I started reading Tabitha’s blog – Ms. Awesome – way back when I was a newly engaged little thing so I know how much hard work, love, sweat and (maybe a few) tears went into creating her and Cynthia’s amazing wedding celebration. Let me tell you two lovely ladies, all that work paid off because this is hands down the best DIY wedding I’ve ever seen! When Kirsten Ellis of Beaux Arts Photographie sent over the images I nearly fell off my chair. I mean, I knew it was going to be good but I was not prepared for this ridiculously awesome, sweet, love-filled extravaganza! There are so many smiling faces, little details and handcrafted elements that it couldn’t even be contained in one post. You’ll just have to go to the full gallery to really soak in this phenomenal day!
It’s funny that I wrote about our wedding for nearly a year before it happened, and now that it’s over, I can barely string a sentence together that will accurately capture, contain, or recreate the magic of that September day. I just don’t have the skills. That said, I’ll try my best to give you the long version, but the short version is this: it was awesome!
We spent about 14 months planning, mostly so we’d have the time to save up enough money for our little shindig. We knew from the start that we wanted a casual and fun outdoor wedding with good food, good music, and good people. Basically we wanted to throw a really fun and extremely meaningful little party, and call it a wedding. Oh! And by good food we always meant the Kogi truck. After researching and visiting some very unimpressive (and expensive!) LA venues we really struck gold with Heritage Square Museum. It was the perfect mix of nature, architecture, chickens (and even a barn!) all right in the middle of LA! The gravel road leading down the center sealed the deal by making our dreams of a double truck food wedding a reality! And somewhere along the way I became obsessed with wedding blogs, so much so, that I started one to document all our crazy planning adventures and DIY endeavors. These included: hand-printed invitations, veils/fascinators, wedding flags, cranes, vintage milk-glass centerpieces, table-cloths, runners, napkins, signs and a million other wonderful things that we’ve already completely forgotten about. Luckily we have Kirsten’s amazing photos to remember it all!
The crafts were fun (and so worth it) but let’s talk about what mattered most: the ceremony and the community. I’ll be honest with you, for two ladies who just wanted to eat, drink, and dance, this was quite surprising. Our dear friend Stephanie officiated, and her husband Suneel sang our opening prayer in Sanskrit, a nod to Cynthia’s religious upbringing. It set the perfect tone, at once joyful and sacred. We had four of our lovely friends do readings (because we’re big book nerds like that!) and our guests, who were seated in a circle around us, passed our rings around and blessed them. I really wish I could have heard my mom’s blessing because it brought one of our bridesmaids to tears! It is incredibly powerful to be surrounded and supported by the people you love and really intensified the value and meaning of our vows, which we wrote ourselves. Then, at the end of our ceremony we jumped the broom. A quick history lesson: jumping the broom originated in Africa and later served as a public declaration for African Americans when NO form of marriage was available to them (i.e. during slavery). It symbolized settling into a “marriage-type arrangement.” An arrangement? Blech! Since our wedding was our public declaration of our desire to settle into a “marriage-type arrangement” legally supported by neither state nor country, well, we felt it was an appropriate tradition to incorporate. It doesn’t hurt that we’re fiercely competitive, and as the tradition goes, whoever jumps the highest gets to be head of household. There is (unfortunately for me) photographic evidence of the winner. Le sigh.
As a kuckoo-bananas planner and organizer I was able to remain remarkably calm and present on our wedding day. I give lots of credit to my lovely wife for this, as she is remarkably more calm and laid-back than I’ll ever be. Our day started with the two of us going to get coffee by ourselves, marveling over the fact that it was our wedding day, and actively deciding to be worry free. Looking back, I am so happy that we were able to just let go of all the planning, all the expectations, all the worry, and just be present for the most amazing day of our lives. It was an incredible gift, and I will be forever grateful to the amazing people who made it possible for us to just be. The community that rallied around our wedding was truly amazing. I borrowed my dress from a fellow blogger. My Larkspur and Hawk earrings were custom designed/created for me after I ranted (publicly. on my blog. of course.) about how my dream earrings were vastly overpriced, by which I really meant out of my price-range. Talk about humbling. Our friends and family cleaned our house, did our hair and make-up, hung lights and cranes in the trees, tended bar, DJ’d, and surrounded us with so much love and support that I still get chills thinking about it! To be surrounded by so much LOVE is some rare and strong magic and while I still don’t feel I’ve done it justice, I hope you’ve been able to catch even a tiny glimmer of it through these jumbled words and beautiful photos.
Wedding Photography: Kirsten Ellis of Beaux Arts Photographie / Wedding Venue: Heritage Square Museum / Catering: Kogi Truck / Ice Cream Sandwiches: Cool Haus / Floral Design: DIY / Invitations: DIY / Save-the-dates: Stinkerpants Designs / Day of Coordination: Just Wenderful / Tabitha’s Dress: Sarah Seven (borrowed from fellow blogger) / Tabitha’s Shoes: Miu Miu / Tabitha’s Earrings: Larkspur & Hawk / Tabitha’s veil: DIY / Cynthia’s Dress: Urban Outfitters / Cynthia’s Shoes: Melissa + Vivienne Westwood / Cynthia’s fascinator: DIY / Cynthia’s Suit: H&M