Sometimes our brides just blow us away with their talent, just like bride Hilary in this wedding from The Melideos (formerly Sweet Little Photographs). Hilary wanted to carefully handcraft decorations for the big day with beau Mike in order to have personal stamps for their friends and family to appreciate. Rachael of lace & likes tackled not only the day-of coordination, but also took care of the incredible floral arrangements with her company Siren Floral Co.
From the bride, Hilary: When we started planning our wedding, the only thing we felt really strongly about was that we wanted the event to represent us as a couple. We also felt that while our wedding was about celebrating our love for each other, it was also about celebrating the love we have for our family and friends who have supported us through our relationship and decision to get married. We wanted the vibe to be romantic and laid back, but still elegant. Deciding on our venue, the Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad, California, informed the rest of our design choices — rustic with vintage and handmade details.
It was definitely important to me to be able to make some of the decorations, myself, as I knew that this would make the event feel more authentically us. I also spent a lot of time collecting vintage pieces to add character to the event. Because I am getting my Master’s in Library Science, having a few literary details felt necessary, such as the framed literary quotes about love and the vintage books as centerpieces. I spent several Sundays at the used book sale at our local library buying up old hardcover books to make that happen! We are also very lucky in that we have some very talented friends who contributed their skills to our wedding. My mom made my birdcage veil, my sister played guitar for the ceremony, one of my good friends officiated, another friend was our DJ and our videographers were also good friends of ours. Having so many elements done by people we love really made the day feel extra special and uniquely us.
We decided on a range of colors including some metallic tones — plum, dusty rose, turquoise, sea foam, ivory, silver, gold. My DIY projects included the table numbers and framed signage, the seating chart window, the fan programs, and the streamer backdrop.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? I definitely recommend a long engagement! We took our time to save money and plan and the result was that we had close to zero stress and the wedding of our dreams! Also, hire your vendors carefully. Everyone I chose to work with was after careful consideration (and a lot of price comparisons). Decide what’s important to you to splurge on and what you can stand to save on. More than that, make sure the people you choose to work with are passionate about what they do and that the work they produce is not only high-quality but in line with your style. Also, for DIY brides, I highly recommend having a day-of-event coordinator so you don’t have to enlist family and bridesmaids to set everything up and can instead enjoy a mimosa and get your hair done on the morning of the wedding! Rachael and her team at Lace & Likes were life-savers for me. I had all my decorations boxed up and paired with instructions for where things should go and they executed my vision to perfection, if not better! I am so thankful for that. Lastly, do everything with love because that’s what your day is about. Keeping that attitude even in moments of stress makes a difference and transforms even the most annoying setbacks into a true labor of love.
Bridal Party Processional: “Sea of Love,” Cat Power (performed by bride’s sister on acoustic guitar)
Bride’s Processional: “I Found a Reason,” Cat Power (performed by bride’s sister on acoustic guitar)
First Dance: “The Suburbs,” Mr. Little Jeans (Arcade Fire cover)
Father/Daughter Dance: “So Far Away,” Carole King
Wedding Location: Carlsbad, CA / Photographer: The Melideos / Day-Of Coordination: lace & likes / Floral Design: Siren Floral Co. / Venue: Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park / Wedding Dress: BHLDN / Veil: Handmade by bride’s mother / Wedding Shoes: Irregular Choice / Hair and Makeup: Alice Von Simson of Secret Salon / Caterer: Flavor Chef Catering / Wedding Cake: Elizabethan Desserts / Rentals: Anar Party Rentals / DJ: Casper VonDJ / Videographer: Heather Simons & Danny Corey