Vintage Chic Bel Air Estate Wedding
November 5, 2014
California
VintageBackyardEstate Weddings
I've got a serious crush on this wedding, and admittedly, this stylish couple. Aren't they snazzy? The Bride in her Inbal Dror dress, fancied up by Artistry By Danika and the red bow-tied Groom looking dapper in a white jacket. Oh, and cruising around in a vintage Porsche, too. See? I told you they were awesome. And their wedding is just as fun as they are. Tyler Branch snapped it all up right here.
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From the beautiful Bride...The beautiful home where we chose to have our wedding is named Casa Contenta, and has been in my husband's family since the 1940's. Many a great parties took place here, where my grandparents-in-law would host the likes of Clark Gable and The Reagan's. On the night of our wedding, a distant relative informed us that Cary Grant was actually wed there as well! As we planned our wedding together, it became our mission to bring these old parties to life for our friends and family: a big bash on the very first day of Summer!

I'm originally from South Carolina and my husband grew up in London. As if these three converging settings weren't enough, let me add that my mother-in-law is from Oaxaca, Mexico! It was very important for us to incorporate our unique, respective backgrounds into one special day. The result was a collection of incredible local vendors, and many DIY elements that were unique to us.

My aunt, who owns a slip cover shop in Charleston, SC created custom green & white striped covers for the wrought iron cabana beds and chairs - while another aunt lent the most beautiful calligraphy to our place cards and table numbers. My father and brother-in-law spent countless hours creating heart pine signs and an elegant card box, reclaimed from an old school house from the 1800's in South Carolina. My mother lent me my great grandmother's handkerchief for me to take down the aisle, and perhaps most impressively of all - my dear friend, Emma (who introduced my husband and I!) created every last flower arrangement (including the giant bouquets of peonies) for us as a gift.

We started setting the vibe for our party long before June 21st rolled around - with the help of our stationer, Lilly & Louise. She incorporated old newspaper clippings from some of the fabulous parties that were thrown at the Casa Contenta! On the day of our wedding, I surprised my husband with a vintage Porsche - what ultimately ended up being one of the most popular aspects of our wedding (hello photo opp)! Guests mingled in different areas of the estate among vintage copper tables and in a special room of the house called "The Copper Room" that took everyone back to another place and time.

For as much as we debated throughout the planning process, the one things we completely agreed on was the food! We were so fortunate to have Chef Alejandro Ruiz (one of Latin America's 50 Best Chefs) fly up from Oaxaca to treat our guests to some of the local specialties he creates at his restaurant, Casa Oaxaca. Guests nibbled on garnachas and ceviche before sitting down to a three course meal followed by red velvet cake from Sweet & Saucy and cooling down from the dance floor with organic ice cream selections from Sweet Lucies.

Seeing all of our hard work and preparation come together was one of the great joys of my life. My advice for any bride is to do your research. Take time in selecting your vendors. If you're like me, you could spend up to a year with these great folks, developing a relationship with many. Don't be afraid to get "Pin Happy", but know WHEN to ultimately put down the Pinterest Button (great advice from my friend / floral stylist), about a week out from the wedding)!