You know why our most favorite weddings ever always happen to have taken place in Cali? It’s simple. There is an effortless elegance infused into every last California beauty that comes across our desk. Whether it’s an uber luxe fete at the most extravagant of venues, or a perfectly pretty DIY affair like this next little number…every single one that we see warms our heart and makes us wish that we were West Coasters so that we could live that same laidback loveliness. So here we go…a gorgeous, oh so effortless wedding photographed to absolute perfection by Alice Hu Photography. And if you love it as much as we do, make sure to check out the additional deets in the gallery

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From the Bride…When Jon and I got engaged this past January, we knew three things: we wanted to get married this summer before I starting grad school; it was going to be in Los Angeles, where my 94 year-old grandmother lives (we live in DC); and we were going to get married outdoors, where we love to spend most of our time.  Beyond that, we had no idea what we were in for. Fortunately, our supportive and capable family and friends not only guided us through the process at times and gave us an outlet for our (read: my) neuroses, but also rolled up their sleeves and did some serious work.

Our parents helped us find our wonderful DJs,introduced us to a talented architect who designed our wedding invitations, took care of our wedding cake, and set us up with serious logistical support on the day-of.  One of Jon’s brothers selected and sourced our Santa Barbara wines and my brother, a budding guitarist, wrote and performed a beautiful song for our first dance; he also arranged our ceremony music with my college friend who is a talented cellist. Our good friend officiated our wedding beautifully, another coordinated the ceremony, and loved ones from all geographical distances inspired and executed my grand and vague visions of a DIY-filled, casual and elegant outdoor summer soiree where family and friends could celebrate our marriage with us – from the thumbprint “guestbook”, the wooden signs and cloth banners, the woven baskets pashminas, the circulated Polaroid cameras, the collection of jars, and our homemade granola favors with the Chinese symbol of double happiness – it all turned out so much more beautifully than I could have imagined.

In particular, the individually laser-cut, spray-painted, and handwritten escort cards, favor tags, and table numbers were incredible.We were also lucky to find wonderful vendors, particularly Elizabeth and Stephanie of Whoa Nelly! Catering. Beth and Stephanie worked tirelessly to create the feel for the night – they took care of every detail: the market string lights, the ice cream bar, the cocktail hour setup, down to the glassware.  They even found our talented florist at the last minute when I realized I wouldn’t be able to manage the flowers myself.  Most importantly, they created and executed the most amazing locally sourced, organic menu – many of our guests raved to us about how delicious the hors d’oeuvres and dinner was – not only the best wedding food they had ever had, but the most delicious food period. Without a wedding planner, we relied heavily on many amazing wedding blogs out there, SMP in particular, as well as on the talents of friends, family and luck.  Many of the most beautiful details happened rather serendipitously and within a two-week window before the wedding– a little too close for comfort but at the end of the day, it all worked out and, best of all, we had a great time, and we’re happily married!

Wedding Photography: Alice Hu Photography / Catering: WhoaNelly! Catering / Cocktail + Reception DJ: PJ Events / Placecards, Table Numbers, and Favor Tags: DIY / Floral Design: Jennifer Fleming of Outerbend Studio / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller / Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew / Hair + Make-up: Emily of Salon Shag / Suits: DKNY via Macy’s / Ties: Valentino via Bloomingdales / Event Coordination: Anita Lin, Friend of the Bride / Favors: Homemade Granola + Bags via Save-On Crafts / Pashminas: Belt Outlet / Invitation Artwork: Cris Oprea