I couldn't have ended the 2009/2010 wedding season with a more gracious couple - seriously I feel like I was absolutely BLESSED this year with THE most amazing couples - I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for being such wonderful, amazing, in-love brides/grooms and, if I could do this season all over again, I would do your weddings over again with an abundance of joy!
Ashley & Dave tied the knot May 22nd, 2010 in San Pancho (also known down here as San Francisco) ... a truly sleepy fishing village just a few minutes north of Sayulita and about an hour north of Vallarta. This all took place in the quaint hotel of Costa Azul, whose amazing coordinator Eliza and the recepionist, whose name escapes me at the moment (but you were awesome!), made working there such a joy! Thank you! Naef did the catering and the food was absolutely nummy!! And all the pictures down below that are awesome were donated by the bride's photographer, Jillian Mitchell - a righteous photographer who is funner than anything to work with. And, um, all the amateur pictures were taken by me. But I'm fun too ;).
We just had a couple of months to put Ashley & Dave's design together - but Ashley was pretty laid back and very open-minded and engaging - so it wasn't the push it could have been :). She just wanted something "festive and fun, not too fancy" with the colors of Mexico. At first I think there was some surprise that we were going to do everything catered specifically for her - no cookie-cutting going on ;), but after that, ideas just took off!
This was my inspiration board....
But, honestly, this picture and Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms were my main inspirations....
The Bouquets & Bouts
I have no idea how this idea came to me - I've done variations of this on other bouquets - but nothing quite like this before. Normally, I am not a fan of stargazers in a bouquet - they are hard to work with and make them look balanced - but this bouquet turned out even better than what I had planned in my head - and it smelled great! Since the bridesmaid's dresses were going to be so colorful I wanted their bouquets to be white so that the flowers didn't get lost with the color of their dresses, but would stand out - the same thing going for the groom and groomsmen ... and, of course, for Ashley I wanted the same thing - for her bouquet to stand out - which it did ... and what amazing photos Jillian took of these bouquets!
I always loved how photographers in Guanajuato or San Miguel had these amazing blue doors and colorful painted buildings to take their photographs and then the thought occurred to me that we could simply recreate that feeling! I know I keep saying this, but, okay, THIS is my favorite chuppah EVER. I also love the bright blue bowls with floating orange mums which lined the ceremony aisle.
The stained glass in the chuppah was made specifically for Ashley & Dave - Ashley told me that Dave would buy her replicas of paintings that they saw together, one of which had a lot of meaning to them was Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms .... so we recreated that painting but with a Mexican twist and had it in touches through-out the wedding ... starting with the hand-crafted wooden fans ....
and carried through to the stained glass in the chuppah (which Omar painted and we gave to them to keep)....
The maracas were also based on that same painting - I love how they turned out. And, as far as I know, I was the original creator of the phrase "shake me at the kiss" for our maracas. So, I wanted to do something a bit different for this original, bohemian couple .... I like it!
We covered the cocktail tables with bright fuschia fabric and blue talavera pots. The escort cards were photos of the couple in various locations (as they both love love to travel!) that Ashley had given to me and represented which table each guest would be seated at. At first, I was going to make them like little flower cards but then realized they would look cooler if they were done like international flags - so there was touches of each country's flag on the border of the photographs ;).
We covered the tables with bright orange fabric (a sunburst orange for the bride/groom table) and I found these amazing orange/blue talavera vases downtown (only one place in town sells this particular pattern!) and filled each one with various fuschia flowers. Each table had its own flowers except for the bridal table which had a bouquet of all of them surrounded by hand-made candle shades which were the exact same pattern as the candles we hung-up in the cocktail area.
The table markers, as mentioned before, were photos of the bride and groom at their favorite locations around the globe.
Napkins in a bright cobalt blue sewed by my very talented sister-in-law, Gaby, and the menu cards were actually done by Ashley's aunt! We sent her the graphic (also based on Van Gogh's Almond Blossoms - of course!) and she worked with us on the design but really it was mostly her idea! I think they turned out awesome!
We put a sprig of colorful flower at the bottom of each wine glass to represent who was eating what and I do think that's one of my favorite touches (thanks Pierre for pushing my ideas!)
The placecards rock - seriously ;). Ashley & Dave love to cook, so I thought it would be fitting to have a recipe card with a recipe common to each of the areas they traveled. Fish and Chips for London, Chili Burger for Mammoth, Apple Strudel for Munich, Smazeny Pyr (fried cheese) for Prague and Mexican Shrimp Cocktail for Santa Barbara. There were the most adorable kids at the wedding and, as you will see, their recipe place cards were a wee bit different....
Ashley had chosen 3 different cake designs as her favorite which were all super different from each other - but we combined the best part of each of those cakes, as well as adding-in the accent on the bottom layer which was the same pattern as the cocktail candles and the reception candle screens. Memo, of course, rocked the design and holy cow the chocolate cake Naef did was literally TO DIE FOR. YUMMMMY.
Dance floor was just gorgeous with the beautiful paper lanterns we had shipped-in from Hawaii and my husband shot this really pretty sunset shot of the chuppah which made a nice backdrop to watch while sipping a margarita ;).
I loved Costa Azul and their staff and would love to do a wedding there again, but would be remiss to not admit that we did have one tiny incident at the end of the evening which marred things somewhat - unfortunately, someone walked into the bridal suite and stole a few things from our bride and groom, including a couple of passports. Booooo!!! Ashley & Dave (and the few of their guests who were also affected) took it all in stride and in good humor and with a lot of grace - a good reminder to any of you who travel to not keep your passports in your purse and, perhaps, not such a bad idea to use the hotel safe for the passports, anyway. But just a suggestion! Eliza, the coordinator at Costa Azul, did her absolute best to help the bride, groom and guests to rectify the situation and all ended well ...
We have more maracas going-out and shout-outs coming-up so I will be back sooner rather than later .... can't wait for the next wedding season and am loving all my wonderful, amazing brides-to-be! You guys rock!