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You’ll Love How This Bride Surprised Her Groom at Their Destination Wedding

When Chicago-based Lauren and Josh decided on a destination wedding in Southern California, it meant that their adorable pup Jackson would miss out on their big day. But to make up for his absence, Lauren surprised Josh with a life-size cutout of Jackson so could celebrate with them! See this and so many other heartfelt details from Lady Liberty Events, courtesy of onelove photography, in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Elegant

From Lady Liberty EventsWhen Lauren and Josh contacted us from Chicago to help them with their Los Angeles wedding, we instantly connected and helped put them at ease. I can’t imagine the difficulty in planning a wedding from a far…but let me tell ya, they were a dream to work with! They mostly expressed how important it was for them that the overall vibe didn’t feel stuffy, or restricted. They wanted their closest friends and family to have fun from the minute they walked inside the doors.

With the existing eclectic setting at Carondelet House and the rich colors surrounding, Lauren wanted to play with berry hues with accents of blush and gold. The exposed brick walls, rustic wood beams, and romantic vintage accents perfectly strewn throughout the venue provided us with a moody aesthetic to build off of.

The bridesmaids all held bundles of wild foliage wrapped with velvet ribbon which perfectly complimented the lush and vibrant bouquet that Lauren held. The fully bloomed peonies, fragrant garden roses, parrot tulips, pepper leaves and various breeds of fern that Crystal, from Heirloom Design House, created for Lauren was absolutely breathtaking.

The ceremony space was draped with white fabric and accented with loose foliage, and flickering candlelight. A simple yet stunning installation that could then be used to frame the sweetheart table during the reception. As a surprise to Josh, Jackson (their 80lb Lab/Boxer) made a special appearance! Knowing how important it was to feel like Jackson was a part of their day, Lauren had asked us to have a life size cut out of Jackson made so he could be there in spirit. Knowing how important it was to feel like Jackson was a part of their day, he was a huge success and was one of the most popular guests all night!

Lauren’s father (a talented musician), pre recorded his version of “Black Bird” of which he proudly walked his daughter down the aisle to. Lauren’s cousin, officiated the ceremony, creating a very personal and loving union that was so heartfelt and real. Jackson proudly stood next to both of them, as they tied the knot and kissed to seal the deal!

The cocktail hour consisted of a custom brew that Josh created for the wedding day, appropriately titled “Wedding Day IPA”. For the non-lager lovers, vintage coupes filled with bubbly, elderflower and fresh blackberries made for a pretty and tasty sip. As a special nod to Lauren’s mother, her favorite wine was available and titled “The Sami”. Josh also had custom etched pint glasses made as a take away for guests…they were a huge hit!

Cocktail tables were draped in blush linens styled with smilex garland and topped with petite posies in our berry hues. Guests visited the guest book area where they snapped polaroid photos to include in a book for Lauren and Josh. The set up was so much fun and enticed guests to leave their mark. It’s always a shame when the guest book gets overlooked…not the case here!

Once the dinner tables were set, the lights were dimmed, and the candles were flickering…guests were ready to come feast! A combination of rustic wood family style tables and linen draped rounds, filled the once before ceremony area…transforming the space into an intimate dinner setting. The sweetheart table was set with a chic rose gold sparkle linen and highlighted with vibrant berry hued blooms with lush greenery. Framed with the draped fabric swag and foliage, their table was simply glistening.

The guests tables were dressed with blush linens and runners, which helped lighten up the palate a tad, allowing our magnetic color palate to shine! Napkins, romantically tied with raw silk ribbon & custom name cards, were accented with pepper leaves tying each setting into the overall tablescape. Forged greens, interlaced with markets best blooms, provided a stunning yet non invasive garland down the center of the tables. One of my favorite details was the oversized hanging menu, adorned with greenery and surrounded by candlelight, which outlined the delicious fare for the evening.

Assorted sweets were displayed alongside the petite (fun-fetti + red velvet) wedding cake. At a very private together, Lauren and Josh cut the cake, smooched each other, snuck a bite…and went back to dance the night away with their closest and mostest! It was an evening filled with love and laughter from start to finish.

From The Bride…When we started planning, we didn’t know in what city we would be living by the time of the wedding. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and it will always be “home” to me. We thought it would be the perfect place to have a fall wedding that our guests would enjoy. There were certainly times that it was nerve wracking planning from afar, but Liberty and her team made everything a breeze! Basically, we wanted to have a fun party that didn’t feel too “wedding-y.” Most Importantly, we wanted our guests to be comfortable and to have a good time.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t take our 80 lb lab/boxer mix, Jackson, with us to California. Jackson is our baby and I couldn’t imagine not having him be incorporated in our wedding in some way. I had the idea of surprising Josh with a life-sized cardboard cutout of Jackson to stand with his groomsmen. It turned out amazing – guests loved taking pictures with him and it felt like he was still with us…without the incessant drooling and jumping on people.

One of they ways we wanted to show our personal style was with our specialty “cocktails. Josh has been brewing his own beer for several years so it was a no-brainer that he would create a special brew for our wedding, Wedding Day IPA. After crafting the recipe in Chicago, my cousin executed the final brew in California. We also wanted to include a fun cocktail that was simple and elegant. I love prosecco and Liberty designed the perfect combination by adding a splash of elderflower liqueur and a fresh blackberry . Not only did it taste delicious but it looked gorgeous! Finally, it was important to us to make an homage to my mom who passed away several years ago. She was known to love a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, so this was the clear choice for our final “cocktail”.

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Photography: onelove photography | Event Planning + Design: Lady Liberty Events | Floral Design: Heirloom Design House | Wedding Dress: Anne Barge | Invitations: Minted | Stationery: Prim & Pixie | Rings: Steve Quick Jeweler | Rings: Blue Nile | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Tres L.A. Catering | Makeup: Emily Dawn Artistry | Hair: Capella Salon | Groom's Attire: Kenneth Cole Reaction | Venue: Carondelet House | Linen Rentals: BBJ

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Old Hollywood Meets a Secret Garden in This LA Wedding

Central to any successful relationship is compromise, and while this Bride and Groom compromised on the perfect venue, which combined her love of nature with his appreciate for Old Hollywood Glamour, one thing they didn’t compromise on was a fabulous day. With vendors like Ryon:Lockhart PhotographyGeller EventsDavid Medill Productions and The Hidden Garden, every detail of this day came together perfectly. See it all in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
HotelOutdoor
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…Everybody says it, but the day really goes by so fast. You try your best to hold on to the precious moments, but after a blink the ceremony is done, and then you blink again and the band is already packing up. But even though it went by quick as a flash, we wouldn’t have changed a millisecond of it. Beautifully planned by Paige Blatt of Geller Events (lucky for us she was also one of my bridesmaids and best friends!), and extraordinarily captured by Ryon Lockhart Photography, our wedding was everything we wanted it to be and so much more.

Picking a venue was difficult, we weren’t sure if we would ever find that “perfect spot” to get married, but the second we stepped foot into the Garland Hotel we knew we had found “the one” (no pun intended). A hidden garden oasis in the middle of Studio City, it perfectly encapsulated my love of nature and my husband, Kyle’s, love of the old school Hollywood aesthetic. Our ceremony was in their beautiful lush garden, the cocktail hour was in an outdoor courtyard where we strung twinkle lights and brought in an acoustic trio, and the party was in the ballroom which we transformed into a vision of rustic romance.

Part of what made our wedding so unique, were all the little details we tried to incorporate, not just on our wedding day, but throughout the entire weekend. Our out of town guests were greeted at the hotel with welcome bags where we had personalized water bottles, some of our favorite goodies, and a custom made map (thanks, Geller Events!) of all of our favorite spots around Los Angeles. On the wedding day, glasses of champagne were being passed which had custom stirrers with our wedding date and initials on them. And in the ballroom, each seat had a mini Tabasco bottle, with the cutest custom sticker on it, including a bar code of our wedding date. Kyle and I love spicy food so we had to make sure to have some hot sauce accessible!

Yes, wedding planning can be stressful, and yes, sometimes it seems like it’s too daunting to manage, but when that day arrives, and everything is in motion, and you find yourself marrying your best friend in front of all of the most important people in your life, you realize that it was all worth it. Every tasting, every meeting, every fitting – worth it – even if it does only last a second.

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Photography: Ryon:Lockhart Photography | Videography: David Medill Productions | Event Design: Geller Events | Floral Design: The Hidden Garden | Wedding Dress: L'ezu Beverly Hills | Cake: Delice Bakery | Stationery: A Bud & Beyond | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Simon's Caterers | Makeup: Kathleen Hagan | Hair: Sabrina Johnson | Lighting: Lighten Up | DJ: Unite Entertainment | Band: West Coast Music | Venue: The Garland | Bride's Reception Shoes: Empress James

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Their Office Romance Ended in a Dream Modern Wedding

These two cuties? They had an office romance that would make even Jim and Pam a little jealous. Their casual flirtation led to a surprise proposal and eventually, a one of a kind wedding. A cool, relaxed, totally L.A. vibe fit their modern celebration to a T and we’re flipping through the whole gallery shot by The Great Romance Photo.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Groom…Our story begins at our office, where we first met each other almost 3 years ago. I first saw Sally when I interviewed for my current job, while our company was on a different floor renting office space from her. She happened to be covering the front desk, and when I walked in and said I was here for an interview, I could barely get the words out of my mouth because I was in awe of the beautiful girl in front of me: this insanely cute Asian girl with gorgeous eyes and long, dark hair. I was in heaven I was sure, but I knew this girl was out of my league and I didn’t stand a chance, so I did my interview and never thought anything else of it. The day I started a few weeks later, my company had moved to a different floor so there was no opportunity to say hello again.

‘Til one day at the office…I heard we were hiring someone from the old company upstairs to take over our office operations and admin responsibilities. It was surely fate, because it was that gorgeous girl from upstairs that walked into our office soon thereafter. After Sally was hired at our company, I took every opportunity I could to approach this beautiful girl with things I needed help for, and it turned out she was just as eager to seek me out for things she needed help with. This turned into frequent inter-office messaging/texting/talking where we both realized we were amazingly well aligned in our personal interests and passions. We both became completely infatuated with the other! Eventually I asked her out and since then, we have laughed and cried and grown from a blissful infatuation to a deep trusting love and friendship. On to the proposal….

‘Til one day at the office…I heard we were hiring someone from the old company upstairs to take over our office operations and admin responsibilities. It was surely fate, because it was that gorgeous girl from upstairs that walked into our office soon thereafter. After Sally was hired at our company, I took every opportunity I could to approach this beautiful girl with things I needed help for… and it turned out, she was just as eager to seek me out for things she needed help with. This turned into frequent inter-office messaging/texting/talking where we both realized we were amazingly well aligned in our personal interests and passions. We both became completely infatuated with the other! Eventually I asked her out and since then, we have laughed and cried and grown from a blissful infatuation to a deep trusting love and friendship. On to the proposal….

From The Bride… My birthday was slowly approaching and I had let Houston know that I did not want to do anything special. But he insisted that he would be planning something simple and to just be ready by noon on Saturday, April 25th; this is not out of the norm since he is such a sweetheart and is always planning fun things for me. So in true Houston fashion, he sent me an itinerary stating that we would be having a picnic, again not weird because we love picnics and had recently invested in an awesome picnic basket. This gave me no reason to believe that he was being sneaky in any other way. Saturday came and he picked me up right on time. We drove over to the UCLA campus and set up our picnic in the sculpture garden. Though some of the sculptures are absolutely hideous, it holds a special place in our hearts, as this was here Houston had asked me to be his girlfriend.

We laid out our blanket and started to eat some lunch. While we ate we watched other people having their own picnics and laying out in the grass. We also noticed a girl eating her lunch and practicing her violin. I joked about how fortuitous it was to have some music for our meal and, was considering tweeting about it. About 30 minutes into our meal Houston excused himself to go to the restroom. As I was sitting and waiting for him to return, I hear “HEY SALLY!” I look up to the violinist standing in front of me. I was totally weirded out. “I have a message for you” she continued, as I stared at her with a confused look on my face. And then I heard it. Our song being played by this violinist. I knew right then what was happening. I quickly turned around just in time to see Houston walking towards me. Then the waterworks! I was so shocked that I didn’t even stand up from my seated position on the picnic blanket. Houston eventually had to motion me to stand and everything after that was a blur. The most fantastic, lovely blur. I do remember him getting on one knee and asking him to marry me, but it is very blurry!

And it doesn’t stop there, he tells me there is someone waiting for me around the corner, I go and there’s his brother Maxx, bringing me presents! As I am opening my gifts, I turn around again and both our families are walking towards us! I couldn’t believe they were all there. There was lots of hugging, more crying and pictures taken. After the madness, Houston and I went over to the Hammer museum to take some time to be alone and digest what had just transpired. While we did that, the family left to go set up a movie night and dinner on the rooftop of his place. After a few hours, just as I had calmed down from what had happened, the doors opened and there on the roof were all our friends and family for a surprise engagement party! I just about lost it. I don’t think my body could have handled any more surprises but, it was magical. This is just how Houston is; he’s so thoughtful and caring. Only he would have been able to pull all that off without me finding out. On to the wedding planning…

From The Groom…As most couples who being the wedding planning process quickly discover, our experience could more or less be summed up for us with this phrase: “It costs how much for that!!?!?” From the beginning we decided we wanted a small and humble wedding, but being in Los Angeles (an epicenter for expensive wedding taste) forced us even more so to be budget conscious. Our vision for the wedding was fairly simple: find an industrial venue, use simple modern graphics, only white flowers, lots of simple greenery, and show off the venue by not over-decorating. We realized quickly that we needed to find a venue that displays our style that had everything included in it to reduce costs, but allowed a lot of flexibility at the same time. We are both designers (I am an architect and Sally went to school for fashion design), so finding the right venue was extremely important. After doing endless research and venue visits, we landed on the beautiful Arts District venue called Millwick that fit our style exactly: an old warehouse recently renovated into an amazing venue covered in greenery and gold, and equipped with unique features like massive roll-up glass doors, a beautiful courtyard and a killer bar. Millwick allowed our decorations budget to be minimal because the venue did all the work for us.

Our florist and coordinator Sarah Park Events did an amazing job helping us realize Sally’s all white and greenery idea with the beautiful bouquets and garland running the length of the long tables. Accents of gold were used for table numbers and gift card holders to pay tribute to the venue’s gold accents. I created all the graphics myself (with Sally’s approval of course!), to reflect our color scheme and design style – white backgrounds with simple green and light grey graphics. The main graphic we created was the H+S logo which we plastered everywhere we could, and even burned it into the the wood bar top surface at the venue!

For our food and drink we wanted to do something very LA that fit the venue well. To us that meant street food, craft beer, and excellent coffee. Not only was it much more fun for our guests, it tasted better, it showed off our true style, and it was a much more cost-effective route to go. We brought in several kegs of different Angel City Beer, Kogi BBQ to do the catering (mmm blackjack quesadillas), Huntington Catering Company as a service staff, Two Kids Coffee to do our espresso catering, and Jamaica’s Cakes for the wedding cake who did a phenomenal job making Sally’s dreams come true (she has a serious, serious obsession with cake).

The most important thing to us above all else was hiring a great photographer. We both love fine art wedding photography, especially images shot with high-end film cameras. In our search we found Connie and Tommy Chang of The Great Romance Photography and were instantly in love with them as a couple and photographers. They both have an incredible ability to make each image an art piece because of their backgrounds in film and art, and technical ability with their gear. The wedding was better than we even dreamed of and couldn’t have been happier with the team of vendors, the venue and the beautiful day it turned out to be!

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Photography: The Great Romance Photo | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: Jamaica’s Cakes | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS | Catering: Kogi Truck | Groomsmen Attire: ASOS | Venue: Millwick | Event Planning + Floral Design: Sarah Park Events | Hair Accessories: Olivia

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here