Hope you’re all feeling refreshed and ready for another great week of fun weddings and planning! This gem shot by Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the gallery.

Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
We wanted a bright, festive, and cheerful atmosphere that all our guests could enjoy. We didn’t want it to be too sugary-sweet or lovey-dovey. We wanted people to feel like they’re there to party and have fun. Our style is a blend of vintage and modern, with much attention to details. We tried to be as unique as possible, and produce original ideas. We mixed new handmade objects with old vintage items. We mixed the bright-colored décor with the rustic, raw feel of our venue. The hard, cold concrete outside is juxtaposed by the lush greenery, and yet juxtaposed by the rustic brick and wood interior.
Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding

Our theme was inspired by images of old European carnivals and festivals. We followed a palette of slightly-distressed yellow, red, white, and blue. Key features were hot air balloons, circus-style lighted letters, and old-world typography. The bright décor elements that we handmade were offset by the rustic look of the venue space, to create a poppy, yet natural setting.
Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding

We designed and created almost all of the artistic elements ourselves: my wedding dress, floating hot air balloon table numbers, acrylic Polaroid seating cards, my own photobooth software, lighted letters for our initials, hand-printed invitations + save-the-date, dollhouse card dropbox, homebrew beers and beer labels, popcorn “cupcake” cups, truffle butter, flowers, terrarium centerpieces, my bridesmaids’ and my jewelry, garter. And so on.

Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding

Hot air balloon wedding
We wanted a rustic kind of space that was sort of on trend here in LA. We love exposed bricks and raw materials like wood and concrete. We shopped around some more and found BOXeight. It offered several different spaces. There was a giant gallery space (which later went away), a studio space, and an outside garden with a stage. It was perfect. The studio space became the formal dining area; and the garden became the cocktail hour, dancing, and “events” area.

Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding

BOXeight was a very in-the-raw kind of space. They don’t “do” weddings. They’re not a wedding venue, specifically, so that meant we had to coordinate and decorate everything. The studio was furnished like the photo studio and home that it was. So furniture had to be moved, removed, and the layout had to be figured out. We even had to set up sound ourselves!
Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding


I shopped around for months looking for the right fabric. Initially, I didn’t want to afford real silk, so I bought a bunch of different satins and synthetic fabrics to experiment with. But my heart still belonged to this silk I once saw at a local fabric shop. I couldn’t get myself to buy it until the DAY BEFORE the shop closed down for good (sad), barely four yards left at 75% off. I think it was fate. I made the dress with a corset-like form on the top, so that I could tie it as tight it needed to be, and I would not have to continually alter it to fit. Good thing, because I lost a lot of weight towards the end.

Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding
Hot air balloon wedding

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? I believe that new brides should spend the initial month or two exhaustively reading wedding blogs, magazines, and other inspiring places. This is to figure out what style and theme they’d like to pursue; and then, they should stop right there. Break away from the computer, from the magazine aisle, and start throwing out ideas. Think about the theme, and what elements represent that theme, and how they can use those things in each part of the décor, such as seating cards, table numbers, centerpieces, etc. At least, that’s what I would say for brides who want to do a lot of DIY and keep it original. I feel that it is very easy to get too literally inspired by other people’s weddings, and get sucked into doing the exact same things for your own. But since it is your wedding, it should be important to make it really only your own.
Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Hot air balloon wedding

Paul Von Rieter may be the ultimate handcrafted wedding. The bride and groom, Karen and Eric, not only handmade most of it themselves, but Karen also made her own wedding dress! She will be back with us this afternoon, but in the meantime we have plenty to tide you over in the Click here to view all images in the photo gallery

Wedding Songs:
The processional was “Natural Disaster”, by Andrew Bird, on the organ. As described earlier. Recessional was a classical piece, “Canon in D”.
The first dance was “Careless Love”, by Camera Obscura. We had our first dance choreographed by Kristin Staszek

Wedding Vendors (Los Angeles, CA):

Ceremony Church: Neighborhood Church (Palos Verdes, CA) / Reception Venue: BOXeight Studio / Day-of-Coordinator: Claudia Casanova of One Darling Day / Flowers: LA Flower District / Photographer: Paul Von Rieter / Wedding Dress: handmade by the bride / Headpiece: Head Full of Feathers on Etsy with added gold netting / Wedding Shoes: Enzo Angiolini “Kylin” gold glitter pumps, and Enzo Angiolini “Nilt” silver glitter flats / Hair: Roselle at Bobo’s Hair Mode / Bridesmaid Dresses: They all wore different yellow dresses previously owned by them / Groom’s suit: custom-made by Thick As Thieves / Groom’s pocket square: silk from the bride’s wedding dress / Groomsmen suits: custom-made, by Indochino / Ceremony organist: Rebecca Ogle, was provided by Neighborhood Church / DJ: friend and maid-of-honor’s boyfriend, Champ / Caterer: Huntington Catering Company / Wedding Dessert: There was a selection of desserts, such as panna cotta and bread pudding. The cake was only for cutting purposes. Guests received individual French macaron cups instead. Both the cake and macarons were made by Twelve Centimeter in Korea Town, Los Angeles / Wedding invitations: DIY / Transportation: vintage red MG-T remake owned by Ken Curtiss 714.996.9054

13 comments
  • Really sweet! I love hot air balloons.

  • So colorful! They really brought that space to life. Love the Polaroids!

  • natasha

    too too sweet!

  • Perfect mating of photographer and couple… Love this wedding! Amazing work by the bride and PVR.

  • Stacie {Gatherings by Stacie}

    Fun times, great color!

  • love the hot air balloon theme!

  • Wowee!! I love it, I absolutely love it! I love the fact the B&G created the whole day themselves, and the dress is fabulous! :D

  • I’m totally in love with this wedding. Paul shot is perfectly. The balloons are probably my favorite detail at a wedding I’ve seen this year.

  • How fantastic is this couple and this wedding!

  • Jen

    This is such a wonderful wedding!
    I just love all the details – the shot of the two of you in red with the hose and rake is priceless!

  • Hanna

    It´s beatiful and wonderful!!! Lovely!!!
    From Brazil

  • All so incredibly gorgeous, but that hose and rake one is all kinds of awesome!!

  • It’s such a wonderful and cute wedding, I love the polariod pictures with the check-in.