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A Purple, Gold And Blush Wedding

I’ve been helping my brother and sister-in-law design their wedding. They thank me occasionally, but all I can think, is, they are letting me do this? It’s wildly fun.

She took me to see the space. It boasts triple height ceilings in an Arts and Crafts decor, with standard brown and gold carpet. They wanted a fun, intimate, feeling, with touches of Burning Man.  I was seized by a vision of purple and gold tables. White felt too weak, blue too conservative for this couple, red too autumnal for just about anyone.

They also knew they wanted to uplight the walls, in amber, perhaps a leafy pattern. Given the high ceilings, we toyed with the idea of large lanterns hanging above, but eventually found a photo of the space, on Snippet & Ink, with festival lighting strung at standard ceiling height. Perfect.

Oh, and the beautiful bride? Her dress is here. She’s looking to the Burning Man community to replace the flower belt you see with one that’s a little more subversive. Perhaps involving feathers, and picking up the blush pink of her shoes, which are here, in other colors.

My brother’s still thinking about which suit. In all honesty, he’s one of the best-dressed men I’ve ever seen in person. For the wedding, he’ll probably wear a thistle as boutonniere. As do many good Scots. Besides, the thistle is a raggedy flower, prickly with a sweet heart, perfect in the spirit of feathers and deconstruction.

We settled on Studio Choo for the flowers. I follow florists. Yes I do. Down in Southern California, there’s Flowerwild. Out in New York City, the absolutely astonishing Saipua, and her erudite blog, here. And Elizabeth, at The Nouveau Romantics in Austin, who was invaluable in figuring out just what we were doing. You can see her work on her blog too, here.

Studio Choo also contributes to the We Like It Wild feature on design*sponge. When I discovered that I was intimidated, having heard Grace Bonney speak at Lavish!. Good thing we’d already made the choice. Here’s the deciding image.

Studio Flowers

A good friend of the bride, (I don’t think of her as a bride, really, more as my future sister-in-law) designed the invitations. Her name is Susan Asher. That little icon is a twin-trunked bodhi tree. Brother and future sister-in-law are both interested in the tenets of Mr. Buddha.

Invitations with a Bodhi Tree

I like the colors, and the reference to classic motif stationery. Gold pineapple, pink palm tree, pink/red bodhi tree. So does society evolve.

The other day I was invited to their food tasting. The Bi-Rite Market, a San Francisco institution, is catering. I met my future sister-in-law’s parents, and did my best to make a good showing for our family. We sat in a little office above a Mission District street, eating crostini with fava beans, asparagus in ham with a name, heritage bean salad that tasted faintly of maple syrup. Delicious. Rain poured down outside. A memorable afternoon.

Weddings are so much fun. Planning and organizing one, if you want a large and original party, so much work. These two are putting on a celebration that speaks to who they are. It’s going to be just beautiful. I’m honored to be involved.

And the joy at a dearly beloved brother’s great good fortune in finding this woman, and hers, too, in finding him? Well. Of course. But I suppose all great joys come with that feeling of surprise. As though we have to hide our capacity for that much emotion from our everyday selves or we’d never get anything done. On to candle strategies, escort cards, and hallway arrangements.

Invitations, Susan Asher Designs @ 510.534.7757
Images in inspiration board
Boutonniere via Jena D. Events by Imagewell Photography
Flowers via Studio Choo
The bouquet via Snippet & Ink, by Anna Millett of Mira Aster, photographed by Larissa Cleveland
Purple and Copper Linens via Blue Water Rentals
Belt by FInkelhoo Fashions
Shoe picture by me
Venue via San Francisco’s Presidio., photo by Bruce Forrester
Photo of light strings via Snippet & Ink by Matt Miller for Our Labor of Love
Dress via Vera Wang

40 Responses

  1. For some reason, planning such an occasion with the tenets, beliefs, and values of a couple seems, in some ways so obvious, but clearly is the way to develop a celebration that reflects and resonates with the couple themselves, and those attending.

    I’m glad to hear that you had a blast! [It’s really fun, isn’t it? Yes, that’s why I jumped on board and developed The Nouveau Romantics.]

    I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out! I have no doubt that it will be beautiful and touching.

  2. How nice of you to help them plan the wedding! My wedding colors were also purple and gold. I like that for an Autumn wedding.

    Can’t wait to see more of what you’re planning!

  3. Oh, good – you have experience in this. My daughter and her other half are starting to talk wedding, and the whole idea terrifies me. LOL

  4. I have to say, that I think this wedding is going to be absolutely stunning. Every little tidbit you share with us sounds so lovely. Modern and traditional and pretty all wrapped up.

  5. It sounded quite crazy, I half expected the bride to be in a gold lame bikini with a veil made of daisy chains rather than Vera Wang!
    I would love to help organise a wedding, I just love doing that sort of thing.

  6. “They wanted a fun, intimate, feeling, with touches of Burning Man.” What a statement. I had a friend who frequented Burning Man. He shared enough stories to make me really wish I were attending this wedding. They are VERY lucky to have your help and keen eye, even if it is a joy more than a task. You’ll have to keep us updated!

  7. There is nothing as exciting, sweet and poignant as a wedding. With your clever and loving help it will be wonderfully memorable. Having live music for both the ceremony and the reception takes a wedding into another realm, don’t you think? Do keep us up to date.

  8. Weddings are such fun…they are fortunate to have you helping with the planning.
    I am guessing that you are savouring every minute…and occasionally pinching yourself…the stuff that dreams are made of…

  9. That venue! Perfection! Maybe I’ll get married again in the log cabin.

    I had to google escort cards – lol!

  10. If you have the time, what else could be more fun for you! Wedding arrangements over there are out of this world ( from my side of the world )!

  11. Not to sound like Charlie Sheen, but this definitely qualifies as a win-win situation! They have the benefit of your exquisite good taste, and you have the joy of reveling in something you love doing, with the added gloss of being able to see it all play out at the actual event, how fabulous is that?

    You are truly evil for sending me to the Neiman’s beta site to look at the the shoes, that was a 15-minute diversion I didn’t need! The shoes are wonderful and her dress is simply gorgeous. I love the Burning Man meets High WASP, what a perfect description. All of it will be stunning, I am loving every post and tidbit of information, every photo along the way, thank you for sharing it with us.

    Sending you a smile,

  12. What a nuanced, personal and utterly beautiful array of choices. Your collective imagination have created a magical, reverent yet lighthearted setting. Can’t wait to hear and see more, thank you!

  13. With your hand in it, the day will be lovely, intimate, elegant, and comfortable, filled with love. Congratulations to all involved. xoxo

  14. Stunning examples! Perhaps you can point me in the direction of a good florist on Cape Cod for a 2012 spring wedding??

  15. I love the flowers and the dress in particular. I was bridesmaid (which I think I was too old for but anyway) at a wedding where the bride wore that Vera Wang dress in a full length version. It was stunning….

    I hope you all have a wonderful,wonderful day.

  16. Has been a long time since I attended a wedding. Seeing the bouquet inspired me of asking you a question over at the ASK LPC section, see you there!

    I would love to see the bride in the dress. Will she visit a tanning studio or does she prefer the
    porcellain skin as seen on the model?

    PS: Aren’t you afraid thousands of bloggers might join the wedding when you post the date and location? Or is the card a “dummy”?

  17. Planning a wedding is really fun, especially if it’s not your own. :) But seriously, it’s wonderful that two people you really care about are trusting you to design their wedding. The colors are really pretty and the flowers are gorgeous!

  18. It’s all going to be unique, special, and fabulous! What a blessing for both you and them that you are helping…the wedding will be all the more remembered fondly because of that.
    xo J~

  19. liz – I can’t imagine, really planning this sort of an event any other way.

    Princess Freckles – I hope they will let me share more. But really, what you’ve seen covers my involvement. The rest they are coming up with on their own:). The wedding is in May, so not autumnal at all, but in California we pay far less attention to the seasons.

    A Gift Wrapped Life – I hope to share pictures too! It’s going to be just beautiful. My little collage doesn’t do it justice.

    Jan – Oh throw them in my direction:).

    Ms. Bunny – Thank you. Especially since you are in the throes, yourself. I’m going to ask them if they want me to make ribbon wands for their walk down the aisle.

    Tabitha – Well. No. No gold lame bikini. Next time, perhaps:).

  20. Pink Martinis – Oh my gosh. I just had a brainstorm, imagining what kinds of COOKIES you would make were you in my shoes!

    Muffy – I suspect you’d enjoy yourself enormously.

    Mouse – Thank you:).

    Susan – They are having a band. We are all going to have to dance up a storm.

    Hostess – Yes. it’s like Disneyland for me.

    Patsy – You make me laugh. Every. Time.

  21. deja – No cake. Ice cream. The Bi-Rite has a famous creamery, and my brother doesn’t like cake…

    girltuesday – Well then. I suspect you’d also like the arch they are having made. Sort of a combo chuppah/mandap, in all kinds of saturated colors and natural materials. Also a lounge, of pillows. If I sit down someone better help me to stand up.

    Susan – Thank you. Oh, well, if I had to make a spreadsheet I’d last all of 15 minutes, so.

    metscan – Yes, it’s very, very festive round here, come wedding time.

    TPP – I know! The shoes! Did you see the Blahniks with bullets on them! My pleasure to share, and thank you for the kind words.

    Duchesse – Oh, I’m startled, complimented, and touched! Thank you.

  22. Preppy 101 – Oh thank you. Really, they are the creative forces here. I’m just kind of sort out a few things.

    Loretta – Hmm. I will look around. It’ll be fun!

    A Farmer’s Wife – Yes, we saw the long one too. She liked short, my brother liked short, done. I think it just feels way less bridey and ritualistic.

    Christina – Yes, and I had absolutely nothing to do with them:). So, see, good taste all around!

    1. ha–i was referring to arts & crafts movement but their arts & crafts chuppah/mandap sounds lovely as well. and very fitting. :)

  23. Paula – She would never tan. On the other hand, she’s a brunette, and not 13 and grumpy like that model:). And, the date’s not shown, only the Reply By…

    lauren – wait. is that sarcasm? help. i’m sensitive.

    giovanna – they are trusting me to help. Which is wonderful.

    Jessica – It is so wonderful to be involved. Thank you.

  24. The plans are divine. I’m hoping for some posted post-wedding photos.

    I’ve heard of “Burning Man” but that’s about all. My perception (probably inaccurate) is that it’s a sort of… well, never mind my perception, except to say that it sounds very unwasplike.

    I so enjoyed your father’s guest post. I encourage you to invite your brother to do a guest post, perhaps on what Burning Man means to him. It must be significant for it to be part of his wedding.

  25. How gorgeous – love the dress particularly and wonderful you are having fun planning together. Cannot wait to hear more. x

  26. 4 more days … (In case the date on the cards is real) I am so looking forward to seeing the photos you hopefully are going to take before, during and after the wedding.

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