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Equestrian Winter Wedding Inspiration

When Jessica Lewis PhotographyAnn Johnson Events, Christine Dahl Pastries, and Emmarose Floral join forces we know we better sit down, because the gorgeousness that ensues will sweep us off our feet. Filled to the brim with ethereal gowns, gold accents, and a stunning steed this inspirational shoot is sure to wow. Just take a peek below, it will have you pinning the day away, and you can get started right here.


From Jessica Lewis Photography… Ann Johnson, the event coordinator, had a vision and put together something lovely. The dress and fur were gorgeous, and the venue could not have been better for a winter inspired styled shoot, with deep reds, and even a beautiful black horse.

From Ann Johnson Events… As the Grand Gates open to Whispering Rose Ranch, guests instantly feel the need to ditch the car wheel and grab the reigns of the next horse they see. The drive way is lined with well groomed, proud standing trees. As you look to the ranch’s hill you catch a glimpse of the owner’s house sitting peacefully. Approaching this home, deer and other wildlife bounce naturally in and out of foliage, this is their home too. The property contains a quiet side house for brides to prepare themselves to perfection. The groom’s room consists of historical cowboy antiques, a pool table, and a classic western style bar. During this shoot we journeyed around the massive property to capture the character of Whispering Rose. We made use of almost everything the property had to offer to us. After first seeing this ranch it was clear we needed to expose its dark romance. We captured this by introducing dark accent colors to the decor and mirrored the maroon on the brides lips. The dress was chosen for its etherial qualities and ability to conquer photographs. We brought in touches of gold, large floral arrangements, and an oversized sweetheart chair to glam up the feasting table. The raw wood table was effortlessly nestled right in between two rows of trees. Wide frames were used for the photography to be able to capture the broad organic settings we chose to shoot. Whispering Rose is a remarkable venue for a ranch style wedding but with a little bit of inspiration can be made into any bride’s ideal vision.

Photography: Jessica Lewis Photography | Event Planning: Ann Johnson Events | Wedding Gown: The White Peacock | Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries | Jewelry: The White Peacock | Hair: Red Studio (Rhia) | Florals: Emmarose Floral | Makeup: Marcella At Cos Bar Montecito | Rentals: Tent Merchant | Styling And Design: Ann Johnson Events | Wedding Venue: Whispering Rose Ranch Weddings

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here

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DIY Fabric Scrap Letter

A surefire way to infuse a little more of ‘you’ into your wedding? Roll up your sleeves and put on your DIY hat. In fact, we have a whole section dedicated to DIY projects we love, and today, we’re adding this super fun fabric scrap letter to the list. Keep reading for the how-to from Blue Magpie Invitations!

If you happen have some extra fabric laying around, here’s a fun DIY from Blue Magpie Invitations that’s simple yet packs a big, beautiful punch!

Depending on the fabrics you choose, your project can be anything from the centerpiece of an awesome wedding dessert table, to baby nursery decor, to a welcoming wreath on your front door. You can even get ambitious and try for a monogram or perhaps a whole name!

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make your own fabric scrap letter. Our “B” is 24” X 15”, and we’ve given you materials and quantities based on this letter. You can adjust your materials and make yours bigger, smaller, or skip the letter altogether and make a heart or other shape instead!


20” X 30” X ½” foam board (available at Michael’s or other craft store)
1 yard of a neutral fabric (we used a sand-colored linen) to cover the letter form
3 yards total of coordinating fabrics torn or cut into squares and rectangles (we used five different fabrics plus a lace)
7 yards of 1.75″ wide lace ribbon (you can use whatever ribbons you have on hand, a mix of different colors is fun, too!)
Serrated knife (serrated is better at “sawing” through the foam board)
A strong glue (like E6000)


step-1Cut out your letter.

The simplest way to do this is to sketch your letter onto the foam board with a pencil. Don’t worry too much about getting it absolutely perfect as the letter will be covered in fabric and then adorned with scraps.

Another option, if you have access to Illustrator and a printer, is to open a document as large as your printer will print and then make your letter as large as you’d like. If your letter is bigger than the printable area, move it around on the artboard and print it out in sections. Make sure to overlap some portions of the letter, so it will be easy to piece and tape the individual pages together on your foam board.

