This Couple's Outdoor Wedding Was Inspired by Santa Fe, New Mexico's Natural Beauty
Five years after meeting at work—they both had careers in digital advertising—Moses and Julia invited a group of friends to Durango, Colorado, for the weekend. "One day we all went on an evening hike down to a beautiful river bank," says Julia. "Moses pulled me to the side to go walk in the water and then he popped the question! It was a total surprise."
Their August 2020 engagement allowed the couple plenty of time to plan their wedding for October 2, 2021, at Bishop's Lodge in Santa Fe, New Mexico—the bride's home state. "There was no replan and not too many precautions—most of our activities were entirely outdoors," says Julia of the planning process. The couple found inspiration in the state's landscapes, choosing a color palette of terra cotta, pink, rust, gold, and neutrals. They focused on natural textures and elements, including custom hand-painted gourds they gave out as favors, woven lanterns, and adobe backgrounds.
But the true highlight for Julia and Moses was celebrating with their 200 guests. "The moments we talk about the most are having all of our people together for an entire weekend," says Julia. "We felt so much love every single day and in every moment. People say it all the time, but it truly was one of the best days and weekends of our lives."
Home Sweet Home
Julia and Moses knew they wanted to host their nuptials in her home state of New Mexico, but didn't have a specific venue in mind. "The mountains, the sunsets, the food, the weather—the list goes on about what makes New Mexico so amazing," says the bride. "There was no question after touring Bishop's Lodge! The grounds embody the beauty of New Mexico, and it also feels incredibly intimate."
Swell Press Paper Co. created an invitation suite using the couple's understated color palette, geometric accent patterns, and an ombré-toned invitation to the welcome party. "We had an awesome map of Santa Fe with some of our favorite spots!" says Julia.
Julia chose a sleeveless, V-neck Monique Lhuillier wedding dress made of embroidered tulle. "I tried on so many different dresses and so many different styles," she says. "I was between two dresses and I ended up going with the one that felt more timeless! I went with a cathedral veil with beautiful floral appliqués; I also wore my [late] Nana's engagement ring."
Julia narrowed down the bridesmaids' options to several different gown styles and rosy shades from Jenny Yoo. "The colors matched the scheme of the wedding," says Julia. "They all looked so beautiful!"
In the Navy
Moses and his groomsmen donned slim-fit, navy suits from Generation Tux. "They overnighted three different suits for us to make sure we had the right fit and style," says Julia. "He wore a southwestern bracelet that is representative of a bracelet his mom gave him many years ago, and a chain necklace that his mom gifted him."
Their First Look
Emotions ran high during the couple's first look. "I was pretty nervous, but also extremely excited," says Julia. "I just wanted to see him!" Spending those moments alone together allowed the couple to center themselves before the ceremony. "During the first look, we were both happy to be grounded before being in front of the crowd and were thankful for that time with just us," she says. "After the first look, we couldn't wait to get down the aisle!"
The couple's "Santa Fe Sunset" aesthetic inspired their floral arch, which was covered in blooms of pink, yellow, sienna, and cream. "Our ceremony was on the chapel lawn, with the 1870s chapel sitting behind the audience," says Julia. "It was incredibly special."
Have a Seat
Artfully arranged flowers, greenery, and leaves from Layered Vintage created sculptural floral designs that lined the ceremony aisle, complementing rustic wooden benches.
Father and Daughter
A string group performed "What a Wonderful World" as Julia's father escorted her to the altar. "All the little moments really stick out," she says, "like right before walking down the aisle my dad and I had a few moments by ourselves, and it was so special!"
Saying "I Do"
During their religious ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged both traditional vows, and personal texts they wrote themselves. "We are both rooted in our Christian faith, and having a ceremony focused on that was very important to us," says Julia.
All the Right Notes
As the couple led their guests from the chapel to the cocktail hour, a mariachi band joined the processional to provide a festive accompaniment.
Keep on Truckin'
The bed of an antique pickup truck overflowed with natural trailing greenery, while a custom sign welcomed guests to the couple's reception.
Tile-inspired elements—like those on the invitation—reappeared throughout the wedding day; a wooden bookshelf held seating assignments printed on diamond-shaped paper decorated with a similar design.
Natural woven lanterns and greenery used to wrap the tent poles helped create an effortless, al fresco atmosphere for the couple's reception. "We look back at the pictures from our reception tent and it transports us back to that evening," says Julia. "The lanterns, greenery, flowers, and candles felt like a literal dream."
Warm and Welcoming
Mercury glass votives, sand-colored pillar candles, and centerpiece arrangements in shades of pink, amber, and burgundy complemented the oatmeal-colored linens.
Vintage glassware, natural chargers, linen runners, and tile-inspired menus were a sophisticated use of mixed materials.
Julia and Moses chose a contemporary version of "This Must Be the Place" for their first dance. "The original Talking Heads version had been one of Moses's favorite songs his entire life, and he always thought it would be a great first dance song if he could find the right version," says Julia. "Once he found the Lumineers version, we were locked in! We've gone through this song line by line over the years and have our own interpretation of what it all means. It truly felt like the world melted away and it was just us two dancing together."
Photography, Feather & Twine
Venue, Bishop's Lodge
Event Planning, Wild Sky Events
Flowers, Layered Vintage
Videography, The McKellars Wedding Cinema
Stationery, Swell Press (invitations); Owl Post Calligraphy (day-of papers)
Music, Raising Cain
Rentals, Colorado Party Rentals; La Tavola Fine Linen; Whim Hospitality
Bride's gown, Monique Lhullier
Bride's accessories, Anne Barge veil; Jennifer Behr earrings
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Menswear, Generation Tux
Guest book, After the Tone
Favors, Gourds by Sandy Short