Whimsical Coastal Big Sur Wedding

From the bride:

I’ve always felt like my soul belongs somewhere in the ocean. Everything about the vast expanse of sea is beautiful to me; the depths, the mystery, the way I feel so small beside it. In perfect juxtaposition, meeting my husband felt so much like standing in the middle of a Redwood grove; breathtaking, the thickest feeling of peace, that overwhelming feeling of being lost somewhere so much bigger than you. For so many reasons, as shallow as the shoreline and as deep as dark waters, we couldn’t imagine a more perfect place for us to get married than Big Sur, California.

When the day arrived, I remember waking up feeling whimsy and clarity all at once. The sacredness felt tangible. Fewer than thirty of us gathered on that mountain, with the scent of Eucalyptus sweeping down the hillside to our left, through the groves of Redwoods and over the ocean waves rising and falling below us. Making our promises to each other and rejoicing with our dearest family and friends was just how we hoped it would be, and even today I look back in awe of what a dreamy time it was.

After the ceremony, I remember gazing out at the ocean, and back again at all of our family and friends sitting around that long wooden table on soft purple and white sand, trying to freeze the image in my mind forever. Under a romantic blanket of fog, I remember thinking that this must be what feasting in Heaven is kind of like. Our hearts are still so full from the warmth of our family and friends extending their support and love for the entirety of our lives. We are so thankful to have such treasured memories of a day spent celebrating rich community, beauty, and covenantal love!

From Joy:

Loving my kids might be the fastest way to my heart. Tiffany is our au pair; she has had my heart for quite some time now. When she and Matt got engaged we were so excited and so happy to help make her dream wedding happen. She had never been the girl dreaming of how her wedding would be so we got to start from scratch. She knew it would have to be somewhere ruggedly beautiful and it would have to be simple–that’s their style. She didn’t have a huge budget but she used it very well. (Take heart (and notes!) all of you who have “smaller” wedding budgets–your wedding can still be epically beautiful!) She didn’t want a lot of flowers or fuss. I brought one bucket of flowers and gathered the rest from the sides of the roads. Cheryl made her a wisp of a dress that was so light I swear it would have floated away on the wind if given the chance. We tied little seashells into her mermaid hair with tiny fishtail braids. And in the thick fog that day, it felt like nothing else existed while we celebrated on the edge of the world.

Creative direction + Styling: Joy Thigpen  // Photography: Erich McVey  //  Ceremony location: The overlook at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park  //  Reception location: Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur  //  Dress: Cheryl Taylor  // Catering: Yam & Bean  //  Rentals: Classic Party Rentals  //  Officiant: Tyler Thigpen

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07.22.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Unique Engagement Rings from Natalie K, Uneek Jewelry, and Danhov


Loving another whole-heartedly is truly an art form. Each bond is different from those around it, reflecting the unique qualities of the lovers and manifesting itself in exquisite and entirely new ways. Much like a painting, your love serves as a window into your deepest desires and longings, allowing others to see into the core of your being. Finding someone that evokes this emotion within you and opens you up to all life has to offer is a once in a lifetime experience that should be celebrated. An engagement ring is a brilliant representation of this love, and should be as unique and intriguing as the ones who share it.

When searching for a ring, there are several things to look for. First, you want a piece that is one of a kind. Your engagement ring should be an extension of your personality, flawlessly reflecting your character and style preferences. Second, the ring should be modern. New styles are innovative and intriguing to behold, making them an ideal choice for any bride. Lastly, you want a piece that has timeless attributes. Your engagement ring is a token of your love, and should remain beautiful forever, just like the commitment you make to one another. Color diamond engagement rings embody these three elements, making them a perfect choice for the modern bride, allowing her to highlight her unique attributes, current style, and timeless love affair.

There are several designers that feature engagement pieces with these rare, colored diamonds. Natalie K offers a wide selection of yellow diamond engagement rings. Modern style and old world charm intersect in the Le De’sir Collection, featuring pieces that showcase brilliant stones in vintage style settings, creating an interesting parallel. You’re sure to love combination of white and yellow diamonds that join to create a breathtaking, sparkling effect. The color yellow represents hope, joy and priceless treasures, making it a meaningful colored stone in any engagement ring setting.

For the bride that embodies femininity and poise, Uneek Jewelry has a handcrafted selection of pink diamond rings. The sparkling stone is set in a meticulously designed setting that was made to compliment the specific attributes of the diamond. You’ll love the mixture of white and yellow gold that truly showcases the stone, allowing it to shine at its fullest capacity. These rings are sure to show your personal style and give the world a glimpse into the sparkling love you share.

If you love traditional style but long for an unexpected twist, you’ll adore Danhov award-winning engagement ring collection. These pieces are truly elegant and stunning to behold. The uniqueness factor for Danhov comes from the handcrafted modern designs. The difference is compelling and offers an update to the common engagement ring. Danhov prides themselves on offering unique pieces that empower the bride to display her beauty and personality through her engagement ring.

Choosing a colored diamond engagement ring allows you to display your love in a unique way. The classic settings are transformed into modern works of art when combined with these rare stones. Your love deserves to be reflected by a piece that is unrivaled in beauty and charm, making a colored engagement ring the perfect choice for the modern bride. Showcase the art of your love and explore these designers’ collections to see how colored diamonds can bring luxury and glamour to your love story.

07.22.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe with Herbal Boutonnieres


Herbal Grapefruit Cocktail

Serves 4

1 750-ml bottle of Champagne, chilled
2 Ruby Red pink grapefruits
herbal simple syrup (recipe follows)

Cut grapefruits in half and squeeze juice, reserve to side. In each glass pour ¼ cup grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons simple syrup and top off with champagne.

Herbal Simple Syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add the herbs and let stand for 1 hour. Pour the syrup through a mesh sieve into a jar. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Herb Bouquet Tutorial
Small bits of herbs


1. Pick one long rosemary sprig and pluck the leaves on the bottom half.

2. Compare the sprig length with the desired glassware to make sure the sprig top sits slightly above the glass rim. Trim the sprig if necessary.

3. Use the rosemary sprig as the backing and build your way up with more herbs in different texture and color.

4. Hold the neck of your herb bundle and use thin twine to tie everything together – voila!

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

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07.19.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Flowerwild Workshop

I couldn’t resist sharing some images from Flowerwild’s last workshop. If you are a creative interested in learning more about flowers and design, you should check out her site for more information. A little more from Kate about the workshop..

We met in the desert. 16 attendees from all over the globe with a common love. Flowers. It’s quite special to be amongst other people with your same set of passions, problems, and loves! 2 days of discussions and floral design topped off by an amazing shoot with Jose Villa. He photographed all the student works with many props provided by Jeni Maus from Found.

Within the framework of these various talents it was easy to create the images you see here. I was just wowed by all the talent we had in one room…people from all walks of life, with varying levels of skill, and different visions and approaches to the materials. I’ve been doing these for 4 years now and have to say this was the most rewarding season yet. My favorite things about the workshops are watching people grow their skills and form friendships that will last a long time…independent of me and Flowerwild. These attendees left as comrades and artists. It was wonderful. I am already plotting and planning and looking forward to the next ones.

We have 2 new workshops on the calendar for 2013.

Ojai October 1st and 2nd
Palm Springs November 12th and 13th

Please visit the Flowerwild Workshop site for more info or email Kate directly info@flowerwild.com to reserve your space.

Photography by Jose Villa | Creative Direction and Styling: Kate Holt | Hair and Makeup: Mar Romero of Team Hair and Makeup | Props and Prop Styling: Jeni Maus of Found Vintage Rentals | Gowns:  b. Hughes Bridal | Venue: The Ace Hotel

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07.18.13 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog