Sometimes we come across weddings that just look like so much FUN, and today’s definitely falls into that category. I mean, the couple kicked off their ceremony recessional with a five piece New Orleans style brass band parade down the aisle — it doesn’t get much better than that. Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful day put together with help from Gina & Ryan Photography, Two Roads Event Co., and Botanica:
We are utterly swept away with today’s styled shoot from Brilliant Wedding Co and The Bloemist, which brings the California coast to life through a blend of deep, moody hues and crystalline accents that mimic the ocean itself. Brittany of Blue Rose Pictures engages all five senses in this dreamy rhapsody in blue. Maybe we’re just holding on to summer, but we can quite literally feel the ocean breeze with this one! It’s hard to pick a favorite element of this shoot, but the delicate sea glass etched to perfection by Feather and Ivy is definitely a contender. Read on for more blissful details of this sunset soiree!
From the photographer, Brittany of Blue Rose Pictures: This shoot is all about that bohemian California beach bride. She is free and natural and beautiful in her own way. She is at home on the beach and with the waves and birds all around her. She incorporates natural colors and crystals into her wedding day decor. With hand dyed silk table runners and spun fiberglass mid century design chairs, this style is California cool.
The gorgeous Odelyne the ceremony gown was borrowed from Soltice Bride located in Venice on the hip Abbot Kinney Blvd. The natural quartz combs in her hair are all the way from The Netherlands from Naturae designs. Beach glass escort cards with white calligraphy add to the coastal design. The cake details are just so perfect! Zoom in and you will see :) Brush & Nib created beautiful watercolor invites and an 11×14 print to go with the shoot. We wanted to bring out the features and colors of the California Coast but keep it simple and elegant and not over styled.
Sea Glass Escort Card Calligraphy
Film Processing & Scans
Hair & Makeup
Invitations & Calligraphy
Silk Table Runner
This engagement session here is seriously the stuff dreams are made of. It’s heartfelt, it’s got a beautiful couple, and it’s got Angelica Chang Photography capturing it all. When we came across Eunice and Matt’s charming California engagement session in Malibu, we fawned over everything from their sweet Thailand proposal at the Yee Peng Lana Lantern Festival to their fashion-forward sartorial choices. Not to mention, the outdoor setting for this e-sesh is so unreal and absolutely breathtaking.
From the bride, Eunice: For our engagement session, we envisioned a soft, rustic, and beachy session with lots of lace and color coordination! We’re getting married at the 1909 in Topanga Canyon in September, so we wanted everything to flow and match thoroughly! We truly wanted our pictures to capture our love and rustic classy style. Read more
You just can’t top a backyard wedding in Malibu, can you? Zoom Theory and The Little Branch were part of the talented team on hand for Kayla and Jakob’s wedding day, which was full of bohemian details and sweet personal touches, made all the more special by the whole thing taking place at the groom’s childhood home.
From the bride, Kayla: We wanted something really intimate and down to earth with a bohemian feel to it. We focused on having amazing food, good music and great people. We wanted to get married somewhere that would have meaning for us and were so lucky to be able to have the wedding at my husband’s childhood home. It was really important to us to keep things intimate and only have our closest family and friends there to celebrate with us.
Flower recipe: I wanted the flowers to feel very relaxed and romantic – nothing too fussy. So we went with loose, organic feeling bouquets. All of the bridesmaids’ bouquets were in the same style and colour palette but each was unique. The bouquets had peonies, ranunculus, poppies, and garden roses, with lots of greenery. We also had small potted succulents and single blooms of peonies, and pink mink protea on the tables.
As far as a theme, I really wanted to emphasize a boho vibe with gold metallics. We ended up with a few odd gold touches, like the rose gold cutlery, gold sandals for the bridesmaids, gold handwritten place cards, and the variety of brass and gold vases, urns and mercury votives on the tables and here and there around the yard. Lighting was really important to us as well, and the hundreds of twinkle lights and market place stringers, together with the mason jars with candles we had around the yard really made for a warm and romantic feel. We wanted to do as much as we could on our own. The family recently had to cut down a large tree in the yard because it was leaning on the house, and so they had these great stumps from that Jake’s brother made into stools, and his brother also made a very large wood table that made the most beautiful dessert table. We had a work day where our extended family came over and helped with gardening, painting some of the outdoor furniture a bright and cheery yellow, and Jake’s uncle built the swing that you’ll see in many of the photos and got each member of the family to put in one nail, so it was a group effort. Jake’s grandma did our chalkboard seating chart, and his mom contributed the pieces of amethyst that were at each place setting and served as our wedding favours. We ordered the arch for our ceremony off of Etsy, but it was my mom and Jake’s brother that made sure it was anchored and would look stunning on the day by cementing the feet of it into planters and then planting flowers to give it a natural look. I got overly ambitious and decided to attempt to calligrapher all of the envelopes to our wedding invitations and write the place cards myself.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Our advice would be to try to enjoy the planning process and make it your own. We liked to choose a few details that were very important to us and focus on those and let the other details fall into that same theme. We would also say, that sometimes less is more.
My husband was largely in charge of the playlist and we really wanted to have more classic music. We had the odd newer song in the mix, but we had a lot of Rod Stewart, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, etc. A year or so ago, we, along with Jake’s siblings, became huge fans of Smooth Hound Smith, a folk and blues duo now based out of Nashville and were so fortunate to have them play at the wedding as well.
Processional: “At Last,” Etta James
First Dance: “Love Me Tender,” Elvis
Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dance: “The Way You Look Tonight,” Frank Sinatra
Last Song: “Dancing in the Moonlight,” Toploader
Over the years we’ve accrued a pretty long list of favorite wedding venues, but Calamigos Ranch always seems to keep its place at the top of that roster, and this wedding from Hazelwood Photo, Jessica Foster Events, Mindy Events does a great job of explaining why. With a proposal during a vacation in Italy, Jessica and Chris’ wedding day had a lot to live up to in terms of romance. To everyone’s delight, the day did not disappoint in the slightest!
From the bride, Jessica: Chris and I have a dream engagement story. I have to say – definitely one I like to brag about! We took our first big vacation together to Italy visiting Rome, Florence, and Capri. Our first night in Florence the stage was set and Chris took full opportunity! We took a sunset walk at the Piazzale Michaelangelo in and stopped off in the garden of a church. With the sunset over the city of Florence in the background, Chris proposed and I excitedly and in tears said yes!
We decided on a long engagement but that didn’t stop me from jumping right into planning! I had been to Calamigos before but once I was there as a bride, I instantly knew this was the perfect setting for our wedding. The guest list was kept to close friends and family so we wanted to create a warm intimate setting that felt like home. I was inspired by the woodsy rustic elements of the venue and knew i didn’t want to go over board with decor. We wanted our guests to take in the natural beauty of the outdoor setting of big trees and fresh air.
We were on a roll with DIY which was a family affair. A family friend made all of the burlap and lace runners for the tables. My devoted maid of honor and very busy PHD student worked late into the night addressing all of my invitations and doing any calligraphy that was needed from signs to escort cards. The wood boxes for the centerpieces came from a floral workshop I attended and the mason jars were recycled from a friends wedding. Framed wedding photos of 3 generations of both of our families were set at the gift table and later repurposed around the reception. In lieu of a traditional guest book, wedding guests signed a butterfly which we later displayed in frames to hang in our home. Chris’s mom is an award winning baker in Michigan and drove to California to bring all of her baking supplies. She spent a good part of the day before the wedding in my mom’s kitchen making the wedding cake and all of the pies. Everyone really came together to help make it all happen!
Processional: “Fools Rush In,” Elvis Presley
Recessional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
First Dance: “Come Away with Me,” Norah Jones
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Girl,” The Temptations
Last Dance: “My Way,” Frank Sinatra (a tribute to my grandpa — our family is Italian and my grandpa and my uncle always sing it on holidays!)
I absolutely adore seeing love stories come full circle. Susan and Nadav met as camp counselors, and 10 years later they returned to the same scene to exchange vows in front of friends and family. With a team including Josh Elliott Photography behind the camera, Sugar Branch Events designing the day, and The Little Branch in control of flowers, this wedding was destined for pure beauty from the start.
From the bride, Susan: Nadav and I met ten years ago as summer camp counselors at Camp Hess Kramer/Gindling Hilltop Camp in California. When it came time to decide where we would get married, we were giddy with excitement over the idea to return to the place we met and experience the glory of camp with our friends and family. And it didn’t hurt that Gindling Hilltop Camp is breathtakingly beautiful, located on top a mountain on the Pacific coast!
Nadav and I adore camp and wanted to fully embrace the camp setting during our wedding. Our friends and family stayed at camp in cabins for the weekend–bunk beds and all!—and we had a camp schedule that included a high ropes course, arts & crafts, a hike, pool time, sports and a pilates class, all led by our friends. We had cozy nighttime campfires under the stars, complete with s’mores and guitar playing song sessions. We tried to stay true to the camp feel over the course of the weekend, incorporating some of our favorite camp traditions (like shabbat-o-grams, where you can send anyone at camp a note and it gets delivered over the course the weekend, and having a guitar-led procession of all of our guests up to the camp chapel for our wedding ceremony).
Since close to none of our guests were local (I’m originally from Michigan, Nadav is from Israel and we had guests traveling from around the country and world—including China, France, India and Mexico), we wanted to maximize the amount of time everyone had to spend together over the weekend and enjoy the tranquil, mountaintop camp setting. It was important for us to incorporate our blend of cultures and highlight our mutural wanderlust (Nadav and I have lived around the globe and currently reside in Nigeria). We also knew that it wouldn’t be a Nadav and Susan party without an all-out dance marathon (including some crazy Israeli dance moves), which our DJ brilliantly orchestrated. Lastly, my grandmother, my Bubbie, had been the person probably most excited about our wedding and had been promising me for the better part of the last decade that if we get engaged, “she will party at our wedding.” I’ll never forget the moment when our entire family and many friends crowded around Bubbie on the dance floor and she happily danced in the middle of the circle like the wedding star that she was!
We wanted the wedding to echo the relaxed, organic, boho feel of camp, but in an elevated way. For the reception, we decided on a soft palate of light sherbert tones, blushes, light aqua and mint, with pops of brighter coral. But with the backdrop of the turquoise Pacific Ocean on top of the mountain at camp for the ceremony, we decided that more colorful ceremony decor–and a chuppah made of different shades of bougainvilleas (which was also a nod to Nadav’s Mediterranean heritage)–would really be impactful. Our ceremony was in the camp outdoor chapel, located at the highest peak of the mountain. You could only see the chapel once you took the last step up to the top of the mountain. I saw the ceremony set-up for the first time as I walked down the aisle towards Nadav–it felt utterly magical.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? A friend who was recently married gave me a great piece of advice a couple of weeks before our wedding. She told me to enjoy the time of preparations and know that the wedding will only be perfect if I’ll be able to enjoy it and be at peace with the imperfections. I took her advice to heart and went into the wedding laughing over last-minute snafus and fully savoring the moment. I think it’s also important to have someone to whom you can hand off all responsibility for the wedding weekend. At that point, I wanted to be present and enjoy what we had been working so hard to plan. Luckily, we had the amazing planners at Sugar Branch Events and site-coordinators at Gindling Hilltop Camp handling all of the nitty-gritty elements.
You must watch the video by Robert Nachman as well, it’s too sweet to pass up:
Bridal Party Processional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
Groom’s Processional: “Danny’s Song,” Kenny Loggins
Bride’s Processional: “Erev Shel Shoshanim”
Recessional: “Siman tov, U’mazal tov”
First Dance: “Ahavat Neurai,” Shalom Chanoch and “Bach Mechadash,” Izhar Ashdot
From the event designers, Lindsay and Britt of Sugar Branch Events: Our lovely bride Susan had a very strong vision of what she wanted her wedding to look like from the moment we first met with her. Susan and Nadav met at Gindling Hilltop Camp in the Summer of 2004 as camp counselors and fell in love during their time there. It seemed only fitting that this very personal and sentimental location be the place they exchange their wedding vows 10 years later. Since all 140 guests flew in from around the world to join them at Hilltop, Susan wanted to re-create a true “camp” experience for everyone. A colorful and California Bohemian aesthetic was presented to us through inspiration and images Susan had collected and with her vision in mind we set out to pull together the right vendors to make that vision happen. With beautiful bright florals, neutral linens, campfire songs and s’mores, a custom hand illustrated map of camp amongst many other wonderful details, Susan & Nadav’s camp wedding weekend came together beautifully. Incorporating fun camp traditions and elements Susan remembered from their time there, guests were truly given a taste of why Hilltop is so special to Susan & Nadav. Donning paper parosols and lead by one of the camp’s own song leaders, guests were invited to process up to the very tip of Hilltop, a ceremonial gathering place overlooking the pacific ocean to watch Susan & Nadav’s Jewish marriage ceremony under a brightly decorated Chuppah of bougainvillea. Sipping cocktails and catching up with old friends, guests enjoyed a spectacular California sunset during cocktail hour and then danced the Hora to celebrate the new couple! An evening of great dancing to high-energy Israeli music ensued under a canopy of twinkle lights in the dining hall into the late night hours.
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Josh Elliott Photography / Event Design and Planning: Sugar Branch Events / Floral Design: The Little Branch / Venue: Gindling Hilltop Camp / Wedding Dress: Sarah Janks via White of Dublin Salon / Veil and Alterations: Maria’s Bridal in West Bloomfield, MI / Wedding Shoes: BHLDN / Hair: Beauty & the Beach / Makeup: Pircilla Pae / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Groom’s Bow Tie and Pocket Square: Mrs. Bow Tie / Caterer: John Bard at Ginding Hilltop Camp / Wedding Cakes: SusieCakes / Guitarist (who played at our ceremony, cocktail hour and campfire): Ari Kaplan / DJ: Tony Liebetrau of Red Shoe / Rentals: Town and Country / Tote Bag Wedding Favors: Brody’s / Officiant: Rabbi Spike Anderson / Wedding Invitations: Jenna Rainey / Save the Dates: Jolly Edition / Videographer: Robert Nachman
How do I know where to begin with this inspiring styled wedding shoot from Julie Shuford Photography and Rise to the Occasions? I’m absolutely crazy about the blue, green, and orange color palette (hello, tropics!), and the chic details just keep on coming. It’s full of so much pretty, you’ll just have to take a look for yourself!
