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Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Wedding

Planning and designing last fall’s wedding at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum was a project very close to my heart because it was my sister’s wedding. Over the course of a year, I made several trips down to California to check out the venue, source linens and rentals and play around with props and flowers. It was so fun to collaborate with my sister since I knew her taste so well and because we like so many of the same things. The result – a beautiful day with eclectic Southwestern, natural history inspired rentals and tablescapes combined with pinks, yellows and coral blooms and anchored by the acorns and oak leaves that fill the grounds of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

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Friday Florals

The downside to working with flower frogs is that things tend to move around in transport. The upside is that sometimes when you remake them, you like the second version more than the original. I made this arrangement for a styled lingerie shoot yesterday and when I pulled it out of the truck late last night, it had sadly fallen victim to both the hot studio lights and Seattle’s notorious potholes. I tossed in a few leftover stems this morning while waiting for my kettle to boil and turns out that I think I like this version better than the original…

seattle floral and event designer spring flowers

…aaaand it’s fall

Today is the first day it really feels like fall in Seattle. We made it all the way to October 11 before the sky turned grey and the fog drifted in from the Puget Sound. I finally had a moment to step outside and notice the jewel colored leaves littering my garden in just the prettiest way and the illustrated pumpkin spice lattes in the Starbucks window across the street. Mmm pumpkin spice…that reminds me to buy some of those lovely heirloom gourds Jello Mold Farm is selling at the market this week…

I have been slacking on the blogging. Truth be told, I just haven’t had time to even look through the photos of this summer’s weddings and now the professional shots are slowly trickling into my inbox. Those are so much better anyway and so my fall/winter resolution is to share images from a wedding or shoot every few weeks for the next few months. I was lucky enough to work with some amazingly creative couples and shockingly talented photographers this summer. I can’t wait to share with you what we came up with…

chantal andrea, starbucks pumpkin spice latte, bryce covey, pumpkins, fall, wedding, design sponge*image credits clockwise from top left: Chantal Andrea Photography, Bryce Covey Photography, Melissa Guzman via Pinterest

Our Georgetown styled engagement shoot is featured on Wedding Chicks today! Take a look at the full gallery for lots of details and more of Chantal Andrea’s beautiful portraits of our lovely couple.

Wedding Chicks wedding inspiration blogcoral and turquoise styled inspiration shoot engagement wedding seattle

Royal Garden Party

As I mentioned last week, the UK will enjoy a four day weekend in order to properly celebrate William and Kate’s nuptials on Friday and many will be throwing street parties to celebrate. My favorite English floral designer, Miss Pickering, was asked to give Daily Telegraph readers some inspiration for decorating their own parties. Her idea was to take all the glitz and glamor outside – an idea I recently put into practice for one of my own inspiration shoots.

Miss PIckering Sunday Telegraph Royal WeddingI love all the red and pink roses with pops of chartreuse amongst the formal china and silver plate. I also love the plethora of Union Jacks, the old fashioned living room setup outside with old sconces hung in the trees and patriotic bunting framing the table. And don’t even get me started on the “made in England” tag on the boutonniere…genius!

Royal Wedding Garden Party Miss PickeringMiss Pickering Royal Wedding Garden Party

Miss Pickering Royal Garden Party boutonniere

All images courtesy of Miss P and to view more behind the scenes details from the Telegraph shoot, check out her blog post here.

Sneak Peek

Our first week back from Panama was a whirlwind of activity centered around two different photoshoots with two very different themes. While I can’t reveal too much now, in honor of this gorgeous Spring day, here’s a sneak peek from the second one…

pastel flowers boho chic weddingStay tuned for more in a few weeks!

figs, plums and honeysuckle

Laura and Majid

yellow, purple, mood board, edgewaterPalette: plum, marigold, blush and pewter
Theme: vintage, elegant, chic
Location: Edgewater Hotel, Seattle
Date: May, 2011

2010: A Retrospective

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Maacama Ranch, Healdsburg, CA, on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010


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Maacama Ranch, Healdsburg, CA, on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010

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Tremendous thanks to all my wonderful clients, colleagues, friends and family for making this such a fantastic year. Finch & Thistle wouldn’t exist without you and for that, I am truly grateful.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with love, laughter and flowers!

– Rachel

Published: Nonpareil Magazine

Nonpareil Issue 7 Cover

I have been dying to show off the projects and pictures from the shoot I styled and designed for Nonpareil Magazine in October since well, October! Check out all the details of the 20(!) page article here – NP Issue 7: A Buzz Worthy Bride

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Kathleen Ullman of Twig and Thistle created the mood board that inspired the shoot. Her dream wedding would have a “Farm to Table” theme with handcrafted details, natural elements and pink and sage green florals.

I then designed and styled the shoot based on the mood board. Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures from that cold, wintery day out on Bainbridge Island…


Apart from the pink roses, all the flowers, herbs and rose hips in the bouquet and arrangements came from my own garden.


I used vintage marmalade pots found on Ebay for the two smaller centerpieces and the white metal vase came from a flea market. The Mr & Mrs runner project was inspired by the burlap runners one of my brides made this summer and the herb pot favors seemed a sweet and inexpensive take on the Farm to Table theme. Details and step-by-step instructions are available here – Mr & Mrs runner template and here –Herb pot favor template



Our baker fell through at the last minute, so I improvised and decorated simple white cakes from Bainbridge Island’s Town & Country supermarket! Some scattered Secal pears, Black Mission figs and olive branches kept the farm feel a bit more sophisticated.


It was such a pleasure to work on this shoot with Angela and Evan. Not only is their work stunning, but they are a lot of fun to hang out with!


Our hair and makeup artist, Teryl, was fantastic. After an hour with her, our already gorgeous model Kara was just stunning.


As the sun set, Kara posed for some shots under the trees and then we moved down to the water to catch the last of the light.


Dress designer Chrissy Wai-Ching stands by with some hot tea for our freezing model!


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