It’s no secret…I love me some SmogShoppe. It’s one of my all time favorite venues, with a totally eclectic but ridiculously chic vibe that goes well with just about any bride. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to kick up your heels and stay awhile. And celebrate your wedding with a sense of cool that just comes with the territory. Such is the case with this next little number photographed to perfection by Caroline Tran with a too cute for words film by Living Cinema. It’s the perfect mix of downtown chic and timeless elegance. With bits of whimsy mixed in just for fun. Click here to see even more.
The charm doesn’t stop there. Living Cinema was there to capture even more of this delightful day…
From the Bride… Roland and I are so excited to have our wedding featured on SMP! When Caroline told us the great news and asked us to write a short summary of our wedding it was a rather daunting task considering all the months of blood, sweat and tears that went into planning it. But as you can see from the photos it all worked out well!
Roland and I originally met in 2005, and while there was a mutual attraction from the start, we did not actually start dating until the spring of 2007. It’s funny how life can be all about timing. But it was love at second-sight and things moved quite fast after that. I graduated from the University of California, Irvine soon after we met again and about two months later I moved to Chicago to be with Roland. We got engaged in 2009 and were married in June of 2010.
We decided to have the wedding in Southern California where I grew up and had originally wanted to plan a weekend getaway in Palm Springs so that we could have ample time to spend with our loved ones. For a number of reasons this did not work out but we could not have wished for a better alternative. We had a traditional Filipino-Catholic ceremony at St. Timothy Catholic Church and funny enough, our priest mentioned the Lakers a few times during the mass (the Lakers had just won the championship)! Our reception was held immediately after the ceremony at the SmogShoppe. We choose the SmogShoppe because of its dedication to sustainability and loved knowing that we were supporting a locally owned and eco-friendly establishment.
Roland and I wanted our wedding to be a nice mix between fun and modern with traditional and sophisticated. Our colors were mustard yellow, grey, black and white. I asked my bridesmaids to wear any dress they liked as long as it was a grey tone, and I have to say that I loved seeing their fabulous, individual styles come through. Roland had his groomsmen all wear black suits and gifted them these really awesome mustard yellow Paul Smith socks. The flower girls wore these adorable ruffle dresses from JCrew and the boys in the wedding wore either a mustard yellow tie or a bowtie from Bacon Handmade Neckwear.
Roland and I wanted to incorporate our Filipino heritage in the reception as well. It was really difficult to get a local Filipino restaurant to cater so we opted instead to have a Filipino dessert buffet that featured many of our favorite desserts. Our guests loved it and all the desserts were gone before I could even make my way over.
There are so many other aspects of the wedding that we would love to highlight such as the amazing succulent centerpieces that Danielle of Brown Paper Design made for us and the luminaries that my cousin Jason had made with our little cartoon image on. Jason’s company, Candles West, also provided the beautiful white luminaries that decorated the patio area of the SmogShoope. Danielle of Paper Palate also did a fabulous job with the food. We served it family-style to help create a more intimate atmosphere. And the night would not have been complete without the custom-made photo booth by Tyler and Terrance at PhotoboxLA! Terrance had made the photo booth for their wedding at the SmogShoppe and it fits perfectly in the closet. Our guests LOVED going back to the photo booth throughout the night and we always laugh when we look at the album of all those photos!
Roland’s favorite memory from the day was when I tapped him on the shoulder during our “First Look” photo session. You can actually see this moment in the lovely short video that Curtis of Living Cinema made. I actually have two memories that really stand out to me from that day – one was walking down the aisle with my father. No one warned me what an emotional experience it can be to walk into a room full of family and friends all looking at you with so much love. I had to work really hard not to break down in tears. The second memory was when I danced with my grandfather during the reception. He went through depression after my grandmother passed away and during that short dance he was like his old, happy, dance-loving self again! I couldn’t stop crying during that dance.
One of the most challenging parts of planning the wedding was navigating various aspects of family politics, but we got through it with a lot of compromise. Another huge challenge was all the DIY tasks we had set for ourselves. If there’s one piece of advice we would like to give other couples, it’s to set a deadline when it comes to DIY things. If we could go back in time we would have had everything finished at least a week before. This way you can relax and enjoy the days leading up to the wedding. But overall the wedding day went really well and as you can see from the photos and the video there was a lot of love from all our family and friends. We are so thankful to all of them and also to all of our amazing vendors – you all made that day possible and wonderful.
Venue: SmogShoppe / Wedding Photography: Caroline Tran / Caterer: Paper Palate / Wedding Cinematography: Living Cinema / Event Planning: onefourthree Events + TACT + Exquisite Weddings / Favors & Gifts: Candles West / Floral Design: Brown Paper Design / Wedding Reception Venue: SmogShoppe / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo / Wedding Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop / Wedding Ceremony Location: St. Timothy Catholic Church / Makeup Artist: Sexy Graffiti / Photobooth: PhotoboxLA / Groom & Groomsmen Socks: Paul Smith / Ties & Bowties: Bacon Handmade Neckwear