Board #447 | Fantaisie de Noël

I love the holiday season and the way it lends itself to fantasy and whimsy and even a little mystery. Today’s wedding board was inspired by this idea, and by the laurel garland from Tail of the Yak*, with the olive green, the pop of pink ribbon, and the aged gilt of the mirror behind it. I think it’s a luxurious and unexpected twist on the traditional Christmas green and red, and it’s definitely full of holiday fantasy.

(*Tail of the Yak is an incredibly well-curated and magical little shop in Berkeley, and if you ever have the chance to visit, do. It also happens to be where my engagement ring came from, which might make me a little biased, except that it actually is the most wonderful shop ever to exist. Promise.)

Mood: sumptuous holiday whimsy
Palette: laurel and pine green, fuschia velvet, bronze and chocolate

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: laurel leaf garland with pink ribbon from Tail of the Yak via Oh Happy Day, chocolate taffeta dress photo by Rodney Smith, centerpiece with magenta rose and begonia leaves by Ariella Chezar
Row 2: place setting with red napkin photo by Silvana di Franco via Wiley Valentine, vintage-style Roman-inspired crown from Heather Bullard, fuschia velvet chairs via My Little Apartment
Row 3: snowy library from Anthropologie’s Nov. ’09 catalog, bouquet with deep pink garden roses and jasmine by Artfool, hand-lettered menu with pink garland border by Cynthia Warren for Chez Panisse (photo by Aya Brackett)
Row 4: vintage fuschia velvet shoes via Nostalgia at the Stone House, designer Christmas tree with glass ornaments in shades of pink, chocolate chestnut wedding cake with sugared fruit and laurel leaves and diamond engagement ring in fuschia velvet box both from Martha Stewart Weddings

(I know I’ve been writing a lot more lately, and I hope that’s okay with everyone. Some of you are probably just here for the pictures, and that’s okay too.)

In the context of our recent conversations about keeping things simple, today’s wedding inspiration board might not make much sense, especially if you are thinking of “simple” as “minimalist.” There is certainly nothing minimalist about this sumptuous holiday wedding that I’ve imagined for today – it’s full of outrageously rich fuschia velvet, it’s decorated with garlands and Christmas trees, there’s a crown and illustrated menu and fabulous vintage shoes, and a tiered chocolate cake covered with sugared fruit. I think, no matter how you try to make it fit, “simple” just doesn’t apply here.

But I don’t believe that richness and thoughtfulness are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think that they can and should go hand in hand. That was how I thought about today’s inspiration board – it’s the way I’d like to approach the holidays, my own wedding planning, and most parts of my life. It includes finding and creating beauty – both material and spiritual – in every day, thinking carefully which objects you choose to surround yourself with, giving to others, and doing these things in a way that is authentic for you. Below is part of an email I wrote to my friend Meg awhile back (she even posted it on her blog!) that seemed appropriate for this conversation, and that I thought I’d share with you:

…[I was thinking] about was why do I love all of the wedding details? Because I really do love them (well, most of them; there are a chunk that I find absurd). And I realized that it’s because I love details in general, I love things that are done thoughtfully and beautifully, that are meaningful, and that are little gifts to other people whether they realize it’s a gift or not. And if a bride doesn’t feel that way about the details, and if all she feels is pressure and like she doesn’t measure up, then that’s not thoughtful or meaningful in a good way, and it’s not a gift to anyone! People need to remember that their wedding day should reflect who they are, and if for them that means walking down the aisle to Johnny Cash, and not perfectly coordinated vintage stamps, then THAT’S their gift.

So, what do you think? How you feel about this idea? Is it something that resonates with you? How are you applying it to your own wedding planning (or holiday shopping, or whatever)?

Select Vendors from this post


  • julianne smith says:

    love this and love that you are writing more! i do come for the pictures, but i also come to see your perspective :) i think this board is beautiful and minimal at the same time, mostly b/c it is meaningful to you. beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if it is minimal to you, then so be it!

  • Creative Montage says:

    Love it Kathryn! I think you're right: some instances call for simple but a holiday wedding seems to exude something really special that requires a little extravagance!

  • My Simple Details, LLC says:

    I loved reading your perspective and the board is scrumptious. I love the chairs and the ring box.

  • Brandy says:

    I am a lover of the details as well, but I am trying not to go too terribly off the deep end. It's so hard sometimes, especially when you see something that inspires you. (Note, been obbsessing about mini panettone since yesterday's post.) But I keep having to ask myself….will this mean as much to my guests as it will to me. Will adding this task to my list of chores (not to mention my budget) add to the joy of our day? It's often hard to tell when you stand too close to it, isn't it? I have to step back from the wedding at times and try to take in the whole picture instead of just the details that I love so much in order not to drown in them.

  • Leslie says:

    Thank you for posting and sharing this conversation. I relish the details, but sometimes they can drive me a bit crazy. What you said is so lovely; it helped remind me that it is okay to be me.

  • I think it's a lovely idea…beauty and inspiration, however you find it, can add so much to a thoughtful celebration. A wedding is ultimately an expression of individual style. If you like informal, spontaneous, simple… great! Don't even worry about planning and checklists. Grab some wildflowers and give your guests the favor of a genuine hug & smile. If you want to go all out and have everyone in tails and fascinators, fabulous! As long as you enjoy making everything formal and elegant, your guests will feel the extra effort you put in as a sign of your graciousness.

