barn weddings

It was a Great Pumpkin Wedding…

19 October 2010

Hello all my witchy friends…

Sorry to have flown off on my broom for so long… tis not only the witching season but the wedding season as well!!

Now some might get those two confused and I am sure that there are many that cross the line but alas I am fortunate to have only come across one bad witch-bride in amongst 12 years of wonderful Glenda-the-good-witch brides!  I shall save her story for another time.  Truly a dark and stormy night is needed!

I wanted so much to be a part of Vanessa’s Fanciful Twist Halloween blog party, cooking up lots of magical brews and potions, or creating some mystical witches den.

I so love Vanessa’s magical ways and her beautiful blog… to be a part of her lovely party would have been a joy but alas the ladies in the white dresses come first!

So on that note I want to share with all of you pumpkin-loving-witches and magical-muggles (not a oxymoron I assure you) a supercalifragilisticexpeallidotious wedding that I got to be a part of a few years ago.

This bride LOVED pumpkins, I think even more than Vanessa over at Fanciful Twist!

To get ready for the wedding we met her and her family at a pumpkin patch and between her family’s trucks our delivery vans and trailers we hauled away over 2000 pounds of pumpkins!!!!

My husband still gets shaky when he sees a pumpkin…  he’s afraid I will ask him to haul it somewhere and back again.

There were mini piles all over…

On the tables as name markers…

Tiny glittered ones as party favors…

A larger buff colored one we turned into the ring bearer’s fanciful treasure chest…

They were all over the tables as general decor…

And not only did my fabulistic-fall femme like pumpkins she LOVED halloween candy (is this a woman after our haunted hearts or what!).  So of course I filled tall vases with candy corn and stuck branches in them!

She had a desert buffet laid out with pies and cakes and tons of all the most wonderful childhood-memory-inducing Halloween candy.  It was a spread that would have caused any dentist to retire early!  In addition they had a most beautiful chocolate wedding cake.

Her bouquet was filled with…  but of coarse… CHOCOLATE Cosmos (and Lilly-of-the-Valley).  They really do smell like chocolate!

What with all the Halloween/pumpkin/candy/ and delectable treats blog posts out there I thought I would share one of my all time favorite weddings that so fit the season.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Party on my Pumpkin Pals!

vintage eclectic barn wedding

24 May 2010
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As promised here are the latest barn wedding pictures, please know I am a designer not a photographer so pardon the horrible pictures.  If the photographer gives me some better ones I will post them…

The ceremony was across from the barn at the base of a 300 year old Sycamore tree…


In an earlier post I had shown you a few ideas for hanging windows from the trees and setting the pews outside, the bride liked the ideas so that’s what we did.  We also added straw bales as more seating

The vow site,

We used some old fence gates as the entrance to the aisle.

The welcome beverage table,

Really fun beverage signs,

The check in area with vintage trunks and hang tags with buttons which told the guests where they would sit.

Inside the barn,

Containers were an assortment of vintage boxes, wooden buckets, jars and bottles, old tin, and cast iron.

I made candles covered with copies of old French letters and ledgers as well as some covered with burlap with buttons…  very fun!

they used mason jars as drinking glasses,

At the entrance to the barn we hung up old keys, hang tags with the bride and groom’s names, old door handles, latches, locks, silver ware and all manner of eclectic items.

We set the cake on a glass table top which was placed on a couple of straw bales with a funky old wrought iron chandelier with crystals hanging overhead.

Another old, fun chandelier with crystals, and behind on the wall are a bunch of photos of the bride and groom.

Below is an old wooden grain trough that my husband turned into a couch.  I am having huge overstuffed white denim cushions made for it, they just were not done in time for the wedding so I used foam and an old quilt.



Another view of the barn…   it really is set in the most beautiful glade of Sycamore trees,

There were lots of fun and sweet details, almost a sweet as the couple…   Hope you have enjoyed the pictures!

