When I first saw these photos I dreamt I had died and gone to wedding heaven. Visions of Monique Lhuillier, sparkly Jimmy Choo's and Rodeo Drive were dancing in my head. Then I realized I was not in fact dreaming but witnessing the amazing talent that is Jen Lauren Grant Photography. Her images are so dreamy and sophisticated that I could literally stare at them all day long. Oh wait, I already have and now it's your turn! Enjoy my pretties and remember, there is much, much more for your viewing pleasure in the gallery.
It’s not everyday that you get to marry the man of your dreams and best friend. Ten years ago a Fashion Stylist (that’s me!), fell in love with Daniel Madariaga, a savvy Real Estate agent in Studio City. We both knew from the moment we met that this was a very real and natural love. Everything came easy to us, we found out we were best friends. The proposal was absolutely magical and so stylish. We were in New York just finishing a dinner in Central Park when he surprised me with my dream ring. Of course with Daniel being in real estate, the location was absolutely fabulous, and so memorable. The proposal came at the perfect time in our lives.
Once we were backin Los Angeles, planning the wedding was a reality. We knew the location had to be just a stylish as the proposal.LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! It’s funny, but not surprising, that Daniel was actually the one to find the venue. We ended up going with the Luxe Hotel. It was on Rodeo Drive, which is quite perfect for me, and was a small Boutique Hotel with lots of style. It exceeded our expectations immediately. We had about 75 guests and the penthouse and rooftop terrace provided that “wow” factor in an intimate environment. Daniel and I are research junkies, and that was our saving grace to planning the wedding. We researched everything from locations to dresses to candle holders. We believe this saved us a lot of money in the end, and it gave us a tool to negotiate everything.
We decided to have our wedding in March, which was ten months away from the time he proposed, so time was of the essence. Choosing that month turned out to be a great choice, we soon found out it is considered the “off” season of the wedding business, so almost everyone was willing to negotiate prices. We were on a budget, but we didn’t let that affect the style and ambiance of the wedding. The dress, which I thought was going to be the easy part, turned out a little more difficult. I couldn’t find anything I loved. I was about to just take a break from shopping when I received an email about the very popular Monique Lhuillier sample sale. I rallied up my mom and went downtown on a very early Sunday morning. We stood in line for three hours before getting through those doors, and when we did make it in, we had a game plan… “grab anything that is a fit to flare!” After two hours or so I still hadn’t found a dress I loved, so I then decided to try different silhouettes. It turned out my mother found my dress. It was a beautiful Chantilly lace bustier top and a full silk organza skirt with flower cut outs and silk tulle train.The gown was romantic, fashionable, and completely bridal and I loved it!
I wanted the wedding to be classic and timeless, so I initially went with the color scheme of black, ivory and grey, but I am also a color lover at heart, so I decided to go with shades of purple at the reception. I did a lot of research on other weddings through websites and magazines. This really helped me to show my vendors what I envisioned for the wedding. I knew I didn’t want to have any “cheesy” typical wedding clichés. I tried to be creative with things, and instead of having the traditional guestbook, I bought an assortment of coffee table books and our guests signed those. Now they can be a part of my everyday life instead of being stored away in a box somewhere.
Another one of my favorite things was the invitations and table cards. I have an amazing cousin, Christine, who is a stellar interior designer and is also great at graphics. When I shared my vision with her, she nailed the design immediately. It was amazing, and looked so professional, it really set the tone for the entire wedding. Christine ended up being my wedding planner, whichhelped in so many ways while I was a work. Our photographer was amazing! It felt like we had been friends for years. She made us feel so comfortable, and she really understood what we were going for in the end result. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. The day of the wedding was the best day of our lives. Coming down that aisle looking at the man I would share the rest of my life with was so overwhelming with joy and anticipation. The celebration of our union with all our friends and family was a blessing. Everyone had a great time, and many agreed that it was “the best wedding ever!”…We think so too!
Wedding Photography: Jen Lauren Grant Photography / Cinematography: Yarolslav Kaufman of Couture Cinema / Floral Design: Marilyn Chan of three beans & co. / Event Design: The Bride / Event Planning: Jessica Park of Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive / Wedding Ceremony Location: Saint Charles Borromeo Church / Wedding Reception Location: Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive / Wedding Invitations: The Bride / Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier