Traditional Santa Monica Ballroom Wedding
January 16, 2014
United States
Classic WeddingsBallroom WeddingsFall Weddings
Ah, the traditional wedding. The black tie soiree that makes you weak in the knees, no questions asked. Kristeen LaBrot Events nailed it with this stunning rendition. The couple was unbelievably beautiful and just as happy, as you can plainly see in every single image from Phoebe Joy Photography.
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From the stunning bride... I'm originally from the midwest, and my fiance is from The Netherlands. We've overcome a lot of obstacles to be together in Los Angeles, and are the first generation of our family name establishing roots in the US! Most of our guests were from out of town, and about half came over from Europe. So it was very symbolic for us to celebrate our marriage with both families under one roof, in the place where we met and where we know we'll make our home together.

Our wedding was classically inspired. We gravitated toward simplicity, a vaguely vintage feel, and incorporated deep jewel tones. We really wanted the natural beauty of our ceremony and reception venues to shine, so we chose to incorporate details that had as much to do with the experience of the day as the decor. For example, incorporated family wedding photos into the decor for the cocktail reception area, and displayed artwork that we purchased together to gift to our families. We loved the idea that these pieces would serve as a memory of a very special day in our parents' homes.

One of my most memorable moments was waiting in anticipation outside the church doors to see my groom. I was hearing our talented musicians play a very special score for our processional before I walked down the sounds crazy, but we asked them to play a classical version of the song "Little Shadow" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I love the melody of that song, and it sounded so beautiful! I also really loved riding around in a vintage 1963 Jaguar in my wedding dress. We felt like royalty! When we were taking pictures after the ceremony, a little girl came out of her house with her mom to meet "the princess" outside.

We spent months in dance lessons working on a choreographed ballroom dance to "The Wonder of You", which we found to be a really fun thing to do together. On the day of the wedding, the dance served as our grand entrance at the reception. It was very romantic because the two of us were on eye level only with each other -- our guests watched us from the ballroom balcony on the second floor.

Our menu incorporated dishes inspired by Italian and Argentinian cuisines. The groom was adamant about not having mashed potatoes, which always seem to wind up served cold at weddings, and instead having "pommes frites". As for me, I was nearly as excited about our champagne tower as I was about walking down the aisle. I'd never seen it done before, nor had our caterer, but they were willing to try it and (thankfully) it worked!

I've launched my own tiny graphic design business called Lilt Creative, and I'm a bit of a fanatic for print material. So I designed the invitations, programs, menus, and other paper elements for the reception myself, and addressed the invitations by hand. We were able to save on our floral budget by shopping the downtown LA flower mart for the guest table centerpieces. They came out great thanks to some fast and furious work with my wonderful bridesmaids! I selected and purchased the centerpiece vases and other decor elements myself rather than renting. After the wedding, I saved a few items to use as keepsakes and around the house, but made a little cash back by selling the rest to another bride on Craigslist!