My imagination at work

1 April 2010
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I have some ideas rummaging around in my head, thought I would share them with you.  As you may know from an earlier post the ranch we live on has a wonderful old barn that my husband just restored for a wedding.  I was poking through some of the ranch’s old buildings looking for salvaged wood to build tables for the barn and my imagination started going off.  I have a couple of scenarios in my mind, both I would like to try, so here goes…

First thought would be to use some of the old doors and windows I found for an unusual ceremony look.   This site exists across from the barn and I have always thought it would make a lovely ceremony tree.   I drew a picture below…  see what you think.

I think hanging several windows from the old Sycamore tree with some flower garlands intertwined would be kind of fun.  I just inherrited two beautiful stained glass windows from my family that would make a beautiful “altar”.  The colors are very muted, not at all strong.  Unfortunately I have not picked them up yet so there are no pictures to show you.  The entrance to the aisle would be an old head board from a vintage bed that I have.  Just before the bride walks down the aisle it could be opened with a flourish.  We have some old church pews that I would use too.  One long Asian carpet would be the aisle runner, with another for the bride and groom to say their vows on. would be a long Asian carpet with another one at the vow site (of course I own lots of carpets too!)  A fairly eclectic look but beautiful I think.

On the left is an example of some of the windows I could use, we would need to replace the panes or knock them out, not a problem.

Here are some of my own windows along with a wagon, table, and bench.

The other variation would be more in keeping with the barn theme.

I would take an old window pane door I have (pictured above) and create a frame for it and set it at the vow site. I would then set next to it a hay bale or two with some beautiful garden urns with flowers.  I would also set next to it my old wagon filled with flowers. I would still use the Asian carpets and pews.   For the entrance to the aisle I would set some old fence gates I found.  Here are some pictures of various props I own and some of the old windows and doors on the ranch.

The large doors behind the gates in the first picture on the left we might be able to take down and use for the vow site.  They are huge and beautiful if a tad worn…   The white gates would be the entrance to the aisle.

My husband and I will be making tables out of these doors, I think they will be wonderful for the barn!

There are 7 doors like the one on the left.  It is hard to tell in the picture but they have a wonderful patina.

The ones on the right will be joined together for one large table.

This old grain bin we are going to turn into a couch.  We will take the front off and then make cushions out of white denim and filled with goose down for the pillows.  To this I would add lots of luxurious throw pillows in the colors of the wedding.

This door on the left has the most wonderful old paint on it.  I will wax all the doors so the color will really stand out and the finish will hopefully be nice and smooth.

I also have a few old benches that would be fun to throw in somewhere, maybe as a coffee table for the grain bin couch?

I also thought it would be whimsical to fill a few odd items with flowers like the top suitcase in a stack of suitcases, or a beautiful old steam trunk.  They could also be filled with blankets for the guests to borrow for a chilly outdoor wedding.

The stack of suitcases would also make a great check in table or cocktail table.

I would also use several of my own vintage wooden tables, may be for check in or gifts or a family photo display…

Pardon the mess but these tables I use as my desk and art table.  I believe the level of messiness directly corresponds to how creative you are…   that’s my story and I am sticking with it!

How fun are these old wagons?

Now lets imagine we go into the old barn for the reception and though the barn itself is very rustic with a dirt floor, the decor is very sophisticated!  I just love the unexpected mix of old and rustic with beautiful elegance.  I would hang from the rafters large crystal chandeliers and then have some of the old wood tables with sheer organza linens on them so you could see through the fabric to the table.  Some of the old tables would have a heavy damask runner or a beautiful old brocade.  I would mix in a few regular tables so I could have a gorgeous heavy linen all the way to the ground.  The centerpieces would be silver bowls filled with flowers and silver candelabras.  I have kept a few pictures from an old Anthropologie catalogue that has a great color story.  I also cut out an old photo that created lots of beautiful possibilities in my mind.  There are definitely some great ideas for table linens and colors in these photos!

Here are some fun fabrics of my own that would make lovely table linens or even curtains for the barn.

Well…   thats the way my imagination has been going, hope you like my ramblings!

Add a bit of faerie dust to your wedding

31 March 2010
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I had the great fortune to indulge in a faerie dream that was swimming around in my imagination and create a beautiful and fastastical faerie and elf wedding.  I wallowed in making wings and costumes, and setting a beautiful stage on the magical ranch my husband and I live on.  I went a little crazy with it and the results have been published I am happy to say in Faerie Magazine  (summer 09) and is currently in Santa Barbara Magazine and is coming out in Elle mag in China in May as well as on numerous bolgs.  The most excellent photographer Elizabeth Messina captured the magic on film beautifully.  This was my faerie bride and groom and their magical owl,

To see the whole wedding go to the faerie gallery on my web site.

I know that most people would not go to quite these lengths in a muggle (non-magic folks) wedding so I have taken some of the faerie pictures and suggested what you could incorporate from them in your wedding,

Hold the ceremony outside at the base of an ancient tree.  Possibly add a garland around the trunk or hang a chandeliere from one of the branches.  You could easily purchase an old funky chandeliere from a thrift store and then cover it with moss or bark.  The day of the wedding add fresh greenery like Ferns and Ivy.  You can hang ribbons from the branches and then pin wishes to the ribbons or tie flowers to the end of the ribbons.  You could hang a big beautiful flowering basket from the branches off to one side of where you will be standing.  Keep in mind what the camera sees and make sure that nothing looks like it is coming out of your head in the photos.   You could place around the base of the tree trailing potted plants and flowers like Ferns, Petunias or Impatients for added lushness and color.  Hanging colorful lanterns looks very festive even if the ceremony is in the day time.

Bring natural elements into the ceremony such as having the rings brought forth on a moss pillow or on a lovely piece of bark.  Nestling rings in large shells or birds nests look beautiful as well.  Set a feasting table outside in the middle of a field/park/forest/glade/orchard/wherever natural.  Hang lanterns all around for twinkling light as the evenings draws near.  Use any type of lanterns or even a hodg podg of different styles.  If cold evenings are a factor you can rent mushroom heaters from a party rental company to scatter about or have some outdoor fire pits for a wonderful effect as well as heat.

Bring natural elements to your table such as plants (both green and flowering), cover any plastic pots with moss and tuck in lots of goodies like fruit, mushrooms, feathers, bark, branches, driftwood, shells, etc.  You can also add in sparlkey elements like beaded bits, crystals, personal momentos, pictures,  and lots of pretty glass containers for candles.

Make chargers for the plates out of feathers, moss, large green leaves or bark or other natural elements.  Add a bit of sparkle with gliter or colorful glass beads.

Set you cake outside near a tree or other beautiful vista.  Go a bit crazy with a lushious display of gorgeous candies, fruit and flowers.  It becomes a lovely focal point throughout the evening as well as makes for beautiful pictures.

I also created another wedding for a photo shoot with a magical/mid-summer-nights-dream feeling.   Christine Arnold took the following great pictures.  Most of what I created muggles could do.  I used lots of plants and natural material like tree branches and trunks, moss, mushrooms and bark.  I also used lots of outdoorsy items like garden figurines, old fashioned hurricane lamps, and mixed them with more elegant pieces like candelabras, Indian saris, beautiful goblets, and absolutely loads of candles and twinkle lights.  I really think almost anything can look beautiful in candle light and twinkle lights come as close to candle light as any electric light available.

Use large leafs as chargers, have short sections of tree trunks as risors.  Tuck in bits like pine cones and fun fruit and vegiatbles.

Make a green wrap or head wreath for some of the statues in the garden.  They should be decked out for the festivities too!

Use lots of candle elements like lanterns and pretty glasses with votives in them.

Even bottles with tall grasses in them look cool.  Go and trim your yard and tuck in the bits of branches, ferns, and succulents on the table.

Use lots of layers of mismatched fabrics for great texture.  Stay within a color story of 2 or 3 colors so it doesn’t get too messy and then use lots of variations of those colors.  Rent a simple inexpensive base linen for all the tables in the same color and then layer on lots of other fabrics.  I also like to include a natural fabric like burlap or gauze to reiterate the outdoor feeling.

