Seeing a wedding from Joielala come into our inboxes is a bit like finding a puppy wrapped in a pretty pink bow sitting under the tree on Christmas morning. We sometimes squeal with delight, we often do a bit of a happy jig and we can’t seem to shake the wedding giddies that we get when we peak inside. Proof? Remember this little number that sent us all into a wedding frenzy? Or this seaside soiree that had us dreaming of laid back loveliness? Well, Joielala is back with the prettiest of pretty garden style celebrations and we couldn’t be more smitten. Just make sure you take the time to look at all of the pretty right here in the gallery.
From the Bride… When we started planning our big day, the words that came to mind were: family, small, simple, casual and intimate. We wanted something laid-back, a night that reflected our personalities and celebrated the core of a wedding — a union of two people and their respective families coming together. So with 18 guests, all close family, we set out on a mini-destination, week-long vacation culminating with a simple ceremony and a wonderful dinner. Don’t be fooled though — a small, simple wedding does not necessarily mean less planning or smaller budget! The hardest part was deciding what elements to include in our simple wedding. Wedding dress or regular dress? To photograph or not to photograph? Flowers? Centerpieces? Favors? Designer, sister and best friend Aileen helped to gather ideas and build a vision. James and I both made our lists of “must-haves.” For him: and outdoor setting, black nails (on the bride, it’s been my go-to nail color since I was 12), simple makeup (because I rarely wear makeup) and San Diego (our special place). For me: awesome wedding photos, peonies, cafe lights, good food and good company. After that it was just acquire and execute.
Planning the wedding remotely was a little tricky at times. We took a chance on both our venue and caterer and booked them without a visit or tasting. We were lucky, and everything worked out better than we expected. The majority of the wedding elements were DIY, brought out packed in our suitcases from the east coast. The mother of the groom bought and prepared welcome totes for all the guests with our wedding date and initials printed on them. I bought burlap, keeping with the laid-back, casual theme, and made my own table runner with a touch of pink stitching around the edges. My sister made the pink ampersand and brought it from the Bay Area. I started collecting jars — mason jars in all sizes, bud vases, bottle necks, hand soap containers, whatever had the shape and size I was looking for for the smattering of flowers for the table. I even took to making DIY candles in some of the jars. I ordered the flowers in bulk online and had them delivered to the hotel a couple days in advance. All the women of the two families helped put the florals together the morning of the wedding. It was a mad storm of hot glue, raffia, cuttings and twine. And absolutely awesome.
All the hard work paid off in the end when we saw those closest to us so happy — everybody was laughing, chatting and having a wonderful time. It was such a romantic night: the two of us, newlyweds, surrounded by people who are crazy about us, all under a cafe light canopy in the candlelight, celebrating an event where everyone had touched at least one part of the wedding. That and the fact that our wedding was absolutely perfect, fit exactly for James and Winnie.
Wedding Photography: joielala photographie / Wedding Venue: Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park in San Diego, California / Bulk Flowers: Whole Blossoms / Flower Arrangements, Table Runner + Other Decor: DIY / Catering: The French Gourmet / Wedding Invitations + Pink Ampersand: Aileen Cheng (The Bride’s Sister) / Lighting: San Diego Events Lighting Company / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero / Lace Sleeves: maryandangelika / Bride’s Shoes: Vince Camuto / Hair + Makeup: 10.11 Makeup / Groom’s Suit: Hickey Freeman / Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers