LA’s Carondelet House is as popular a wedding venue as ever, and yet we never tire of seeing it. When it comes to creating effortless glamour, well, they’ve cornered the market. Jenn and Chris planned their wedding with the help of Joyeuse Photography, Fleuretica, and Joyce Kim Weddings, and we love their refreshing approach for decor — Jenn says she designed everything as if she were decorating her own home!
From the bride, Jennifer: Chris and I first met in SF at a singles Valentine’s Day dinner party thrown by a mutual friend, not one intended to introduce people to their “special someone” but more in the vein of “this holiday sucks. I’ll cook so if you’re not doing anything, come over.” We went on our first date several months later, and five years to the DAY since that first date, we got married in my hometown of LA.
Our dream wedding was inspired by an Italian Villa dinner party and a gorgeous venue like Carondelet House really made it easy for that to become reality. I approached the entire wedding planning process as if I were decorating my home; I was far more focused on creating a certain ambiance over incorporating colors and schemes, although admittedly, I’ll always be partial to the color gold! If it felt “warm, romantic, and soft”, I was pretty much game.
Starting with the outfit of this fabulous party host aka my wedding dress, I wore a classically Jenny Packham beaded sheath dress which matched the old-school glamour of Carondelet House perfectly. It was also important that I looked and felt comfortable, still in keeping with a glamorous Italian-Villa-owning-party-host! To go with my relaxed and romantic gown, I had a wildflower bouquet of loosely arranged seasonal blooms like dahlias & ranunculi added in with my personal favourite, astilbe. Similar blooms in a mixture of mini bud vases and mason jars, along with candles galore were scattered across the dinner tables. I wanted to keep flowers fairly minimal in keeping with the relaxed intimate dinner vibe, just enough to accent the natural beauty of Carondelet House (exposed brick, bright windows and dazzling chandeliers). Everything was set against a white backdrop with streaming lights and smilax vines which I felt really punctuated the entire room with romance!
In addition to instilling a “warm and inviting” quality throughout the wedding, Chris and I also cared a lot about incorporating special touches that reflected who we were. So what exactly reflects us? If you were to ask that to our guests, they would unanimously answer “they love to eat”. So not surprisingly, we wanted to highlight our shared love of grub. For example, our table names were the names of our favourite restaurants which were calligraphed onto beautiful antique gold mirrors. We used French ivory paper lace doilies with guests’ names calligraphed in gold as place cards which looked so elegant when laid out onto the reclaimed wood tables . We had pictures in gold frames featuring photos of us from many of our most memorable meals, including one from our engagement which took place at of course, a restaurant (with the help from my favourite chef, Thomas Keller). We had our dinner menu assembled into cootie catchers and straw flags with food related trivia about us. Additionally, we featured this one project poster that listed every single restaurant Chris and I had ever dined in together during our 5 years of dating, along with who we dined with, obviously many of whom were our guests. This last detail was particularly rewarding as rarely does my my addiction to list-making/documenting benefit someone other than just myself.
Our wedding was truly an unforgettable night, and although I was so happy that all my RuffledBlog inspirations came true, all that really mattered were the vows we made to love each other forever surrounded by all those we hold dear. Actually (sorry, humblebrag alert!), the owner of the villa somehow got a hold of this footage and asked if he could feature it on their website. Quoting him, “it was the most touching, endearing video I have ever seen created at Carondelet House. It truly captured the essence of a beautiful couple on a beautiful day.” Chris and I are very aware of the insane videoediting talent of Amari Productions, in addition to the glamorous wardrobe and makeup that helped us look our best that day. However, we still believe that essence he was referring to was also because of our deeply rooted love that just radiated through, especially as it multiplied from all the additional love we were showered from our family and friends. We were super flattered and needless to say, we continue to visit Carondelet House’s homepage from time to time!
Watch the emotional and touching film from Amari Productions: