An Untold Story: The Designers Contribution

As a designer, I am often asked what it is that I do and what part I had to play in the look of the editorials and weddings that I produce.  In the modern world of social media, the designer or creative director is often left uncredited, without a tangible product like flowers, paper, photo or gown to credit. As the one who conceptualizes the entire design before the clients and vendors know it exists, it's critical to communicate the importance of my role. Without the concepts and visions born in minds of designers, these looks would never be seen by the world and the story would remain untold.

Photo: Elizabeth Messina | Floral: Bows & Arrows | Hair & Makeup: Yeanne & Team 

Photo: Elizabeth Messina | Floral: Bows & Arrows | Hair & Makeup: Yeanne & Team 


This strung jasmine top was a concept I created to be shot in Bali, inspired by the coral edo necklaces worn by Nigerian brides.  Strung jasmine is often worn in the hair of brides in Indonesia, and using it in a new way inspired me. The tiny orchid bindi was a nod to the Hindu religion practiced by the majority of the Balinese population.  Creating concepts that are beautiful but more importantly, meaningful is very important to me.  Sharing the story of the concept is equally as important, giving credit to my sources of inspiration.  I am proud to be a designer. A visionary. A dreamer and creator of dreams.  

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou


Editorial in Bali with Elizabeth Messina

I had the pleasure of speaking at the very first Asia Pacific Wedding Masterclass in September of 2016. Hosts Bridestory and the Wedding Atelier were joined by Elizabeth Messina, Bows & Arrow and I for 3 inspirational days alongside attendees. This editorial was produced during the workshop as a behind the scenes look for attendees to assist with.

Stepping off the plane in Bali, you are immediately swept into its magic. The smell of incense blowing through the humid air, bright floral offerings at every doorway. The people are genuine and kind, the earth green and bountiful with life. With a temple in each home and offerings made three times a day, the culture and religion of Bali are infectious, infused into the experience of each traveler. I created this editorial out of love for the beauty and magic of Bali.

The story of Rama and Sita is integral to Balinese life, a part of the Hindu religion and one you can see throughout the islands arts and festivals. Deities outside temples are periodically dressed in black and white, signifying the balance and struggle between good and evil. This delicate balance is at the heart of the story of Rama and Sita, a Prince and Princess whose love was wrought with trouble.

Swept into the magic of the island, I designed an editorial to tell the story of Princess Sita through color and texture. Our venue, the beautiful Alila Soori sits on a black sand beach, and immediately became the canvas on which to paint my story. Signifying evil, I balanced the black sand with whites and creams to signify good. To symbolize the forest in which Sita was tricked and lured, I chose a wild and organic palette of flowers in purple hues, using multiple types of orchids which are native to Bali. We are caught in delicate balance in between the struggle of good and evil, out of which magic and beauty are born.

For the larger pieces, it was important to me to choose textures that I saw everyday in Bali including light carved wood for the benches, chairs and ceremony and woven rattan for the baskets, and chargers. The delicate cotton linen draped over the table was embroidered with a creme pattern representative of the beautiful carving work Bali is well known for. Mother of pearl silverware and local ceramic stoneware was used on the tabletop and paired with handmade cotton paper menus. Organic yet feminine florals in shares of purple sat between carved Balinese pilar candles.

The heroine of my story, Sita, wore a top and skirt made of strung Jasmine flower. To represent the forest, we created a strung Jasmine chandelier and filled woven baskets with overgrown orchids. The beautiful cake had the same intricate design that was embroidered on the table linen, with small accents on top emulating the architecture of Balinese temples. 

Photography: Elizabeth Messina | Creative Direction, Concept & Styling: Joy Proctor Design | Floral: Bows & Arrows Flowers | Hair & Makeup: Yeanne and Team | Paper Goods & Stationery: Yonder Design | Cake: Butter Bali | Candles: Volcanica Candles | Attire: Oscar de la Renta, Claire Pettibone, Twigs & Honey Model: Alaiza Malino | Planning: The Wedding Atelier | Production: Bridestory | Venue: Alila Soori, Bali

Flutter Gets Hitched

Designing my dear friend Kims wedding was truly an honor. As editor of Flutter, one of the most inspirational wedding publications available, it was important to create beauty but not lose sight of who she and Tyson were as people. The color palette was Kim through and through with warm watermelon, coral and sunset tones paired against taupes and cremes as a nod to their engagement in Tuscany. To evoke the playful yet elegant aesthetic that Kim is so known for, we used a beautiful watercolor crest complete with florals and butterflies throughout the suite. 

