The second we heard Adrienne Gunde and The Little Branch had paired up for this wedding at Rancho Cucamonga’s Christmas House Inn, we knew we were in for a treat – and our eyes certainly weren’t disappointed. Sue and David’s wedding was full of botanical inspiration, a bit of whimsy, and such romance that we can’t seem to stop swooning!
From the bride, Sue: David and I wanted the wedding to be fun, casual, yet pretty. We love vintage decorative elements, so we were looking for a venue that fit with our needs. David and I got married at the Christmas House Inn in California for several reasons. We were absolutely thrilled to find the Christmas House Inn. The Inn was built in 1904 and it was built on a ranch so there are fruit trees all over the property. We had access to the entire property. We were married under the large olive tree in the front yard and our cocktail hour was done on the veranda and throughout the first floor of the house. Christmas House has a grand piano in the main room so our friend, Diana Li, played the piano and sang during the cocktail hour. We thought it would make it more intimate to have a friend provide the music for that part of the event.
The whole property including the guest rooms have vintage furniture and decor, so it was fun for guests to roam around the space. The bridal party finished getting ready in the master suite that was upstairs, while the groomsmen got ready in the carriage house, which used to hold carriages but has been renovated into guest rooms. We had framed photographs placed throughout the house so guests could wander around and see personal photos of us. Our reception was held in the back gardens of the inn. We were surrounded by fruit trees, lush greenery, and twinkle lights that were placed all throughout the space. Lanterns and twinkle lights decorated the dance floor and guests were served drinks from a vintage bar. We loved that the venue felt intimate, like it was our home, but prettier!
David and I wanted to personalize different parts of the wedding by including our friends and family in the ceremony and reception. Our good friend, Thai Chu, officiated our wedding. He prepared such a sweet and insightful ceremony. We also asked our guests to partake in our vows. We asked our friends and family recommit to their vows to their partners after we said ours to each other. We DIYed the ceremony chair garlands. We spent a lot of time gluing and tying ribbons for the garlands and Janice (our coordinator) hung ribbons on the chandelier for the ceremony. I also made the wands for our child attendants to carry into the ceremony. Since we had four kids in the wedding (our nieces and nephews), we wanted to make sure they all had something to carry. They had a lot of fun waving them around! There were also some DIY elements for the reception. Since we had a lot of kids at our wedding, we wanted to make sure that they had activities. Our friend Nana Wyngarden and her kids Kai and Larsen created some really fun coloring books. They drew pictures of me, David, and our hobbies. The kids at the wedding colored them and we will add them to our wedding scrapbook. David also created the cake toppers. He made them out of Sculpey and hand painted them afterwards. My sister (the maid of honor) handmade my reception dress. David and I did East Coast Swing for our first dance so my sister made something that was fun to twirl in! We went to Santee Alley in downtown LA and picked out the lace and silk and she magically put everything together. It was definitely a labor of love.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? We know that everyone gives this advice, but we feel that it’s very important to follow. Make sure to enjoy the wedding day because it goes by very fast! Also, having a photographer that you get along with and trust is also important. This person is with you on one of your most important days as a couple. In terms of advice for wedding planning, embrace the process, even the things that go wrong. It’s a good opportunity to learn about each other as you complete projects together and overcome the various challenges associated with preparing for such an important event. We found that we learned a lot about each other during the wedding planning process and we’ll be able to tackle more future challenges as a couple because of everything we learned while we were dating and planning such a big event.
Family Seating: “River Flows in You,” Yiruma
Bridal Party Processional: “True,” Spandau Ballet
Bridal Processional: “On Top of the World,” Imagine Dragons
Recessional: “Love on Top,” Beyonce
Wedding Party Entrance: “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
Newlywed Entrance: “Here Comes the Hot Stepper,” Ini Kamoze
First Dance: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” Michael Buble
Wedding Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA / Photographer: Adrienne Gunde / Day-Of Coordination: Janice of Christmas House Inn / Florist: The Little Branch / Venue: Christmas House Inn / Wedding Dress: Enzoani / Wedding Shoes: Klub Nico / Veil: Brenda’s Bridal Veils / Gloves: Dark Pony Designs / Hair Twine and Dress Sash: Twigs and Honey / Makeup: Grace Lin Makeup / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s and Groomsmen Suits: SuitSupply / Caterer: Spaggi’s / Wedding Cake: Cucamonga Cakery / Cocktail Hour Musician: Diana Li Music / DJ: Paid 2 Party / Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Swing Dance Lessons: Rick Archer