We’re already onto our 3rd installment of our Art History for Brides series and with each passing time period I grow more and more in love with the next. This installment was definitely a challenge in the way that I really wanted it to look romantic and elegant and not harsh and cold like so many attribute to this beautiful art movement. From the colors of the stained glass, berry toned flowers and a stunning model, I cannot express how happy I was with the end result. I hope you feel the same!

Art History for Brides: Gothic Wedding Inspiration

The Gothic art movement was during the 12th century and was very much inspired and driven by the inspirations of the church and had touches of Romanesque architecture, Byzantine textiles, and French fashion. Often confused with Goth (think vampires, Marilyn Manson, black lipstick and chokers), Gothic was daring yet refined and richly ornate with details.

Gothic Graphics

Bold Gothic style fonts are some of the most widely spread example of this genre and were even used for the very first example of printing, the Gutenberg Bible. For this Gothic style Wedding Invitation I created a custom quatrefoil pattern, incorporated vaulted arches and a diecut stained glass inspired invitation sleeve.

Gothic Architecture

Gothic architecture featured magnificent buildings that were built with signature pointed aches, vaulted ceilings, and flying buttresses. Some of the most notable examples of gothic architecture are Notre Dame. Reims Cathedral and Chatres Cathedral to name a few.

Gothic Symbols

Quatrefoils were a popular symbolic shape that was seen in the stained glass, ornate windows and other architectural elements that was widely repeated and gave a royal and majestic feeling. For our Gothic inspired table we used a rich gold velvet quatrefoil patterned as a runner layered on top of a rich berry stained wool. For an opulent and unique place setting we featured ornate marble tiles that featured golden scrollwork that could be seen through our cut crystal plates.


For a bold yet romantic take on Gothic inspired flowers, Isari Flower Studio created a stunning yet delicate berry toned bridal bouquet composed of purples transitioning to merlot kissed Sweetpeas, dark burgundy Anemone with touches of wine hued Heleborus. The richly textured centerpiece offered a melange of  deep red and cream ranunculas, schwartz mini calla lilies, succulents, black center anemones amidst astrantias, Hydrangeas and black berries. In addition to the large arrangement, the companion pieces boasted clusters of ranunculas, with grey dusty miller foliages and then topped each place setting a single cream ranunculas, and dusty miler leaves.

Stained Glass

Cathedrals boasted giant windows adorned with ornate stain glass that let light shine through in rich reds, blues, and yellows. Shapes including quatrefoils, floral inspired and geometric elements were combined to create these stunning light-filled windows from which the cathedrals patrons would gaze into from the pews. We brought the colorful glass from the windows onto the table with our bold and colorful goblets.

This vintage church chair by OC Prop Girl is a perfect example of Gothic style furniture with Gothic arches and detailing.

Gothic Fashion

The wealthy brought in expensive silks from Byzantium and wore them as long draping tunics with flared sleeves, a French fashion known as a bliaut. Blue and ruby red were popular colors accented with gold pieces such as a loosely worn belt with gold tassels. Women wore veils draped over their long braided hair to signify marriage. This was wonderful fashion during the 12th century but we opted for a stunning sand colored gown by Monique Lhullier and from M Bride for our bride to be.

Gothic Art

Triptychs are wonderful examples of Gothic art that featured three panels of settings framed by ornate vaulted arches. I was inspired by these classical pieces of art when I created a trifold wedding invitation in the same style showcasing the notable vaulted arch, quatrefoil and a stained glass inspired belly band.

With so many beautiful and meaningful artful elements to be inspired by this powerful artistic movement in history, Gothic is a wonderful genre to get inspiration for your wedding day. Whether it be Gothic inspired wedding invitations, stained glass inspired décor or even jewelry, Gothic design would be a great way to add drama and intrigue to your wedding.

Design & Styling by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations

Photography by Jill Thomas

Invitation & Stationery Design by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations

Flowers by Isari Flower Studio

Props by OC Prop Girl

Hair and Make Up by Katwalk Styling

Dress & Jewelry by M Bride

Venue The Capella at The Grand Del Mar

Pastries by Opera Patisserie

Greco Roman Wedding Fashion Inspiration

When in Rome do as the Romans do… Especially dress like them! And as we all know, the Romans have been setting the trends worldwide from the Greco Roman times until now. For our Greco Roman installment of our Art History for Brides series featured over on Style Unveiled we really wanted to portray the romantic and ethereal vibe that we all feel from those toga wearing eras. Soft and flowy light colored fabrics, gold and silver adornments and strappy gladiator sandals… not just for our styled bride, this was part of their daily garb! Don’t be afraid of infusing your wedding fasion with color via baubles, bold rings, bracelets and especially some bling braided into your flowing mane.  With a little help from the ladies on Mount Olympus you’re sure to make a statement on your big day!

For a dramatic effect we stacked Rachel Leigh’s gold cuffs and bangles. Mixing metals isn’t a don’t anymore, experiment with this DO jewelry trend!

We dressed up our Greek goddesses hair with a silver toned jeweled headband by Rachel Leigh. The Allyson Simone halter neck wedding gown our bride is wearing features a delicate keyhole neckline with gorgeous silver beading for a wonderful way to bring your eyes up to our beautiful brides face.

This soft orange and peach bridal bouquet by Isari Flower Studio was the perfect compliment to her gold and silver toned jewelry.

Kat of Katwalk Styling created a gorgeous and ethereal fish tail braid and secured the end with a jeweled earring. Soft loose braids create such a beautiful and romantic look. We are also LOVING the daring back on this Allyson Simone bridal dress. Allyson Simone is an amazingly talented wedding gown designer with a new (few months old) bridal boutique located in Carlsbad, San Diego. They sell not only Allyon’s custom designs but many other amazing designers so if you’re in the Southern California area you must make this a stop on your wedding dress quest.

Photography by Jill Thomas

Bridal Styling by Stylish Silhouette & Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations

Wedding Dress by Allyson Simone of Provence Bride

Hair & Makeup by Katwalk Styling

Bridal Bouquet by Isari Flower Studio

Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations’ Goals for 2011 that I would like to share with you…

It’s barely 2011 and the exciting possibility of starting off with a clean slate of goals lie ahead of us. All of the opportunities that we can imagine for this year are still a possibility and with this post and a positive attitude they can become a probability. The year can be full of wonderful dreams and aspirations that we create for it and make for a wonderfully successful and stylish 2011 where we can not only grow but forge wonderful relationships with other creative people in the event design industry and reach out to brides and clients to make their wedding dreams come true.

It seems as if  just imagining these wonderful goals sets them into action and have already had a wonderful start to 2011. With even more goals to conquer then ever, I wanted to share them all with you.

To work with other planners to design and style their clients weddings and special events.

With a background in interior design and art direction our love of design is what drives us in this industry.  We of course love to plan as well and bring all of the components such as catering and music and coordination together but our heart is driven by style. We love to focus on the small details, one-of-a-kind ideas, custom made linens, hand ombre dyed napkins, embellished and intricate styled dessert bars. We can oversee and direct all of the creative design aspects including floral, lighting, linens, and detailed site plans or even just take over specific areas such as tablescapes, lounges and dessert bars. Being able to work with other planners as their go-to designer not only allows us to focus solely on the design that we love but also allows the planner to focus on all of the other intricate details involved in planning while knowing that their clients event design will be

To work with other planners to design their clients invitations and wedding stationery & to design even more gorgeous custom luxury wedding invitations.

We believe that great event design starts with the invitation and should be just as beautiful and luxurious as the linens and the flowers that you put on your table. Great invitations and stationery is like another design accessory in your overall creation. We love to collaborate with other great planners to create custom wedding stationery suites for their clients events. We don’t just look at invitations as a single element but as part of a whole. Being able to work with other planners and learn about how we can incorporate their clients inspirations  into the stationery including invitations, welcome booklets, dessert tags is a wonderful way to add our design value into another planners work.

As an event designer in addition to stationery designer we know how the creative process works and know how to bring in unique paper elements that add to the overall decor of an event. Custom illustrations, unique embellishments such as chain and stone and new techniques such as laser cutting allow us to create one-of-a-kind custom invitations and stationery that serve as fashionable accessories to your clients special day.

To plan and design weddings and celebrations in Italy and throughout Europe.

While living in Florence for my masters in graphic design I also worked with a boutique luxury travel company as a personal concierge. I would coordinate castle rentals, villa rentals, wine tours, truffle hunts and gallery visits for weddings and holidays for clients throughout Europe. With so many wonderful connections in Tuscany and throughout Italy and Europe, planning events there would be the perfect transition into being known as a luxury destination wedding planner. My Italian is starting to get a bit rusty so would love the excuse to ‘parla Italiano’.  Whether it be an intimate wedding in your own private villa in Tuscany,  a 4 day trip to Monaco with your closest friends gambling along side you in Monte Carlo, a private perfume tour of Fragonard in Eze or taking a cruise on a yacht for your 1 day anniversary party around the Mediterranean, we can make it all happen while still having the high level of design that you can expect with Alchemy Fine Events.

To plan and design weddings and celebrations in San Diego.

As ironic as it may sound, we haven’t had the opportunity to do many events in our own back yard! We love to travel and because of our blog and other blogs that have been kind enough to post our work, the majority of our events have been out of county and out of state. From Santa Barbara to San Francisco, New Orleans, Hawaii, Miami, New York and New Jersey, we have worked with many wonderful clients, but it would also be so amazing to do more events in the city that we’re so proud to be from! San Diego was voted the #1 Destination Wedding location last year and who better to show you all that our wonderful city has to offer then a born and bred local.

To collaborate with talented Chefs and to grow my passion for food into a large part of the events that I design.

For as long as I can remember I have been one of food’s biggest fans. With and Italian/Spanish/Mexican/Dutch family food always played a huge part in our lives and this passion has only grown larger and larger every year. Even in high school I toyed with the idea of culinary school but art school won. What some people don’t appreciate is that food is such an art form that shouldn’t have to be sacrificed for budget or design. I have such a high respect for chefs and love to collaborate with them to create unique recipes, menus and desserts for my clients events. When I see brides that have amazing decor, stunning flowers and extraordinary invitations only to server their guests dry chicken with rice pilaf I’m shocked at how this huge element of celebrating is overlooked. I believe that the food should be the star on the table and that it doesn’t have to be boring when catering a large group of people. In 2011 my goal is not only to bring more daring and gourmet cuisine into my events but hopefully work work with clients that appreciate the art of dining as I do.

To get my work published in top design magazines and to work with publications themselves to show their readers new possibilities in combining event design, fashion, food and the luxury lifestyle.

Working with top magazines, blogs and other publications is such an exciting and great way to show readers what we’re made of and what we can really do. We’re already off to a great start with such wonderful publications as Style Me Pretty, Style Unveiled, Utterly Engaged, Hostess Blog and San Diego’s Riviera Magazine! Creating styled and designed shoots is such a great way to ‘show off’ a bit and test the limits in design while also inspiring brides for their own big days. What I would love to do is not only contribute design ideas but fashion, food, traveling and music which also play such an important role in weddings and celebrations in addition to an overall stylish luxury lifestyle.

Oh, and to add a lot more Missoni to my closet wouldn’t hurt.

We adore the holidays and all things bright and shiny. So when Jaimi of Fiore Beauty asked us to design their holiday card we jumped! We featured Fiore Beauty on our blog a few months back that you can read here. Jaimi wanted a feeling that was vintage, cheeky, beauty inspired and festive and bubbly just like the holidays. With some custom illustrations of makeup, brushes, bobby pins and of course some bubbly champagne, here was the result.


We even got to feature a scarlet red kiss print as a sign off inside of their holiday card, which is very appropo if you know Jaimi! Being able to design for and collaborate with other talented people within the wedding industry is such a delight for us and definitely something we want more of for 2011!

When planning that special day you’ve always dreamed about, I’m sure you imagined looking like your most beautiful self floating down that aisle. Make that dream a reality and leave your looks to the pros at Fiore Beauty! Coiffed, curled, glossed and polished, these ladies will transform you into the covergirl you always knew was inside of you. The artists at Fiore Beauty do makeup, hair and nails for celebrity glamour mavens such as Jennifer Lopez, Jenna Fisher, Heidi Klum, Emma Stone, Kim Kardashian and Whitney Port, just in case you wondered the caliber of their talents.

Below Jaimi of Fiore Beauty gives us some gorgeous inspirations and tips from the pros sure to make your groom go ‘WOW’!

Every girl wants to be her most gorgeous on her wedding day.  Getting your glam plan in place takes a bit of planning but it’s fun to get in that extra pampering you don’t always treat yourself too.

There are so many beauty inspirations to help you find a look you love, from eternal beauties like Bridget Bardot and Audrey Hepburn to current lovelies like Leighton Meister and Rachel Bilson.  They can inspire you but how it all comes together will become of your own.

Think of the time you spend getting ready on your wedding days with your girls as a celebration in itself!

All eyes will be on you and you’ll feel gorgeous, enjoy every second!

Tips from the Pros

Here are some Fiore tips on how to make sure your wedding day beauty all comes together without a hitch!

  • Wear lashes, everyone looks prettier with them. We use individuals most often, they look natural and you won’t even feel them.
  • If you can’t keep your artist on for touch ups put one of your ladies in charge of your lipstick touch ups, you will be having so much fun you won’t think about your makeup if no one reminds you.
  • Don’t skimp on beauty. It’s really easy to try to cut corners when it comes to all of your beauty services for your big day when you’re spending so much money on everything else. After the wedding you look back at your pictures (which you’re the focus of) and when you look at them you want think “What a fox!” and remember how beautiful you felt.
  • Don’t try anything new 2 weeks before your wedding including products, facials, tans, eyebrow grooming, or hair color.

  • Exfoliation and hydration are the key to nice skin and therefore beautiful makeup so drink tons of water and find a great exfoliation product to use religiously. We love Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate.
  • Don’t have your makeup artist/ hairdresser friend do your services, there is about a thousand ways.
  • Really think about how you will feel your prettiest on your wedding day.  Gather pictures of yourself you like as well as magazine tears of beauty looks you and know what it is about the pictures that you like.  Beauty is so subjective and it’s really helpful if you have an idea of what you like.
  • Spray tans are wonderful for giving you a glow while wearing white and warms up your skin so you don’t need as much makeup.  You need much color at all though, a little goes a long way and test it out a couple months before your wedding.
  • Hire artists that are good listeners and are dependable and leave ample time to get ready (it’ll be an early morning, there’s no way around it).  This will make sure that you just get to relax and enjoy being pampered and getting ready to be a Mrs.!

Let Fiore Beauty beautify you and your bridesmaids on your wedding day! Start the celebration early with a fun and pampering relaxed environment.

Want to start the pampering early? Don’t miss our Mistral French Soap Basket Giveaway! Only 3 days left to enter!

Here’s how to win:

Visit the post at Welcome Basket Ingredients to enter.

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