Kim entered the ceremony down stone stairs of the Villa and walked down the aisle which was lined in growing poppies and ranunculus. Upon pronouncement, guests were welcomed to open glass boxes filled with butterflies - the perfect heart fluttering celebration of their love. Making their way to the reception, guests were invited to find their seating assignments in drawers of an antique dresser which had been filled with moss and flowers. 

As a nod to their Italian engagement, Kim and Tyson wanted to share an al fresco dining experience with their guests. To create the intimate environment we built a beautiful structure draped in taupe fabric over two rows of dining tables. Florals and greenery grew up the structure organically, while Tuscan style chandeliers hung down the center. Linen chairs and wooden tables added to the Tuscan feel, while artisanal breads, olive oil, fruits and flowers created for a lush, edible tabletop. Menus personalized with each guests names were placed atop ceramic plates handmade in Europe. 

Photo: Jose Villa | Planning & Design: Joy Proctor | Location: Sunstone Winery | Floral Design: Amy Osaba | Floral Sourcing: Florabundance | Chairs, Tables & Chandeliers: Revelry Events | Tabletop: The Ark | Structure & Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Paper Goods: Mon Voir | Gown: Madeline Fig | Cake: Bottega Louie | Catering: Kitchen for Exploring Foods | Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Lounge Furniture: Barn Relic | Candles: Creative Candles | Jewelry: Sofia Kaman

Joy Proctor for Bella Belle

I'm so excited to share the three heels I conceptualized and designed for the Bella Belle 2017 collection. The heels were named after three of the most important women in my life. The Belle, a sheer bootie named after my Grandmother, Virginia Belle Proctor. The Adelaide, an embroidered linen heel named after my Mother and the Elise, a heel with a tulle bow, named after my little sister.

Photo: Kurt Boomer | Gown: Gahlia Lahav | Hair & Makeup: Hey Lovely Makeup | Location: Chateau Cocomar | Calligraphy: Written Word | Bracelet: Bekah-Anne | Robe: Girl and a Serious Dream

Bella Belle Shoes 2017 Lookbook

In addition to designing three pairs of heels for the Bella Belle 2017 collection, I also styled their 2017 look look alongside my friend and photographer, Kurt Boomer at the beautiful Chateau Cocomar.

Photo: Kurt Boomer | Gown: Gahlia Lahav | Hair & Makeup: Hey Lovely Makeup | Location: Chateau Cocomar | Calligraphy: Written Word : Hair Accessories: Bekah-Anne | Lingerie: Girl and a Serious Dream

Sea Ranch Editorial for Flutter Mag

Photography: Amanda Wei | Creative Direction & Design: Joy Proctor | Floral: Bows & Arrows | Stationery: Yonder Design | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Tabletop: The Ark | Gown: Houghton NYC | Suit: ASOS | Hair & Makeup: Tanja Lippert | Location: Sea Ranch Lodge

Out of Africa Honeymoon

I had the distinct pleasure of helping Vicky and Jon style their honeymoon in Tanzania.  As a longtime lover of Africa (I was born there!) this was a project that held a special place in my heart. Wishing for a intimate way to document their honeymoon, Vicky and Jon chose photographer KT Merry to join them on their journey. We chose beautiful linen, leather and cotton attire, and beautiful accessories and luggage to make their trip authentic.

Photography: KT Merry | Location: Bushtops Camps | Featured on: Style Me Pretty

Joy Proctor Workshop: Paris 2016

I was honored to host a workshop on intentional design and thoughtful styling workshop in Paris this spring alongside an incredible team of vendors, and a talented group of participants.  As part of the workshop, I invited participants to look at my creative process as I shot an editorial alongside Greg Finck and Alica Rico of Bows & Arrows. 

The editorial was inspired by the incredible historic room in which we shot.  The room had recently been painted, and its former butter yellow hue inspired the palate of yellow, light blue and rose.  Presenting the colors in an elegant way was something that was very important to me. I chose a beautiful velvet linen from La Tavola to set the color story in the room. Bows and Arrows created the most lovely floral arrangements that brought the yellow and rose into the room. The room has stunning painted frescos in each corner, which inspired the rose and burgundy in the editorial. We lined incredible yellow and light blue suite by Written Word Calligraphy with similar paintings to highlight the history and significance of the room. The Cake Opera created the most intricate, stunning cake inspired by the former color of the room.

