Katherine and Chris {Feather and Twine Photography}

This wedding was so lovely…and I haven’t really shared much about it. My friend Kelsey from Feather and Twine is just the best. After working on our  mid century metal shoot last year she started recommending me to all of her clients. Recommendations like this don’t always ever work out because a lot of people hiring a photographer already have a planner…so the fact that Katherine didn’t was awesome. There was a catch though, Katherine didn’t need a planner- she only wanted a day of coordinator. Which I don’t really do anymore…BUT I just couldn’t say no to a chance to work with Kelsey. It didn’t hurt that Katherine and Chris were really awesome and sweet, all those things that I want in my potential clients. They kind of won me over, so I took the job. In Dallas no less. Topher and I had a lot of fun making those Dallas trips last year. We don’t get to spend a lot of one on one time alone together so these trips were little mini bonding experiences. Kind of like- Oh hey, remember me? I’m your husband. I can still tell a mean joke that isn’t mickey mouse or lego related.

So Katherine confided me a few months after she hired me that she really wanted to open her own planning and design company after her wedding. This is why she wanted to have complete control over the planning and the design- she needed to gain all of that experience and know how for her future business. And Katherine really is talented, plus the fact that she planned her wedding in her father’s backyard- made for an even better experience since she had the added bonus of learning all the tricky logistics of planning a wedding at home.

I have to say that Katherine and Chris’ wedding is up there as one of my favorites…I’m really a sucker for back-yard affairs. They are so personal and special and despite all their logistical challenges are just so so worth it. My Kris actually said this was probably his favorite wedding that we have done do far and one he would have liked to have been a guest at. There were a lot of really sweet and personal details. A lot of handmade projects that Katherine’s father put blood, sweat, and tears (I’m sure) into. I’ll try to point out all the Ric (Katherine’s dad) projects along the way. This guy was so talented, so nice, and just such a treat to work with on the day of the wedding. He told me and my Kris so many times to “make ourselves to home”.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Have I mentioned that Katherine and Chris live in London? They actually had two different weddings- one in Dallas and one in London- color me jealous that Kelsey got to travel to London to photograph the other one.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine’s dad built this entire ceremony set up- the platform, the backdrop, the covering- which Kate Foley made completely gorgeous by weaving florals throughout.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

The wheel of love- something else Katherine’s dad built and was just super cool. Guests were able to spin it throughout the night and then were challenged to do the tasks appointed. It made for some fun impromptu moments sprinkled throughout the night.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine PhotographyKatherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

They named each of their tables a song lyric and then tables were released to go to the buffet as their song played. It was a fun way to keep the buffet line under control and was cute to see each table realize their song was playing, start cheering, and head to the buffet.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

This is Ric. He needs a medal for everything he did for this wedding. He is extremely talented indeed.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

He hand-made all of these wooden trays that the caterers served food on- and then branded them with Katherine and Chris’ wedding logo.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

He also built the cake table and cake stands…obviously.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Here he is getting it put back together after we linened the table.

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris | Feather and Twine Photography

Katherine and Chris- thank you to letting me play a role in your special day. You two were truly a treat!

Need more of this couple? Here are their engagements in London!

Vendor Credits: Venue: Private Residence | Event Coordination: Jennifer Laura Design | Event Planning and Design: Katherine (bride) with Ardour Events | Florals: Kate Foley Designs | Vintage Rentals: Rent My Dust | Hair/Makeup: Tracy Melton | Band: Royal Dukes | Aisle Runner: Love Burlap

Mid Century Boho Glam {Awake Photography}

Let me tell you it’s a good day when my friend Paige  calls me and wants to team up. Even more of a good day when she wants to team up on a shoot she is planning and shooting in four days. Don’t ask me why, but as long as it’s not wedding season I love throwing projects together quickly- immediate gratification is my favorite :) Paige is so fun to work with- spontaneous and oh so talented. I actually can’t believe that we haven’t done a proper styled in almost a year a half. It seems like we are always working together though- I helped her design a collage wall in her living room, she shot Phoenix’s bedroom. It seems like we are always doing something together.

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

I didn’t get to style the paper, since this shoot was thrown together so quickly we didn’t have the invitations on the actual day we shot everything so Paige styled it later at her house. She did a great job and I actually love how she styled it, but for a psycho like me who gets a rush off of styling paper it was a bummer I didn’t get to play too ;-)

http://jenniferlaurablog.com/sneak-peek-timeless-beauty/

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography Awake1088

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

These are the new chairs I bought for my office, aren’t they super photogenic? I am very jealous of those pretty little legs of theirs.

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

Mid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake PhotographyMid Century Boho Glam | Jennifer Laura Design | Awake Photography

I have to say that putting this shoot together was right up my alley. This is totally my style. Unlike some other styles I’m been trying to get better at lately, this one comes so naturally to me. I could literally put boho shoots together in my sleep. I mean… just so much me. Happy Monday!

Photography: Awake Photography | Styling and Florals: Jennifer Laura Design | Invitation design/calligraphy: Kristara | Attire: Brideside | Hair: Abby Venegas | Makeup: Rivki Shlyapobersky | Models: Megan Silianoff | Meg Cady | Miranda Jones

A JLD Wedding {April and Trevor}

This post is WAY overdue. Like I should have been writing this six months ago. But better late than never right!

April and Trevor were really cool clients. They were so adorable together…you know one of those couples that just made you want to throw up. High school sweethearts, madly in love, completely gorgeous, you know the type ;-) We started working together in the summer of 2013 (that feels like eons ago). When we first started April was dreaming of a grand gorgeous over the top wedding in Trevor’s parent’s backyard right off of lake Conroe, this backyard was pretty spectacular. But there were issues. We knew there wasn’t going to be room to seat everyone- the backyard was massive, but it was made up of all these crazy levels, a pool, and a deck (you’ll see below). April’s mom was just not sure it was going to work. We ended up meeting with my rental girl Sophie, and our caterer Michael to get their thoughts all before pulling the trigger and deciding that this was the place. We also kind of knew that rain would be a total nightmare- tenting this backyard would have been like trying to put a poncho on a golden retriever. I mean…it might work, but it’s probably still going to leak…and it’s not going to look all that cute either. Basically we knew if it rained all 300 of her guests were going to be jammed into the house and spilling out onto the front driveway, which was a flatter area and more conducive for tenting, but nowhere near as magical. The wedding dream included this backyard, so if it rained…we were all going to be heartbroken. It was such a gamble, and it’s times like these that I am so glad I have clients willing to take a risk, because the pay-off was HUGE. We had perfect weather. In fact, the day was gorgeous. But these are the kind of issues that wake me up with night sweats a month before the wedding. The things I can’t control. Those are the things that get me. Have I mentioned that planning weddings has also made me realize I am a control freak? I’ve learned to embrace it really, it makes me good at my job.

So please make me stop rambling and let’s get into the pretty photos by Kat aka Mustard Seed Photography. And can I just start by saying that I had been dying to work with Kat for years! YEARS. She is always booked up, like multiple years in advance. The stars aligned that she was available for April and Trevor.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

How picturesque is this church?

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Fun fact about the church- we showed up on the day of the wedding and there were these yellow daisy potted plants all over the altar- I’m talking like probably 40 pots- they weren’t ugly, but so not elegant. We asked the church coordinator if we could tuck them away for the ceremony and she said absolutely not- there was a mass that was immediately following. My interns asked if they could take them down anyway and they would stay after the ceremony to put them back immediately. Yah, they were pretty much the best. It took all of us about five minutes collectively to get rid of all of the yellow plants…they were seriously everywhere.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April’s ring was out of control. Every time I saw it I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my skull….it was to die for.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

For the guest book, April had this awesome idea for her guests to leave her and Trevor messages in a bottle. We labeled these decanters with different anniversary years that they will get to read their messages on.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

We set up about half of the seating indoors and the other half outdoors. It made for a really nice flow through the house and out into the backyard. We did a cocktail reception with a ton of passed hors d’oeuvres and some fun stations so seating for everyone wasn’t necessary.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

Favorite bride and groom chairs of all time. Pin that. I had those chair signs leftover from my luxe vineyard shoot and on a whim I threw them into my packing boxes for this wedding, I wasn’t sure if they would work or not, but as soon as my intern Heather tied them on I knew they were perfect.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

We rented those gold pillows from La Tavola and I stitched up the blush pink ones myself.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

I got a lot of my vintage pieces- this tray, the decanters, from Bourbon and Bloom. It never seems to fail- no matter what the theme of the event they always have a ton of pieces that I need.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

A late night snack of these delicious crepes were the perfect last touch before everyone send April and Trevor off with a showering of confetti.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

This confetti bar can be credited to my intern Heather. This was all her. I told her we wanted a white, black, and gold confetti bar complete with bags guests could fill and deco inspired confetti poppers.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

These confetti poppers she made were spectacular. And because you know guests get a little….disoriented towards the end of the night we ended up carrying around a ton of poppers and passing them out. Very few people actually made it to our actual confetti bar. Which was ok- we have pictures and that’s all that matters in life.

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

April and Trevor | Jennifer Laura Design | Mustard Seed Photography

And of course why have a wedding on the lake if you don’t make a grand exit on a boat? Happy marriage you two!

Planning, Design, and Coordination- Jennifer Laura Design | Photography Mustard Seed Photography | Ceremony Venue- St. Joseph Catholic Church | Reception Venue- Private Residence | Catering- Master Chef Catering | Rentals- Aztec Events and Tents | Florals- Antique Rose | Linen Rentals- La Tavola | Cake- Sweet Delights | Vintage Rentals- Bourbon and Bloom | Confetti Bar- Darrling Design | Bride and Groom chair sign- Le Petit Mariage | Bar Menu Calligraphy- 16th Avenue Lettering | Paper- Kleinfeld Paper

Sneak Peek: Timeless Beauty

Well this week is ending my official “vacation”. I kind of laugh at the term though because while I vowed back in November that I was taking two months off…it has really been anything but. On my “time off” I have booked four full service clients, 3 floral jobs, designed and installed my office (just a few more finishing touches before it’s ready to be photographed in a couple of weeks, can’t wait to share!), designed my 2015 JLD client experience complete with a JLD welcome package for new clients, and probably a schlew of other things I am forgetting about right now. It has been very much a time of peace though since I have been able to use this time to focus more on my business and less on my clients. It has really re-charged me and made me love what I do again…it was exactly what I needed.

Anyways, enough about all of that. Today I want to talk about this shoot that I am beyond excited to share a sneak peek of, seriously it might be heading up there with my mid-century metal shoot as my favorite of all time. I talked a few months ago about my aesthetics veering into new territory- a more timeless, classic side of things. And this shoot was the first time I really got to stretch those new creative muscles.

Jennifer Laura Design- Timeless Beauty Mood Board

I do have to say though that this mood board is a little underwhelming. And maybe that’s why it is hard for me to design in this style. I love it so so much, but it is very pulled back, very restrained. I have been told that if something seems off then remove 1 or 2 things from your shot.

That is very hard for me.

I just want to add more. So I really had to be mindful and try to restrain myself. Thankfully, Korie was amazing about showing me shots and then we could edit them together.

Jennifer Laura Design- Timeless Beauty

The good thing is that with the flowers I can do that (add more that is), I don’t have to hold back here. This centerpiece probably weighed close to 50 pounds. Not joking.

Jennifer Laura Design- Timeless Beauty Mood Board

This was my first shoot that we got BHLDN on board for. They sent me all the wardrobe and accessories I asked for, it was kind of a dream partnership. One I am hoping to grow in the future.

Jennifer Laura Design- Timeless Beauty | Korie Lynn Photography

Oh and did I mention that our very talented photographer Korie Lynn also does calligraphy. Oh yes, that’s her work up there. It doesn’t seem fair to give one person so many talents amirite? ;-)

Happy Tuesday!

Being happy and finding peace in 2015.

The past two years I have shared a big list of goals and hopes and dreams and unicorns with rainbows….you know, those posts. I didn’t want to do that this year. This year I am simply vowing to be happy in the small and simple- finding joy in the everyday. It’s something I’ve struggled with ever since I graduated from college. My entire life was leading up to this one moment and it was a bit anticlimactic to be honest. Get a job, start real life. Work. Make a living. Pay bills. It’s all so mundane. School was always leading up to something- a 9 week benchmark, the end of a semester, summer break! I have found that real life isn’t really like that. It’s just one long to-do list that never really ends and if you are lucky you can catch up and take a breath every few weeks. I’m not complaining. I think I speak for a lot of people when I write this…at least I hope I do. The last four years, I’ve really struggled to find happiness. It’s not easy writing that, depression is something that is extremely easy to hide and very guilt-inducing to admit. I’m blessed in so many ways that the guilt in even admitting that happiness doesn’t come naturally almost makes me want to throw this post into the trash. So for this year, that is what I am working on. Finding joy in God, finding peace in Jesus Christ. Being ok that not every moment of my life is thrilling and/or exciting. Being ok that I don’t have some large milestone to look forward to or work towards. My hopes for this year are that my life/business brings joy to others in some way. I think joy might come when I focus my energy outwardly instead of inward. Be less focused on myself, be more focused on others.

Happy New Year!

{A JLD Wedding} Love is a Big Deal

Where do I start with this one? This was the most logistically complicated wedding I have ever done. I get approached all the time from brides who think they are going to save a ton of money by having a wedding at home. I am here to tell you that unless you are having a very small (less than 50 people) affair, that you are very likely going to spend more than you would have if you had just chosen a venue. Wedding venues aren’t cheap and I used to think they were just price gouging because they could. But I now know that these venues usually cost millions to build, they need an entire staff of people to maintain it, and another entire staff to book events- give tours, answer brides incoming questions, etc. This bride (who shall remain un-named, see this blog post for reasoning) came to me knowing her wedding was going to take place at her father’s ranch, she also had pretty realistic expectations of what things were going to cost. She wasn’t surprised when her rental quote came in at over $10,000 or when we needed generators, lighting towers for the parking area, and a handful of other things that you have to think about when having a wedding at home. She was a total dream bride- very much involved, but still trusted me completely, her vision and taste were awesome, beautiful, timeless, and elegant, but with a very fun nod to the rustic Texas ranch. Cheeky rustic with large doses of elegance is what I would call this wedding. Most of the guests were coming in from out of town, so the bride and groom really had a fun time slapping them in the face with Texas every chance they got…in a good way of course. Almost a cliche over-the-top version of Texas too…you will see what I mean. Let’s get into it shall we?

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Let me just start by saying that this ranch property was spectacular. The bride’s father lives here and he had taken an old church building, moved it here right on the water, renovated it, and added on to make his own home. If you look closely you can very much tell the main part of the house is a church- the beautiful bones are still there.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Guests arrived to the property and parked in a large area ranch hands had been clearing for months in advance. That’s another thing to consider for an at home wedding- parking space. Months before the wedding the bride and groom hired a company that would take care of a handful of things that needed to be done around the property- creating driveways into the parking area, leveling the reception floor space- which took place under a barn, cutting down weak pecan branches, clearing out a ceremony spot (waterfront) and even the week of the wedding they were doing things like drying out patches of wet land, spraying for mosquitos, and killing ant beds. Things that I’ve seen parents of the bride/groom doing before other home weddings. All things to consider if you want a wedding at home.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We created this little sign to direct guests around the property. It was a huge ranch so something like this felt pretty necessary.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Pre- ceremony drinks of different flavored aguas frescas, lemonade, and water  met guests upon their arrival. And yes, this is going down as my favorite drink station of. all. time. We rented barrels and a vintage door from The Borrowed Flea to create our table- then used some drink cannisters from my personal inventory, I’ve also slowly been collecting wine boxes. I tell Kris to bring them home from work all the time, and I am slowly building a collection of these gorgeous boxes. To simplify things we used a disposable plastic cup with a printed logo in gold ink. Sorry, can’t show since it has the couple’s names on it :)

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

These chalkboard signs led guests beyond the drinks and onto the ceremony area.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The Clarkes provided some of the best pre-ceremony music I have ever heard. They sang “hallelujah” as the bride walked down the aisle and it was completely breathtaking.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Post ceremony we had the cocktail hour waiting for everyone. Complete with open bar, lawn games, and a  longhorn photo booth.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

I don’t seem to have any photos of it, but the bride and groom really took the time to make their bar special. This menu shows their specialty cocktails, but there was a lot beyond this- lone star beer by the bucket, a special root beer from Wisconsin (where the groom was from), and a schlew of other things specially chosen by the couple.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also had lawn games sprinkled all over- corn hole, horseshoes, croquet, and bocce ball to keep everyone busy. They were a huge hit and me and my staff may have been spying Andy Samberg playing horseshoes. Don’t worry we didn’t gawk at him awkwardly or anything ;-) We provided score cards and pencils so everyone could keep tally.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also sprinkled these furniture vignettes throughout the cocktail hour for guests to relax. This was my first go with hay furniture and I really wanted it to be done elegantly and  not scream rustic hay. I think we accomplished this by surrounding it with some real furniture pieces, beautiful custom pillows, and some rentals from Bourbon and Bloom like the lantern and barrel seats. Oh and the flowers by Without Wax Katy don’t hurt my eyes one bit either.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We also had tons of hors d’oeuvres going out during the cocktail hour. The bride had the idea for the servers to wear these shirts (that she bought for them) and jeans. It’s something that wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but now that we’ve done it here, I will want to do it all the time. Servers being on theme is my new favorite thing.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Here are the friendly longhorns for the photo booth. Another cheeky and over the top nod that we are on a ranch in Texas. We had handlers and a photographer on site and guests were able to climb on top of a longhorn and have their photo snapped and printed on site. This was one of those things that I really wanted to do- I love crashing the photo booth, but there just wasn’t time at that point in the evening.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

