Floral Design: Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs (personal flowers only) | Venue: Front Porch Farm | Photographer: Paige Green | Arch Design: Patrick Rhodes | Statement Pieces: Willi Wildflower | Band: Afrolicious | Flowers grown by the sensational bride: Zoe Hitchner of Front Porch Farm
Floral Design: Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs | Event Planning: Ryder Sloan Events | Photographer: Kim Smith Miller | Venue: Foreign Cinema | Hair + Makeup: Eliza Desch | Invitations: Minted | Wedding Bands: Betsy Barron | Ties: My Tie Shop | Suits: Indochino | Chuppah: Under the Chuppah
Floral Design: Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs | Event Planning + Design: Harlin+Sparrow Design | Photography: Megan Clouse | Rentals: Encore Event Rentals | Hair+Makeup: Caysi Jean | Baker: Crisp Bakeshop | Officiant: Natalie Kling | Videographer: Edge Fog Films | Graphics: Sarah Davis | Linens: Latavola Linens
Loved being a part of this intimate dinner at a gorgeous private estate in Sonoma this Spring. It's always a pleasure working with Harlin + Sparrow events- they curate such lovely tabletop designs and always leave me plenty of spaciousness for my creativity to thrive.
Megan Clouse took these beautiful photos with the perfect light and her impeccable attention to detail. April and May are two of my favorite months of the year for flowers and I was thrilled to work with the first flush of local heirloom garden roses, calla lilies, honeysuckle, tree peonies, frittilaria, baby strawberries, poppies, dogwood, and some yummy heuchera foliage.
Lake Tahoe is known best in California for its amazing ski slopes in the winter months, but come summer the sparkling water of Lake Tahoe is a refreshing sight and feels amazing in the dry heat of a Northern California summer.
Katie and Chapman got married right at the edge of these waters last summer, with a stunning backdrop and plein air feast, surrounded by loving family and friends. Katie is one of the most sensitive, tender, warm, and compassionate people I've ever known, and Chapman has a heart of gold and looks at Katie like she's his sun and moon. I designed the floral to reflect Katie's softness, while also speaking to wild elements surrounding Lake Tahoe in summer. Wild grasses, strawberries, eucalyptus, seed pods and honeysuckle give way to elegant garden roses, pastel zinnias, and puffs of gomphrena.
I loved being a part of this wedding for many reasons.
First, I've discovered that I love working for clients who are themselves creatives. Heather + Derek are both designers living in San Francisco. Heather works for the Designer Fund and was a dream to collaborate with. Her mutual respect for me as a creative and our shared design language led to a smooth and natural creative process where I felt trusted and appreciated, and we both felt inspired.
The venue for this wedding was stunning and close to home, perfect for highlighting the bounty that Sonoma County offers in summer like olive, grape vine, heirloom garden roses, clematis, chocolate cosmos, honeysuckle, tuberose, and blackberry. The property was rich with lavender fields, olive trees, rosemary bushes, and a sweet herb garden, and overlooked a lovely valley in Healdsburg wine country. For a minute there, I was transported to the Mediterranean. It's amazing how many beautiful spots there are tucked away in Sonoma County that have that affect. (talk to K Venues to discover these hidden gems).
Heather + Derek's wedding aesthetic was modern but timeless and sophisticated. I created custom smudge sticks for each guest to find their tables with. These were made with dried sage, rosemary, lavender, and spray roses, all locally grown, and had each guest's name and table number tied on with a beautiful silk ribbon. Heather was inspired by sunset over the valley, so our color story involved peaches, mauve, soft magenta, lavender, and a hint of ice blue. Hammered copper bowls held the lush centerpieces which added just a touch of current fashion without feeling overly trendy. Heather + Derek were thrilled to see local materials featured and to know that their wedding flowers were grown nearby by local farmers who care for the land. I loved their plein air reception with beautiful draping by Got Light. Even at 8 months pregnant, this is one of those rare weddings I would have loved to attend!
Northern California is home to the world's most exquisite redwood trees. Their huge, towering trunks reach great heights to create a canopy of speckled light and fairy magic. These redwood forests are truly sacred places for me, and I was thrilled to collaborate with Kelly Anne Photography for a bridal photo shoot in the midst of these holy giants
Fall in Northern California means rich, golden light, refreshing cool breezes, and acres of grape vines turning shades of gold and amber. We shift emotionally too, from light, sunny, fast-paced summer, to the contemplative, mysterious, moody, romantic vibes that the autumn air brings.
A few weeks before I gave birth to our first child, (Penelope Rose!) I had the pleasure of collaborating with Kelly from Kelly Anne Photography on this gorgeous bridal inspiration shoot. Carrie Aldous joined us on hair and makeup, and we had such a fun day tromping around Point Reyes National Seashore to get these stunning views that characterize the Northern California coast.
The bridal bouquet for this shoot was inspired by fall in Northern California with touches of pampas grass, corn husk, and dried windswept flowers mingling with luscious cafe au lait dahlias, heirloom garden roses, chocolate cosmos and golden celosia. Tied off with silk and velvet ribbons, I love how well the color palette complements the icy blue gown from Ca'Rousel.
Happy fall to you and yours! xo
I love a juicy late summer palette and Sierra and Jensen let me loose for their amazing, homegrown, boho wedding in Santa Rosa last August. Dahlia season was at its peak as well as all the berries and pomegranates and zinnias and celosia. Guided by what materials were seasonally and locally shining, I had a blast decking out their wedding and watching it come to life. The warmth of the flowers echoed the warmth that was palpable among Sierra and Jensen's amazing community of family and friends. The energy of that sweet time and place will never be forgotten.
Bri + Gabe celebrated their tender love under a cathedral of redwood trees tucked away in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stones and Flowers Retreat Center is one of my favorite venues to date with its rustic charm, intimate feel, and one of the most beautiful barns I've seen yet.
Bri is a tremendously talented graphic designer with a style I really admire, so I was honored when she gave me creative control with her wedding flowers. I find that I work really well with other creatives and love sharing inspiration back and forth. With a seasonal spring menu, I was able to use some of my favorites: white lilac, ranunculus, snowberry, honeysuckle, garden roses, and lots of woodsy foliage. Bonus fun fact: Bri is the talent behind my logo which I get so much great feedback on.
For their beautiful chunky farm tables, I created long garlands of eucalyptus and we re-purposed the bridesmaid bouquets on each table. With the twinkle lights and family of redwood trees towering overhead, it felt like a cozy, magical, forest celebration of love and friendship.
The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park has long been one of my favorite places to spend time in the city. It has got to be one of the dreamiest wedding venues in the whole Bay Area. The ceremony takes place just outside of the gorgeous white Victorian greenhouse with sweeping views of Sutro Tower and the beautifully manicured gardens that I've picnicked in year after year.
After the ceremony, guests wind their way through the lush greenhouse stopping for cocktails while being awed by next level botanical delights. If you haven't spent time perusing their incredible collection of unique plants from all over the world, you should make a date of it asap.
Janet and Kenny got married in May and when I first saw them they were laughing and holding hands in a world all their own. There wasn't a trace of stress from either of them the whole process of our planning, and I have to wonder if it's because they were focused so deeply on each other. I so appreciated their trust in my creativity and was thrilled at how ecstatic Janet was over the flowers. Her bridesmaids were stunning, but it's the traditional Korean dresses that the elder women wore that really caught my eye.
Spring is a time for some of my favorite flowers to shine: dogwood, peonies, and sweet peas, so I really enjoyed designing Janet and Kenny's ceremony arch to reflect the season and tone of their wedding. The suspended greenery over their reception made the space more cozy and the table garlands kept everything super fresh feeling. I've had so many delightful clients this year, but Janet and Kenny, I credit you for kicking it off so sweetly!
This inspiration shoot is for all you organic farm lovers out there. This special farm set in a majestic valley right on the Russian River in Healdsburg, CA is teeming with butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bees and all sorts of wildlife. Where the land once only produced grapes, it now produces all manner of veggies, fruits, and flowers from blackberries, zucchinis, and pumpkins, to peaches, figs, and tomatoes. Olive trees line the hills in addition to select remaining grapevines. The return of the land to a rich, bio-diverse landscape has welcomed back all of the wildlife and returned nutrition to the soil as these farmers rotate crops and use sustainable farming practices.
For this shoot, I teamed up with the farm's lead flower grower to source all of the flowers directly from their farm. I was thrilled at how much Spring bounty was available in April in the form of ranunculus, daffodils, irises, cosmos, columbine, sweet peas, young blackberries and so much more.
Our team of wedding professionals joined forces to demonstrate how an organic farm wedding can be sophisticated, elegant, and romantic with just the right touch.
Floral Design: Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs | Photography: Clane Gessel | Event Planning + Design: Glow Event Design | Farm Venue: K Venues | Furniture Rentals: Rion Designs | Tablescape Rentals: Encore Event Rentals | Hair + Makeup: Skyla Arts | Bridal Gown: Kinsley James | Cake: Cake Coquette | Stationery: Union Street Papery | Model: Megan Zerga
Who needs to hear some good news today? Who feels bummed out about our world and needs to know that it hasn’t all gone to shit?
I’m pretty jazzed after going on a tour of the SAY Dream Center and Ceres Project in Santa Rosa and will now tell you all about it so that you know that there are people out there, working on a local level, to make America great…(again? Or maybe for the first time? Hard to say).
First, for some context, did you know that this summer, the Santa Rosa City Council voted unanimously to draft a Homeless State of Emergency? Vice Mayor Tom Schwedhelm suggested that the emergency will only truly end when Santa Rosa’s homeless numbers reach functional zero and all people have access to shelter and housing within a short time of becoming homeless.
Homeless youth make up 20% of the overall homeless population in Sonoma County, and with 678 youth homeless in Sonoma County, we have more youth homeless than in the City of Chicago or the entire county of San Diego. Within 48 hours on the streets these youth are approached for sex services in addition to fighting the natural elements and having no security over their bodies or belongings.
I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be a sixteen year old who looks at their bedroom and decides that it would be safer on the streets than to stay one more day. I can’t imagine being shuffled through foster homes and group homes with nowhere else to go as a child, only to be spit out of the system traumatized, scared, and unprepared for how to move forward as an adult. I can’t imagine my own mother selling me into sex slavery for drug money, only to be discarded several years later alone, on the streets.
These are all scenarios that lead youth from the streets to the SAY (Social Advocates for Youth) Dream Center. Did you know that, when asked what they need, homeless youth don’t say they want a home, they say they want a job so that they can take care of themselves? SAY Dream Center, in partnership with the Ceres Project, offers both. They provide both short and long-term housing, free on-site counseling services, and job-training/career opportunities.
I first connected with SAY Dream Center via the Ceres Project. One of the coolest non-profits in the Bay-Area, Ceres trains youth in commercial culinary kitchens how to prepare organic, farm-to-table meals which then get delivered by volunteers to low-income homebound clients struggling with diseases like cancer or multiple sclerosis. The youth learn valuable culinary, job, and leadership skills while experiencing the power and joy of giving back to our community.
I began dropping off bouquets of flowers to Ceres via Bouquet Fairies which my dear friend Zoe Hitchner of Front Porch Farm and I started this year. The flowers dress up the Ceres Cafe on Summerfield Rd. which recently opened for the public to come and purchase yummy, and healthy lunch items. Profits from the cafe go back into their programs and services. When SAY was offered old hospital buildings by Sutter Health, they gladly accepted and invited Ceres to join them there. The two non-profits now work closely together on the same campus with similar goals, providing holistic care and opportunities for the youth who make their way over there.
You guys, it’s just so much goodness I can’t even stand it!
There’s more. I’ll hit some highlights:
Ceres Kitchen: youth can get legit credit at the Junior College by learning culinary skills here in addition to learning about where our food comes from, how to eat and cook healthfully, and how to hold a job.
Career Hub: computer labs, career counseling, job opportunities in the community with local businesses, regional parks, and more
Short-term housing: with 12 beds, communal kitchen, laundry facilities, counseling services
Long-term housing: 28 rooms, beautiful communal kitchen, laundry, counseling, job opportunities
Counseling Center: 15 beautiful rooms for therapy, special rooms for Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Group Therapy, and a SAND TRAY ROOM! (I feel like we would all benefit from the Sand Tray room. I’ll attach a photo but you basically use this tray of sand and can choose from tons of figurines and props to play out different scenarios and work through issues you’re facing. Pretty awesome.)
So, I tell you all of this to encourage you. The world hasn’t completely gone to shit. It sometimes seems that it’s trying its damndest.. But as long as there are people who care enough to stand up and help, it won’t succeed.
Chances are, there are homeless people in your community too. How can you help? What services are out there right under your nose that you aren’t aware of? Even just pointing someone to a place where they can receive help, is helping. And it doesn’t cost you anything.
If you live in Sonoma County, I strongly encourage you to go to the SAY website, poke around, and then sign up for their next tour. Kat led my tour and is amazing, passionate, and funny. It's very clear how much she, and her colleagues, loves her job.
How can you help?
Do you own a local business? Maybe you could provide a valuable job opportunity to a youth.
Do you have money? When asked, SAY staff tell me their #1 need right now is to keep their short-term housing open. That means they need donations.
Do you have time? There are a myriad of volunteer opportunities with both SAY and Ceres. Check out their websites to fill out a volunteer form. Volunteering is like medicine. Especially if you’re depressed. But even if you feel fine. It feels good to take care of one another.
Check out the Wish List under “How to Help” on the SAY website. Their street outreach team gives out helpful items to youth as they invite them off the street and into a safe environment. Things like towels, old smartphones, deodorant (new ones, not your old Speed Stick).
I hope you feel less bummed out and more inspired after reading this. Zoe and I are really excited to see how Bouquet Fairies can continue partnering with these organizations in the future. We're dreaming of flower workshops with the youth and workdays on the farm in addition to making bouquets for the clients who receive healthy meals.
Please share and please let me know what kinds of cool service opportunities you’ve been getting into lately. I can always use uplifting stories from friends and strangers.
These Pop-Up dinners happen all over the country and the location is kept a surprise until the day of. Ours took place at the historic Sonoma Barracks right on the square and it was pretty cool seeing so many folks from the community flood in wearing white to decorate their tables and break bread with their friends and neighbors. I met a ton of creatives, locals, and fun new friends- even managed to bust a move on the dance floor, pregnant belly and all!
Enjoy the photos of our beautiful evening taken by Sarah Deragon of Portraits to the People. I've loved getting to know Sarah more since she took photos of my new studio a few months ago, and I look forward to more collaborations like this in the future!
Listen here to hear Jaclyn featured on the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing. Jaclyn shares about the journey that led her to floral design, her friendship with flower grower Zoe Hitchner, and the impact that the North Bay Flower Collective has had on her business and life.
On a trip to Nicaragua last December, my buddy and local flower grower Zoe Hitchner and I dreamt up Bouquet Fairies. We imagined a weekly meet-up of florists + flower growers + anyone else interested, who would gather to glean leftover flowers from the fields and spend an evening lovingly crafting bouquets to be gifted to our neighbors in Hospice, AIDS clinics, and elder care centers, some of the forgotten in our society.
Bouquet Fairies serves a few purposes:
- minimizing floral waste
- cultivating community
- bringing joy and comfort to members of our community who need lifting up
We kicked it off last month just us two, and got to bless an elder care center with posies of sweet peas and a couple of gorgeous bouquets for their foyer. The following week we invited our flower lovin' friends to join us in decking out a Hospice nurse appreciation party, and each week since the beginning we've had a great group of volunteers gathering to spread joy and hang out together. Zoe and I are so excited about this project and will keep updating here about our progress as we grow and continue to forge new community partnerships.
We plan to meet every Monday through the summer at 5:30pm at Front Porch Farm. Please email me through my contact page if you're interested in donating your time, flowers, vases, or making a monetary donation to help with some of our minor costs like buckets, bouquet wraps and printing materials. We look forward to sprinkling some flower magic around our Sonoma County community and seeing a lot of faces light up!
I'm excited to announce that JKN Designs has joined the inspiring artist community at 33Arts in Santa Rosa, CA where the floral magic will now take place. The new space is just what we needed, with natural light, a walk-in cooler, utility sink, and plenty of room to get dirty + creative.
The days of working out of dark, crowded garages is behind us, and I'm already wondering how I did it these past few years. You make it work...until it's not working anymore, and I'm so grateful to all of the people and clients who have supported me thus far to take my small floral business from just an idea to where it is now. An honorary mention to my husband, Nick, who believes in me when I lose faith in myself, and to Zoe Hitchner for helping me call this one in.
Having a designated studio has my mind racing with all kinds of possibilities, and I look forward to stepping out into some new ventures this next year beyond event floral. We are now offering floral workshops, the first of which will be this weekend in Oakland. Check out the "Offerings" page for more on that. And when I'm not busting my tush this summer on one of the beautiful weddings we have lined up, I'm excited to use the new studio to develop some new non-perishable products that will ship easily. I'll keep everyone posted as this develops.
Sarah Deragon, a new photographer friend who recently moved to Sonoma, wanted to stop in and see the new space as she loves to photograph working artists + creatives in their element. She brought her really stinking cute dog, Bear, along, and we spent a morning together in the studio with some of my favorite Spring flowers.
In other news, you may begin to notice a little baby bump developing on yours truly. In fact, the overalls in these photos had to be retired after the photoshoot. My husband and I are expecting our first babe at the very end of September and couldn't be more thrilled to become parents. I'll be working weddings through mid-August, and plan to return to weddings + events in Spring 2017 after spending the winter cuddling our sweet pea.
Thanks to all who came out to our studio warming party a few weeks ago! If you're in Santa Rosa, stop by for a nice cuppa tea or coffee and a bite of dark chocolate. Big thanks to Sarah, and here's to a year full of floral magic!
Huge thanks and admiration for the artists and vendors who collaborated to help bring this vision alive for my brother Joel and his beautiful bride Alexis. I can't get over how beautiful this video is and look forward to reliving these moments again and again. Such a special day.
Vendors: Alexis Evelyn- Video+ Editing, Connor J. Thorp- Video, Addison Jones- Photography, Jaclyn K. Nesbitt Designs- Floral Design, Michelle with Chic Productions- Planning, Laura Wimer-Creative Direction, Hotel Avalon Palm Springs- Venue
Have you been to Mendocino, CA? It´s one of my favorite places on planet earth. Stunning, dramatic cliffs covered in wild sweet peas, succulents, ferns, and wild roses drop off dramatically into the Pacific Ocean where tide pools and driftwood beaches beg to be explored.
Jen + Rob, a sweet and playful San Francisco couple, chose to be wed in Mendocino for its cozy Victorian charm and stunning landscape. Knowing that Mendocino is often overcast, foggy, and grey, Jen wanted the flowers to provide a punch of color that would contrast with the moody atmosphere. Jen, a designer for the GAP in SF, was a real pleasure to collaborate with as her eye for fashion and design is fine tuned and I found us speaking the same language when it comes to color specifics. She was totally on board for using seasonal materials, which is a dream in June, and we went with a shining cast of characters: peach foxglove, frothy pink and coral peonies, fuschia clematis, white poppies, unripe blackberries, hot pink cosmos, citron yellow dahlias, gorgeous and fragrant garden roses, delicate maidenhair fern, magnolia leaves, sweet jasmine vine, and eucalyptus. I was beside myself.
Bridesmaid dress game: on point.
The McCallum House Inn is an idyllic Victorian inn surrounded by lush English gardens in the heart of Mendocino. We took inspiration from the English garden style, infused it with a bright, modern color palette and steered clear of materials like lace and mason jars to avoid the vintage ¨grandma´s house¨ vibe. The result was fresh, playful, and super romantic.
I can´t wait to make it back to Mendocino, and now I´m curled up with hot tea and a cozy blanket dreaming of early summer with all of its showstopping blooms. Yet again, a friendly PSA for you brides-to-be... spring and early summer are heartbreakingly beautiful times to get married as far as flowers are concerned. If your florist is gushing over the flowers, chances are you will too.