I love great details and decor as much as the next girl, but it’s the people, the stories, the love that speak straight to my heart. It’s stories like this bride whose 9-year-old son escorted her down the aisle or the fact that they traded formalities for a family-style Southern comfort food affair that make a wedding come to life. Jodi Miller captured every bit and you can click right here for so much more.
From the Bride…. Adam and I met while at one of our favorite bars in the summer of 2011. We danced the night away to an amazing local 90’s cover band, and after our failed attempt to play matchmaker for our two best friends (who we still haven’t managed to get on a date) we decided to have dinner ourselves – going out for sushi the following week. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
As the Development Director of our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and a fundraising events manager PETA before that, I am used to have to design events that please other people. That’s why it was so important to us to have a wedding that had our stamp on it and that didn’t subscribe to all of the formal wedding traditions.
After Adam proposed to me in a tree while on a hike in Escondido Canyon Park in Malibu, California, we knew we needed to find a venue that incorporated our love for the outdoors and of course, it also had to have a really amazing tree. When we found the Hermitage Museum & Gardens, with its immaculate gardens, river views, the giant magnolia tree on the back lawn, and the craftsman style architecture we both love so much… we knew there was no turning back! Our desired aesthetic for the entire day was “rustic romance,” and I think we were able to capture that in part because of the gorgeous setting – and by incorporating some nature elements through the use of twine and birch planters for the flowers which were all done in creams and shades of muted blush and mint. [And as an avid terrarium lover/maker, we just had to include succulents!]
For the ceremony and pre-ceremony we hand selected all of the songs (from a Fleet Foxes processional to our first kiss to the music of the Flaming Lips), and we were married by one of our closest friends which made everything so much more special. Perhaps the most emotional part of the day was when my dad walked me to the beginning of aisle, so that my 9 year old son could then walk me down to be given away. It was really important to be able to incorporate him into that important part of the ceremony, as it was just as much about becoming a family as it was Adam and I exchanging vows.
For the reception, we really wanted an evening that was an intimate gathering of our closest family and friends, so we did away with things like the bouquet and garter toss and the traditional cake cutting (we wanted donuts instead!). Southern Comfort food is a staple in our kitchen at home, and our caterer was able to create a delicious meal served family style – so it really felt like a Sunday dinner among friends. We also enjoyed sharing foods from our engagement dinner with our guests, like mini ahi tuna burgers.
Although the weather forecast changed on us the day before the wedding and we had to give up or vision of a tentless wedding, we had a spectacular night and didn’t even notice the drizzle. Fittingly, the night ended in the way our story began – dancing the night away to a 90’s cover band with our bridal party, at the same place we first met almost two years ago to the date.
Photography: Jodi Miller Photography | Flowers: Leslie Hartig Floral Design | Dress: Custom Marisa Gown From Pure English | Caterer: East Beach Catering | Makeup: Makeup By Kim Porter | Hair: High Voltage Hair By Crystal Casey | Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting | DJ: Atlantic Digital Entertainment | Bridesmaid Fashion: Donna Morgan | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hermitage Museum & Gardens | Day-of-Coordination: Sunkissed Events | Donut Truck: Carpe Donut | Signage And Paper Goods: Paper Tangent