Elegant Thailand Wedding

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When I first spoke with Stacy and Brad they communicated how important it was to them that we created a design that felt natural in its environment. My suggestion was to create a Thai garden style look in neutral colors that would blend seamless with the gorgeous backdrop of the Amanpuri. We chose the symbol of the lotus flower as the motif for the wedding. The meaning of the lotus is deep rooted in Chinese culture, and its symbolism spoke to Stacy and Brad. The neutral color palette of creme, taupe and green was accented by the textures of Thai silk, gold accents, teak wood and handmade paper.

The stationery suite was inspired by the elegant simplicity of Thailand. We chose handmade papers and a soft taupe ink color for the paper goods. The invitation was backed on a linen card and mimicked the save the date which was sent in a box filled with dried jasmine flower. Clean fonts juxtaposed with calligraphy call outs kept the look simple and elegant.

The ceremony was held on a grassy lawn on the Surin beach. I had custom chair covers made to offer a visual of softness against the sand and water. To emulate the beautiful Thai gardens, I suggested filling wooden vases with water, water lilies and lotus along the aisle. The effect was serene. For their ceremony alter, I had a custom arch built with a peaked top that mimicked the Thai temple architecture. We covered it in orchids and garlands of jasmine, a flower traditionally used in Thai weddings. Upon their arrival, guests were handed woven fans to keep themselves cool in the tropical heat.

After the ceremony, guests mingled on the beach.  The signature drink, the Siam Passion, was tray passed to guests exhibiting two of the four key elements of Thai cuisine; sweet and sour. Custom wooden drink stirrers with the lotus motif were served with each drink.

After the cocktail hour guests made their way across the beach to the Amanpuri, where the reception was held. To mimic the Thai architecture and create a beautiful entrance, we custom built a wooden arch under which guests entered the stairs leading to the reception. Guests table assignments were attached to a board backed in linen and sat at the base of the reception structure. 

The reception was held over the pool, which was covered to allow for space. To mimic the beautiful existing pool house structure, we custom built as open wood tent, covered with clear tenting in case of any tropical rains throughout the evening. We covered the structure with greenery so that it felt like it had been overgrown with tropical vines. At each entrance of the structure we hung garlands of jasmine flower and aPhuang malai, a traditional Thai garland thought to offer good luck.

To add to the intimacy of the evening, I custom made square lamps  to hang over each guests table. The square lamps were made of Thai silk and offered a warm glow throughout the night. Soft falling drapery hung between the lamps, softening the appearance of wooden structure.

Upon arrival at their seats, guests found their names written in gold calligraphy on mother of pearl place cards sat atop gold rimmed chargers. Tables were draped with Thai silk linens, and a medley of local flowers and imported flowers sat amongst creme pillar candles.

To see more, visit the feature on Martha Stewart Weddings.

Photo: Cathrine Mead | Design & Styling: Joy Proctor Design | Floral: Bows & Arrows | Paper Goods: Yonder Design | Lighting: Charlie Lighting | Ceremony Location: The Surin | Reception Location: Amanpuri | Planning: Jeanette Skelton

Budapest Wedding: Featured by Martha Stewart

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So excited to share what is undoubtably one of the most unique weddings I have designed featured on Martha Stewart Weddings. When sweet Diana asked me to help create a look that blended her Thai and Chinese heritage with the beauty and history of Budapest, I was elated! Culture, history and setting never fail to inspire!

Because Diana is a lover of Pandas, Alex proposed at a Panda sanctuary. As a result, Pandas became a theme in the wedding, even appearing in the couples custom Chinoiserie pattern used in the invitation folio. As a nod to her Fathers heritage and Alex’s heritage, Diana custom designed a monogram to resemble Chinese graphic patterns.  The monogram was used as a band around the invitations, as well as being made into metal candle holders on the tables, on drink stirrers and on cocktail napkins. Diana chose Lucite for the invitations, seating board and menus, and cotton paper with gold letterpress for the Chinese invite and envelope. 

The bride and groom invited 100 guests to join them in Budapest for their wedding, and a 3 day private barge cruise on the Danube river from Budapest to Vienna. Guests boarded the Annabella in Budapest the day prior to the wedding, and explored the city. The day of the wedding they were picked up in shuttles and driven to the wedding. The night of the wedding, at 10;30 pm they set sail for Bratislava and onwards to Vienna, to travel, explore and celebrate together. 

The day of the wedding, the weather forecast changed to rain and the ceremony the couple so wanted on the rooftop terrace, overlooking the Danube river and the iconic Parliament building had to be moved to an inside terrace. Guests were greeted with local mulled wine to keep them warm. Ceremony arrangements included bamboo and winter varietals. We placed over 100 polar candles throughout the ceremony to make it special. The chairs were chosen because the back resembled the couples monogram as well as having a color and look very much like bamboo. The couples good friend David Kim officiated the wedding. 

Diana wore a custom gown and jacket made in Thai silk. The jacket boasted a long train and Thai silk belt. The beaded gown underneath had an illusion neckline. Diana’s Engagement ring was a family heirloom from Alexs grandmother. The bride wore a jade ring, and emerald and diamond bracelet and earrings. The color green was chosen as a sign of life and fertility in the Chinese culture. 

Diana’s bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets and boutonnieres were wrapped in Thai silk as a nod to Diana’s Mother Thai heritage. Groomsmen wore dark green velvet ties, and ring bearers wore velvet vests. Bridesmaids wore assorted custom dark green gowns with black Chinchilla furs. Both mothers wore custom floral shoulder accents. 

