Posted by: loveandsplendor | January 25, 2010

A Peek @ the StyleLab Workshop

Many of you know that for the past month or two, I’ve been working on a fabulous project with my dear friends Chenin Boutwell (stylish photographer extraordinaire and all-around amazing woman!) and The Wedding Chicks (adoooore Amy & Jocey — gurus of all things wedding-fabulous).  When Chenin initially reached out to me about styling a “mock reception” for this photography workshop, I was simultaneously honored and giddy.  I had my design concept nailed down within minutes of saying “yes,” because for nearly a year I had been dreaming of a fantasy tablescape.  It’s funny, because my little dream tablescape was something I had discussed with my BFF Kristin (of The Treasured Petal) early in ’09 as something that would be incredible to put together, but also overwhelming in scope and time.  We decided to file away the wild ideas for another day, when the opportunity might arise for us to bring them to life! Chenin & the Wedding Chicks gave us that opportunity!  I was thrilled to breathe life into this quirky, one-of-a-kind, altogether whimsical vision for their workshop.

Here is a glimpse at the process & product, from inspiration to fruition.  I have to preface this and say I promise I’m not insane.  🙂  I often have some crazed, INTENSE ideas.   😉  What can I say?  When I go for it, I go for it.  To make the set-up as thoughtfully and purposefully styled as possible, I wanted to act as if I was working with a fictional couple.  I did this down to the very last detail, from helping Chenin pick out the wardrobe, to naming the bride, groom & all of their “guests,” to writing out these zany detailed plans for each of the creative (AMAZING) vendors on board:

{My vision} A quirky and highly stylish couple infuses their wedding with their shared love of science (specifically botany and entomology) and the outdoors.  They are both are scientists by day, who are fascinated and enthralled by the intricacy and eccentricities found in nature.  They have a clean, modern personal aesthetic and want the wedding design to look crisp and fresh, yet also very whimsical and playful, evoking the ‘wild’-ness of nature itself. They favor subtle nods to their favorite subjects by creating a wedding reception that feels a bit like a fancified version of their working laboratories.  Think modern scientist’s lab meets wild gardener’s greenhouse.  🙂

{Keywords – inspiration via stream of consciousness}  brushed steel, clear lab glass, succulents, exotic ‘specimen-type’ florals, terrariums, succulents, feathers, birds, insects, beakers and graduated cylinders, periodic table of elements, scientific names for plants and animals, butterflies, crisp, intentional/organized set-up yet playfully haphazard (if that makes sense…), framed vintage book plates, test tubes, glass orbs, edison lights (bare bulbs hung from the trees), plexi, craspedia, gloriosa lilies, cattleya orchids, potted venus fly traps — ‘little shop of horrors’ fantasies… lol, specimen-quality plants under cloches (bell jars), magnifying glasses, spectacles…

As you all know, last week (the week of the StyleLab) saw one of the craziest El Nino weather patterns SoCal had ever seen.  On the day of the workshop, we planned for rain and had a clear tent canopy put up.  In the end, however, gale force winds + sideways rain coming at us from all sides thwarted our hopes for an outdoor set-up.  Krissy & I hustled to reset the entire set-up indoors and thanks to the help of Chenin & Amy’s husbands (Doug and Lane — can’t thank you two enough!), we made it work. If anything, the wild rainy weather reminded me that with a great attitude and some hustling, we can overcome anything that happens on a wedding day.  Look forward to more thoughts on that subject in a forthcoming post.

Yep… we weren’t joking!  LOL  This was when we were still trying to make it work outside, standing in the freezing rain and insane winds.

And now, on to the eye candy courtesy of the wildly talented, super sweet and inspiring Chenin Boutwell.  I am blessed to call her a dear friend!

Stunning!  Amanda + and her sweet hubby made the perfect “Iris & Liam.”  😉  The necklace she’s wearing is actually mine — it’s a vintage piece with flowers and butterflies and dragonflies all over it in shades of green and blue.  I wore it that day as part of my shtick (I love dressing to match my weddings/events), but it ended up being the perfect final touch for “Iris.”  I am excited to see how beautifully it worked with her entire look!

This bouquet is all kinds of amazing.  In my opinion, the wilder, more colorful and exotic, the better…

The ghost chairs were a MUST for my vision.  I think they were the perfect complement to the natural wood table, and they added a bit of balance with all of our clear glass labware vessels.  Most of the vessels are my own (I have them all over my office), but others were purchased or borrowed from our favorite real scientist, Rachel @ Heart of Light.

Top: The favors at each setting were specimen orchids and florals submerged in test tubes.  Perfect!!  Bottom: This skirt is soooooo decadent.  Pleats, rhinestone trim AND voluminous ruffles?  I’m smitten!

See those little test tubes inside the shadow box?  They are the boutonnières!  Kristin is seriously a genius, and my creative soul’s twin.

{The Fabulous Vendors}

There is much, much more to come!  I will be writing all about the AHHHHH-MAZING vendors in detail in another post, so stay tuned.  I want to make sure I properly gush about all of them.  😉  In the meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this bright & vibrant burst of inspiration today!  Happy Monday!

xoxo, Angel



  1. I LOVE all of the Billy Buttons I’m seeing!

  2. You ladies nailed this! So fun! Great job 🙂

  3. Ahhh!! I LOVE this! Flowers in science beakers, how. awesome.*swoon*

  4. […] can see all sorts of details from the Style Lab on Wedding Chicks, Boutwell Studio Blog, and the Love and Splendor blog.  But here I will give you the Style Lab from a florists’ perspective!  These  photos are […]

  5. Beautiful! I love the geek chic! 🙂

  6. It looks amazing! I’ve been dying to see how this turned out – can’t wait to see more details.

  7. Wow! Thank you so much for saying we were the “perfect” Iris and Liam!!!! Chenin sent us your descriptions beforehand, so we were super excited before we even got there! It was so nice meeting you and seeing your magic live and in living color! ~amanda 🙂

  8. Angel, this looks so great! I love all the little details so far! How fun that you got to work with so many fabulously creative people!

  9. seriously you guys rocked this out! i am beyond in love with this concept. the photos came out amazing too!

  10. […] february, dear readers!  by now you’ve seen the gorgeous photos of the styeLab i posted here, seen the Wedding Chicks post here, and read fab photographer Chenin’s take here… […]

  11. omg. so beautiful and creative. love it! you are amazing :]

    • thank you, tracy!! i had so much fun with this workshop. 🙂 misssss youuuu ❤

  12. […] the very first StyleLab workshop (the brainchild of amazing photographer Chenin Boutwell and bloggers extraordinaires, The Wedding […]

  13. […] the very first StyleLab workshop (the brainchild of amazing photographer Chenin Boutwell and bloggers extraordinaires, The Wedding […]

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