Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kristen and Kyle

A feathered bodice, a classic car and a Texas Hill country setting–what's not to love to love about this Lone Star celebration? Kyle and Kristen planned an outdoor ceremony in the bride's hometown of Fredericksburg, creating an affair that seamlessly mixed organic and contemporary with the help of their event designer Maggie Gillespie. Luckily for the couple, when rain threatened to spoil their outdoor ceremony at the Boot Ranch, their talented vendor team jumped into action, rearranging the event layout to accommodate an indoor ceremony and dinner for 160 guests.

Kristen wore a regal Pronovias gown and carried a fresh green and white bouquet by Maggie Gillespie Designs, while her maids looked elegant in floor-length gray gowns. Kyle and his groomsmen donned handsome gray suits and striped ties–an unintentional tribute to the rainy weather.

After exchanging their vows, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a sumptuous Hill Country feast, courtesy of Chef Aaron Staudenmaier of the Boot Ranch. The Mott's, a favorite cover band, got everyone on the dance floor before the couple cut into their 5-tier wedding cake. Finally, Kristen and Kyle departed under a shower of sparklers, only to discover that her dad wasn't able to start the 1955 Bel Air convertible they planned to make their exit in. But when Kyle turned the ignition, the engine started without a hitch–the perfect metaphor for an unexpectedly perfect celebration!

Of course, Kristen and Kyle can always relive the magic of their wedding day thanks to the wonderful work of The Nichols–I'm so delighted they allowed me to feature their fantastic images! Tell me, what's your favorite photo or detail from this Hill Country celebration?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


  Crystal-studded scalloped lattice booties–they might be a mouthful to describe, but they sure look good!

Monday, April 21, 2014


After a busy few weeks, I was so looking forward to a relaxed weekend at home with my guy. We got in the spirit by making a quick trip to BevMo for boozy supplies before dinner for two at our Friday night haunt–which was absolutely packed when we arrived! After trying some new dishes and enjoying our old favorites, we strolled across the street for espresso and Chunky Monkey. We headed home as it got chilly and dove directly under the covers; I was sound asleep before we got even halfway through Red.  

John was up at an unholy hour on Saturday, and I only woke up after his morning run and trip to Andronico's for breakfast supplies. We enjoyed our usual breakfast of poached eggs over avocado toast and roasted potatoes before jumping back into bed for a few TED talks (on magic, no less!). Afterwards, we settled in with our respective projects for a productive Saturday, punctuated by a late afternoon lunch break. Eventually the Home Depot's siren call was too loud to ignore, so we headed down the Peninsula before making a salad of grilled halloumi and fresh watermelon with mint and pistachios for supper. We crawled into bed before 10, and giggled through a few episodes of Surviving Jack before calling it a night.

I set an early alarm on Sunday so we wouldn't be late to our brunch reservation at Presidio Social Club. I pulled out my favorite vintage Lilly and green cable knit cashmere for the occasion, and before breakfast we took a sunny stroll through the Presidio. It seemed like we ate nearly everything on the menu–fresh fruit, grilled levain, eggs Benedict, their Easter ham and even a sweet bun with coconut-citrus glaze for dessert. Happily full, we headed home where we indulged in a mid-morning nap before tackling our to-do lists. Then we tackled a bit of house cleaning before I settled in for some yoga and John headed out for some errands. He returned with a few last ingredients for our Sunday supper of roasted chicken, potato-parsnip purée and sautéed green beans with shallots, and two glasses of rosé for good measure. We cozied up on the couch after supper with Gordon Ramsey before turning in early–we've got a big week ahead!

Tell me, what were you up to this weekend, or looking forward to as the new week begins? Did you enjoying big family celebrations, dream of summer getaways or tackle a new project?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Corpse Reviver No. 2

This breakfast cocktail was, as Harry Craddock wrote in The Savoy Cocktail Book, “to be taken before 11 am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” But be ware, dear readers–“Four of these taken in swift succession will quickly unrevive the corpse again.”

Corpse Reviver No. 2

3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lillet
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
dash of Absinthe

Drop a dash of Absinthe into a cocktail glass; swirl to coat the glass, and pour out excess. Combine gin, Cointeau, Lillet and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a citrus peel.

Notes: A love of "breakfast cocktails" might indicate that you're in the presence of a serious drunk, but I prefer to think of this gin drink as graduating to the next level of refined day drinking. A delicate spirit like St. George's Botanivore or Plymouth gin will perform best in this cocktail, but there's no need to buy an expensive bottle of Cointreau if you have another orange liqueur on hand. If you don't have Lillet though, run out and get yourself some–a glass with a few frozen peach slices is one of my favorite summer cocktails, and it's absolutely essential for this libation. Cheers!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Golden Oak

This week I'm reading the latest Martha Stewart Weddings, enjoying the sunny weather (and fabulous charcuterie) in San Francisco and loving these links–what are you up to this week?

I don't often feature engagement shoots, but this one by Jana Williams Photography is spectacular!

This Virginia country club fête captured by Sarah Der Photography from Grey Likes Weddings is elegant, understated and pretty darn perfect.

Mr Porter's Style and Matrimony issue of their expertly curated Journal is a fabulous resource for the handsome Mr in your life.

This wine country wedding photographed by Larissa Cleveland and featured on Green Weddings Shoes is simply stunning–and so sweet, too!

This classic Southern celebration by Kim Box Photography via The Birmingham Bride will have you dusting off your julep cups and donning your best wide-brimmed hat.

Stationery suite designed by The Nouveau Romantics, printed by Norman's Printery.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heather and Franklin


Heather and Franklin's families had known each other for years, but it wasn't until college that the pair started dating–and they've been inseparable every since. When Franklin proposed, there was no doubt that their hometown was the perfect place for the couple to the knot, and Castle Hill Cider was the ideal location for their rustic, Art Deco-inspired garden party. Glamorous invitations from Landis Stationery set the tone for the celebration, and their event planner, Dickie Morris of Just a Little Ditty crafted a fête more romantic than their wildest dreams.

Heather wore an ethereal lace and tulle Vera Wang gown and white Christian Louboutin peep toes; delicate white flowers tucked into her low chignon set off her tulle and Russian netting veil and suited the wedding's garden party theme perfectly. Nine bridesmaids wore blush gowns from J.Crew and carried pastel bouquets from Beehive Events, while Franklin and his groomsmen looked handsome in classic black tie.

Despite a rain delay, the couple was able to exchange their weddings vows beneath an oak tree in a tearful ceremony that swelled with music by the Philip Clark String Quartet. Fresh oysters and classic Southern treats by A Pimento Catering were served during the cocktail hour on the lawn of the Cidery, while event designer Dickie worked with Stonegate Event Rentals and Beehive Events to create a romantic dining room in the barn. Gold geometric table linens hand-stamped by bridesmaid and textile designer Caroline Z. Hurley were a chic compliment to the delicate floral arrangements from Beehive Events and the ornate candelabras and chandeliers that lit the rustic space, and tables named for the couple's favorite TV shows were a sweet nod to their Hollywood careers. After dinner and dancing with the Acme Swing Mfg. Company Band and DJ Greg Tutwiler, the newlyweds cut into a ruffled four-tier confection before saying goodnight to their guests amid a shower of sparklers. 

Luckily for Heather, Franklin and all of us, Morgan Trinker was capturing each beautiful moment so we can relive the loveliness of their day for many years to come. Tell me, what's your favorite image from this romantic spring fête?