The reception was held in a two story round room, with guest tables on two levels, allowing beautiful views of the couples sweetheart table below and views of the River and Parliament building through the windows in the round room. 10’ Bamboo was placed throughout the reception room “growing” up the columns as a nod to the Panda Engagement. 

Guest tables were covered in Thai Silk linens, with Lucite menus with gold foil. Sandstone colored taper candles lit the room alongside custom die cut Hurricanes with the couples monogram on them. Flowers included black eyed anemones as a nod to the Panda colors, bamboo, magnolia leaf, white amaryllis, ranunculus, tulips, hellebores, a variety of jasmine, freesia, delphinium, and Queen Anne’s lace. 

The bridal party entered to “Low” by T Pain, with the groom carrying the bride piggy back into the reception. The couple danced to “One” by Brian McKnight for their first dance then invited their guests to begin the night by dancing to “Decpacito.”

Guests departed the reception at 9:30 pm after two hours of dancing to an incredible local band, and they set sail for Bratislava at 10:30 pm, partying the night away with a DJ on the barge as they sailed. The couple cut and ate the cake Chinoiserie patterned cake on the boat. 

Planning & Design: Joy Proctor Design | Photo: Greg Finck | Floral: Floresie | Linens: La Tavola | Candles: Yummi Candles | Hair & Makeup: Amabella Cuise | Cake: Amabella Cruise | Chinoiserie Cake panels: The brides sister  | Officiant: Friend of the Couple | Custom Chinoiserie: Friend of the Bride | Invitations: The Bride  | Chair Rentals: Mobil Sofa  | Band: Kardo Santal

Design Vendors: Defining Roles

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I've created a venn diagram to illustrate some preliminary thoughts on wedding design and the roles that various vendors play. I've been discussing this with Holly Carlisle of Rose Golden who started a conversation a few days ago that has created an amazing dialogue in the industry. I thought that creating a visual to communicate and define roles would help us all better understand how important we all are in the design process. 

I've found that many vendors play multiple roles. For instance many planners are also designers, and many floral designers are also event designers. And to give credit where it is due, many photographers and videographers prop style and deserve to be appreciated for that! While I play the role of a creative director, editorial stylist and prop stylist, I have often called myself a designer and stylist because I didn't feel the title was one that most people would understand. My hope is that as an industry we can change that by adopting definitions such as the ones I am presenting.

My takeaway from creating this document is how important each and every vendor is, and how much we all rely on each other for the final product, our clients events and our shared designs. This document is a work in progress and I'll continue to update and ad to it here based on your comments. I'd love to hear your opinion below!

Marie Antoinette: My MoodBoard

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At the request of a few kind souls, I wanted to share the inspiration behind the Marie Antoinette editorial I designed at the Ritz. The idea was to tell the story of Marie through a modern lens, watching her as she prepared for a normal day in her suite at the Ritz in Paris.  As you can see, we switched gears a bit and changed colors to more vibrant hues of lavender and yellow, which highlighted Spring in a more modern, whimsical way.

Marie Antoinette: Video

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It was an honor to tell this story of Marie Antoinette, perhaps the most infamous herald of fashion in French history. As a designer, the opportunity to work at the historic and unparalleled Ritz alongside an incredible team of talent was humbling. Thank you to Chris of Zen Filmworks for capturing the magic on film and allowing me to step into the studio to bring voice to one of my historic icons. 

Provence Tour: 2018

 Welcome Dinner at Clos Saint Esteve

Welcome Dinner at Clos Saint Esteve

 Our group at the Museum of Aromas 

Our group at the Museum of Aromas 

 Museum of Aromas

Museum of Aromas

 Susan Silverburgs famous tomato tart

Susan Silverburgs famous tomato tart

 Provencal Towns

Provencal Towns

 Dinner at Bastide de Gourdes

Dinner at Bastide de Gourdes

 Kimberly Sisti perfecting the flowers

Kimberly Sisti perfecting the flowers

 Custom Tour Books

Custom Tour Books

 Exterior of Close Saint Esteve

Exterior of Close Saint Esteve

 Walking to the Bastide de Gourdes

Walking to the Bastide de Gourdes

 Picnicing in the Luberon

Picnicing in the Luberon

 Provencal Dining

Provencal Dining

 Final Dinner Flower Cake

Final Dinner Flower Cake

 Provencal Burger Bus for Welcome

Provencal Burger Bus for Welcome

 Bastide de Gourdes placesetting

Bastide de Gourdes placesetting

 Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting

 Interior furnishings

Interior furnishings

 Picturesque Gourdes

Picturesque Gourdes

 Clos Saint Esteve

Clos Saint Esteve

 Cooking Class

Cooking Class

 Alice Ahns market finds

Alice Ahns market finds

 Provencal vibes

Provencal vibes

 Our farewell dinner

Our farewell dinner

 Gastronomic experiences

Gastronomic experiences

Our Hearts aFlutter "La Vie En Rose Tour" 2018 brought the best weather, and created lifelong friendships. What incredible memories made in Provence! A huge thank you to Stephanie at WEP Provence for her incredible logistical help and to Flower by Celine for the gorgeous arrangements!

Photography: Taylor & Porter | Linen: La Tavola Linen | Seed Packets & Books: The Idea Emporium | Candles: Creative Candles