creative direction

big sur wedding

Susan and Jesse were married at Paion in Big Sur this summer. Their wedding was published on Once Wed today. Their stunning location took center stage, and all design choices were made so as not to distract from the views, leaving plenty of room for the sweeping vistas. We balanced some delicate, ethereal, and special elements, like the unique porcelain invites mailed to each guest, with the raw and rugged natural landscape. Sometimes, it's all about knowing when enough is enough. Adding more stuff isn't always the right answer, especially in a breathtaking place like this. I loved getting to know the couple and their families, who were so warm and loving. The local planner, Diane, ran a tight ship and was wonderfully entertaining. The owner of the property, who watched from afar, is very well educated and has lived on the property for over 50 years. He planted all of the massive tress himself. I got to chat a good bit with him. He's as invested and a part of that land as any human could be, and has hosted a lot of weddings through the years. During my time there, he gave me one of the nicest compliments I've ever received at a wedding. He told me that he liked the layout I had arranged more than any he had ever seen there. He said that the placement of each detail and the use of his space were different from any other arrangements, and that although it seemed almost counterintuitive to him, he felt that it honored the land and respected it's best assets, while still providing a natural flow for the guests. This is something I really strive for. I like to spend some quiet time alone on the property, kind of steeping in it; letting it show me where everything should go. So, it meant a lot to me that someone who knows the land so well would initiate that kind of observation. Of course, I also loved Susan's remarks at the end of the night. She said that everything was so much better than she had ever dreamed, and that the whole evening was completely magical. And it was.

Photography: Bryce Covey // Direction: Joy Thigpen // Planning: Diane Allen // Location: Paion // Catering: Annie Hobbs // Flowers: Studio Choo // Paper Design: Union Street Papery // Porcelain Invitation: Hanumette // First dress: Monique Lhuillier // 2nd dress: Johanna Johnson // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, SF

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