The fabulous Kate Holt, at Flowerwild in Southern California, is kind of like my flower hero. Her work totally and completely blows me away...of course because it's beautiful, but also because it has this "kate" effect, where you find yourself completely giddy the minute you open one of her picture perfect weddings. And this one, photographed by the equally talented Steve Steinhardt, is one of her best. Held at the gorgeous Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, it's girly, it's flirty, it's fun and yet it's BEYOND elegant. Kind of like the most perfect combination of wedding adjectives on the planet. And although we have a lot featured below, there is actually so much more in the gallery!
My British husband and I first met in London six years ago when I was there on a summer assignment. We carried on a long-distance relationship between London and New York for the first 3 years until I finally moved to London. When he proposed, I knew we were going to have our wedding in LA, where I grew up and where we could count on a sunny wedding day!
After going through a long-distance relationship, planning a wedding from abroad did not seem impossible. The task was made 100 times easier with my wedding planner Kathy, who did everything from suggesting some of the best vendors (including a British DJ now based in LA - how perfect!) to booking all our vendor meetings when my fiance and I were in town.
Before I even realized it, I had been dreaming of a peony wedding. All I knew I wanted for my wedding were beautiful flowers and for my guests to have a lot of fun. In addition to being beautiful and romantic, peonies symbolize good fortune in Chinese culture. When I mentioned to my wedding planner the sort of flowers I liked, she immediately recommended Kate. From the moment I saw the flowers on her website, I knew Kate would design exactly what I was looking for. From there, it was easy to pick a peony design for our stationery and elements of pink to pull everything together.
The letterpress invitations from the White Aisle (all the proofing and design was done online) featured a pink peony motif which perfectly complemented Kate's floral design. As a subtle nod to my background (and one of my husband's favorite foods), our ringbearer carried the rings in a mini dim sum basket which Kate also decorated with peonies. We also provided pink silk and sandalwood folding fans for our guests to keep themselves cool during the seaside ceremony.
I was the lucky bride who walked down the aisle twice and had two dresses to go with it. Our first ceremony was a Syriac Catholic ceremony, an important ritual for my husband's family, conducted mostly in Arabic at St Monica’s church. The next day, we held a civil ceremony overlooking the Pacific followed by a reception at Shutters on the Beach. My husband and I wrote our own vows, which made that ceremony more personal for us and all of our guests. His vows first made me laugh and then cry.
We also had a lot of fun during our first dance. Because I really do say "tomato" and my British husband says "to-mah-to", there was no other song for us but "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" sung by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
Florist: Flowerwild / Photographer: Steve Steinhardt / Videographer: Dan Boswell, Imagique / Officiant: J.P. Reynolds / Planner: Kathy Recchia Save the Date Events / Make-up and hair: Sheree Pouls, Lips and Locks / Ceremony Music: Katherine's Concert Associates / Reception Music: DJ Chris Paul / Venue: Shutters on the Beach / Stationery: The White Aisle / Dress: Vera Wang and Notte by Marchesa