Once your letter form is on your board, carefully cut the letter out with a serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion.

step-2Tear or cut your fabrics and ribbons. I love to use linen or printed cotton for this project because they are the easiest to tear and you get lovely, frayed edges. All you do is make a small snip with your scissors and rip away! If you’re using a different type of fabric or ribbon that doesn’t tear so well, just cut.

First, tear or cut the neutral fabric you are using to cover the letter into approximately 3” wide strips. Next, tear or cut the other fabrics or ribbons into various square and rectangular sizes. Keep them somewhere in the 3” to 4” range, but aim to vary them a little bit. These absolutely do not need to be perfect! In fact, it’s better if there’s a lot of variation because it will allow each fabric to show through when they are layered.

step-3Wrap your letter.

Take your neutral fabric strips and wrap the foam letter. There’s no nifty trick or secret to this; just start wrapping and aim to cover the entire letter, overlapping the fabric strips where needed. Use thumbtacks to keep the fabric in place.

step-4Group your fabric swatches.

Gather your swatches in groups of three or four and layer them on top of each other. Make sure to rotate the pieces so that they are not all lined up perfectly. Pin them together with a tack.

step-5Pin the fabric layers to your letter.

Starting from one corner, start tacking your fabric swatches to your foam letter. Squeeze a little dab of glue for each tack as you pin it down. As you move along, pin each new bundle of fabric close to the previous bundle.

The closer you pin each bundle, the more dense your fabric letter will be (and the more fabric you’ll need). At a minimum, keep your pins close enough that fabric folds keep your thumbtacks hidden. Keep pinning fabric bundles until the front of your letter is completely covered.

Voila! And there you have it, your very own fabric scrap letter! And if you’d like a little help getting started, Blue Magpie has put together some DIY kits in their Etsy shop with beautiful color-coordinated bundles of fabric and ribbon to get you that much closer to having a personal, handmade addition to your home or event!

Photography: Blue Magpie Invitations | DIY: Blue Magpie Invitations

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Santa Barbara Wedding

When a Michael & Anna Costa wedding lands on my desk, I know it’s going to be a good day. They’re magnets for pretty soirees and totally in love couples, it’s true. And when they team up with a group of vendors like the lovelies listed below, it comes as no surprise that we’re left with a gallery as swoon-worthy as this one. It’s all right here, waiting to be perused!


From the beautiful Bride…Matt and I met outside a Coldstone Creamery in the fall of 2007, during an informal get-together before we started law school. (That Coldstone is now closed, but luckily, we’re not superstitious about chain ice cream stores.) We were in the same small group of 16 kids who had all our classes together for our first semester. We lived on the same block and became close friends right away. For various reasons, it took about two years for us to finally get together, and when we did, it was only with the help of two of our best friends, both of whom were in our wedding party.

Matt grew up in Santa Barbara, and I grew up in Los Angeles, so after we graduated, it made sense for us to move back to L.A. We both took the bar and are practicing attorneys, though Matt practices much more than I do. He works in-house, and I temp, but I’m mainly a novelist (I’ve written two detective novels, Follow Her Home and Beware Beware, both published by St. Martin’s Minotaur). We live with our basset hound, Duke, who is the droopy, lazy light of our lives.

He was not, unfortunately, involved in our wedding, though he did come in for some pictures, and we prevailed on our baker and wedding planner to allow us to display a basset hound cake topper not on top of the cake, but in a tasteful cloche next to it. We got married at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, a nice walk from his childhood home. Our first date was actually right by the hotel, eating In-N-Out on the sea wall. My first visit to the hotel where I’d be married was to use the lobby bathroom during that date.

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Michael Costa | Videographer: At A Glance Productions | Event Planning: Ariel Yve Design | Floral Design: Tic Tock | Cake: Superfine Bakery | Lighting: LBPS | DJ: Dash | DJ: DJ Amara | Chair Rental: Chameleon Chairs | Coordination: Ariel Event Designs | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Icy Hot Club | Photobooth: Genuine Photobooths | Rentals: Tent Merchants | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Resort: Four Seasons Santa Barbara

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here