Tag Archives: dress

J + TJ’s Rustic Handmade Colorado Ranch Wedding (With Rainbows and a Rodeo Arena Reception)!

08 | 03 | 2011

Now, finally on to Jess and TJ’s actual wedding day!  By the morning of the wedding, it really did feel—as Jess and TJ had so hoped and schemed—like everyone there was one big family.   We woke before dawn to take in the “jingle” with some of TJ’s cousins.  Then, everybody else began readying themselves for the day.  I’m not sure what I could really say to do this wedding justice, so I’m keeping my notes uncharacteristically brief.

Jess and TJ saw each other for the first time in a wide open field, a couple of hours before the ceremony was scheduled to start.  We had planned to make a bunch of portraits during that time … but it started to rain just as they finished with that first quiet moment, so we retreated to stay dry.  Wedding party and immediate family portraits were made in the little sliver of shelter under the eaves of the barn.

Jess’s grandfather was quite the photographer in his day, and he even used to make carbro prints (the vintage photographic process on which I have the second biggest crush).  So when he asked me to make a portrait of him (with his bow tie!), I obliged using one of my favorite vintage cameras.

Jess and TJ’s wedding ceremony was perhaps my favorite part of the whole weekend.  It took place atop a cliff overlooking an incredible valley.  We loved how they made the ceremony so, so personal … and got everybody involved!  One friend officiated, others did readings, or sang songs.  Their dog, Midas, was the ring bearer (bearing the real rings). And Jess and TJ’s guests had sent them pieces of fabric with their reply cards to make a quilt that was incorporated into the ceremony.  Here’s what Jess says:

“I wrote the ceremony (which I would also recommend since it made it sooo personal for us) and as part of that, we did a “community blessing” where everyone in the audience held hands and connected all the way to us—as we were wrapped in the quilt with pieces of them all around us. It was one of my favorite moments of the ceremony, and maybe one of my favorite pics from the entire wedding (maybe also because this was when it started to pour rain!). We then used the quilt as a backdrop for our photo booth which was fun because people got to go up and pick out where their piece was on the quilt. TJ and I now have the quilt on our bed and it’s an awesome reminder of that amazing moment.”

I did my best to hide under an umbrella while the rain pour downed and keep my cameras (more or less) dryish while I was shooting (although I was more conspicuous than I would have wanted to be for sure).  But I love the photos from the recessional, with light reflecting through raindrops on my lens glass.  By then, I think I’d dashed out from under the umbrella!

Guests moved to the indoor rodeo arena for dinner, dancing, and bull-riding.  Despite the enormity of the space or the fact that it was really (really!) just a barn, Jess and TJ made it feel cozy, welcoming and even (kind of, but not too) fancy.  The warm happy color palette seemed especially appropriate after a day that had gone from clear and beautiful, to dark and stormy, to rainbows …

Below: Jess and TJ’s first dance and the beginnings of a long, happy night of dancing.

The photo booth was so fun!  You might recognize the quilt, re-purposed …

Maybe the best thing, though, was the mechanical bull!  I loved seeing everybody’s best wild west moves!  Jess made the operator buck her off (although she really, really didn’t want to buck the bride).  It was so funny!

The wedding is featured {here} today on 100 Layer Cake (hooray!).  Be sure to stop back tomorrow and Friday for photographs from Jess’s bridal session and Jess and TJ’s post-wedding love shoot, plus a peek at some of their paper goods …

photographs: Gia Canali

wedding planning: Stacy McCain; wedding design, Duet Events (the bride and her friend’s design company); florals, Sweet Pea Flowers, Denver; lighting & other magic tricks, Pink Monkey Solutions; dj: DJ Smiles Davis; dessert buffet, Tee and Cakes; venue and catering: C Lazy U Ranch

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Negar & Peter’s Elegant Downtown Los Angeles Wedding

07 | 22 | 2010

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Negar and Peter’s wedding was fantastically formal, glamorous, and richly textured in a way that very few weddings here in California ever are.  If I could think of one phrase to describe this wedding, it would definitely be, dressed to the nines.  Of course, that phrase makes a lot of sense when a fashion stylist weds a writer.

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Above: Tiny Pine Press designed and handmade these formal letterpress wedding invitations for Negar & Peter.  I love how they look like they might have come out of grandma’s wedding album … or an F Scott Fitzgerald novel.  They make me hope for a return to classical wedding design.

Negar & Peter had a traditional Persian ceremony, fireside, with a beautifully decorated sofreh. In Persian ceremonies, I love when all the girls (sisters, friends, mothers, aunts, etc.) get up and sprinkle the couple with sugar flakes.  What wedding couldn’t use a little sweetness like that?

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Negar called on her gifted pals, Joseph Free and David Rogers, who are usually busy designing events for Vogue and fashion designers, to design the florals and decor for her wedding. Inspired by their handiwork, and not surprisingly, this is the wedding that made me rethink baby’s breath.  Heaps of lacy-soft baby’s breath and the warm glow of candlelight, it turns out, are pure magic. Here are a few of the intricate and particularly stellar details:

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Even the wedding’s tiniest guests were dressed up and ready to party:

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We were honored to have this wedding featured in C Magazine’s C Weddings this April and are doubly thrilled that it’s being shown off on Style Me Pretty {here} today as well.

photographs: Gia Canali; venue, The California Club; invitations: Jennifer Parsons, Tiny Pine Press; floral design: Joseph Free; event decor: David Rogers; gown: Monique Lhuillier; bride’s jewels, vintage Neil Lane; shoes, Valentino

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Getting Great Wedding Photos, Tip #15: Allow Plenty of Time To Put Your Wedding Dress On

07 | 05 | 2010

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Allowing at least 30 minutes for just the “dressing” part of getting ready is really important—even if you’re wearing a really simple dress.  Not only do you not want to be rushed, but you never know when you might need that extra time.  Sometimes a zipper breaks, or you need to be sewn into your dress last-minute, or your straps are too long and need to be altered on the fly, or you’ve forgotten some totally essential part of the getup, or … or … or.  In any case, even if everything goes off without a hitch, you’ll still need time for putting on all your glorious accessories.

photo: Gia Canali

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Real Weddings :: Eunice & Daniel: One Lucky Wedding

03 | 01 | 2010

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Welcome to Eunice & Daniel’s wedding!  Eunice and her sister Sabrina own Hello!Lucky, while Daniel designs video games at Three Rings, and frankly, I can’t think of a craftier, more inventive—or more exuberant!—crew to plan a wedding.  Eunice designed pretty much everything and she and her friends, led by sister and maid-of-honor, Sabrina, worked tirelessly to make sure those designs became a reality. Much of the inspiration for the wedding’s design is from Tim Walker’s photographs.  Walker’s work has always fascinated me, as it demonstrates, in intricate detail, how Britain was, is, and always will be a magical place, if improbably so.  See his work, if you aren’t already familiar with it.  You’ll know what I mean.  The little stage Eunice and Daniel were married on and the whimsical parade to the ceremony site, led by Daniel with his white unicorn, are lifted straight from Walker’s (or … Eunice-and-Daniel’s) imagination.

{click any image to enlarge the gallery}

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Below: a few images from the ceremony. I love the flower girls dumping the confetti on each other!!  The stage was lovingly made by the crew at Because We Can and painted by Eunice and friends.  (The stage now has a home behind Eunice & Daniel’s bed, which is the perfect sort of re-purposing of wedding decor, I think).  Eunice designed her dress and her friend and colleague, Hello!Lucky’s London office head, Iain Harris Bartlett, sewed it for her.

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The day passed by at lightning speed, as it really always does at weddings.  I was so happy to have a few moments with Eunice and Daniel along the winding dirt road and in the wide, grassy fields at {Wilbur Hot Springs}.

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The details of this wedding were myriad, intricate, and marvelous.  Nearly everything was made by hand, and much of it by Eunice, Daniel, and their friends. There was so much to look at (and photograph and share!) that I needed a dedicated post to do those details any sort of justice at all.  Here are just a few, though.  Sharla Flock designed the florals, which were rich and varied and added so much color and texture to the wedding.  The cake topper is hilariously cute (worth clicking to enlarge!).

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The guests were dressed to match the wedding perfectly, even the littlest ones.  It gave me the feeling that we were all in a movie we couldn’t see being filmed.

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As night fell, the party began in earnest.  There was square-dancing and Eunice’s sister, Sabrina, sang a song.  Their father accompanied the band on his mandolin for another song.  And, yes, Eunice and Daniel really did cut the cake with a cleaver.  I think Daniel might have a collection …

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For fewer, larger photographs, please see {this gallery} on my main site.  And satisfy your floral-detail-loving-cravings {here}.  Hello!Lucky posted a great feature on their, site, too, complete with a gallery and diy wedding project instructionals, and it’s {here}.

photographs by Gia Canali; wedding design, Hello!Lucky; paper goods, Hello!Lucky and Joel Dewberry; wedding planning, Lisa Feldman Designs; Daniel’s dapper suit, Al’s Attire; bridesmaid’s dresses, Al’s Attire and Jessica Bobillot; Eunice’s fascinator, Jennifer Behr; cake topper, Publique Living;  stage, wooden table “numbers,” and parade props, Because We Can and Hello!Lucky; lighting design, Jimmy Duhig, Creative Lighting Design; Eunice designed her dress and it was handsewn by her friend Iain Harris Bartlett. Go handmade!!

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Dress Shop Visit: Atelier Des Modistes

01 | 07 | 2010

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Yesterday, I visited Atelier Des Modistes in San Francisco.   I wanted to meet Suzanne Hanley, the designer behind two of my favorite brides’s dresses and to see the beautiful shop where she and her crew design and make the gowns.  We had fun talking shop and while I sat there, chatting, I wondered yet again why, even though I had my dress made for me, I never went dress shopping when I was engaged.  Sigh.  Anyway.  Suzanne’s shop is certainly the best of both worlds (lots to try on and lots to dream up out of your own imagination).  I dearly hope there’s a big return to handmade in 2010.  What better than a one-of-a-kind dress designed and sewn just for you?

A girl can’t carry all her gear all the time, so I’m sharing photos from my iPhone.*  Below: store front sign, capelet (yes, please!), cards, behind the scenes with the best inspiration wall ever, super sewing machine, lace and ruffles galore, wedding gowns and polaroids (two of my favorite things, you know), and more images of the lovely dress-in-the-window (may some lucky bride swoon over it!).

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photos: Gia Canali, via her iPhone.

*Yes, indeed, we photographers have just as much fun as everybody else with our cell phone cameras.
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Nicole & Abram’s Malibu Wedding

12 | 07 | 2009

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Nicole and Abram had a beautiful summer wedding in Malibu.  And although they wanted to wed on the beach, both imagined having some photographs that were decidedly more woodsy and magical.  I’m not sure how many times Abram went scouting by himself—at least twice!—but the afternoon the three of us visited this site (pictured above), we knew we’d found what we were all looking for.  This brings up an important point about working with a photographer: communicating your vision can make all the difference in the world.  While you’re at it, it’s good to let your imagination run a little wild.  You don’t know, really, what is and isn’t possible.

The feeling I got from this place made me want to pull out all the toy cameras …

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Megan Fickling-Pearson from {La Partie Events} did an outstanding job on the day-of wedding coordination.  We love her boundless creativity and good spirits and cannot wait to photograph a wedding where she does the floral design, too.  Her {blog} is always a good read—Meg knows where to find all the cool stuff! Below: a few photographs from the ceremony. Nicole and Abram were so sweet with each other.  I love that!

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Below: some of the details. Chalkboards can be really fun decor elements at weddings. Abram decorated these for the reception.  DIY projects like this are great for weddings, as they are easy and memorable. We also liked the sweets table!

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After the ceremony and just as the sun was setting, Nicole and Abram took a few more minutes to run around the beach.  If you have an opportunity to take advantage of multiple setups or locations for portraits, do it!  Your album will have lots more variety.

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Nicole and Abram made a point of getting the portraits they wanted—and it really paid off.  Photographers are always ready for a happy collaboration!  We highlighted their good sense previously, but this tip from their wedding is definitely worth reiterating: take a walk!  It’s nice to have some quiet time with your beloved and it makes for really good photographs. 

photographs: Gia Canali Nicole’s gown: Edgardo Bonilla Florals: Michelle, Larchmont Village Florist, (323) 464-8146

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Getting Great Wedding Photos, Tip #7: Have Somebody Else {Really} Learn How To Bustle Your Gown

07 | 21 | 2009

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I always think the bustling of the gown is a great and funny occasion at weddings.  Actually, and although I never mind, I find myself bustling the gown more often than really makes sense.  (I am not a “pro”).  Many bustles are complicated to figure out, and I have a good feeling that it always seems much easier when your seamstress is showing you with her deft fingers how to do it.  So I suggest you bring to your fittings someone who the seamstress can really teach to bustle the gown.  And then maybe you two can practice again, when you are alone, and it is not your wedding day.  Because it always seems like it’s awfully hard, on the wedding day, for the bride to stand still and be bustled … Much less to do it several times if the bustling comes undone.

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photo: Gia Canali

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