From the photographer, Julie: The Eclectic Farmhouse set high in the hills of sunny Malibu, California with views of the pacific ocean and quirky details throughout was the perfect setting for this styled shoot designed by Rise to the Occasions and photographed by Julie Shuford Photography.
In keeping with the surroundings, Rise to the Occasions created rustic, whimsical florals with pops of orange and featured quirky details such as Moscow mules, jars of saffron, mismatched china, and a hanging tumbleweed (native to the area) chandelier which fit seamlessly into the details of the Eclectic Farmhouse. The bride wore a vintage dress, and royal blue heels; hair and makeup was done by makeup artist Mai Kato. Chair rentals were provided by A1 Event and Party Rentals.
Shoot Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Julie Shuford Photography / Event + Floral Design, Dishes and Decor: Rise to the Occasions / Venue: Private residence / Wedding Dress: Vintage / Models: Kathy DiStefano and Cody Ostrenga / Assistant: Alison Boyle / Hair and Makeup: Mai Kato / Rentals: A1 Event and Party Rentals
We’ve seen our fair share of wedding venues over the years, but one that always brings a smile to our faces is Malibu’s Calamigos Ranch. Ooh La Love Events and Tenley Erin Young pulled out all the stops for Staci and Evan’s wedding day, skillfully mixing gorgeous floral design with romantic and bohemian elements all captured by She Wanders.
From the bride, Staci: During the planning process, I wanted our wedding to reflect one thing and one thing only – us. Evan and I have a unique story. We were best friends for 8 years before ever dating, so our relationship still has that element intertwined. We wanted everyone to feel at home, and feel like family. We incorporated as many friends as possible into the ceremony, too. Our friend Alex officiated (she got ordained online!), the DJ was one of our closest friends from high school, and the ceremony took place at a location that was close to both of our hearts in our hometown. I’m a writer, so I wanted to incorporate elements of the things I love – quotes, books, vintage typewriters… all that fun stuff. Our florist, Tenley Erin Young did a great job of listening to my vision and making sure that everything made sense.
Our florist is known for her unique aesthetic. Because our venue was so stunning, I didn’t want to take away from its natural beauty. Our flowers were the main source of color with lots of peonies, anemones, garden roses, lavender, and eucalyptus. Growing up, I always dreamed of wearing a big, beautiful floral crown, and Tenely made that happen for myself and my bridesmaids. Our overall color scheme was muted with lots of beige and gold. Blooms were in beautiful urns, brass containers, and wooden crates to add that vintage element. DIY projects included dipping 180 terra cotta pots into silver, gold, and white paint and planting succulents into each. I was able to finish those on a lazy Sunday afternoon with the help of my mom and some amazing girlfriends. Tenley also made the LOVE sign at our dessert bar – so impressive!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Two words – be nice! It’s so hard to get caught up in the day (and month’s leading up to it). Evan and I are pretty laid back. I knew what I wanted, but I also wanted the people involved in my special day to feel like I appreciated them and everything they did for me. From the bridesmaids dresses (I chose Stone Cold Fox dresses that I knew they would wear more than once), to the thank you notes, and the little token gifts, I wanted my friends to know how much I loved them for being there for me. I made sure to keep my cool if something didn’t go my way, and just wanted everyone to have fun rather than feel like they were just there for the ride.
Bridal Party Processional: “Landslide,” Fleetwood Mac; “Wonderwall,” Oasis
Bride’s Processional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
First Dance: “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” Ingrid Michealson
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: She Wanders / Wedding Planner: Ooh La Love Events / Florist: Tenley Erin Young / Venue and Caterer: Calamigos Ranch / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Wedding Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Stone Cold Fox / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss / Groom’s Accessories: Lanvin / Dessert Table: Vanilla Bake Shop / Ceremony Musician: Todd McCool / DJ: Jon Dadon / Wooden Signs: Sweet Carolina Collective / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Wedding Invitations: Hello Lucky / Paper Goods: Linda Russom / Videographer: Jeff Corrigan
If you’re planning a destination wedding, we’ve got to throw in a vote for Malibu after seeing this dreamboat of a wedding. Calamigos Ranch in Malibu was the ideal setting for Penny and Andy’s big day, and was complemented perfectly by handfuls of pink streamers, over sized balloons, and flower petals galore. Clayton Austin, A Good Affair, and French Buckets worked wonders on this one, folks!
From the event designer, Natalie of A Good Affair: Penny and Andy’s not-so-typical “boy meets girl story” blossomed thousands of miles from either of their hometowns in Japan. Penny, a California girl, and Andy, a proper Englishman, fell in love while working in Japan. Each avid travelers before meeting, they had an instant connection and throughout their courtship they proceeded to travel all over the world together. When it came time to decide where to host their nuptials, they instantly knew that sunny Malibu was the perfect location.
I fell in love with Penny and Andy’s international love story and couldn’t wait to dive into planning and designing their beautiful wedding… even from 5,000 miles away! Penny and Andy (affectionately known by friends as “Pandy”) were so open and trusting in me to dream up their wedding design. Penny and Andy took photos to create a custom viewfinder invitation that also featured their silhouette, which I then pulled into the design. Branding the wedding “We Love Pandy” and wanting to represent their playful whimsical side, I created a color palette of rich berry tones set against denim blues. The Pavilion at Calamigos Ranch was the perfect backdrop for the design. From playful paper tassels down the ceremony aisle to a balloon lined walkway to cocktail hour, there was an endless amount of personal touches for their guests to enjoy.
As the sun set, guests sipped on cocktails and relaxed in a vintage lounge from Storied Rentals. It was so important to Pandy that their family and friends have a meaningful day and the A Good Affair team made sure to keep them entertained the whole evening. Guests put messages in anniversary bottles for the couple to open on milestone anniversaries and an artist created a silhouette of each guests as a favor. A traditional Japanese sake barrel ceremony took place and guests were served out of the barrel. Beautiful florals by French Buckets covered the tables in berry painted bottles for a pop of color. The overall look was the perfect balance of romance and whimsy.
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Clayton Austin / Event Design and Styling: A Good Affair / Florist: French Buckets / Venue: Calamigos Ranch / Hair and Makeup: Kelly Zhang / Wedding Cake: Superfine Bakery / Ceremony and Cocktails Musician: Denny White / DJ and Lighting: Elevated Pulse Productions / Silhouette Artist: Sylhouettes by Sylvia / Furniture Rentals: Storied Rentals / Rentals and Draping: Classic Party Rentals / Balloons: Balloon Celebrations / Officiant: John R / Videographer: Shark Pig / Wedding Invitations: East Six / Transportation: Andy P
What happens when you get a dream team like Christianne Taylor Weddings, Vanessa Noel Events, and Blomma Bloem Design together? Pure magic in the form of this Malibu wedding, that’s what. Read on for more of Courtney and Aaron’s cute proposal story and an eye-catching ranunculus-filled reception:
From the bride, Courtney: Aaron and I met while we were both serving on staff at Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center. We endured two years of long distance relationship, sticking together through thick and thin. One weekend last summer, we went to stay at his parent’s house on the almond farm. Early Saturday morning, he begged me to come with him to check the irrigation system, to which I finally agreed after he tried a few attempts! Still in my pajamas, he lead me to a picnic set up under the trees. I asked him if this was for us, and he just smiled at me, continuing to hold my hand as we walked towards the blanket. After a very thoughtful game, he asked me to marry him, to which I ecstatically said yes!
Aaron and I decided we wanted to get married rather quickly, which meant I would finally be able to plan my own wedding, something I have always been very excited to do! Once the venue was nailed down, I was absolutely thrilled to put details of different colors and textures together to make the perfect combination of everything we love. We wanted the wedding to feel very simple, elegant, a bit rustic and yet cozy, all at the same time. A lot of DIY projects were completed, including Aaron and his dad cutting through a fallen tree to make centerpieces for the tables! Other projects included cutting escort cards and tying them all with twine to little glass vases which that were all filled with ranunculus. My friends and I painted all of the table numbers, bought all of the mason jars for the vases, tied them with string, collected lace to be part of the trellis behind the altar. My maids of honor and I spent an entire day making table overlays out of canvas drop cloth and fringing the edges with forks to add some subtle texture to the tables.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Enjoy the process. Remember the joy you had when you said yes. This should be the driving force behind preparing for your big day. Details will come, details will pass. Let the need for perfection go. Take a few moments during your wedding day to intentionally stop and take mental snapshots. You will only have this day once!
From the event coordinator, Vanessa of Vanessa Noel Events: Courtney and Aaron are one of those couples that make you believe in Nicholas Sparks novels and life-long love. They are both incredibly thoughtful of one another and their families and find so much joy in just being with each other. Courtney has a laid back creativity to her that made her a fantastic bride to work with: easy-going, imaginative, and so open to possibilities. She finds inspiration in a lot of places — like when she called me to say that she had seen the most beautiful sheer fabric flags at a store display in Free People. She was so inspired by them that she asked if she could have them when the store changed their display and the flags became the most beautiful sweetheart table decor! Aaron’s family has been farming almonds for years (and he proposed in the middle of his family’s orchard!) so tying in that tradition was a natural choice. Wood disks for the centerpieces were cut from fallen trees and small bags of almonds from the family’s farm were given as favors. Every inch of the wedding was filled to the brim with Courtney and Aaron’s love, tradition and faith.
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Christianne Taylor Weddings / Event Design and Coordination: Vanessa Noel Events / Floral Design: Blomma Bloem Design / Venue: Calamigos Ranch / Wedding Dress: Bridal Elegance / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Forever 21, ASOS, Free People, Nordstrom Rack / Groom’s Suit: Macy’s / Groomsmen Attire: Kohl’s / Wedding Cake: Susie’s Cakes / Ceremony Musicians: Friends Of The Bride / DJ: Trevor Welch / Wedding Invitations: Smitten on Paper
If you’re anything like me, you’ve already fallen madly in love with this bride’s Vera Wang wedding gown. Its peachy-pink tones matches perfectly with the tone of John and Sierra’s romantic Malibu wedding designed and decorated by All You Need is Love Events with Amelia Lyon Photography behind the camera. Prepare yourself for some sheer beauty ahead:
From the bride, Sierra: My husband and I met in the salon where he came in every six weeks for a haircut. The connection was apparent from the beginning, although I knew it needed time to grow before I committed to dating a client. After a year and a half of his persistence, we decided it was time to see what could flourish. I knew something magical could come from our union, and I was right. Over the past 5 years, we have learned the importance of growth, acceptance, challenging ourselves when needed, seeing the beauty in what is already there, and accentuating the tiniest parts. This became the foundation of our relationship and the sounding board for the style of wedding we wanted to have.
As a hairstylist who specializes in shapes and colors, I approached the wedding as if the venue were my client. My keen understanding of texture, shape, and color, allowed me to consider the palette I was working with and draw on certain aspects to create harmony. Nothing became overdone or contrived, which left space for a fluidity that can only happen naturally and with ease. This was reflected throughout the evening in several ways.
Some of our personal touches included an old wheel barrel filled with bottled sodas from a local independent soda shop. We had a variety of flavors, including Maple Bacon-just for kicks. I borrowed an A-Frame chalkboard sign from the owners of the hair salon I work out of, Eco Heads in Venice. We bedazzled it up with a list of cocktails, beer, and wine for the reception. We even incorporated some old copper containers we received from my mother in law. These were given to her and her husband as a wedding gift, and we thought it would be a nice sentiment. We used the containers for flowers and sprinkled them around the venue. For the sign in table, we thought it would be fun and interactive to have our guests take photos with a Polaroid camera. The reception table numbers were crafted from old frames my husband found at Goodwill and other thrift stores. Finally, each plate was gifted a small jar of Herbs de Provence, and Bolivian Pink Rock Salt.
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Amelia Lyon Photography / Wedding Planning and Floral Design: All You Need is Love Events / Venue: Rancho del Cielo / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang “Gracie” / Hair and Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy, Kumiko Ando, Allison Carey and Nina Brabec / Catering: Eco Caters / Dessert: Coolhaus / Rentals: Smart Party Rents and Found Vintage Rentals / DJ: Damon Tedesco
Eileen and Tyler described their wedding vision as “a picnic under the stars,” and I can’t imagine a more perfect venue than Malibu’s Saddlerock Ranch. The couple played open air movies for their guests in tribute to their professional careers, and hired the always-wonderful The Melideos to photograph the day:
From the bride, Eileen: More than anything, we wanted our wedding to have an easygoing, personal feel to it. We envisioned a gourmet picnic under the stars – a beautiful outdoor setting, very casual but elegant and a little funky, too. We ended up at Saddlerock Ranch’s Camp Cabernet venue, which was the perfect spot. It really balanced beauty and personality – we heard that another couple had a wedding there and had actually covered up the vintage airstreams, which we thought was nuts! We loved all those bits of flair and really felt that, with our wedding there, it would be a celebration unlike any other our guests had attended.
Rustic, playful and elegant would definitely be adjectives to describe the look. In terms of theme and color scheme, we used a lot of kraft paper throughout – from our invitation envelopes to our menu and program to our table runners. Copper was a big look for us, too. Since we were outdoors and in a place with lots of colored accents (the Airstreams, the adirondack chairs, etc.), we were keeping our own color choices pretty neutral – ivories, blushes, greens and a pop of lavender for contrast – so the copper helped give us some depth and flash that was still earthy and not too glitzy. We did hammered copper chargers and clusters of copper mercury glass votives on the tables and bar.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Oh man. I’d say to keep it all in perspective and keep breathing. We wanted everything about our wedding to be relaxed, but of course the planning just isn’t always going to go that way. For example, when you find out a few months before your wedding that you’ve got to push it (!), that’s going to be stressful! Trying to accept that there will be surprises was a challenge, but I think a really important one. Everything that needs to get done will get done – because it has to! And it’ll work out beautifully – because it’s a day about committing yourself to your partner. As for the weekend of… just let go :) When it came to the actual wedding, we had an absolute BLAST. We’ve never loved each other or our friends and family more. Or eaten better food. Or danced harder. We just let it all go and honestly have never had more fun. So that’s the final bit of advice I’d give – HAVE FUN at your wedding! It was the best day of our lives – and the most fun we’d ever had.
One of Tyler’s groomsmen, our friend Ben Turner, composed two songs for our processional – one for the entrance of the families and wedding party, and another for my entrance with my dad. It was the kindest, most generous, most incredible gesture. For the recessional, we played “San Francisco” by the Mowgli’s, and our outlaw country band did a rendition of “The Boxer” for our first dance. We invited everyone to join us, and everyone ended up singing along to the chorus – our favorite memory of the night.
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: The Melideos / Weekend Coordination and Styling: Sitting in a Tree Events / Floral Design: The Little Branch / Wedding Venue: Saddlerock Ranch / Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera / Wedding Shoes: Chloe / Leather Belt: Everlane / Groom’s Attire: Paul Smith / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Wedding Caterer: Tender Greens / Rentals: A Rental Connection / Alcohol: Liquid Catering / Wedding Music: LA Hootenanny / Audio Setup: Andrew Action Audio Visual / Escort Card Calligraphy: Mizue Ohira / Transportation: I.T.S. Limousine / Wedding Invitations: Urbanic Paper
Ladies and gents, prepare yourselves for a stop-you-in-your-tracks kind of styled shoot, sent over to us by designer extraordinaire Beth Helmstetter. Produced by Be Inspired PR, photographed by Braedon Flynn, and flowers by Dolce Designs Studio for Destination I Do Magazine, this shoot is hands-down guaranteed to brighten up your day and get you dreaming for some sandy time in the sun!
From the event designer, Beth Helmstetter: The shoot was full of fun details, like colorful Adirondack chairs for the ceremony, vibrant pillows for dinner seating, and was inspired by a colorful, cozy beach wedding in Malibu.
The menu included grilled watermelon cubes topped with hamachi sashimi, cilantro Creme Fraiche and wasabi cotton candy, shoestring fries with Cajun remoulade, mini all-beef hot dogs with a sesame seed bun, caramelized shallots and 50-50 sauce, beach style chargrilled swordfish with fresh apricot and fennel salsa, butternut squash slaw, peach Bellini snow cone shooter, and citrus vodka and pink lemonade snow cone shooter. The welcome basket was stuffed with OneHope wine and champagne, chocolate covered pretzels, Chupa Chups Suckers, and seasalt shortbread cookies.
Shoot Location: Malibu, CA / Photographer: Braedon Flynn / Originally Featured in: Destination I Do Magazine / Event Design and Planning: Beth Helmstetter Events / Production: Be Inspired PR / Floral Design: Dolce Designs Studio / Event Venue: Sunset Restaurant in Malibu / Wedding Dresses: Kirstie Kelly Couture / Veils and Headbands: Erica Elizabeth Designs / Hair and Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Modcloth / Groom and Groomsmen’s Suits: Elite Tuxedo / Groom and Groomsmen’s Bow Ties: Xoelle / Caterer: Contemporary Catering / Cakes: Cupcakes Couture of Manhattan Beach / Champagne: ONEHOPE Weddings / Table + Surfboard: Found Vintage Rentals / Pillows and Linens: Designer Specialty Linens / Tableware: Fiestaware / Stationery: Pitbulls and Posies / Surfboard Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
There’s something so romantic about the idea of not only getting married underneath trees, but also preparing for your wedding day in the middle of the woods — which is exactly what bride Hayley did when she married her longtime sweetie, Luke. Marianne Wilson Photography captured all the darling moments of the day, including some beautiful portraits by a nearby abandoned Ferris wheel.
From the bride, Hayley: Luke and I met in Breckenridge, a small mountain town. So we adored the woodsy, outdoor setting of Calamigos Ranch. The immensely beautiful oak tree and twinkle lights, surrounded by tall pines, a rustic ferris wheel and vintage carousel made for the perfect wedding location. We accented the space with neutral colors, mercury glass, old silver, antiques, lace, candles, rustic wood pieces, doilies and worked with a friend who made rustic vintage flower arrangements (the feathers were the perfect touch). It all made for a flawless execution of our so-called “fall rustic vintage DIY” theme.
We wanted our wedding to be very us so we tried to add a special touch to every detail. From the apple roasting favors (Luke’s family is from Wisconsin and go apple picking in the fall) to making the table numbers and naming them after destinations that we have visited together (we met in the Colorado mountains and now live on the beach in Santa Monica- so goes the quote that was painted on signs and banners “from the mountains to the beach and happily ever after”). My mom made the beautiful rustic chandeliers, my cousins and aunts brought desserts from famous family recipes, we used my parents vintage cake topper, my dad and husband chopped wood logs for our table numbers and dessert platters, we collected lace, doilies and old silver from all of our family and friends helped me with all the decor. It was a labor of love from all our family/friends.
There were definitely moments when I wanted to give up on the DIY theme or thought we were going WAY overboard, but then I would remind myself that this was the biggest day of our life and it is SO worth it. Our wedding was magical. It was such a rare and wonderful thing, to have all of our friends and family celebrating the biggest day of your life together. And then to see your wedding day, all the decor that you and your family slaved away on, come together so perfectly before your eyes- It’s an amazing feeling.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t get too overwhelmed with Pinterest and the all things you want to do. I made a list of what I wanted and had in mind, then as time went on I would narrow it down- you’ll realize you don’t need it all. Or maybe your ideas will change. Also, I would highly recommend to take breaks form the planning and enjoy your fiance and engagement. Spread out the DIY crafting and planning over weekends. Get your girlfriends together and enjoy some wine while you all make crafts. And as they all say, enjoy it. Try to soak it all in and not stress too much, because in the end, it will all get done (somehow, someway).
Bride’s Processional: “Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton
Recessional: “Everything,” Michael Buble
First Dance: “Ho Hey,” The Lumineers
Father/Daughter Dance: “You Don’t Have to Let Go,” Jessica Simpson
Mother/Son Dance: “In My Life,” The Beatles
Bouquet Toss: “I Know What Boys Like,” The Waitresses
Cake Cutting: “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Wedding Location: Malibu, CA / Wedding Photographer: Marianne Wilson Photography / Wedding Venue and Catering: Calamigos Ranch / Wedding Flowers: Rhonda Fauci / Wedding Dress: Pronovias via Marylinn’s Couture Bridal / Hair: Lauren Champion / Makeup: Dwell by Erin / Groom and Groomsmen’s Suits: Three Day Suit Broker / Ceremony Music: Jim and MaryKay Altizer / DJ: Ryan Wise / Videographer: Loveshot Productions / Wedding Invitations: Mark Kipling
Lucia Dinh of Utterly Engaged + So Happi Together teamed up with Caroline Tran to design an inspiration setting for her workshop, Propel. She imagined a wedding story between a city girl in love with safaris and a groom with Southern sensibilities. The shoot turned out too delicious for words, and you can see it in full in their Issue No. 24 Fizz and Frills.
About the workshop:
From Caroline Tran: Propel was born from my two passions: teaching and photography. I was a high school Physics teacher before becoming a full time photographer. Though there are many reasons why I chose photography, there are also many things I miss about teaching. I especially miss the mentoring aspects of teaching – I love sharing knowledge and I love helping people reach their full potential. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to teach again.
Propel covers how to establish your aesthetic and approach, marketing and everything in between. The best part, it’s like summer camp :)
Above images by Caroline Tran
Propel focuses on helping you build a sustainable business, and establishing your style when you shoot. We cover topics anywhere from marketing & branding to workflow. And of course, we always have a couple of beautifully styled shoots for lots of hands-on practice. I walk you through how I approach a shoot, and then give you time to practice. Propel is an experience. Think of it like summer camp or a retreat. There’s no way to fully describe it; you just have to experience it.
Above images by Isa Pin
Above image by Justin Parker
About the inspiration behind the shoot:
Lucia of Utterly Engaged Magazine: We created a fictional wedding story to help inspire the editorial shoot and design elements for Propel. Inspired by the zebras at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, CA they mixed organic blooms and safari inspired graphic patterns to create a modern down-to-earth glamour wedding that’s rich in textures and layers of love. The fictional story: “She’s a city girl, that has a big heart and love for Africa. He’s a southern gentlemen who loves big adventures. Consumed with love they eloped and married among their closest friends and family in an intimate celebration for twelve.”
Above image by Kimberly Chau
Event Location: Malibu, CA / Editorial Creative Director: Lucia Dinh Pador of Utterly Engaged Magazine for Propel / Workshop Mentor: Caroline Tran / Photographers: Justin Parker/Justin Snapp, Isa Pin, Kimberly Chau, Kym Vitar, Amelia Plumb, Annie Vovan, Michelle Turek, Ashley Batz, Chelsea Chamness, Caroline Yoon, and Aimee Jobe / Event Venue: Saddlerock Ranch / Head Designer and Stylist: So Happi Together / Floral Creative Director: Inviting Occasion Inc / Floral Assistant: Art With Nature / Wardrobe Styling: Lovely Jubilee / Wedding Dress: Lindee Daniel “Rebekah” via Lovely Bridal / Jewelry and Accessories: Vintage Homegrown and 31 Bits / Bridal Lingerie: Naked Princess / Caterer: Chef Anahita / Cake: A Wish and a Whisk / Desserts: Cake Monkey / Lighting: Chiavari Chair Rentals / Rentals: Found Rentals / Textiles Props: Scalamandré / Linens: Wildflower Linen / Stationery: DL/sh Designs
When Heather of LVL Weddings & Events sent this Malibu wedding our way, we fell in love with every one of the romantic little details, right down to the gorgeous floral arrangements from Art With Nature Floral Design. Photographer Aaron Young was on hand to capture Michelle and Evan’s big day, and be sure to read on for some wise wedding planning advice from Michelle.
From the bride, Michelle: After getting engaged, we basked in the post-engagement glow for a few months and then gave ourselves almost a year to plan our wedding. Our goals were to have an awesome party that was true to us; in our case, that meant a smaller outdoor California-elegant wedding. The first and best decision we made, besides getting married to each other of course, was to hire a really amazing wedding planner. From there, everything was so much easier because we did not have to reinvent the wheel. Instead of spending endless hours on the internet trying to figure out which vendors could do a good job, we got to focus on all the fun parts, knowing that the less fun stuff was getting taken care of too. Plus, our wedding planner kept us on track time-wise and ultimately saved us a lot of money through connections and ideas.
I was also very lucky to have a fiance (now husband!) who enjoyed the wedding planning too, such that it was a joint project we did together. Of course, there were times it got overwhelming, and so we tried to make sure we had date nights where wedding talk was banned to preserve the sanity — I recommend that. The other thing I’m really glad we did was setting up a honeymoon registry which enabled us to splurge guilt-free on an incredible trip after the wedding.
The wedding weekend itself was incredible. We kicked it off with a delicious food-truck rehearsal dinner party where our many out of town guests from as far as Holland got to know each other. And then the actual wedding day was a most amazing day of love and happiness; that feeling of finally being married to the one you’ve waited all those years for plus being surrounded by so many people who all love and care about you and have come to support you in your marriage — it’s truly the best.
Wedding Vendors (Malibu, CA):
Wedding Planner: Heather of LVL Weddings & Events / Wedding Venue: Calamigos Ranch / Wedding Photographer: Aaron Young / / Wedding Flowers: Art With Nature Floral Design / Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Weddington Way / Hair and Makeup: Susie Chhuor / Bakery: Vanilla Bake Shop / DJ: Vox DJs / Wedding Invitations: Minted / Fingerprint Tree: Bleu de Toi / Wedding Favors: Beau-Coup / Videographer: Plug Video Productions
This wedding designed by Tabitha of Glitter & Ganache and captured by Next Exit Photography is the ultimate in feminine chic — fluffy pink flowers, vintage bottles and books, and silver trays galore. You can never go wrong with romantic touches sprinkled throughout mixed an authentic California vibe.
From the brides, Hayley and Johanny: We wanted a wedding that had a very romantic and vintage feel. As women, we felt a lot of freedom to choose shades of pink for our colors, and include lots of feminine, girly decor items. We both love Anthropologie and would regularly browse the store/website for pieces that reflected the vibe we were going for. We had planned to do the event design/styling ourselves, but we happened upon a wonderful wedding stylist. She integrated the pieces we’d picked up during our numerous Anthropologie runs with wonderful vintage pieces that she found for really reasonable prices. She also created original crafts for us, like streamer wands that our guests (especially the kids) loved waving when we walked by.
Hiring a stylist and day-of coordinator was the best decision we made; it allowed us to enjoy our day without worrying about how everything would look or stressing about things running smoothly. We wrote our own vows and had our good friend (and acupuncturist!) officiate our ceremony. In a nod to our ancestors, we also jumped the broom, which was how slaves “married” when they didn’t have the legal right to do so. We thought that this tradition was fitting because we too weren’t allowed to legally marry in our home state of California at the time of our wedding. (Although we since got legally married in New York!)
For our reception, it was critical that we had great music and excessive amounts of sweets. We had wedding cake, 12 dozen cupcakes and delicious macarons for our guests to feast on! Our DJ was fantastic and made sure that everyone was having a great time. Our advice to other brides would be to get help from people you trust. Even if you think you can do it on your own, it can really become overwhelming at a time when you’d much rather be focused on your spouse-to-be and all the friends and family who have come in to attend your wedding. You’ll enjoy the whole experience so much more if you don’t have to worry about all the little details and just enjoy the day!
Wedding Vendors (Los Angeles, CA):
Wedding Venue: Calamigos Ranch / Wedding Photographer: Next Exit Photography / Event Design and Styling: Tabitha Johnson of Glitter & Ganache / Day-of Coordinator: Alia Brown / Wedding Flowers: The Enchanted Florist / Wedding DJ: Tendaji Lathan / Ceremony Musician: Jeff Goodkind / Wedding Cake: Hot Cake Bakes / Mini Cupcakes and Macarons: Blue Cupcake / Photobooth: Snap Yourself
It’s finally beginning to look like Fall here in New York, and we’re already longing for summer days. This fresh yellow wedding shot by April and Lindsey of Sweet Monday is just what we’ve been coveting. Hiromi and Mitsuru currently live in Japan, but flew back to California to host an intimate wedding with about 30 guests. Their bright and airy aesthetic is a match made in heaven with Rancho del Cielo, our newest favorite venue. Also, how much do you love their luscious florals by La Partie Events? Click here to delve into their photo gallery.
Sweet Monday is just what we’ve been coveting. Hiromi and Mitsuru currently live in Japan, but flew back to California to host an intimate wedding with about 30 guests. Their bright and airy aesthetic is a match made in heaven with Rancho del Cielo, our newest favorite venue. Also, how much do you love their luscious florals by La Partie Events?
Sweet Monday is just what we’ve been coveting. Hiromi and Mitsuru currently live in Japan, but flew back to California to host an intimate wedding with about 30 guests. Their bright and airy aesthetic is a match made in heaven with Rancho del Cielo, our newest favorite venue. Also, how much do you love their luscious florals by La Partie Events? View all images from this wedding in the gallery
From Lindsey and April of Sweet Monday Photography:Hiromi and Mitsuru hosted a destination wedding (they live in Japan) for 30 of their most beloved friends and family at the intimate Rancho Del Cielo in Malibu. The details of the day were a combination of sweet and modern. Hiromi made the yellow table runners, as well as collecting tiny yellow glass vases to use sprinkled throughout the reception – all of which perfectly complimented the flowers done by Megan of La Partie Event). Guests filled in their “recipes for a happy marriage” as a keepsake for the couple, dined family style on gorgeous food created by Jill, who owns Rancho Del Cielo, and had treats from the beautiful dessert table by Sweet and Saucy Shop. Once the reception was underway, Mitsuru showed off his DJ skills to get the party going!
Wedding Vendors and Venue (Malibu, California):
Venue: Rancho Del Cielo / Photographer: Sweet Monday / Florist: Megan Fickling of La Partie Events / Caterer: Rancho Del Cielo / Dessert: Sweet and Saucy Shop / Bridesmaids Dresses: H&M / Recipe Guest Book: Cut the Cake Designs
Sweet Monday Photography and Cut the Cake Designs are members of our vendor guide Blue Label
We’re going over to the West Coast this afternoon for a flea market inspired fete shot by Kelty Luber of Steep Street. The couple, Jessica and Ian wanted an intimate dinner party feel with an earthy, farmer’s market, California vibe. Colors included greens, tans, ivories, dark wood and grapefruit. With the concept and design by Simply Modern Weddings, delectable cakes by Melody of Sweet and Saucy, florals by JL Designs and paper goods designed by Paper and Thread, this wedding concept was destined to be nothing short of amazing.
Songbird by Fleetwood Mac
Forever by Ben Harper
Broken by Jack Johnson
The Luckiest by Ben Folds
Wedding Vendors and Venue (Los Angeles, California):
Ceremony and Reception: Rancho del Cielo / Wedding planner or event designer: Christina Wright of Simply Modern Weddings / Florist: JL Designs / Photographer: Kelty Luber of Steep Street / Wedding Dress and Veil: La Soie Bridal LASO-99690 Cherie, Torrance store (310) 921-1198 / Hair and Makeup for Wedding Party by Fiore Beauty / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff Terracotta Chiffon dresses / Groom’s suit: Express 3-piece charcoal suits / DJ: DJ Stephan from VOX DJs / Caterer: The Food Matters (213) 415-1735 and Open Bar by Sunseri’s / Wedding Cake: Sweet and Saucy / Wedding invitations: Lori Ruedi at Paper and Thread / Videographer: Lunch Pail Pictures / Transportation: Corporate Coach Charter & Tours, (310) 216-1171
If you’re in need of a boost of vitamin D on this gloomy afternoon, this wedding designed by the ladies of Bash, Please is just what the doctor ordered. Shot by Love Me Sailor, filmed by Shark Pig with music by The Flashdance and delish food by Heirloom LA, how could you not? Love the burst of color and pops of gingham + chevron. It makes me long for summer days, or maybe I’m just on the wrong coast.
Joel and I always envisioned our wedding outdoors, it’s a must living in Southern California. To our dismay, the week leading up to the wedding was unseasonably cool and gray, a big concern for a sun lover like myself. We got heaters at the last minute for fear that it was going to be in the 60s and overcast. What an amazing joy on the morning of the wedding when I woke up to the most gorgeous sunny day, and it was perfect all the way through. Only my family from Miami could complain that it was a little too chilly for them, but that’s what the heaters were for!
Joel and I are both artists so we decided early on that we wanted lots of color to bring out the vibrancy of our personalities. It was important to include lots of details and personal touches, the little things that make a wedding memorable. (There was no particular theme.) We selected shades of blue, yellow, orange, green, with gray and wood accents. Thanks to our coordinators Paige and Kelly of Bash, Please we were able to add touches of color that brought life to an otherwise bland venue. This also gave it a certain DIY feel, but retained an elegant sophistication that is hard to pull off with lots of color.
Another big factor was the food. We asked ourselves early on if we could ever remember the food we ate at a wedding, (we couldn’t!) and after a spectacular tasting, we decided to hire Heirloom LA. Our guests are still talking about how good the food and the drinks were!
For our ceremony, we hired a gospel choir to perform during our ceremony, they are the talented True Worship Gospel Singers of Rancho Cucamonga. They sang Love and Happiness by Al Green as our recessional. (I can’t remember the processional song, I didn’t really hear it anyway.)
Joel and I danced to Otis Redding’s “That’s how strong my love is”. It was a tearjerker.
Wedding Vendors and Venue (Malibu, California):
Venue: Rancho Del Cielo / Design, Paper, Florals, and Coordination: Bash, Please / Videography: Shark Pig / Photography: Love Me Sailor / Music: DJ Smiles of The Flashdance / Catering/Bar: Heirloom LA / Wedding Cake: Cake Monkey / Linens: La Tavola / Rentals: Smart Party / Seed Bombs: Common Studio
Occasionally it’s so nice to see a wedding stripped down to the bare basics — this Malibu wedding consisted of only the bride and groom, the officiant, and the wonderful Adam George of Embrace Life Photography to document the day’s events. Before heading off to their honeymoon in French Polynesia, Taylor and Chris tied the knot on a private beach, free to celebrate the day however they wished. There are more adorable photos to be seen in the gallery!
From the bride, Taylor: We wanted an easy and fun day that really felt like us! No pressure, no stress, no drama which eventually lead us to having no guests – not even our own parents! Despite hundreds of loving friends and family members who were thrilled to celebrate with us, Chris and I decided to get married just the two of us and go on the honeymoon of a lifetime! We planned the honeymoon first – 3 weeks in French Polynesia; Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea! Once we had those details nailed down – we planned our wedding. From Boston, our flight path had us stopping in LA on our way to Tahiti. Since we wanted to get married in the US we figured we’d spend the night in Santa Monica, get married on the beach in Malibu, grab a tasty dinner and leave the next afternoon for our trip. So we did just that!
The looks for our wedding kind of walk on the beach meets cocktail party. Casual, but not carefree. Chic, but not too dressy.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t take it too seriously – it’s supposed to be fun not something that feels like work! If you ever find yourself not having fun, stop and re-evaluate and don’t be afraid to make a change.
Wedding vendors (Malibu, CA):
Wedding venue: El Matador State Beach / Photographer: Embrace Life Photography / Wedding flowers: Fleurs du Jour / Wedding dress: Helmut Lang / Wedding shoes: Michael Kors / Groom’s suit: J. Crew / Stylist: Amanda Lyn of THe Harolt Salon / Transportation: Crown Limousine LA / Wedding Officiant: Officiant Guy
When you’re setting the scene for a “Thanksgiving in the summertime”, as today’s bride did, it’s important to include amazing scenery, handmade details, and the smiling faces of all your family and friends. Rachel and James held their wedding on a starry Southern California evening and were determined to keep the planning process about their love for each other, not table linens or huge flower arrangements. The bride made nearly all of the rustic-elegant decor and every little piece says so much about their style. Captured by the talented Nicole Polk, this SoCal wedding has “simple chic” down to a science.
The venue is stunning, romantic, and totally gorgeous so we just let it dictate the style which ended up being more shabby chic than either of us probably actually ever could have imagined our typically modern tastes would have dictated.
From the bride, Rachel. I always described our wedding to friends as a candle-lit outdoor dinner party with all our friends and loved ones – a Thanksgiving in the summertime. I think we accomplished that exactly.
The Chuppah we stood under was made by our friend Jeff. He constructed the whole thing in the week before the wedding using a table cloth my mother embroidered when she was newly married. She passed away in 2005 so this was a way to include her in the ceremony.
I cross stitched the table numbers, hand stamped the escort cards letter by letter, made the burlap table runners and the succulent centerpieces. The colors were pretty organic. White dahlias, lots of greens and browns, seed pods, etc., with lavender sprigs for accents.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Only do things that are meaningful to you, that you enjoy, that you couldn’t live without, so you will have no regrets later! Anything that doesn’t meet those three simple criteria can probably get scrapped. You’ll never remember on the day and NO ONE will question why something wasn’t there.
Wedding Vendors (Southern California):
Ceremony and reception location(s): Saddle Peak Lodge / Florist: Bride arranged succulents from Heritage Succulents for centerpieces; Bouquets, loose blooms and boutonnieres from Flowers by Elizabeth / Photographer: Nicole Polk (from Philadelphia area) / Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston / Veil: DIY by a friend / Shoes: Kate Spade “Lora” / Earrings: Nicole Miller / Hair: Bessie Signorelli at Dolce Salon & Spa in Santa Barbara / Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew / DJ: Mike Bocek / Ketubah Artist: Jennifer Raichman / Officiant: Rabbi Aaron / Caterer: Saddle Peak Lodge / Wedding Cake: Kaz, the pastry chef at Saddle Peak Lodge/ Wedding invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Wedding Save the Dates: Minted
It’s time to feature Patricia and Dennis’ gorgeous reception, artfully shot by Caroline Ghetes. There were lush florals and vintage details around every corner, and I loved them all! I am completely obsessed with those amazing vintage trunks overflowing with blooms. Sheer perfection!
More from Patricia:
My husband made the centerpieces from wood he bought at Home Depot.
Patricia’s advice for future brides: Hire a wedding planner!
Be sure to watch their video!
Wedding Vendors (Malibu, CA):
Ok, brace yourself for some gorgeous wedding eye candy overload! Caroline Ghetes took so many amazing photos, we just had to dedicate a whole post to just the bride and groom. From dreamy portraits on the ranch to seriously glamorous nighttime city portraits, she captured it all.
More from Patricia:
My husband saw a Pronovias wedding dress online one day and tells me that it is the most beautiful dress he has ever seen. Shopping for a dress was difficult because it was nearing the end of the year and the 2010 collection had not yet been released. Therefore, all the dresses I had seen online were not available to the public. After trying on 30+ dresses, I came across the one my husband mentioned earlier. The moment I saw it on the hanger, I knew it was the one.
I made the veil using ivory Russian netting tulle and a peony flower with a diamond button I borrowed from my mother. The button served as ‘something borrowed’.
Part three of this spectacular will be coming your way soon. Stay tuned!
Wedding Vendors (Malibu, CA):
Remember Dennis and Patricia’s incredible surrealist engagement session by Caroline Ghetes Photography that we posted awhile back? Well, now they’re happily married and let me tell you, Caroline worked her magic once again! Style oozed from every detail in this wedding, and there were A LOT of details! Each one more thoughtful and beautiful than the next. There is so much goodness that we had to split this post into three parts! First up is the ceremony…
From the bride, Patricia:
My husband and I were looking into a beach themed wedding in Newport Beach. The more we started planning for the wedding, the more I realized it was not my dream wedding. As a little girl, I always wanted to marry in the middle of nature among trees, animals, and hills. We looked at various blogs and saw a couple who got married at Saddlerock Ranch, a vineyard in Malibu. I immediately fell in love with the location and knew it would be the place I would have my wedding.
I hand made all of the invitations for 400 guests by hiring a calligrapher and someone to letterpress. My fiance and I went to a paper store and ordered Cotton Cranes Lettra paper. We hand sewed all the envelopes from fabric and printed our guests’ name on the outside. We also hand made each flower on the outside of the envelopes by burning the edges of 6 different sized pieces of fabric and then sewing 3 pearls in the center.
Be sure to check back later today for parts two and three of this gorgeous wedding!
Wedding Vendors (Malibu, CA):
Hello lovelies! Today I will be stepping out for the National Stationery Show, but first I want to leave you with this vintage chic Malibu wedding that photographer Jenny Liu sent me. The bride, Nicole owns a clothing shop and an Etsy shop, so it was no surprise to know she designed their vintage book wedding herself and even made the Mr. and Mrs. plaques they used as props. Her gorgeous Lazaro key hole wedding dress and her choice of a multi strand pearl necklace looked perfect with her cathedral length veil, another project made by Nicole. There were so many beautiful images to choose from, it was hard to keep it concise. I’m sure you’ll understand why.
Wedding Vendors (Malibu, California)
Venue: Calamigos Ranch / Photographer: Jenny Liu / Second shooter: Amanda Rae Photographer / Wedding Coordinator: Chic Ambiance Events , Deanna Tat / Wedding Cake: Cake and Art, Marc & Tom / Florist: Kate Baker Floral Design / Hair: Hairron Salon, Janine Jarman / Maekup: Noel Nichols / Wedding Dress: Lazaro / Videographer: Well Spun wedding Films