress. Also, we arrived in California 3 days before the wedding, and since I was doing so much myself, it felt really hectic. If you’re going to be hands-on, I would recommend arriving a week before to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

In general: Don’t worry so much. I say this as a perpetual worrier and perfectionist. It’s true that it will be the most wonderful day and everything will fall into place.

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It is always such a treat to feature Lisa Lefkowitz‘s photography here. Not only does she shoot some of the most beautiful weddings, but her photos always make me wish I was there. Chelsea and Scott were married on a gorgeous August day at a private estate in Calistoga – their wedding is classic wine country elegance at its best, with stunning florals from Kathleen Deery in one of my all-time favorite color palettes: green and white. Why this look? From the bride:

We absolutely fell in love with the location! How could you not? I am very simple in terms of style so wanted the feel of the day the be casual elegance. With the beauty of the setting we really didn’t need to bring in too much, and I liked the idea of all white flowers with the touches of color. Our invitations reflected the touches of blue-purple, as well as the bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s ties. But other than that, all the flowers, place settings and decor were mainly white.

Don’t you love Chelsea’s little touch of blue lace on her bouquet?

The couple, who married under a weeping willow, included a favorite poem on the back of their wedding programs. Says Chelsea, “It was a nice way to incorporate something we loved that was a little too long for a reading.”

Guests enjoyed basil gimlets during cocktail hour while listening to some of the couple’s favorite country music. As Chelsea says, “You cannot beat a good country song and a good drink in the afternoon sun!”

Chelsea’s advice? “The day goes so fast and is such a whirlwind, be sure to take a step back and appreciate it all. There were several time where I just stopped to take in the setting and see everyone I love having a blast.”

Congratulations Chelsea and Scott! And a big thank you Lisa Lefkowitz and all of the amazing Bay Area vendors who shared this gorgeous wedding with us. You can see more photos from the day over on Lisa’s blog.

Kathleen Deery Designs and Hello!Lucky are sponsors of Snippet & Ink.

Photography: Lisa Lefkowitz / Videography: Bliss* Video Productions / Venue: Black Swan Lake in Calistoga, California / Planning: Arelt Event Design / Floral design: Kathleen Deery Design / Bride’s dress: Melissa Sweet / Bride’s shoes: Nine West / Bridesmaid dresses: Priscilla of Boston / Groom’s suit: Selix Formalwear / Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Cake: Perfect Endings / Stationery: Hello!Lucky
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Photos from my friend Jonathan Canlas always make my day, doubly so when they’re photos from a San Francisco wedding. So excited to share them with you today, especially with all the lovely details from Ashley and John.

Whenever anyone asks me for advice with coming up with a look for their wedding, I suggest using the venue first, then the season, to help shape the aesthetic. It’s the best way to end up with decor and details that are cohesive and make sense, and it’s exactly how Ashley and John determined a look for their wedding:

We first had our heart set on a winery wedding: we both love wine and the wine country, and thought it would make a beautiful backdrop for our wedding, but after months of looking unsuccessfully for a venue that met both our needs and our pocketbook, we realized that maybe we should broaden our search. We found The Hamilton Ballroom after researching many locations. The Hamilton Ballroom is an Art Deco hotel (since converted into condominiums) built in 1929, and we let it be our guide for the wedding’s style. The patio had an urban garden feel and the lobby and ballroom played up all the great Art Deco features. We took those two features and built upon them.

Our favorite moment was the ceremony. John and I worked together to write a couple’s letter, which we read at the end of the ceremony. It felt great to profess our commitment to each other. We were able to have the priest that baptized me, marry us. With it being Fleet Week our guests were treated to the Blue Angels buzzing the church during the ceremony.

John was very particular about the wine we served, and then I worked with Magpie Paper Works to design a surprise wine label for him, using a name John had come up with: “Both Coasts” to represent the two coasts we come from.

Katherine, our florist from Cherries, was amazing. She was able to transform the patio into a private vintage garden oasis. She used her collection of vintage pieces to hold the flowers, and sugared fruits down the center of our long tables.

I was able to use my grandmother’s topper on our cake. In addition to our red velvet wedding cake, we had a dessert bar that brought together our respective heritages: French macarons and Italian cannoli.

Ashley’s advice? Hire a wedding planner! It was so nice not to have myself or anyone in the wedding party dealing with the set-up/breakdown for the day.


See more even more of Ashley and John’s romantic Art Deco wedding in the gallery.

Photography: Jonathan Canlas / Ceremony venue: St. Patrick Catholic Church in San Francisco / Reception venue: The Hamilton Ballroom in San Francisco / Planning: Kim Yee Events / Bride’s dress: Amy Kuschel / Stationery: Betsywhite / Flowers: Cherries Flowers / Custom wine labels: Magpie Paper Works / Catering: Fork & Spoon / Rentals, linen rentals: Classic Party Rentals / La Tavola
  • Art Deco Wedding in San Francisco

    18 January 2011
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