I wholeheartedly love life here in New England. That’s a fact. But whenever I come across a California wedding as sunny and gorgeous as this, I have the teensiest urge to believe I maybe moved to the wrong side of the country. Between the palm trees, forever beaches and that essence of “cool” everyone seems to have, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re hosting a wedding on the West Coast. And let’s be honest. With vendors like Sitting in a Tree and Honey & Poppies by their side, this couple had all the odds in their favor for a fabulous day. I heart everything about the photos from Callaway Gable and know beyond doubt that you will too.
From the Bride… We wanted our wedding to take place in a customizable venue so our friends and family could share in and appreciate the small details that made it our own. Needless to say, one-stop-shop hotel venues were out. Since most of our guests were from out of town, we wanted them to experience Los Angeles and California, but in a way that felt intimate and special. We fell in love with the Adamson House, a California State Park and historic estate located on a large lot between the Pacific Coast Highway and the sand of Surfrider Beach. The calm and beautiful setting won us over after a single visit.
The first vendor we found was our caterers. Beth and Stephanie from Whoa Nelly! Catering offered a style that was both seasonal and refined, and were very easy to work with when it came to planning the menu. They easily understood the dynamics of our different diets (I am a vegetarian, and Scott definitely is not!), and the need for our guests to be well-fed with delicious dishes (the average height of our groomsmen was 6’4″ and most of Scott’s college basketball team was in attendance as well). The next item on my list was finding a dress– with my mother and both grandmothers in tow, I found a beautiful art-deco dress with geometric rhinestone patterns that ended up inspiring many other aspects of our wedding. With such a beautiful setting, I wanted the decorations to be understated, natural and clean, and chose an accent color of emerald green, since it is my father’s and Scott’s favorite color.
Scott and I are both busy attorneys, and to make things even more difficult, we were temporarily living on separate coasts (my husband was working in Virginia and I was working in Los Angeles). We quickly realized we needed some professional help to pull off the event of our dreams, and were referred to Tori at Sitting in a Tree. I loved Tori’s sense of style, love for sparkle, free flow of ideas, emphasis on personalizing wedding and extensive network of relationships with the most amazing vendors. Tori deftly guided us through the process, and she could not have created a more personal, beautiful and perfect wedding that absolutely rocked and was everything we ever hoped for and more!
Since we had invested so much time in creating a beautiful experience, the photography was very important to us. We settled on the clean, dramatic style of Callaway Gable, and we had so much fun with their associates, Ashleigh and Lauren. Although we initially resisted hiring a videographer, Tori was gently persistent, and we finally took the plunge. In retrospect, Son of Sharkpig (and their pink bowties) were amazing, and able to capture many spontaneous moments that we will treasure forever.
The weekend started on Thursday with a brief rehearsal at the Adamson House, followed by wine tasting at Rosenthal. The evening was capped with an intimate dinner for family and the wedding parties in a private room at Gladstones, where much of the group ended up barefoot on the sand after dinner. On Friday, the majority of our guests arrived and we hosted a golf tournament at Malibu Golf Club during the day and welcome cocktails at Susan Feniger’s Border Grill in Santa Monica at night. Both events allowed us the opportunity to relax and spend casual quality time with our guests.
Our wedding day started off with a few hiccups, as everyone predictably was running behind schedule. Fortunately, everything came together in plenty of time, and Scott and I shared our dream together. My husband’s college basketball teammate (who introduced us!) officiated our ceremony under the late-afternoon California sun with surfers riding the crashing waves in the background. Scott and I wrote our own vows, which added special meaning to the moment. In addition, we had a sand ceremony, where our mothers brough sand from the beaches of our hometowns. As a final personal touch, a college softball teammate of mine, (accompanied by Michael Tiernan on acoustic guitar) sang the song that Scott had sent me freshman year in college when he first let me know he wanted something more than friendship.
After the ceremony, our guests enjoyed an extended cocktail hour, featuring more great acoustic music from Michael, plenty of passed appetizers, and three custom-made specialty cocktails, while Scott and I escaped to finish off our photography. Dinner followed, on the back lawn overlooking the beach, at long banquet tables adorned with vintage glassware and beautifully simple floral arrangements courtesy of Honey and Poppies. After dinner, we danced under the stars to an amazing mix of grooves from Anthony of Red Shoe Productions , smoked hand rolled cigars (an ode to my grandfather that could not be with us) and sipped on freshly-pressed espressos. When the Adamson House curfew hit, we shifted the affair across the street to our after-hours venue on the outdoor patio at The Malibu Inn, and partied until the morning hours.
Wedding Photography: Callaway Gable | Wedding Design + Coordination: Sitting in a Tree | Floral Design: Honey & Poppies | Catering: Whoa Nelly Catering | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Adamson House | DJ: RedShoe Productions (DJ Soike) | Ceremony + Cocktail Music: Still Listening Productions (Michael Tiernan) | Rentals: Premiere Party Rents + Found Vintage Rentals + Casa de Perrin | Cigar Roller: Leon Cigars | Videographer: Shark Pig | After-Party: The Malibu Inn | My Dress: Lazaro | Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti | Headband: Untamed Petals | Makeup: Sharon Hagen | Hair: Kaitlin Santo, H Studio Salon | Groom’s suit: Hugo by Hugo Boss | Groom’s shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo