Cosmic Bloom Desert Elopement

purple haired bride
 
Inspired by this year’s desert wildflower super bloom, and my longtime love of Gram Parsons, I gathered a few super talented vendors, and one fabulous couple, and we headed out to Anza Borrego for a desert elopement styled shoot. It’s 3.5 hours away from LA you guys, and it was SO. WORTH. IT.

A little country, a little rock n’ roll, and a whole lot of color.

Featuring brilliant blooms, a desert tabletop for two, flower-filled cocktails, a rock-candy cake, a guitar strumming groom, and a sweet barefoot first dance in the desert, this shoot is loaded with fun inspiration for any of you planning your own desert weddings.
 
Oh! And I almost forgot to mention the custom embroidered denim jacket (a Gram Parson’s lyric of course!)

Check out a few of my favorites below:
 

Desert Wedding Photography

 
first kiss in the desert
 
Julie Shuford captured the love (hubba! hubba!) and the light so beautifully for our shoot. She’s super talented AND a total joy to be around, which is so important, because after your partner, your wedding photographer is the person you will be spending the most time with on your wedding day. Hire this woman!
 
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The Ultimate Boho Wedding Dress

 
boho desert bride
 
The moment I saw that lace and THOSE sleeves, I knew this was the dress for our shoot. This absolute stunner is from The Blushing Bird, and there’s more where she came from! I also love the simple, but no less showstopping accessories- these dainty earrings and headpiece pack just the right amount of sparkly punch.
 
purple haired boho bride
 

The Desert Bridal Bouquet

 
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You guys- I love this bouquet SO much, I had this picture framed for my studio. The variety of blooms- lush peonies, tropical protea, tiny desert wildflowers, and yes, even carnations… this bouquet just gets me.
 
desert bridal bouquet
 
Also, carnations are back y’all. Just thought you should know.
 

The Rock and Roll Wedding Cake

 
purpleweddingcakewinstonandmain
 
This shoot came together pretty last minute, so I was floored by this behemoth that Tamara of Mwokaji Cakery busted out for our shoot. She’s such an amazing (cake) artist! Also you guys- driving 3.5 hours with a massive cake in your car is SO nerve wracking, and gave me a newfound respect for bakers (and their delivery peeps) everywhere. And I thought a car full of flowers was bad!
 

The Floral Cocktail

 
floral cocktail
 
Put a flower on it. And in it. Done and done.
 

The Desert Sweetheart Table

 
desert sweetheart table
 
I took inspiration from cotton-candy-pink-melting-into-lavender sunsets, my model’s amazing unicorn hair, my father in-law’s goldenrod corvette, and of course GP himself! Then I raided my prop closet and did a little shopping. How perfect are these sunset cocktail glasses from Anthropologie?
 
flower filled cocktails
 
boho sweetheart table
 

The First Dance

 
boho first dance photography
 
Sorry if you’re one of those people who can’t stand the sight of bare feet!
 
romantic first dance
 

Our Couple

 
cute boho couple
 
Yep, they really are that cute.
Ravayna & David are the real deal, and I consider myself lucky to call them friends.
 

The Custom Bridal Jacket

 
custom bridal jacket
 
…that started it all.
 
Because you really can base an entire shoot (ahem, wedding) off one amazing piece.
 
gram parsons lyric jacket
 
This classic Levi’s jacket was embroidered with love by my pals over at Ink & Thread.
They are THE BEST.
 
grievous angel lyrics jacket
 
Check out our feature on Green Wedding Shoes for even more inspiration and check back later this week to talk inspiration and cocktails.
 
 
Venue: Anza Borrego Desert State Park / Event & Floral Design + Planning: Winston & Main / Photography: Julie Shuford Photography / Dress + Accessories: The Blushing Bird / Cake: Mwokaji Cakery / Embroidery: Ink & Thread LA / Models: Ravayna & David Coe



Building a Sustainable Flower Business

beautiful vintage wedding bouquet

One of my goals this year is to build a more sustainable flower business from seed to centerpiece. Because wedding flowers y’all? Despite the blooms + gaggles of greenery involved, they’re not so green.
 
According to the United States Department of Agriculture around 80% of flowers are imported. So they’ve already racked up A LOT of frequent flier miles, and quite the carbon footprint, before they even arrive at your florist. They’re fumigated at the border, and who knows what the hell they were sprayed with before that? I’ll tell you who knows friends- my sad, sad florist paws the day after a big event. They’re chapped, cracked, and ready for Halloween. I will spare you that visual.
 
flower arranging

The environmental impact doesn’t end once the flowers reach your florists hands either. Flowers arrive with packaging (both paper/plastic) and one of the more popular methods of flower arranging involves floral foam, a non-biodegradable petroleum product. And of course there are more sprays.

So what’s a floral designer to do? Throw up her hideous hands and call it a day? And how about all you newly engaged folks with stars in your eyes and visions of peonies in your head?

Don’t despair. I want you to have your peonies damn it! We’ll get through this together- you’ll have your flowers, I’ll have my hands, and hopefully we all (you, me, and mother nature) have a little more green in our pockets this year.

sf4

Here at Winston & Main, we already avoid flower foam, compost our trimmings and scraps, and recycle as much packaging as possible.

In 2017 we will:
*Find and use local flowers whenever possible
*Donate Day-Old wedding flowers
*Get serious about Flower Farming in Los Angeles + plant our first bridal garden

SF5

There is an aesthetic bonus to all of this of course, a silvery green eucalyptus-like lining. Ahh eucalyptus. Be still my heart. Just like a garden fresh tomato tastes like sunshine and a store bought tomato tastes like dirty water, fresh flowers look, feel, and last longer.

The magic lies in their imperfection. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a wonky garden rose over it’s more manicured long-stemmed cousin any day.

Join us! If you’re in Southern California (or beyond) I’d love to chat about making your wedding flowers more sustainable, more affordable, and more beautiful AND we still have some availability for 2017!

Less waste. More love. I’ll have some local fresh flower sources for you soon + updates on my wannabe flower farmer adventures.

Photos: Linda Abbott/Kirsten Ellis/David Coe/W&M



Last Minute Gift Guide: Make

holidaywreathdiy
 
Holiday wreaths are an easy way to bring a lot cheer on the cheap to your home, and they make great gifts too!

I prefer them a little weird and wild (like most things in life), but you can use this technique for almost any material you choose.

And the only supplies you’ll need are a wire wreath form, paddle wire, and some snips. Easy peasy.
 
holidaywreathdiy2
 
First up- grab yo’ greens! Do it in a park, and try not to look…awkward.

I chose noble fir, cedar, and seeded eucalyptus from the LA Flower Mart for around $3.50/bunch and used about 1/3 bunch per 12″ wreath. For the behemoth in that first photo, you’ll need around 2 bunches of everything.

You can also forage your greens in the wild or at your local tree lot/Home Depot, where they’ll usually give you the branches they cut off the bottoms of trees for free.
 
holidaywreathdiy3
 
Now for some fun (and long lasting) accents- thistle, naked pepperberry, and red safari.
 
holidaywreathdiy4
 
Make small and pleasing bunches of greens + accents.
 
holidaywreath5
 
Place your first bunch on your wreath form and use the paddle wire to secure it. No need to be pretty or too precious- just make sure it’s secure and DON’T cut your wire.
 
holidaywreathdiy6
 
Lay down your next bunch directly below the first one, so that the top of your second bunch covers up your messy wires. Secure it in place and DON’T cut your paddle wire.
Rinse and repeat.
 
holidaywreathdiy7
 
Voila! Not too shabby for $10 and 20 minutes, right?!

And if a wreath isn’t up your alley, here are 4 more gifts to make:

Vanilla Extract
Preserved Lemons
Homemade Bitters
Chewy Caramels

And yes, they’re all edible, because if you’ve been invited to a holiday party, your host/ess probably already has enough cheese logs, tea towels and kitchen tchotkes!