    Ultimately, I think people struggle when they're torn between wanting different styles. There's so much out there on the web now that it's easy to get totally overwhelmed. Women still feel the pressure of having to have a "perfect" day and of making the "right" choices that express them. What's supposed to be liberating becomes totally oppressive…and that sucks. Maybe it's good to just keep a balance between wanting to express yourself "perfectly" and letting some of it just be ordinary, regular, sweet but not super meaningful. It will be super meaningful anyway, I don't think you need to plan it all!

  • Christina Marie says:

    I LOVE this. Actually one of my favorite in awhile. Looking at all the popular wedding blogs these days, you feel like if you aren't getting married in front of a tree with a reception in a barn you are so passé. I love this because it is beautiful and rich and unique. That's what blew me away…how unique this is. It is much more my style than wearing a short dress and having a photo booth.

  • Courtney says:

    Oh, Kathryn! It is so, so lovely! Really, I think it might be one of my favorite boards you've made. So many wonderful ideas there!

  • The Imaginary Wedding says:

    So gorgeous! I'd like to step right into it. Now if I can only I can find a lovely, christmasy, warm wooded, wallpapered place just like this in Los Angeles…

  • Veronica in Austin says:

    THANK YOU for posting a winter inspiration board that wasn't all white/silver/blue and "Winter Wonderland." That's a great color combination, but not the only colors available in the winter – especially if you live in warmer climes where it doesn't snow! I love the rich, deep hues in this board. Can't wait to see what else you put up this week!

  • Fatale Femme says:

    This would make the most wonderful party, whether or not for a wedding or just for the holidays. It's beautiful and rich with vintage flair, but none of the stuffiness or tackiness I typically associate with "christmas" or holidays.

  • marion says:

    I love that you're writing more! If that's what you're feeling, I say go for it!

  • {The Perfect Palette} says:

    gorgeous- gorgeous- gorgeous!!!! love this one. the palette is great!

  • Michele says:

    Love, love, love this one! Nothing gets me like some colored velvet…especially hot pink velvet!

  • Ingrid Nelson says:

    Gorgeous Board Kathryn! I have been paring life down to more thoughtful choices every day. Even making dinner for my 2 year old…I'm forcing myself to think more…if that makes sense. Holiday gifts will be books this year. Budget is one big reason, but I also think there's just something in the air.

  • this is an absolutely gorgeous board!! it truly makes me swoon. I really like how you also wrote a lot, it's great to hear what your thoughts and ideas were in creating the inspiration board. I also enjoyed reading your quote and it is so true! Thank you again for always being an inspiration to my daily life and making it happier with your posts!!!

  • Rebecca says:

    Kathryn, I couldn't agree more! I adore all of the little details of my wedding. The significance of my details are unknown to most, but special to me and my close ones.
    For example: My best friend (and matron of honor) is letting me use her old fashioned popcorn machine (and husband) to have popcorn at the reception, because I'm from Indiana and…we have lots of that here. ;o)
    We're also buying taffy in bulk from my family's favorite taffy log place in Gatlinburg. Plus, for "something blue", I'll be wearing my larimar from our Dominican Republic mission trip me and my fiance` took earlier this year. Not to mention, my attendants are both graphic designers and they, together, fashioned the design for the invitations. My brother will be performing our ceremony, my mother decorates cakes and will be doing ours…I could go on and on!
    65 days and counting!
    Keep up the great work! =)

  • Cheryl at says:

    this is by far my favorite board of the year! great job, kathryn!

  • Sidney says:

    I love this post…especially your words (but of course the pics too). My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy because I love going to weddings, and I think the reason I love to go is to see all the details that portray the couple's personality. I LOVE details. I think the more thought/meaning that goes into something whether its a gift or a wedding becomes more special for the recipient or guest.

  • DeeDee says:

    Brava! wonderful post (as usual the inspiration board is phenomenal), this one expressing exactly how I believe people should feel about weddings …or gift giving. I took this advice earlier this year, when looking at all the gorgeous wedding blogs, and when they stressed me out, found Snippet and Ink and found calm in your picnic wedding boards…so I have my wedding planned, in one go, with no stress!

  • Naomi Goodman says:

    This board is incredible. I don't care what people think anymore when they ask me why I love weddings as much, why I love the business as much as I do and why are the details so important. To me it is a big bid deal when you can bring the spirtual aspects and visual together. It is a moment that the two are connected so implicity that it would be hard to separate the two. There are very few things that are as beautiful as a wedding that you can sense that time and love where a part of the details. I also agree if a bride feels like walking down the aisle to Johhny Cash or to Axle Rose, then so be it. I always say that the beauty is in the details. Brava for another great post! My website and blog will be up next week and you will definitely remain a bright source of inspiration and blog love! I got married last year and came back to your blog many times and becaouse of bloggers like you I am now doing what I love. Thank you.

  • Kalyn says:

    I love the email that your friend sent you about details. I got married about 8 weeks ago and the details were important to my husband and I for exactly the reason your friend articulated – they were our gifts to our family and friends. Her words were quite eloquent and perfectly described how we felt about the details of our wedding planning process.

  • Jessebel says:

    More of your thoughts are a win my book. I completely agree with your email. During the course of our planning, I cared about some inconsequential and quite frankly, some outlandish details. In the end, we focused on what was meaningful and had a great time watching our loved ones enjoying themselves. It was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced and it was something that you can't manufacture.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to toolbar