Together Until Death: Dia de los Muertos Wedding Inspiration


Style Story: Juntos Hasta La Muerte – Together Until Death

During the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, holiday, family and friends gather together to pray for and honor those who have passed on to the other side. I’ve been obsessed with Dia de los Muertos for a while now and designing my first styled wedding shoot gave me the opportunity to bring together the top Dia de los Muertos Make Up Artists in Southern California, an emerging Fashion Designer who is blazing a style trail, a baker who’s been on Cupcake Wars and some of my favorite wedding vendors. I created a narrative around the illustration of La Catrina, the most recognizable image of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations, created by the artist Jose Guadalupe Posada in 1910. I envisioned what Catrina’s wedding might look like and brought together design elements from my imagination to create this colorful wedding celebration.

From the precise make up, to the beautiful rosary on the bouquet, to the intricately decorated Calavera on the top of the gorgeous cake, no detail was overlooked. With the Santa Ana Train Depot as the beautiful backdrop to this fabulous styled wedding shoot and a group of talented vendors; this shoot was unbelievable. I provided each vendor the mood boards showing the inspiration and colors and let them run wild with their imagination to create the perfect details for the shoot. The extraordinary invitation suite was designed by Laura Stevens from Posh Paper Boutique and finished with phenomenal blue paper flowers. The cake, created by Charlotte Curry-Fulmis, was a stunning masterpiece with delicate white lace fondant laid over cream fondant crowned with a white Calavera Sugar Skull festooned with icing. The Skull Succulent Garden was created by my husband, Phil Barker, and was the perfect accent for the cake table.

The sparkling and unique rings were provided by Guy Ballard at Ballard & Ballard Jewelers. The Bride’s magnificent bouquet with wispy black feathers and whimsical black accents was designed by floral artist Lynda Young. The Bride wears a gorgeous vintage-inspired wedding gown designed by the very talented Kasha Faye. The designer gown is accessorized with an exquisite cathedral length veil and sparkling jewelry from Brittany Haas at Happily Ever Borrowed. The Bride’s bouquet is accented with a beautiful rosary created by Nancy Jamar of Gilding the Lily. The Bridesmaids dresses were also designed by Kasha Faye and set the tone for the shoot with a dramatic, high fashion look. The awe-inspiring Dia de los Muertos makeup and hair was created by Erika and Paulina of Drop Dead Gorgeous Artists, who are in demand throughout Southern California for their top-notch and imaginative makeup skills. The groom is wearing a coat thrifted from the Goodwill that I hand painted with bones after being inspired by the coat worn by Daniel Craig in the movie “Spectre”.

 

I drew inspiration for the lush headpieces and jaunty hat from the bold, luscious colors of the flowers and my love of succulents. The invitation envelope is addressed to Mr. & Mrs. Diego Rivera, in honor of Diego Rivera’s work in creating murals depicting the Day of the Dead and my fondness for Frida Kahlo. The RSVP envelope contains the address for Frida Kahlo’s home in Mexico City.

At the end of the shoot the Bride and Groom celebrated by playfully tossing the cake to each other.

Credits

Photographer: Christine Barker Photography // Planning & Design: Christine Barker Photography // Venue: Santa Ana Train Depot // Coordinating: Cricket Photographs // Video:  SC Photomedia // Brides Bouquet: Lynda B Young // Hair and Make Up: Drop Dead Gorgeous Artists // Gowns: Kasha Faye // Headdress: Christine Barker Photography // Grooms Jacket and Tie: Christine Barker Photography // Cake: Charlotte’s Sweets Shop // Engagement Ring and Grooms Ring: Ballard and Ballard // Stationery: Posh Paper Boutique // Calligraphy: Christine Barker Photography //Eyelashes: Lush Beauty By KayKay // Brides Accessories and Veil: Happily Borrowed // Bouquet Rosary: Gilding Vintage // Skull Succulent Garden: @pbarker21 // Bride: Samantha Fonseca // Groom: Felipe Salinas // Pink Catrina: Crystal Salinas // Purple Catrina: Kirsten Lopez