I have a confession. Before I found my way into the world of weddings, I didn’t know what a peony was. That’s almost blasphemous, isn’t it? But now, I’m fully versed in the big fluffy flower genre and that love for the all-star bloom runs deep. I’ve also added a few more loves to the list. Things like branches intermingling with floral centerpieces, little gold details and really good, take-your-breath-away photography; all of which this wedding has thanks to the likes of The Little Branch, A Stunning Affair and onelove photography. Have a look right here for even more.
From the Bride…Andy and I were set up through his cousins wife who was a colleague of mine based in Atlanta. I grew up in Los Angeles and Andy was a Midwest guy from Oklahoma who had moved out to LA for film school at USC. Carrie saw something in the two of us and insisted that we meet. Who knew that first date would be the beginning of the rest of our lives? Apparently she did! We both felt something special that night after finishing one others sentences over Brazilian food at a local West LA restaurant, Bossa Nova, and laughing our faces off at his friends underground comedy show in a residential garage, the Comedy Carhole. It was in this same place almost 2 years later that he proposed on bended knee along a street his best friends helped him decorate with personalized luminaries featuring our names!
I think every woman out there fantasizes just a little bit about what her wedding day will be like however when the time came, I was overflowing with ideas and inspiration and frankly did not know where to begin. Andy was happy to just get married and he patiently supported me in every way cooking dinner every night, cleaning our apt and keeping up with laundry so I could focus on our wedding! Budget was a big factor in determining where we would get married. We briefly considered Andys hometown of Tulsa as it would be more affordable but quickly decided Los Angeles was best for our many friends with young families and would be easier for us to plan with our hectic work schedules. Most of our extended family would be traveling anyhow from across the U.S. so we settled on Memorial Day weekend to throw what we hoped would be an unforgettable vacation for the wonderful family who had nurtured us along the way.
It was important to both of us to honor our Catholic heritage so we chose to get married at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. I always knew I wanted the traditional experience of walking down the aisle in a church to meet my handsome husband to be! We are both very laid back when it comes to our personal lives, so it was very important to find a reception venue that reflected our personalities and sense of style playful, quirky and intimate and fit our budget! Santa Monica is limited when it comes to budget friendly venues most options are beachfront ballrooms, which were out of our budget and also lacked the character and charm that we were looking for. Our wishes were answered when we visited a cool urban garden called Tiato at the recommendation of a friend!
Tiato offered everything we were looking for in a venue and embodied all of the elements that felt like an extension of our home…an urban oasis with indoor and outdoor spaces with gorgeous succulent walls, a beautiful tree with hanging lanterns that I knew would be the perfect backdrop for our first dance, a cool interior space with a gorgeous Napa-esque bar complete with Edison bulb lighting and rustic details throughout like market string lights, wine barrels and wheeled carts. Needless to say, we swooned and immediately fell in love with everything Tiato had to offer! Andy and I seriously love food so were so excited to find Tiato had an extensive menu to choose from with our favorite comfort food options like truffle mac n cheese and kobe beef sliders! I have a sweet tooth like no other so when I saw this amazing long rustic table at Tiato, I envisioned it covered with our favorite sweet treats French macaroons, crme brulee shooters, cake pops, mini cupcakes and a rustic 3-tiered cake with layers of red velvet, chocolate with salted caramel and vanilla cake w/ strawberries and crme.
The most memorable moments of our wedding reception happened on the dance floor. Ill never forget the look on my Dads face after nailing our trick move during our first dance to My Girl after spending weeks practicing in the parking lot at work or watching my nephews and mom jump rope with a rope they had fashioned by stringing together glow necklaces. Andy and I had an epic dance off to a mash up of Titanium vs the Proclaimers 500 miles from our favorite movie, Pitch Perfect, while our families surrounded us cheering! Our friend Marcy also grabbed the mike from our DJ and rapped to Vanilla Ice and later my best friend Kelly closed the night with an acapella version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which gave us chills. It was truly the best day of our lives and my feet ached for days following! We are so grateful to all of our friends and family for their help and support and to our amazing vendors who made our day possible.
Photography: onelove photography | Event Design: A Stunning Affair | Floral Design: The Little Branch | Ceremony Location: St. Monica Catholic Church | Reception Location: Tiato | Rentals + Lighting: Chiavari Chair Rentals | Linen Rentals: Designer Specialty Linens | Photo Booth: Smilebooth | Stationery: Smitten on Paper | Transportation: OC Cruiser | Officiant: Monsignor Torgerson | Cinematography: Amanda Madeline Studios | DJ: Ian Gotler from RedShoe LA | Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop | Makeup + Hair: Kelly Zhang | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein | Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: J. Crew | Jewelry: Ben Amun | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Veil: Custom, A Stitch in Time | Hanger: BHLDN