To tell the story of a wealthy Nobleman’s daughter who fell in love with a farm hand, we were lucky enough to have the incredible Yolan Cris create stunning tops and gowns just for the editorial, which paired perfectly with the burgundy suite worn by the groom. Harold James created a soft, feminine look for the bride, upon which we add a stunning veil by Twigs and Honey and Claire Pettibone ring from Trumpet and Horn.

Photography: Greg Finck | Design & Styling: Joy Proctor | Floral: Bows & Arrows | Linen: La Tavola Linen | Tabletop: Plate Occasions | Stationery: Written Word Calligraphy | Gown: Yolan Chris | Hair & Makeup: Harold James | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Vow Book: Velvet Raptor | Trinket Bag: Shop Signora | Cake: Cake Opera Co. | Candles: Yummi Candles | Chairs: Options Rentals | Venue: Maison des Polytechniciens | Veil & Garter: Twigs & Honey | Assistants: Myrtle et Olive, Nikki Sude

Botanical Bridal Astrology for Flutter Magazine

Photo: Corbin Gurkin | Floral: Nicolette Camille | Styling & Creative Direction: Joy Proctor Design | Location: AFJ | Calligraphy: Signora e Mare | Gowns: Carol Hannah, Reem Acra & BHLDN | Bodysuit: Girl with a Serious Dream | Hatbox: Trousseau & Co | Macaroons: Bottega Louie | Tabletop: Casa de Perrin | Candles: Creative Candles | Vases & Candlesticks: Campo di Fiori | Publication: Flutter Mag

Elegant Beachfront Wedding in Thailand

It was my distinct pleasure to design Verna & Tinos gorgeous beachfront wedding at Samujana on Koh Samui, Thailand.  From the very first time I talked to Verna, we clicked.  Helping her plan and design her wedding was one of the highlights of my year. Verna had a clear vision of what she wanted for the wedding; organic yet elegant, romantic and intimate.  We began designing shortly after the invitations had been printed which left a lot of room to create something magical.  After a few phone calls, I created an inspiration board and design proposal detailing all my ideas for layout, welcome gifts, flowers, stationary, ceremony, tables and all those special little touches. We set up a walk through in Thailand to meet and view the beautiful property and confirm all our plans a month prior to the wedding.  Verna and I walked through the entire event, planning special design details for each event, and thinking through all the logistical details to ensure a phenomenal guest experience!  Planning for the tropical Thai weather, I suggested an open sided, U shaped tent, so that guests would be covered in the case of rain while still being able to appreciate the beautiful environment. The phenomenal production team, BIC built the chairs, bars, tables and tent exactly to my specifications.  The result was an exquisite, intimate weekend.


Guests arrived at the Koh Samui airport greeted by a wooden sign with organic greenery swag, cold towels, and welcome bags containing a local sim card, water and a snack.  Upon arrival an Samujana, guests met their Villa manager, who offered them an in house menu, as well as gave them the opportunity to sign up for a variety of classes throughout the weekend, including yoga, cooking and muay thai. 

The day of the wedding guests were greeted with cold towels and a welcome beverage on the ocean front lawn.  As the ceremony began, the bridal party entered down a pathway lit by more than 300 candles.  Guests stood as the bride made her way down the aisle, lined with a lush pathway of growing flowers. The bride and groom exchanged vows between organic floral arrangements.  After the ceremony champagne, signature drinks and appetizers were passed to guests as they mingled on lounge furniture as the sun set.  Making their way to the reception, guests were greeted by an oversized wooden board holding the seating assignments, and baskets of flip flops and pashminas. 

Guests entered the tent, taking their seats at weathered wood chairs.  The U shaped tent had a fully draped ceiling, with soft chiffon panels tied off with greenery on every pole.  Crystal chandeliers hung above with greenery vines strung throughout.  Menus made of cotton paper with gold foil sat tucked inside napkins, with guests names tied to sprigs of greenery.  Etched bottle openers with the couples monogram sat at each place setting inside stamped muslin bags.  Lush, organic green and white flowers sat between mercury glass and metallic candle holders, creating an intimate and romantic environment. Verna and Tino did their first dance on the dance floor which sat in the middle of the U, outside the tent. After dinner, guests watched as a beautiful show of fireworks went off overhead. 

Photo: Ryan Ray | Design & Planning: Joy Proctor Design | Local Planning: Luxury Events Phuket |  Florals: Bow & Arrows | Videography: Lovell Productions | Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Gabbie | Rentals & Lighting: BIC Productions | Catering: Go Samui Catering | Stationary & Calligraphy: Written Word | Location: Samujana Villa