This afternoon’s film feature is from Aqua Vivus Productions. One thing you know for sure … when the bride sends us her wedding film … she’s one completely delighted bride!
From Lauren ~
It’s funny how wedding vendors come into your life for such a short period of time and yet, have such a huge impact. That’s how I felt when I saw our video because I don’t know how I could ever thank everyone that was involved in our wedding enough without it! My wedding was magical, enchanted, and everything I could ever have dreamed of. I have so much gratitude for everything our family did to help us get ready and for the vendors who helped us put it all together! I hope that by seeing just a little bit of the day, Style Me Pretty readers will see that none of it would have been possible without all these wonderful people in our lives.
I think that by making the ceremony about community and making our guests an integral part of it, it created a closeness amongst everyone there. Instead of 150 strangers from different families, it became an intimate, connected group of people.
Our wedding is different and original because it was held at a private elementary school. When we first started telling people we were getting married at a private elementary school, I feel like they gave us looks of pity. I tried to explain that it didn’t look like an elementary school, but people didn’t believe me…until they saw it at the wedding. Dustin’s uncle was the principal of the school so that’s how we had an ‘in’ and knew about the location. We knew that we really wanted the wedding to be outside, but didn’t like the idea of strangers passing by and being able to peek at the wedding if we held the ceremony at a park or beach. We wanted something that was private and the school allowed us to start with a clean canvas and completely create our vision.
Our biggest challenge was the one hour flip between the ceremony and the reception. We held both in the same courtyard and I wanted the area to look completely different at the reception than at the ceremony…I wanted to shock people and I definitely think I did. We brought in lounge furniture and a lighting structure to put over the dance floor. My month of wedding planner (Thea Lauren Event Design, the most amazing person in the world) brought in her team and in one hour, it was a complete transformation.
Dustin and I are both young so we really wanted our wedding to be fun and symbolize our love and our youth. About 90 of the guests were between 20 and 35 so we knew we had to throw one heck of a party which is why we hired Michael Antonia of Flashdance. Once dinner was over, the dancing never stopped!
There were a ton of little details to our wedding that I think gave it character and made it our own. I spent the year and a half of our engagement picking up little things here and there and doing DIY projects along the way. I am a perfectionist, so I really wanted every single detail I could think of, but at first didn’t know how I would do it all without a huge budget. Since we were on a budget, I bought things throughout the year and finding deals made it possible to add all of the little things I wanted into the event design. I bought chandeliers from Ikea for $39 that hung in the trees. I bought little hanging candle vases from Anthropologie for $2 on sale that also hung in the trees. I bought all battery operated candles from The Dollar Tree (I drove to 10 different ones in San Diego to get a bunch of them) – you can’t beat 2 for $1. I bought flip flops to put by the dance floor (which every single girl, young and old, were wearing by the end of the night) for $1 on sale at Old Navy. We found pillows at TJMaxx for the lounge furniture.
We also did a lot of DIY. We made our invitations ourselves – huge posters with a silhouette from our engagement shoot. We sent them out in mail tubes with a label covering the white tube with the same image. It was so fun to design and put them together! We wanted people to know our wedding was going to be fun and I think that our invitations gave a sneak peek at the fun guests were going to have.
We had a lot of help from our family and friends: Dustin’s mom made all of the personalized water bottles; Dustin’s dad screenprinted OOT canvas totes for us; one of our good friends painted watercolor for our programs and all of our signs; Dustin’s sister painted wooden signs that pointed to the different areas of the wedding, my sister made signs for the cucumber water and bathroom baskets and made the parasol signs.
Our wedding was about family and friends coming together to support us in our decision. We wanted our wedding to feel like a close-knit community and we wanted to let people know how grateful we were to have them be a part of it. We had people fly in from everywhere (San Francisco, Illinois, New Jersey, New Zealand, Australia, etc.) and we wanted everyone to know how much we appreciated them making the trip. We knew that a lot of people made a lot of effort to be there and so we wanted the event to be something they would remember. Guests were greeted with cucumber water, champagne, and little snack bags that had a sticker with our silhouette on it. We provided parasols because we knew it would be hot and we provided flip flops for the women to change into for dancing.
We decided to do a Circle of Love ceremony…I think it’s a Hawaiian tradition, but we loved the whole concept of being connected to those around you on your wedding day. It was beautiful and let our guests know that they weren’t merely attending our wedding, but an integral part of it and by attending they were showing their love and support in our decision to become husband and wife. When our guests arrived, we had them place a rose petal in a circle on the altar and our officiant (Dustin’s Uncle) said the following words at the beginning of our ceremony:
“As our bride and groom’s family and friends entered, they placed a flower, forming a circle that now surrounds our bride and groom. This circle will form the altar, the sacred space where Lauren and Dustin will make their vows and promises to each other, as they are joined together in marriage. But these flowers not only represent this new beginning for our bride and groom, marking this spot and this moment in their lives – but also the love of each person who placed it. Each flower is an individual, beautifully unique in its own way – just as the love and support of the person who placed it. Each flower is a show of support for our bride and groom as they become husband and wife, and as they begin this new, amazing, and wonderful journey together, as partners in life. Lauren and Dustin are surrounded by these flowers, just as they are surrounded by their cherished family and friend’s love today – and everyday.”
We also had a group declaration of support right before we said our own vows. All of the guests repeated after our officiant, the vows we had chosen for a group vow. It was an amazing feeling to look out at 150 of our family and friends as they spoke a vow in unison to us.
Photography: Silva Stills & Cinema / Cinematography: Aqua Vivus / Flowers: Fancy That! Designs /Event Planning: Thea Lauren Event Design / Venue: Francis Parker Elementary School / Invitations: Bride / Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Dress: Rivini / DJ: Flashdance / Makeup: Amy Marie Clarke /Hair: Ann Jenner, HairSpray SalonRivini is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.