We brought guests over to the reception by having servers walking around with a couple of these dinner bells. It was something that the bride had mentioned to me very eeeearly in the planning stages and then we kind of forgot about, I forgot to include it in her design proposal, she forgot to mention it again, and then I magically remembered while I was ordering for her a couple of weeks before the wedding. I decided to surprise her by ordering them anyway. So glad I remembered, it was a very charming touch.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

This seating chart met guests on their way over to the reception area. As well as this large chalkboard menu.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The reception took place just beyond this barn. It was a large open structure and we had seating underneath the barn and then spilling out on both sides underneath the pecan trees.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The flowers by Without Wax Katy were spectacular and really put the finishing touch on everything. That girl is pure talent. We did a garland on the head table and wildly organic centerpieces filled with dahlias, ranunculus, hedera berry, and a ton of greenery on all of the other tables- we also mixed in rustic metal punched lanterns, red candles, and hexagonal beeswax taper candles.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Place settings were adorned with a fern leaf, a bit of oxblood red ribbon, and a hand lettered place card by Ladyfingers Letterpress.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

This cake makes me happy on many levels. We ordered a simply frosted buttercream cake and then had Katy deck it out. I ordered a very special brass cake stand that I still can’t believe I scored, I was in a bidding war on Ebay for that thing. I just had to have it for this wedding.

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

The bride provided this vintage cake topper that is pretty special and somewhat classic. And now for a few headless shots for ya :)

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

Love is a Big Deal | Jennifer Laura Design | Rustic Elegance Ranch Wedding

And in case you were wondering if we had enough lights to see the ranch from space…yes. yes we did. Our lighting plan was quite an undertaking- we had someone do our lighting plan for us and then come in and hang all of the cord for the lighting- then another company (Aztec) come in and hang all of the lights on top of that. It made for really spectacular lighting. I don’t think pictures will ever do lighting justice though.

So there you have it, one of my favorite weddings ever. I really can’t write enough words to do this wedding justice. It was just really special- the couple involved, all of the details, the property. It was a really magical spot. Thanks for looking :)

{Vendor Credits: Venue- Photography- Love is a Big Deal, Pecan Acres Ranch, private residence, Event planning, design, and coordination- Jennifer Laura Design, Florist- without wax katy, Rentals- Aztec Events and Tents, Vintage Rentals- Bourbon and Bloom and The Borrowed Flea, Table Numbers- Six Pence Press, Staffing- Austin Wedding Helpers, Invitations- Ladyfingers Letterpress, Signage- Jennifer Laura Design, Bartending- Bartenders on the Go, Catering- Goode Co., Longhorn Photobooth- J&D Entertainment, Bridesmaid dresses- BHLDN, Coffee bar/favors- Greenway Coffee Co. , Photobooth- Smilebooth, Wedding Cake- Central Market and Dream Slice Cakes, DJ- Daniel with The Wedding Show, Videography- Parizeau Productions, Hair and Makeup- Adorne Artistry}

Winter Glamour Photo Shoot {Christine Gosch Photography}

I wanted to pop in today and share this shoot that has never been seen before! I shot this with Christine Gosch Photography (remember, I designed her vow renewals here) and a few other awesome vendors last January. LAST January. So yah, this shoot is kinda old. It was never picked up to be featured anywhere and by the time we found that out, it was extremely unseasonable, which may be one of the reasons it was never picked up. By the time we were sending it out for submission, it was late February, and I’m sure by then blogs are looking for content for spring. Just bad time planning on our end. But since it happens to be very seasonal right now, I thought it would be fun to share it. You may have seen a bit of it here in my DIY agate charger post.

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Winter Romance | Jennifer Laura Design | Christine Gosch Photography

Not that it’s cold in Houston or anything. I’m pretty sure we cut down our Christmas tree last week to the tune of kids in shorts and tank tops, but hey- we can dream it might chilly up before Christmas! Happy Monday!

{Vendor Credits: Photography: Christine Gosch, Design- Jennifer Laura Design, Florals- Maxit Floral Design, Hair and Makeup- Hey Lovely Makeup, Linens- Over the Top Linen, Rentals- Bourbon and Bloom, Invitations + Calligraphy- Mariel Sawicki}

Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop

The Laura Hooper Calligraphy workshop was something I have wanted to be a part of for awhile. I am a pretty big fan of her work, follow her on instagram and the sort (have you seen her new laser cut place cards? Must. use them. somewhere.) So when I found out she was coming to Houston I immediately stalked around the internet for all the details I could find. I finally found out that Ashley from Sugar and Cloth blog would be hosting the workshop and therefore in charge of all design details including the flowers. By the way, if you haven’t checked out her blog do so now. It’s completely adorable and I love her style! I am hoping to work with her again in the future too. Fingers crossed on that front. So I e-mailed Ashley and  begged asked her if I could be a part. I was more than a little excited when she e-mailed me back saying yes! She sent this inspiration photo and told me she wanted the arrangements to be mainly greenery.

lhcalligraphy workshop floral inspirationVery fall, but in a fun way. I immediately knew it would be a good idea to do arrangements that lent themselves to fall elements- greenery and loads of texture, but with fun and happy colors- no burnt orange, no brown. Can those colors just die already? Next, I sourced some vases- I gave Ashley a couple of choices, but was secretly hoping she would pick these.

white birch vaseWhich she did (!). I loved them because they were wintery without being themey or annoying, yet still white and clean. These photos don’t even do them justice, when I saw them in person and saw the real birch bark and the crazy texture and peeling nature of these…they were just so so pretty/awesome. Next came the day to drop them off, which also happened to be a wedding day. I feel very fortunate because if it had been any other wedding day it probably wouldn’t have worked for a myriad of reasons- we were out of town, we had to be on location too early, our car would have been full, etc. etc. BUT this wedding day we weren’t actually allowed into the venue until 2:30, so after an 8am drop off of these bad boys- I actually headed home to wake up Kris and Phoenix and do a few chores/normal Saturday things (what are those?) before heading off to our wedding. Couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just so excited to take part, and I enjoyed watching my instagram blow up for a few days afterwards too :) A hundred likes….a hundred! Seriously though, I’m trying to care less about that stuff…really I am. #itsnotworking

Um, anyways- on to the goods. Oh man, did I luck out at the wholesalers or what? The prettiest coral charm peonies I ever did see and that waxflower, I don’t know the correct name of this color, but it was awesome with those tiny pink petals and bright orange centers. I was only wishing I had bought more of it.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

And let’s just talk about how cute this workshop was, I’m a sucker for a white bright space with pretty details and that pretty much sums up Ashley’s style/her studio. I want to live/work/eat/breathe in here.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

Also lucked out getting pomegranates on a stem. They were a really fun autumnal/textural element to work in there.

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

LH Calligraphy Workshop | Sugar and Cloth | Jared Smith Photography | Jennifer Laura Design Florals

Thank you so much to Ashley and Laura for letting me be involved- such a treat to be associated with those two, if only for a moment :) And go check out Ashley’s blog to see more of this event right here!

{Vendor Credits: Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop, Hosted by- Sugar and Cloth, Photography- Jared Smith Photography, Florals- Jennifer Laura Design}

DIY Chalkboard Art

It has been a little over a year ago that I shared about my experiences with chalkboard art and had a little list of tipsy tips. Not to be confused with drunken tips. Those are what my husband brings home after a successful night of working at the restaurant. Kidding. Sort of, actually not really. Anyways, I thought it might be time to write up a bit more on chalkboard art since I now have a completely different way of doing things that is much easier and pretty much foolproof. Crooked lines are a thing of the past and free-handing it is for fools. Before you get started, go back and read the first post I wrote about chalkboard art (over a year ago!) so you can see what my first attempts at chalkboard art looked like. They weren’t terrible, but I think these next photos will mean a lot more to you after looking at those. These are some photos of my most recent work and as you can see things have gotten worlds better.

All thanks to this new method of mine.

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

 

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

JLD Chalkboard Art, Houston Texas

Now let me start by saying that this method in no way is meant to replace hiring an actual chalkboard artist. The difference there is that those people are artists and worth every penny because they are extremely talented and will produce something that cannot be replicated, using their own handwriting/artwork to create something versus using fonts and purchased graphics. The effect is similar and not a bad option at all if you need a lot of signage and are trying to save money. Just know that if you have large pieces it does take some time. Expect to spend an hour or two mocking up graphics and then another hour or two to transfer the graphics and then go over them with chalk (or chalk marker). Although smaller signs will take way less time and effort.

Step One

Measure your chalkboard. Or buy a chalkboard if you don’t have one and then measure it. Then get into a program that will allow you to put together some graphics. I use powerpoint 90% of the time, but photoshop would work too if you are fancy like that. Size your file the exact size of your chalkboard. Now you can start mocking up graphics the exact size they will be on your chalkboard. Hop on pinterest for some ideas and inspiration and even googling “chalkboard art graphics” will pull up some great tutorials on good fonts to use and places you can get free clip art graphics. Once you have a composition you are happy with you can print. Make sure you print it out the exact size you created it (not scaled to fit paper or anything like that).

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Two

Gather your supplies. You will need:

- chalkboard

- scissors

- chalk marker, you can use regular chalk, but I am addicted to the perfect clean lines of chalk marker

- regular pen in a weird color like blue or red

- tape

- white graphite paper- this is the most important supply! You can find it in the drafting section at Hobby Lobby- which is around the art supplies, near the canvases I believe. *Apologies for the terrible photos to follow.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Three

Tape your white graphite paper onto the chalkboard- glossy side down. This is the side that will transfer (it’s basically white tracing paper). I like to cut my graphite paper to size so I can see the chalkboard underneath which makes lining up my graphics easier. Tape it down so there is no sliding. Then, cut out the excess paper around your graphics- again, this just makes it easier to see exactly where you are lining things up so you can keep things even, straight, etc. When you are happy with their placement tape that down too. Make sure not to press too hard on the surface once your graphite paper is down, because you will end up with little stray white marks.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Four

Next comes the tracing! Trace very carefully over all of your graphics, this is why I like to use a colored pen so I can keep track of what I have gone over and what still needs to be traced. You know, in case I get interrupted by a two year old wanting me to read him a book. Feel free to use a black pen if you like to live dangerously ;-)

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Step Five

Once you are finished tracing- take off both layers of your paper and behold very faint white lines of perfect graphics!! I’m kicking myself for not getting a photo of this part because it really is satisfying. But this will show you exactly where you need to go over with your chalk marker. No guess work, no worries.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Then behold your handiwork! If you do end up with any stray white marks you can take a q-tip and some chalkboard paint to touch them up. This smaller sign probably only took me about 30 minutes to transfer and trace.

Jennifer Laura Design Houston Texas Chalkboard Art

Now for a few tips about this method to help you even further:

#1- Chalkboard paint is your best friend. I have found that chalk marker doesn’t really ever fully erase properly. I would love to know if anyone has ever had any success fully erasing it because I haven’t. A lot of times people actually don’t want to erase them and like to keep the chalkboards as keepsakes so it works out, but if you do want to reuse it (as I often do with my inventory of chalkboards), what I do is use a glass or surface cleaner to get most of it off and then just repaint over the entire board with chalkboard paint- boom. perfectly fresh chalkboard surface with no haze or shadows. I’ve purchased a quart of chalkboard paint and it’s lasted a looong time and I do these more frequently than I imagine an average person would :)

#2- Engineer prints at Staples are CHEAP. To create larger chalkboards I recommend having a black and white engineer print made and then taping it down on top of your chalkboard. Your tracing paper won’t be large enough but you can move it around underneath as you go to trace all of it.

#3- Take your time on the graphics portion- find some interesting fonts (I like carolyna pro and bombshell) and graphics and make them really special. Even a perfectly transferred chalkboard won’t look great if it’s not an interesting composition.

#4- Hobby Lobby has some really reasonable smaller chalkboards in cute wooden frames. If you wait until they are having their half off sale you can really stock up too.

Happy Chalkboarding!!

Happy and Bright {To Live To Love Photography}

I have to start out by saying that this is not a shoot I designed. I pulled together the vendor team and provided the florals, but other than that this was completely designed and pulled together by my fabulous spring intern Heather Darr of Darrling Design. Heather and I started working together last spring and she was just such a blessing to have in my life! She became not only a wonderful intern, but a good friend- she didn’t live too far away and we ended up having about 2-3 crafting days at my apartment every week during my busiest season. Since then she has gotten a real job and moved on (waaah!!), but we a good run and she sure made my life easier there for awhile. During our many crafting sessions she mentioned a styled shoot that she had been planning and some of the details had kind of fallen through- they lost their photographer/model, etc. Then she showed me the mood board for the project and I said “Heather, we have to make this happen!” It was too good not to bring it to life.

Darrling Design Mood Board

It wasn’t until a few months later that we actually had the time to start pulling vendors together and solidifying all the details, but I was really excited to make this happen. I started with our photographer- Ashley with To Live To Love Photography had reached out to me a long time ago when her sister was getting married and they thought she might enlist the help of a planner. She didn’t end up hiring anyone, but I bookmarked her because I was just so darn impressed with her. I still am actually- she designed and photographed this UNDERWATER shoot for crying out loud. How does this woman not have 5 million followers on instagram??! So needless to say I had been itching to work with her for awhile and just needed a project to come along. Fact: I’m still itching to work with her and have a big fun idea in the works with her coming up hopefully soon- amateur photogs and stylists stay tuned!! Then I pulled my favorite makeup girl Erica with Hey Lovely and then our lovely model Kaite is actually an old friend from high school. She reached out to me about providing florals for her wedding and I was unfortunately unavailable so I thought this might be a fun way to do something together anyway, plus her and her fiancee are completely adorable and pretty perfect for the happy colorful vibe we were going for.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

We shot everything at Brazos Bend State Park which was my second time out there and significantly less rainy than the first time. If you are looking for a magical outdoorsy shoot location in Houston then this is the place you want to go. Chances are it will be a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it, I promise.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

It was a lot of fun working with paper flowers.  It was really easy and I really liked mixing in the real and the paper, to where you almost can’t even tell whats what anymore.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

These hand painted signs by Paper and Posies were GORGEOUS. I loved them so much I immediately commissioned her to make one for my surprise proposal I had coming up. We e-mailed back and forth and it finally came down to it that we were on too tight of a timeline and we didn’t have time to get it shipped, so I had to DIY one of these. You can see my sad sad imitation of this from Monday’s post here.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

No comparison really, but hey- you do what you gotta do! We planned that surprise proposal in a week after all…

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

This backdrop was a labor of love created by Heather and her sister. It’s so crazy how you (when I say you I mean I) see things like this on Pinterest or get an idea for something that seems so simple…and then fast forward to hours upon hours of cutting and tying crepe paper strips individually by hand. I get into these situations all the time- oh, hand stamp, stuff, hole punch, and ribbon tie 300 feather and glitter bags- piece of cake….4 days and a claw hand later I’m re-thinking everything I thought I knew about my life. This was one of those projects. We shot this in the middle of a Houston summer and these girls were at this for hours- still tying pieces just minutes before this shot was taken. I think it was worth it though- it’s gorgeous. and would be so perfect for a ceremony or a dessert table backdrop.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Next we have our little sweetheart table. You see what I mean about this park being magical? There are a million spots nestled here like this, seriously no shortage of perfect spots to shoot.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Heather made every single one of these paper flowers. I believe she did so with her cricut explore. Which I still am in desperate need of one of those- I’m sure you have heard all over blogland how they are the best things since sliced bread…er paper.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

These were leftover confetti poppers Heather had from one of my spring weddings that I still haven’t shared yet (magazine feature coming soon!), Heather gave them an adorable little makeover and they were perfect for this shoot. And if you are wanting an awesome wedding exit (and are allowed to make a mess) consider confetti poppers- these were SO much fun.

Happy and Bright | Darrling Design | Jennifer Laura Design | To Live To Love Photography

Thanks so much to everyone involved and an especially big thanks to my intern Heather for not disappointing! Want to see more? Check out our feature over on 100 Layer Cake.

{Vendor Credits- Photographer: To Live To Love Photography,  Styling & Design: Darrling Design, Florals: Jennifer Laura Design, Hair & Makeup: Hey Lovely Makeup, Paper: Paper & Posies, Models: Kaite Dittman & Austen Baldridge}

Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter