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Tara Keely and Blush by Hayley Paige Trunk Show

With all the wedding dress options out there, I’m always drawn to that timeless combination of classic + modern, which may explain why I’m head over heels with the Fall 2015 Tara Keely + Blush by Hayley Paige collections. And lucky for you Southern California brides, they’ll be featured at the JLM Couture trunk show July 10-12, 2015! Mark your calendars m’dears!!

Held at the JLM Couture West Hollywood Flagship location, this is a trunk show you won’t want to miss. Known for their gorgeous silhouettes, amazing detailing and luxe fabrics, the dresses in the Blush by Hayley Paige + Tara Keely collections are as lovely as can be. All dresses featured are not only stunning but affordable (We’re talking under $3000!) plus all brides who purchase a gown that weekend will be given 10% off!

Head over here to find out more about the show and to book your appointment! Happy dress hunting, dears.

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Romantic Vintage-Inspired Surprise Wedding

Surprising dozens of guests who think they’re attending an engagement party instead of the actual nuptials is tough to pull off — especially with as many thoughtful and beautiful details as this gorgeous lovefest. Lucky for us, Megan Welker Photography was there to capture every moment, from the Groom’s ecstatic reaction to the first look, to the beautiful Bride’s walk down the aisle. See it all in the gallery here!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Villa

From Chloe+MintMark loves to surprise Vanessa any chance he gets. So it was only appropriate that Vanessa and Mark would plan a surprise wedding! Family and friends of Vanessa and Mark were invited to an “engagement party”, only to be revealed to right before the ceremony that they were going to be witnessing a wedding! Alongside Chloe+Mint, Vanessa and Mark designed a beautiful wedding, inspired by a romantic setting with a vintage flair. We brought in some beautiful pieces of furniture from Mint Vintage and created a romantic floral design. The venue itself was just beautiful as is but Vanessa and Mark wanted to incorporate a few sentimental pieces as well.

We loved Vanessa’s blush colored dress! And with Mark’s black and blue attire, it went perfectly with our theme. Although the Bride and Groom asked the wedding party the day of to walk down the aisle, everyone was dressed to the nines.

From The Bride… It’s almost impossible to describe the energy the moment of walking down the aisle. I’ve never felt so much love, support and excitement like that ever before. Walking down the aisle to Mark was definitely the best 3 minutes of my life! And really, the entire night was just a dream. After planning so long in secret and seeing everything come to fruition and in action, was all just amazing. The whole night was just magical — maybe too crazy of a party since my sisters water broke 24 hours later!

Photography: Megan Welker Photography | Videographer: Jordan Schulz | Floral Design: Chloe+Mint | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Invitations: Mashee Suites | Catering: Tres L.A. Catering | Hair and Makeup: Lauren | DJ: Prestige Event Pros | Wedding Venue: Carondelet House | Bridal Bouquet: Ellamah | Cake and Desserts: Semi Sweet Bakery | Coordination/ Design: Chloe+Mint | Furniture: Mint Vintage

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Whimsical + Bright Los Angeles Wedding

Bright and whimsical—this L.A. affair is everything a summer wedding ought to be. And that’s just the beginning. From the Bride’s mother singing “Ave Maria,” to the invitation graphics designed by the Bride’s sister, and florals and cookies created by friends, family and friends banded together to make this couple’s wedding a truly special occasion, which Lucy Muñoz captured to perfection. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden
Styles
Whimsical

From Lucy MuñozThis beautiful summer wedding had everything you could hope for—pops of corals and yellows with gold accents that were wrapped up in gorgeous sunlight! Stephanie and Frank had DIY touches and help from friends to create so much of what made her wedding fabulous. It made guests stop and look in delight! Her florals were done by her good friend Missy Fine, her sister did the graphics on her invites. Bridesmaids helped sew the napkins that were used at dinner. Her mom sang a beautiful rendition of the Ave Maria during mass. Her cookies were baked by friends and a few local bakeries. All of her friends and family pulled together, using their resources and creativity to create a one of a kind experience.

Photography: Lucy Munoz | Florist: Missy Fine | Wedding Dress: Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique | Wedding Cake: The Lark Bake Shop | Invitations: A Alpha Wedding Invitation Co. | Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Hair & Makeup: Anna Lee | DJ: DJ Bleev | Venue: Los Angeles Arboretum | Cookies: Lark Bake Shop | Cookies: The Eagle Rock Bakery | Cookies: Lemon Poppy Kitchen | Second Shooter: Jon CU

The Sound of Music with The FlashDance

The reception is the perfect place for guests to let loose, but curating the ultimate dance party (with seamless transitions)? Well, it’s no east feat. Which is why we turn our tables to the professionals dance party starters. Cue The FlashDance, who has given us an inside scoop on what it takes to create a memorable musical fete below!

Ceremony

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t walk down the aisle to whatever suits your fancy! You will never regret the parts of the wedding that you, as a couple, incorporate from your actual life (not someone else’s). You most certainly will regret walking down the aisle to some stuffy chamber music because a relative insisted, or trying to be extra hip and doing something trendy. Be authentic and true to yourself with every song you choose. Try not to choose too many songs, less is more. Make your recessional (after you kiss) song upbeat and fun! Sevie Wonder or Michael Jackson are good, but maybe Johnny Cash or The Smiths is more your style.

First Dance

Limit to one song that’s less than 3 minutes (if possible). Have the father & daughter start the dance, mother & son join halfway through. I like to ask guests to join as well for the last portion. Immediately following the first slow dance, everyone of your friends (bridal party if you have one) should look like track runners on their starting blocks waiting for the gun to fire. The “gun” should be a seriously amazing song, a surefire party starter! All of your ‘go to’ dancers should know that as soon as the father daughter song is over it’s time to rush the dance floor and nothing gets a party hype like all your guests dancing like lunatics to a super fun song! Why do our first dance before dinner you ask? Good question!

ONE | You know when everyone hugs the wall nervously waiting for the first person to shake it? Yeah, it’s not a good look. If you have your first dance before dinner you will clear the awkward energy on the dance floor and get everyone really excited for the dance party that will follow after entrees

TWO | If you get nervous about slow dancing in front of everyone, it’s nice to get this out of the way and enjoy your dinner, rather than let it weigh heavy on you while you pound martinis and push your food around on your plate!

THREE | Everyone is still looking cute, hair is in place, outfits are not a sweaty disheveled mess, and as a result you will actually get some great photos of your first dance!

Cut the cake

Please do it before the dancing starts (pretty please)? If you absolutely can’t do that, please DO NOT stop the music for an audience. Instead, grab your sweetheart, your photographer, and maybe your folks and go do it in a corner! Nobody else really cares and announcing it and/or changing music will put a halt to all dancing which will take even the most experienced maestro 20 – 30 minutes to recover from.

Dinner

Get all speeches out of the way before dinner is over! Nobody wants to be waiting around to party while Uncle Jim talks about the time you crashed your dad’s car when you were 16… Another quick note, it’s way more natural to have the guests who are speaking just come up and announce themselves (if necessary) no need to have your DJ stumble over people’s names that everyone already knows.

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Timeless Elegant Indoor Los Angeles Wedding

What are some special details you’re incorporating on your Big Day? Take this pair, who honored the Bride’s late mother with a bouquet of her favorite Enchanted Garden flowers placed on her empty chair. It’s thoughtful details like these Michael and Anna Costa captured, and there are more meaningful moments a la Orange Blossom Special Events, here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
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Event Venue

From Orange Blossom Special EventsVanessa and Eric were married at Carondelet House on October 19th of last year. The vendor list alone made this wedding incredible…everyone’s hard work DEFINITELY paid off and the Bride couldn’t thank everyone enough for the special touches that made her and her new Husband’s day so amazing. After the first look but before the ceremony, Vanessa took a few moments to have alone time with her father before walking down the aisle and Eric did the same with his sons. It was a very special time for them while their friends and family mingled downstairs, waiting for the couple to tie the knot!

From the Bride… When we set out to plan our wedding, we gave ourselves the following parameters: intimate, timeless, stress-free and a reflection of us. These parameters influenced our choice of wedding venue, which had been a private residence built in the 1920’s and reminiscent of an old villa. Along with our floral design, our wedding achieved a timeless look and feel.

Our parameters narrowed our vendor selection to those who could execute well with little direction. With both of us working full-time and the demands of running my own business, we didn’t have much time for details. Plus planning a wedding in 9 months was added pressure. We ultimately built an experienced team of vendors who had not only worked together in the past, but loved working with one another. This proved to be a wise decision evidenced by how smoothly our wedding day went. No detail was overlooked; everything went perfectly, beautifully, and without a hitch.

It was important for the day to be stress-free, which led us to our excellent wedding planner. We also made non-traditional choices such as to forgoing the traditional bridal party of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and skipping the rehearsal dinner and day-after brunch. I can honestly say, as a result of our decisions, the planning process was not terribly stressful and the day-of was most definitely stress-free!

It was also important for us to honor what makes our union unique. We wanted to acknowledge our newly blended family by giving Eric’s children a special role in the ceremony. We honored my late mother with a bouquet of her favorite flowers placed on her empty chair. And my father’s dog stole the show when he was pulled down the aisle in a Radio Flyer red wagon. We paid homage to my Chinese heritage with a mid-reception dress change to a bespoke Chinese dress or “qipao,” modernized with an intricate pattern of gold-colored thread.

Photography: Michael And Anna Costa | Event Planning: Orange Blossom Special Events | Floral Design: Enchanted Garden | Cake: Dolce Bakery | Catering: Tres LA Catering | Hair & Makeup: Emily Dawn Artistry | DJ: Pacific Events | Officiant: LA Wedding Woman | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Carondelet House | Linen Rentals: A Packaged Parties

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here