Katherine and Jared's Santa Fe Soirée in the Desert
It was love at first bite for Jared Vanlandingham. Well, at the picture of a first bite, to be exact. "He 'liked' my food blog," explains Katherine Harper, "so I sent him a thank-you note." After a few e-mail exchanges, the two Dallas residents finally met. "We bonded over our cooking obsessions. He's great with stick-to-your-ribs food; I'm all about plating it beautifully," says Katherine, who is head of marketing for a movie studio. And for the next year, her relationship with Jared, an electrical manufacturer's rep, cooked along nicely. Then, during a weekend at Rancho Loma, a cuisine-driven hotel in the middle of Nowheresville, Texas, Jared proposed. "We called our families with the one bar of reception we could get on our phones," recalls Katherine. "That's how remote this spot was."
Picking the wedding destination was easy: Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a favorite getaway for the pair. Their decided aesthetic was also crystal clear. Says Katherine, "I didn't want to translate Santa Fe literally with cacti and hanging chile peppers. I wanted a glamorous desert wedding showcasing the scenery's natural colors." On April 12, 2014, they exchanged vows in a Presbyterian ceremony before 90 loved ones at the desert-luxe Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe.
Mother Nature provided the décor. "There was a storm rolling in that created dramatic views, but luckily it passed us by," remembers Katherine.
"We took a diamond pattern and split it to make Vs for our last name, Vanlandingham," says Katherine. "And that created a look for us, repeated throughout our wedding." The motif first appeared on their save-the-date cards, which were printed on a diamond shape and created by Antiquaria.
The couple used their beloved stone design on all of their stationery. Here, the pattern in green and peach (the colors featured in the wedding palette) lines the envelope and belts the save-the-date card. "I wanted things to be desert-inspired," says Katherine. "I wanted to showcase the colors and the scenery."
The Invitation Suite
The marble pattern and desert colors also distinguished the couple's invites. Katherine loves gold, so they used a golden cord to bind the suite.
The Bridal Bouquet
The bride carried a bouquet by Mindy Rice of peach grevillea, white sweetpeas, and Sahara and Angie Romantica roses in pale desert shades. Rice bound the bouquet with green ribbon.
In the Bag
Muslin pouches held brass Sacred Geometry Cuffs from BingBang NYC—one of two bridesmaids' gifts given at the bridesmaids' breakfast on the big day.
Struck a Chord
The bride also gave her attendants bronze arrowhead necklaces from Vardonne, presented in boxes wrapped in malachite-print paper, tied with gold cord, and adorned with a sprig of rice flowers.
Ranunculus and rice flowers in desert hues were two of the flowers used for the groomsmen's boutonnieres—placed on the same malachite paper the couple used to wrap the welcome gifts.
V Is for Vanlandingham
A gold V bracelet presented in a green malachite box was a gift from wedding planner Lisa Vorce.
"I saw this green Marchesa clutch that matched my color scheme," says Katherine. "I carried it because I fell in love with it."
Emerald-green Jimmy Choos matched Katherine's clutch and the colors of her wedding. She had purchased them on her first trip to Santa Fe with Jared. Katherine walked down a mountain path to join her husband-to-be at the ceremony site in these! At a later point, she traded her heels for cowboy boots, and they hiked to the side of the mountain alone to absorb the majesty of the landscape—and the moment.
The Welcome Box
Guests were greeted with a selection of goodies, including Shiner Bock, Jared's favorite beer and a nod to the couple's home state of Texas; peanut butter and salted caramel brownies from Kakawa Chocolate House, a local Santa Fe bakery; and herbed pecans from Los Poblanos, an organic lavender farm in Albuquerque. To combat the dry Southwestern air, the couple also included the farm's lip salve, hand lotion, and lavender sachets.
The Ceremony Décor
The outdoor aisle was lined with clusters of succulents, coral peonies, and ranunculus that fit the event's peach-and-green palette.
"I wanted to celebrate the landscape in every detail," says Katherine. "Even the programs had the grounds' marble pattern and desert colors."
The couple had the ceremony marker built from an antique Moroccan iron gate. Under the structure was a colorful kilim rug.
Clusters of succulents, peonies, protea, rice flowers, and blush grevillea adorned the corners of the ceremony structure.
The couple said their I do's before stunning views on a terraced patio at the resort.
"I entered with my dad, walking in from a mountain trail—in heels!" says Katherine of her walk down the aisle to "Largo" from Lute Concerto in D Major by Vivaldi. She also recalls that the 5 p.m. light was phenomenal.
Readings during the nuptials included an Apache blessing and a passage from Still Life With Woodpecker, by Tom Robbins, about the problems of redheads—because the bride could relate.
Hand-stitched malachite pockets in glass vessels held dried lavender (the flower was also put in the welcome boxes as sachets) for guests to toss as the couple walked down the aisle postceremony.
In Good Company
A VIB (Very Important Burro) named Freighter carried light bushels of amaryllis, viburnum, parrot tulips, and grevillea. He was the most popular guest with the selfie-taking attendees.
A Musical Transition
After the vows, a mariachi band escorted guests to cocktails on a flagstone terrace just below the ceremony site.
Escort cards were tied with gold thread to copper shot glasses each guest received at the cocktail hour. An accompanying shot of Don Julio 1942 tequila was optional, but encouraged.
Long tables surrounded a Spanish-style courtyard so guests could watch the sunset as they dined on green-chile short ribs and sea bass with chorizo hash.
There were also three interactive stations at the reception: a top-shelf tequila bar, a churro station, and a cigar roller.
The long tables held low arrangements of coral amaryllis, succulents, orange parrot tulips, roses, white freesia, tangerine ranunculus, and blush grevillea.
The bundles were kept short so guests could see, and talk, across the tables.
A Golden Moment
Gold fondant and desert flowers covered a lemon-thyme wedding cake. "I wanted something not too sweet," says Katherine. "I like the mix of sweet and savory."
Muslin bags holding red-chile sauce mix from one of the newlyweds' favorite Santa Fe restaurants, The Shed, were given as favors.
Location, Catering, and Cake: Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe
Event Design and Production: Lisa Vorce Co.
Floral and Event Design: Mindy Rice Floral & Event Design
Photography: Bryce Covey
Lighting and Power Distribution: Quick Beam
Hair: Debi Bragg of Hair Santa Fe
Makeup: Monica Stark of Makeup Santa Fe
Transportation: Santa Fe Valet
Linens: La Tavola
Dance Floor: Designer Event Rentals
Burro: Paraje Atajo-Aparejo Packing System (505-852-2764)
Audio/Visual: Santa Fe Audio Visual
Cigar Roller: CF Dominicana Cigars
Concierge Services: Life:Styled