Laid Back Cali Wedding: Juliann + Stephen

first look

Juliann + Stephen went surfing on their first date, and it’s one of their favorite things to do together, so it seemed only fitting to incorporate that laid back California surf-style into every aspect of their wedding day! Their tables were named after their favorite California surf spots, guests dined on fresh mexican food, and the hashtag for their day was #tötalcaliforniawedding. I love that they handmade succulent + cactus terrariums, instead of floral arrangements, because they just seemed to better fit their wedding’s carefree vibe. And the golden sun of the Atascadero hillsides provided the perfect backdrop for the day! Here’s more from Juliann about some of her favorite DIY projects:

Most of the wedding was done by myself with the help of family + friends. The two DIY projects that I loved the most were my sequin tribal table clothes with terrariums and my California Coast sign. Anything involving glitter and sequins, I love — but I am also a big fan of simplicity and minimalism. I’m also really into wood burning, the color gold, and our beautiful state, so naturally I thought this was the perfect excuse to make a sweet piece of art that I’m going to keep to remember this special day. And thus the California sign was created. I painted the state and burned the names of the surf spots up the coast, along with our wedding brand I created with our initials.

Big thanks to Sara Lucero for the beautiful photography + congrats to Juliann + Stephen!

bride and groom

bride and groom

lace top dress

bride and groom

groomsmen

whimsical boutonniere

bridesmaids


Loving the bridesmaid’s lace, off-white dresses! Each gal picked out her own from thrift stores, Free People, or Anthropologie.

bridesmaids

flower girls

flower girls

barn ceremony

barn ceremony

My favorite memory from the day was saying our vows and exchanging our rings. It was the most special moment I have ever experienced. It was so meaningful and special, I can't do it justice trying to explain it in words. Looking into his eyes as we were forever joining our lives together, is a moment I will never forget.

barn ceremony

barn ceremony

bridesmaids bouquets

wedding party

seating chart

wood slice decor

geometric table design

bride and groom sunset

bride and groom sunset

My advice to brides planning their wedding now is to figure out what sort of vibe you want your wedding to speak. If you can figure out how you want your wedding to feel, narrow it down to something as specific as you can. That way your wedding has direction and is not an all over the place DIY explosion. A vibe is super important. For me that was having a total California wedding, that helped me really focus in on what I wanted and what I didn't want.

photography: Sara Lucero // venue: Grace Maralyn Estate Atascadero, California // floral designer: Blissful Blossoms // hair + make up: Tracy Hall // catering: Zest it Up // dress: For Love and Lemons // jewelry: Child of Wild // suit: J.Crew // band: Proxima Parada // bridesmaid dresses: Free People, Anthropologie, or vintage

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DIY: Watercolor Wash Place Cards

DIY_watercolor_placecards_first

Today’s lovely DIY comes from Molly Suber Thorpe, author of the brand new book, Modern Calligraphy. Filled with templates, tutorials, DIY projects and beautiful photography, this book teaches you everything you need to know to get started. It is perfect for finding inspiration and developing your own calligraphy style. Thanks so much for sharing this stunning DIY with us Molly and congrats on your new book!

Watercolor Wash Place Cards

These beautiful place cards will make a statement on any table. Each card has a unique watercolor wash background flecked with contrasting acrylic paint, and the possible color combinations of watercolor and calligraphy are endless. This project can be made over and over again and adapted to any occasion, whether it’s a wedding reception, holiday dinner, or birthday party.

Yield: 75 place cards
Time: 8 hours (including drying time)
Budget: $65.00

Supplies:
• 90 3.5×6-inch pieces pieces of heavy watercolor paper cut
• Pan of assorted watercolors
• 1 tbsp acrylic paint in an accent color for splattering
• 2 tbsp table salt
• Ink, watercolor or gouache of your choice for the calligraphy
• 1-inch-wide artist tape
• Wide paint brush
• Small paint brush for watercoloring
• Dish of water
• Paper towels
• Bone folder
• Calligraphy nib and holder
• Old toothbrush

DIY_watercolor_placecards_01


1. Apply a strip of artist tape across the full width of each watercolor paper card, starting 1 inch up from the bottom short edge. Press the tape down firmly, especially along the edges, so that no watercolor will be able to seep underneath. There should now be 1 inch of paper exposed below the tape and 4 inches exposed above it.

DIY_watercolor_placecard_02


2. Using the large paint brush, brush both the front and back of each card with water, then pat dry with a paper towel. (This prevents the paper fibers from expanding unevenly and warping.) Since there are so many cards, I recommend painting about twelve at a time so your workspace doesn’t get too cluttered.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_03


3. Using the smaller paint brush, paint the cards with an abstract watercolor design in the colors of your choice. (I normally combine two to four watercolor shades per card, but play around with what you like best.) Don’t let this step scare you! This should be liberating because there is no wrong way to do it. You can fill up the entire paper with paint or leave portions of it unpainted. You can overlap the colors or keep them from touching. You can paint uneven blobs or perfect pinstripes or streaks fanning out in circles like fireworks. You can use light, similar shades for an elegant, understated look, or bright, contrasting ones for a bold, festive effect. Each card can be different – if you use the same colors, they will tie together in a series.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_04


4. If your paper is soaking wet, blot off excess watercolor with a folded paper towel. Then sprinkle the cards with a pinch of table salt. The salt crystals create a unique pattern by absorbing the wet color they land on, producing slightly lighter spots when you brush off the salt later (see step 6).

DIY_watercolor_placecards_05


5. With the old toothbrush, splatter acrylic paint randomly over the card. Choose a color that will really stand out from the background colors you chose. I really like using gold to add some sparkle. Lay flat and let dry.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_06


6. Brush off the salt and carefully peel off the tape. If the cards aren’t flat (which can happen in humid weather), press them between a stack of books overnight.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_07


7. Fold the cards in half and make a sharp crease with a bone folder.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_08


8. Use ink, watercolor, or gouache to calligraph the guests’ names in the blank strip on each card. If you’re nervous about messing up, just practice each name on scrap paper a few times until you’re comfortable. Let dry completely.

DIY_watercolor_placecards_finished


Thanks so much to Molly for sharing this lovely DIY with us today and for those interested in learning more about calligraphy, pick up her brand new book – Modern Calligraphy!

book_graphic

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Sweet Summer Engagement Photos in Colorado

colorado engagement

Joy + Kevin are from Texas, but Colorado is very special to them as they have spent many summer getaways there, so it seemed like the perfect backdrop for their sweet summer engagement photos, captured by the very talented Apryl Ann. Such a fun idea to choose a location that has so much meaning to you as couple! I’m crazy about Joy’s adorable outfits and the simplicity of the breathtaking forest scenery. And wait until you see the super cool double-exposed images towards the end of the post! Here’s more from Joy about how she + Kevin met and why they chose this location for their engagement session:

Although we lived 2 miles away from another, went to the same high school and had many mutual friends, Kevin + I met during the college years while working at a pint size, local pizzeria. We were instantly drawn to each other and for the next two years, we became the best of friends and developed an inseparable bond. We inevitably decided to take a leap of faith (literally) out of the friend zone. For our first date, we decided to go sky diving. Before boarding the tiny, squeaky plane, I remember being so overwhelmed with unsettling nerves. Kevin grabbed my hand and pointed to the parachutes opening in the sky, and told me to look at how peaceful they were just floating in the air. Instantly I felt more calm and ready to take on the new adventure. From that moment on, I knew I trusted him with my life and he could do the same with me…

pink maxi engagement dress

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado woods engagement

colorado engagement


For the next 5 years of dating, Kevin + I built our relationship on love, trust, friendship and – of course- adventures. Since our very first trip to Steamboat, Colorado together, where Kevin taught me how to snowboard, we have traveled all over the western United States, snowboarding + exploring the mountains. Since Colorado will always hold a special place in our hearts, when it came time to plan our engagement session, we decided Estes Park was the perfect place to be…

pink maxi engagement dress

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

pinecone engagement

river bed engagement

river bed engagement

colorado engagement

engagement ring

colorado engagement


How rad is this double-exposed image that looks like a heart?! Love it!

double exposure engagement photo

colorado engagement

colorado engagement

striped cardigan and shorts outfit

colorado engagement

double exposure engagement photo

colorado engagement


And a little bit of advice from the bride to be: Taking an engagement trip to a place that is meaningful to us has been one of the best decisions we’ve made so far! The days prior to the shoot, which we spent hiking, climbing and sight-seeing, really helped us relax and melt into our surroundings. Also, it helps to fully trust your photographer, keep an open mind and give yourself the opportunity to be spontaneous during the session. Even though we planned several photo location to visit, the most fun we had was enthusiastically jumping out of the car whenever we came across a scene that inspired us!

Thanks again to Apryl Ann Photography for sharing these gorgeous images with us today + congrats to Joy + Kevin!

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