DESIGN YOUR PERFECT WEDDING DAY

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Did you catch our Cosmic Bloom Desert Wildflower Elopement Shoot earlier this week? It’s a dreamy one. You can check out our feature over on Green Wedding Shoes (eeeeek!) and peep a bunch more photos here and here.

Then come back so we can chat a little about the process of going from threemillionamazingideas, to concrete designs, to a magical day, to final photos, mkay?
My coffee and I will be right here waiting…

My Design Process in a Nutshell

This is the process I use to turn my clients (and my own) sometimes disparate ideas and inspirations, into complete, cohesive, and beautifully realized designs + events. So whether you’re a newly engaged couple, a fellow wedding professional, or a DIY Wedding Warrior, this will work for you too. Try it out and let me know what you think!

1. Ask the Question

 
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How do you want your event to feel?

 

Ask yourself this question first. Write down your answer and refer to it often.
Trust me on this one, your answer will inform the rest of your decisions.

Great events tell great stories. Great stories give you all the feels.
The question is definitely NOT about how you want your event to look.

I wanted our shoot to feel like a sun-drenched bohemian adventure,
full of magic, color and whimsy.

 

2. Be A Greedy Squirrel

 
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Pinterest. The Library. Museums. Magazines. A dog walk. A good book.
 
Inspiration is everywhere, so gather it all up like the greedy little squirrel you are.
Pin it all. Jot it down. If it gives you the feels, gobble it up. For now. Don’t bother to edit.

BUT

Set a Time Limit.
aka. Once your mouth is full you have to stop. (is this analogy still working?)

*If you’ve just gotten engaged, maybe it’s a month to soak up all the inspiration and champagne.
*If it’s a party in a couple months, maybe you give yourself a week.
*If it’s a styled shoot in a week or two, maybe you give yourself a day, or even just a couple of hours.

My squirrel phase looked a bit like this:

NPR won’t shut up about this desert super bloom – maybe it’s worth the drive to see – maybe if we drive all the way out there we should do a desert photo shoot – the desert got me thinking about gram parsons – gram parsons got me thinking about 70’s vibes – my father-in-law has a badass 70’s corvette – so maybe a desert elopement with that car – damn Ravayna’s hair would match all those purple desert flowers – oh! wouldn’t a first dance with a portable record player be sweet – hey! I have a portable record player…

And so on…

And of course the whole time what I’m actually doing is pinning/making lists of anything and everything that feels sun-drenched, bohemian, magical, whimsical, colorful, or adventurous.
 

3. Obey the Rule of Three

 
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Look over all that beautiful inspiration (more like random pins and chicken scratch at this point) and pick out three things you gravitate towards over and over. A certain color. A pattern. A type of flower. Do you only pin brides in short lace dresses? (asking for a friend)

Pay attention to your own ideas.
And pick your three elements.

This is where the magic happens: the three elements you chose, that gave you all the feels, are unique to you. (or your couple, if you’re a designer/planner) and they’ll help you tell your personal + original story.

The Rule of Three is simple: primarily focus on and repeat these three elements throughout your design.

My three for our shoot were purple sunsets, eclectic props, and 70’s rock ‘n’ roll.
 

4. Make your Mood Board

 
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Bouquet/Hair/Wildflowers/Couple/Corvette/Tabletop/Cake/Records
 
Your mood board is an immediate visual answer to the the question.
It gives you all the feels and contain your palette and three elements.
And nothing else.

Now is the time to say goodbye to all those other good ideas,
and the 14 other weddings that could have been.

Make a mixtape, pack your snacks, and get ready to hit the road,
because you, my friend, have made your very own roadmap.
 

5. List out your projects

 
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What key projects do you want or need to make your wedding/party/photoshoot work?

A variety of simple & impactful projects is best.
You don’t need ALL THE THINGS. I promise.

For our elopement adventure I chose:
A Bouquet & Boutonniere
A Cake & Cocktail
A Sweetheart Table
A Custom Jacket with Gram Parsons Lyric
Musical Props- A Record Player & Guitar
“We Eloped” Records

Sure, we could have done more, more, more, but it wasn’t necessary tell our story.
Remember the bare minimum, done beautifully, is often best.
 

6. Be a Ruthless Editor

 
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Again, inspiration is everywhere.

BUT if you’re past your time limit AND you’ve made a mood board you love, well then, it’s time for a little tough love my friend.

Is that amazingnewidea one of your 3 design elements? Does it 100% fit on your board?
If not, it doesn’t matter how cool it is, let it go.

I think we’ll stop here, and talk more tips for picking your projects, turning your lists and inspirations into tangible designs, and styling your day in the next post. I hope you find this series helpful, and would love to address your specific needs & questions. Or do you have a different design process that works for you? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below, over on Instagram, or shoot me an email.

Or maybe you’re a newly engaged couple who thinks this is all swell, but just want to hire me to do it for you. Check out the services I offer right here.
 
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.

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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

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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: Shop

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Hello friends! It’s been tough to get in the holiday spirit this year, and we still haven’t managed to get a tree…

BUT I finally put on the holiday tunes and made this behemoth of a wreath to hang over our fireplace, AND the kind folks at Jord sent over a little holiday cheer in watch form, just in time (ha!) to help me turn the corner and do this holiday thing.

Won’t you join me?

Today I’m sharing a few unique last minute gift ideas you can shop, and over the next two weeks I’ll share a few more gifts to make, donate, and inspire.
 
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1. An Amazing Wood Watch from Jord $189
 
I was initially hesitant when Jord offered to send me one of their wood watches- I don’t do a lot of sponsored content and I’m extremely particular about accessories.

Luckily my curiosity and love of unique pieces got the better of me, because I’m loving my zebrawood and champagne gold Frankie. Massive and minimal at the same time, she’s a statement piece AND a conversation starter. Beautiful, organic, and surprisingly light weight, I’m looking forward to wearing her with everything this holiday season and beyond.
 
Grab an instant $25 e-code here!
 
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2. Stylish Leopard Slippers from Birdies $140
 
Old house. Wood floors. Enough said.
It doesn’t hurt that they’re twinning with my favorite shoes either.
 
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3. Funny Feminist Everything from Yankee Dime Creations $28
 
I have a pile of these stickers on my desk and they make me SO happy.
Stocking stuffers for everyone!
 
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4. Locally Roasted Coffee, Suits & Knives, from Coffee Colab $19
 
We all get lazy and go to Starbucks sometimes, but there are SO many amazing
local coffee roasters to support in Los Angeles!
 
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5. Flower Subscription (from yours truly!)
 
In 2017 Winston & Main will begin offering a flower subscription service here in Los Angeles and I’d LOVE to fill your year with flowers! You can email me (hello@winstonandmain.com) to set up your custom subscription for weekly or monthly flower delivery in my signature organic style. 3 months of once/month delivery for $225 $200 through the end of 2016!
 
 
* This post was sponsored by Jord, all opinions are my own.
Photo 1, 2, 7 David Coe Photo for Winston & Main/Photo 4/Photo 5/Photo 6


Wooden Wristwatch