Use lots of lanterns, it doesn’t matter if they match.  One way to keep things from looking too eclectic is to keep each table with like items on it.  So have one table with hurricane lanterns and then another table with more exotic lanterns.  Do not mix the two different styles on the same table.

Here I have used a vintage Indian sari that had wonderful gold thread woven throughout.  The colors for this event were browns and greens.

Here I use my own green sequened shawl over a long strip of brown velvet which was layed over the base brown linen.  I also swirled around the candle holders more fabric.

Hanging all over were large tree branches with the leaves still on them and curtains of twigs with Spanish Moss all interwoven with lots of twinkle lights.  Wrapped on several of the beams was dried Honeysuckle vine, again mixed with twinkle lights.

I also created a mini lounge with tree trunks with cushions on them and a brass table again on a small tree trunk. On the table were lots of river rocks and moss which would also look good on the dinning tables.

Just remember to bring outside items in and add a bit of sparkle.  It is the combination of rustic or natural elements with sophisticated glamour that is so alluring and beautiful.

A lovely barn wedding…

6 February 2010

There is something so beautiful about the joining together of two souls in marriage.

What is equally beautiful is the community of people that come together to support this  union…

My husband and I are privileged to live on a magical ranch that has been a part of California forever.  The ranch had a lovely broken down old barn that was some how too special for the owners to tear down but still too costly to repair.  One day a very  dear young woman came to this ranch searching for a place to hold her wedding.  She and her husband-to-be were looking for a place that was magical, full of love and beauty but was also humble and unassuming.  She and her love had dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate and so were looking for a place that was not ostentatious yet still special.  She fell in love with the barn and assured us that is  would be perfect with only a bit of repair needed.  She wrote us a check right then, which went to buy the lumber to start the rebuilding process.  We only had three  months to make everything ready, but she had perfect faith in us so we had to have perfect faith our ability to be ready.  Everyone on the ranch came together and under the guidance of my husband got to work restoring this wonderful old barn. When the wedding day came the bride and her groom declared it perfect and with tears in their eyes (and in ours as well) proceeded to have a most wonderful celebration under its’ roof.  This couple was so happy and secure in their love for each other and in the gift that is their life that not even when the sky opened up and the rain came down was it looked on as anything other than a beautiful blessing.  I can’t help but think that their experiences helping the less fortunate have made them truly able to appreciate all that they have.  All weddings are special but I really feel that this one, what with the unusually precious couple and their families, the barn with all its history as well as all the love that went into restoring it made for a particularly magical wedding. http

The bride and groom brought the amazingly talented Braedon Flynn to record in pictures their special day.  He is one of the most unassuming and wonderful artists I have had the privilege of working with.  Fun, humble, flexible and truly extremely good at his work!  He also has a great blog site, braedonsSee for yourself…

The lighting effects were so beautiful…  Geoff Mognus with Ambient Event Lighting created the magic for us!  He and his wife are another wonderful couple to work with!

The barn wood Chuppa

The guests names and table assignments were written on shipping tags then hung on an antique wine bottle rack.

Details of the tables, mostly vintage items

The bride said make it look like Anthropology…

The desert spread…

All the goodies were from Amber of Enjoy Cupcakes.  There were a few tidbits left over which as far as my husband and I were concerned was not enough…  they were sooooo good, and she is such a sweetie herself!

The bride and all her maids wore wraps from Anthropology

Who would have thought a black umbrella could look so good!

Like I said…  it RAINED!!

A kind and supportive friend of mine Brian Charrette of BB photography took these gorgeous pictures of the décor for us., he and his wife are amazing artists who I have had the pleasure of working with on lots of weddings.

Another wonderful friend, Joel Serrato of Joel Serrato Films, out of the kindness and generosity of his heart documented the barn rebuilding process.  He is an amazing film maker and usually captures weddings for very lucky couples.  I feel so privileged to have this lovely video of our barn.  Have a look at his site if you like to cry at beautiful and sentimental weddings complete with such touching music.  The beautiful song is by Ted Wagner, another generous supporter.

Barn Wedding video

And they are living happily ever after…