Sweet Mammoth Wedding

It’s hard for me to adequately describe our wedding because Ben Christensen captured it with such artistry and perfection that I think his images speak for themselves. What Shane and I wanted, above all else, was for the love and simplicity of our day to be the elements we will always remember.

We asked less than 30 of our immediate family and friends to drive up to Convict Lake for an intimate ceremony. Our concept wasn’t too complicated, but we required a lot of help from our venue to pull it off as we weren’t using their designated wedding site. As my bridesmaids and I finished getting ready, Shane and our guests took boats to the back of the lake. We had chosen a spot in the tall grass next to a hut built of branches, with the lake in front of us and a forest behind us. Everyone waited and listened to music, while my bridesmaids and I arrived by boat to a separate cove. I had managed to control my overwhelming emotions for most of the morning until our boat pulled up and I saw my dad waiting on the shore to walk me down the aisle. I walked into our ceremony surrounded by the joy and excitement of our family and friends, who had driven for hours to stand with us. One of Shane’s best friends officiated our marriage, and he had written the most personal and sincere words for us. We took advantage of the informal atmosphere to hug and thank our parents during our ceremony, and there were even a couple of moments during the wedding where our friends and family chimed in and made us all laugh. I will never forget the details that made our wedding uniquely ours, or the look in Shane’s eyes as we made our lifelong commitment to each other. We are fortunate to have what we think are the most honest and beautiful photographs we could have hoped for to help us relive our day. We can’t say enough good things about working with Ben Christensen, and his sister Kami who was our stylist. They’re great at what they do and beyond that, they’re great people. Having them there helped us stay calm, relaxed, and made it easy to be ourselves when it mattered most.

Wedding ceremony and dinner: Convict Lake, near Mammoth Lakes, CA| Photography: Ben Christensen | Hair and Makeup: Kami Christensen | Wedding dress: Theia from Lovely Bride in West Hollywood | Wedding Shoes:  handmade leather ELF | Bridesmaids dresses: Anthropologie | Florals: The Little Branch from Los Angeles | Shane’s suit: Topman | Shane’s boots: Generic Surplus | Shane’s sunglasses: Raen Optics | Our little cake: Schat’s Bakery in Mammoth Lakes | Leather guestbook: Leather Keepsakes 

Tags: , ,

08.26.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

DIY Lace Ballet Flats


Remember the beautiful lace ballet flats Rylee Hitchner wore at her wedding(you can see the full wedding here)?  You wouldn’t know it, but Cheryl transformed a pair of inexpensive everyday flats from Forever 21 into the delicate, vintage inspired beauties you see above for Rylee. I love this idea not only because is it easy on the pocketbook, but it’s a project any gal with a glue gun, some vintage lace, and a bit of time can undertake. Enjoy!

step by step lace shoes
Materials and Tools

It’s best to use a glue that dries clear like E600.
Sharp scissors
Quick un-pick
Lots of pins
Needle and thread
Lace and tulle, vintage or modern.
Pair of Lacy or soft fabric ballet flats (choose a color closest to the color of your dress and or the lace you will be using).

For this project I used a vintage C1910 tambour lace neck tie purchased at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta.

Step 1
I like to remove the tape binding the top edge of the shoes using the quick un-pick. This makes the decoration process easier and softens the look of the shoes  when the lace scallop edge is applied.

Step 2
To maintain the correct shoe shape and tension run a row of small stitches around the top edge.

This stage is optional. I find the tulle covers the original shoe fabric  and also creates a softer look.

Cut an 8inch wide length of tulle long enough to wrap all round the shoe.
Fold in half and pin the folded edge close to the sole edge and glue.  Keep the pins in place till the glue is dry.  Trim and tack the top edge, pleating the tulle to fit over the toe area.

Step 4
Pin the lace on the shoes starting at centre back.  I featured the small lace scallops to decorate the top edge of the shoes.  I pinned and pleated the lace where necessary.

Leave 1/2 inch extra lace at the sole.  Fold the lace under to follow line of sole and pin and glue. Add more glue if necessary.  Take out pins after the glue has fully dried.

Step 5
This stage is optional.

Trim down front of shoes to favored shape.    Use running stitches round top edge, pulling tight to fit foot and to stabilize shoes.

Step 6
Apply front lace detail, pinning and stretching to suit shoe style.

Step 7
Stitch and glue,  finish with three pearls.

Step 8
Finish the back of the shoe by folding and glueing the lace.

Step 9
This stage is optional

Finish the bottom edge of the shoes with a length of the small scallops trimmed off the lace.

1st Image: Tec Petaja | Tutorial Photography: Rylee Hitchner | Styling: Joy Thigpen | Tutorial: Cheryl Taylor 

Tags: , , , ,

08.22.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Virginia Farm Wedding from Easton Events By Eric Kelley

We had such a wonderful time working and planning with Ellie and Ted. It was pure joy to collaborate with them and dream up their wedding vision. They were very clear about wanting to create an environment that was inviting and embracing of the beautiful Virginia countryside – where they met! Their venue, Castle Hill Cider, set the stage for an idyllic farm wedding; yet we designed a look that was completely fresh and reflective of their priorities as a couple! We were inspired to create a fresh take on understated elegance.

We chose a color palette of copper, dusty blue, flax and sage. We wanted to pursue a floral look that emphasized unique copper containers, beeswax candles, with arrangements that focused on plants and herbs rather than being overly floral. Lighting and atmosphere were especially important to Ellie and Teddy, so a lovely combination of candlelight and dimly lit bistro lights did the trick!

The printed suite beautifully reflects the design inspiration. Ellie’s aunt gifted the bride a gorgeous print of the Blueridge mountains for us to use on the invitation and we combined her heirloom artwork with the clean lines of The Left Handed Calligrapher. A color combo of copper and dusty blue was pressed into the long horizontal invite and bundled together in a copper envelope. We continued to lace the streamline calligraphy throughout the day of details.

They had an intimate ceremony beneath the trees on a perfect June day. Embracing the natural splendor of the Linden Grove, copper urns dripping in flowers hung from the branches. Cocktails were on the front lawn surrounded by gorgeous views of the farm and mountains. As the sun set, guests were invited inside the barn to enjoy a wonderful seated dinner. The design of long white wash farm tables layered with a silk copper runner, hand hewn wood chargers, natural flax napkins and tuscan x-back chairs was finished with abundant herbal arrangements in a mixture of wood boxes, copper urns, and delicate containers for candlelight.

Event Design, Styling, and Production: Easton Events | Photographer: Eric Kelley | Floral Design: Beehive Events | Lighting: Blue Ridge Light Forms | Farm Tables, Chairs, Runners, Chargers, Napkins: Beehive Events | Printed Materials & Details: Rock Paper Scissors | Venue: Castle Hill Cider | Calligraphy: Left Handed Calligrapher  | Catering: Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman  | Groom’s Suiting: Custom Design – Eljo’s | Hair & Makeup: Lora Kelley | Ceremony Music: Nick Reeb | Cocktail Music: Rick Olivarez  | Reception Music: The Mustangs | Cake: Maliha Creations

Tags: , , ,

08.19.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Lavender Elderflower Jelly DIY


How great and original is the idea of making jelly for your friends to take away from your wedding? We love practical gifts, and this one will serve your guests and remind them of your wedding for months to come. This lavender elderflower jelly recipe is a new twist on a classic recipe and could be the type of favor you’ve been looking for.  Your wedding and your guests will love the addition of the lavender flowers, and you can use sweet little jars to keep a sophisticated look for the wedding.


Makes 3 cups


1 1/2 cup water

¼ cup dried lavender flowers

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 ½ tablespoons powdered apple pectin

2 cups sugar

¼ cup elderflower syrup

1 bunch dried lavender sprigs


In a small saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in lavender flowers. Let steep for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, strain mixture into a medium saucepan, discarding the lavender flowers. Stir in lemon juice and pectin until pectin is completely dissolved.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, add sugar and elderflower syrup. When the mixture returns to a rolling boil, let boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After boiling, transfer jelly mixture into small jars. Let set for 5 minutes. Once jelly has started to firm up, carefully insert lavender sprigs into jelly for a decorative finish. Set aside to cool and cover.

Photography: Bryce Covey | Recipe and Food Styling: The Jewels of New York | Assistant Stylist: Bespoke Only

Tags: , , ,

08.16.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured