DEC 30 2014
The JA Girl
By Joanna August |
Ever since I started the Joanna August Collection back in 2008, I frequently get asked what inspires me when I design: Who do I picture in my head? Who is my ideal client? What type of woman wears my dresses? Initially, the answer was easy. The answer was “Me!” But in the years since starting the line, the answer to that question, “Who is the JA girl?” has evolved. So, while “me!” is still part of the answer, it no longer covers it entirely…

Welcome to the new JA GIRL section of our blog where we will be posting people, images, ideas and anything else that we feel tells a piece of the JA Girl story!

To kick us off, I have been elected to write the first post about….wait for it…myself! As the original JA Girl, I suppose it makes sense to reveal some of the aspects of my taste, personal opinions and preferences that inform my designs. Since my wedding was what initially inspired me to start my line, I thought a tour through my wedding day was a good place to start! So here we go!

Yes- my girlfriends are sitting on saddle bar stools at our wedding welcome drinks at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Jackson Hole is so beautiful, so down to earth, there is no “Rodeo Drive” esque street with designer stores a la other beautiful mountain locals like Aspen, however, there ARE amazing restaurants and seriously good martinis available for the taking (pre-requisites in my book) unlike other, more rustic locations (I’m not naming any names Montana- I still love you too!)

I was seriously considering leaving my job in entertainment (you can see this was a theme throughout my time working in Hollywood…) and moving to work on a ranch in Jackson Hole. The first night Brent (my now husband) and I met, I drew him a map of Jackson Hole over martinis at the Four Seasons. A few days later, this map was sitting in the back seat of his car and when, driving with the windows down, the map blew into the front seat and onto the front windshield, he decided to pick up the phone and ask me on a date. Romantic right?

When we got engaged 5 years later, we knew Jackson Hole was where it had to be!

When I was choosing my gown, instead of wanting a fairytale moment, I decided I wanted to have a major red-carpet moment- my one and only glamorous couture moment.

I LOVED my Monique Lhuillier wedding gown. I went into the store for a 3rd appointment to finally purchase the gown I had tried on 10 times, and then I saw this one, 4 sizes too small, circulating on a trunk show. It only fit over one thigh but even still I knew it was perfect and bought it on the spot.

Here is the one I WAS going to buy (but in white!)

Here is a brief video from a fitting of the final choice! (dress video)

We got married at the Crescent H Ranch, in Wilson, Wy. It is an amazing property with a lodge, a pond, an amazing field and about 12 cabins where Brent and I, our families and wedding parties stayed for the wedding weekend. Our ceremony overlooked the whole valley and we got married under an antler canopy which I am not sure is beautiful or a little creepy... but it was very western and I loved it!

Cecelia Heffernan of Flower Hardware was a no brainer, she is an artist. She just GETS it! I wanted a wild flower feel without it looking like I made it myself. She totally nailed it. The bouquets were major and the boutonnieres simple, rustic and masculine.

Since Brent and I are different religions, we decided to curate our own ceremony officiate by an amazing local hippie, spiritual guru woman. We wrote our own vows and read poems ranging from poets to native American blessings. After a gorgeous sunny weekend, it rained the whole morning of our wedding. Everyone tried to get me to hold the ceremony inside but I kept the faith. 15 minutes before our ceremony, the skies parted, the sun came out, and we are able to get married outside. Four minutes after the ceremony ended, the storm clouds rolled in and it poured the rest of the night!

You can see the storm clouds rolling is as we walk back to the ranch after the Ceremony…

I wanted to go non-traditional on the cake so instead of classic tiers, I elected to serve the layers separately, perched on tree cuttings of different heights (provided by Floral Hardware). Jackson Hole Cake Company executed my vision to perfection, not to mention the cakes were delicious!

Ok. Let me just say it. Our band was EPIC! The Miller Sisters and their band, Mandatory Air pretty much brought the house down. It took a little convincing but I got them to learn “Our Song” (Jesus etc by Wilco) to surprise Brent for our first Dance. They have so much energy, play the best covers and were just so much fun, everyone was dancing all night! 

that’s brent singing with the Miller sisters…

All of my friends are such distinctive individuals. They all have amazing taste, unique personal style and boundless personality. It was important to me that they look and feel great at the wedding and not like traditional “bridesmaids.”

The inspiration for my bridal party look was Lauren Santo Domingo’s wedding, which was featured in Vogue in 2007. I loved the colors and the different styles- each unique, flattering, ethereal. Unfortunately, each dress was a $1000+ designer gown and though I searched high and low, I was not able to achieve my desired look in a satisfactory and cost effective way. And so, I ended up designing my own!

….And I think you all know what happened next!.... Happily ever after.

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