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French Riviera Garden Wedding

If there’s one lesson we can take away from this wedding, it’s that marrying in the French Riviera is ALWAYS a good idea. From the quiet ceremony nestled in an olive grove to the al fresco reception where good food and wine flowed a’plenty, it’s basically every bride’s dream brought to life, and Katy Lunsford captured every moment to utter perfection. Happy swooning, lovelies!


From the Bride… We met on a little island in the Caribbean whilst both working on different private yachts. He was the dashing Swedish captain and I was the wild and precocious American stewardess and it was love at first date. My original inspiration for the wedding was 1960’s America meets 1920’s France. I wanted to re-create that luxurious lust for entertainment and aesthetic from the twenties and marry it with the grounded natural beauty and community experience that I like to think of the sixties embodying.

After choosing a date, we had to pick a country. I am American, Oskar is Swedish, we met in the Caribbean, and we had chosen to buy our first home in the South of France where many of our friends live. In the end, we picked France, mostly due to it being where the least amount of people were required to fly in long distance. Having the venue sorted so late meant scrambling to plan everything else, and doing this in a new language in a country didn’t make it easier. Plus, I decided early on that I wanted everything unique, everything DIY, no professional help other than catering, AND I wanted it to be very calm and relaxed on the days leading up to the big event. (Anyone reading this who has been married, feel free to laugh loudly and knowingly.)

Needless to say, it was a wild and crazy ride the last week before the wedding. With the help of our amazing officiant we finalized the ceremony two days before, we wrote our vows late at night the night before (but we slept apart!), the venue was still being pieced together until just before the ceremony, the DJ canceled on our way to the wedding, it threatened rain (I had NO rain provision whatsoever as I thought it would ruin the vintage vibe), there wasn’t nearly enough time for photos, half the much laboured over projects never made it out of crates, so many things were missed, so many things were lost…and yet it was the most wonderful, perfect, fabulous, unique, love-filled love fest I could have ever imagined and I wouldn’t change a thing. I married the most incredible man in the world that day and every time I think about it I still get butterflies. 

The venue was so full of natural beauty and color that I knew we could keep flowers fairly minimal. I wanted mostly neutrals, whites, and olive green, but no pink. One incredible bridesmaid is a florist extraordinaire and she so kindly did every arrangement and bouquet for the event and they turned out so beautiful! The table was kept fairly simple, with glass chargers, white plates, white napkins, white table cloths and a natural sand colour linen runner which ran the length of all 115 settings! The floral arrangements were set far apart in order to accommodate food, and my love of all things gold was accomplished with a bag of rough chopped gold foil confetti. I also took ordinary white and wooden candle holders and using spray paint and gold glitter, made them a little more interesting. The day of I never actually had time to put it all together as planned but my bridal party took the lead and did an incredible job making my vision come to life, with no direction from me.

Advice: Keep it simple or get help. I was so set on doing everything myself that it ended up making so much more work for the people around me. Had a hired a weekend of coordinator and made even just a few really comprehensive and easy to follow lists, I could have eased the burden on my friends and family and had even more of the vision executed. Also, not every single that has to be complicated. I love all those complicated tiny little details that nobody else probably notices, but if you are more concerned with enjoying the days before hand and the day of, trust me that in the end they aren’t as essential as you think. And in the end, nothing other than looking into your husbands eyes and saying the biggest, most important, most exciting “YES” of your life will matter. Our day was so fun, so beautiful, so happy, so eventful, and my favourite part is still those moments of holding hands and saying our vows. 

Photography: Katy Lunsford | Flowers: Shalene Hutchinson | Wedding Dress: Gilly Woo Couture | Stationery: Nekolina Griffin | Shoes: Miu Miu | Bridesmaids Dresses: Karen Millen | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Sue Wong | Catering: Red Radish | Make Up: Olga Vashchuk | Hair: Gary Simmons | DJ: Jaz Afroman | Band: Anthony Caligagan | Groom's Attire: Ted Baker | Live Painter: Maerta Wydler | Maid Of Honor's Dress: Handmade | Veil: Sarah Morgan Bridal | Wine: Fine Wine Works

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Our All-Time Favorite Wedding Themes

There’s no denying our love for a good theme. It takes a wedding and gives it a big jolt of personality and really solidifies all those little details. From foodie driven affairs to an intimate glamping adventure, the world of wedding themes is a big one. Have a look at this round up of our all-time favorite wedding themes done so, so right.

Our Favorite Wedding Themes
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Mid Century Modern Wedding at the Parker

You all might need to sit down for this one. It’s midcentury modern meets Palm Springs garden glam photographed by Michael Radford. And don’t even get me started on two of the most dapper Grooms we’ve come across. Their celebration is one of love and beautiful design at the hands of Celebrations Of Joy + Maggie Jensen Event Floral Design. If you are all for an affair dripping in chandeliers, succulents and gold, then you’ll want to have a look right here.

From Celebrations Of JoyPhillip and Billy are a bi-national couple, Phillip is a Brit and Billy is American, and they asked us to help them create an intimate celebration for their California wedding with a twist: Gene Autry Cowboy meets Mid-Century Modern! They chose to have their ceremony and reception at the historic Gene Autry House on the grounds of the Parker Palm Springs, and wanted the style and theme of the wedding to reflect the location and be an intimate beautiful celebration for 30 of their closest family and friends. We played with all the details: from their web site, to the menu cards, to the guest book poster of Gene Autry the guests signed as they arrived, yet also kept the décor elegant and reflective of the mid-century modern style of the venue. As they exchanged vows, the Grooms stood before a curtain of ribbons that flowed in the breeze. With the team of Maggie Jensen Floral Design and Classic Party Rentals we created one long table for the reception framed by chandeliers. The table top reflected the California desert with sage linens, a mid-century modern motif runner from Wildflower Linens, lots of succulents and of course Billy Balls, in reflective gold vessels.

Photography: Michael Radford Photography | Floral Design: Maggie Jensen Event Floral Design | DJ: Zephyr Brown | Ceremony Music: Pete Goslow | Hotel: Parker Palm Springs | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: Wildflower Linen | Wedding Planning: Celebrations Of Joy

Celebrations of Joy and Wildflower Linen are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Celebrations of Joy!

Wildflower Linen

Classic Black and White Wedding Inspiration

I always come back to a simple black and white color palette. It’s a go-to that stands the test of time whether we’re talking about home decor, fashion or wedding design. And this inspiration shoot is total proof. It’s classic elegance crafted by Clayton Austin and Taylor Lord along with green filled florals by Without Wax Katy, that prove black and white are here to stay.

That gorgeous engagement session inspiration can only be outdone by the wedding shoot that followed suit. Have a look at the handiwork of all these great talents who brought our favorite black and white color combo to life.

From Love Is A Bird PhotographyWhen Taylor Lord and I decided to host a small intimate workshop in our hometown of Austin, Texas we knew we would want to style the shoots to perfection. With a modern classic vibe in mind we focused on shades of blacks, whites, and grays while pulling in the greens from the beautiful ivy covered walls and concrete architecture of South Congress Street. The idea was that for the engagement session the groom would wear varying shades of black while she wore white and then switching it up for the wedding day shoot with her in an amazing black gown from Free People and him in a crisp white Vera Wang tuxedo jacket and a black velvet bow tie. Taylor made the concrete candle pillars in different sizes and heights giving the table a sense of dimension while Katy from Without Wax Katy did an incredible job with the green table runner, bouquet, and boutonnieres. I made the cake finishing it with stark black butter cream icing. Finally we tied everything together using black velvet ribbon throughout the shoot.

From Without Wax KatyIt’s in letting the stunning landscape do all the talking, with a few well-edited nods of color and style infused along the way that makes everything come together flawlessly. The 12 foot runner is ripe with layers of eucalyptus foliage, texture and organic goodness. It seamlessly blends in with the beauty of the natural surroundings with the coordination of modern details set in the middle of this Austin oasis. Focusing on a simple and clean color palette of white, green, black and gray, the bouquet of soft peonies, ranunculus and anemones contrasted in all the right ways with the black wedding gown. From the extraordinary play on black and white to the floral details on the cake and in bride’s hair, this styled workshop is a sure fire way to find to find yourself lost in its beauty for hours on end.

Photography: Clayton Austin | Floral Design: Without Wax Katy | Cake: Clayton Austin | Stationary: Olive Juice Stationary | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Hair And Makeup: Mayhem Beauty | Black Dress: Free People | Concrete Candle Pillars: Taylor Lord | Design And Styling: Clayton Austin | Groom's Tux: Vera Wang | Styling And Design: Taylor Lord | Venue: South Congress St

Taylor Lord Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Taylor Lord Photography