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Autumnal Romance in Southern California

Fall = Romance, in my book. Something about warm colors aligned with the release from unrelenting heat beckons love. Take a look at this bride whose October wedding perfectly captures the feeling with rustic DIY touches, deep blue and orange hues (and succulents for a nice Southwestern touch). Keep scrolling for stunning images from the guys at Studio 7 who were there to document the event.


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Fall
Settings
Al Fresco

From the Bride… October 19, 2012 was an unseasonably warm day in Southern California. It was already sunny and mild when I got to the location at 11am to begin hair and makeup with my mother, sister, future sister in law and best friend. The girls and I hung out and watched “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Father of the Bride” as we got ready. I started getting that nervous excited feeling as I knew I was about to get to see my soon to be husband for the first time.

Seeing him made me immediately feel calm and at peace; this is what all of the planning was for! I did not hire a wedding planner, I wanted to be involved, and instead had a friend (who does weddings at another local venue) suggest some vendors for me and also manage the actual ‘Day Of’ details. I tried throughout the process to keep it simple and let my vendors do what they do best by standing out of their way, but try as I might, there were still many details to sort out leading up to the ‘big day’. However, from our “first look” on, I forgot about all those details. Everything fell into place and I felt stunned by the beauty of how everything came together. Also, because we kept the bridal party to just family, we had time to hang out and enjoy ourselves, keeping stress to a minimum.

The ceremony was the most special for me. Having my mother walk me down the aisle, to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” brought tears to our eyes. A dear friend performed the ceremony that combined the traditions and values of our two cultures thoughtfully and respectfully. We included the Jewish traditions of the Chuppah and Ketubah, as well as stomping on a glass, and of course we danced the Hora at the reception. A friend of mine read a verse from the old testament and the new, representing the Christian faith of my family. Three of my mother’s friends wrote a song for us, and performed it at dinner, which was a tradition in their family that was a hilarious addition to our night.

The evening was stayed warm enough for all to dance and mingle until it was over. And it was over so quickly! I’m grateful to have these pictures that truly capture our joy.

Photography: Studio 7 | Cinematography: Charles Amante | Event Design: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Flowers: Floral Occasions | Wedding Dress: Blue By Enzoani | Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Shoes: Pelle Moda | Catering: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Hair: Sarah Ramirez From Holiday Salon | Groom Suit: Hickey Freeman | Makeup: Stacey Craven From Smoke And Mirrors | Rentals: Signature Rentals | Tie: Ermenegildo Zegna

Bella Figura is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Bella Figura

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Kentucky Derby Wedding Inspiration

I might be a Midwest-turned-East Coast girl, but this Kentucky Derby weekend I’m embracing my inner Southern Belle all the way. And thanks to The Purple Tree24 CarrotsWildflower Linens and a whole crew of fabulous vendors, it’s easier than ever. Simply pop on your most stylish hat and peruse the gallery right over here!

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Spring
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Farm
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Casual

From Lori Yohe of The Purple Tree… I had this dream of putting together a very elegant wedding shoot styled around the fun and the glamour of the Kentucky Derby. I wanted to show that it could be dreamy and modern while still infusing plenty of the Derby’s signature marks into the day. Finding the perfect venue was the hardest part, so when I saw the chandeliers in the barn at Giracci Vineyards I was sold! This venue has so much potential for tons of variety, and our vendors really brought their A-game with creating such a fresh spin on an old American classic event. Now I’d love to see real brides incorporate some of these ideas into their day! Because really, who wouldn’t love a Bourbon Bar?

Photography: Lori Yohe, The Purple Tree | Wedding Dress: Mary Me Bridal | Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery | Catering: 24 Carrots | Hair And Makeup: Joyce Luck | Bourbon Bar: Hi Time Wine Cellar | Coordination: Queen Tut Events & Design, Joanna Tutwiler | Floral Design + Details: Foxtail Florals & Design, Corie Sielaff | Invitations And Paperie: Papercut Invites | Limousine: Lake Forest Limos | Linens: Wildflower Linens | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Stylist: Hope Stanley | Wedding Venue: Giracci Vineyards And Farms

24 Carrots and Wildflower Linen are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
24 Carrots

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Wildflower Linen

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Colorful Orange, CA Wedding

Three of my favorite things: Southern California, colorful weddings and a crazy talented group of friends and family all coming together to make that aforementioned colorful wedding happen.  And this sweet affair?  Well, it has all three with beautiful blooms from Lauren Valladares + Collected With Love, sweet DIY details and one gorgeous moment after another from Rachel McCauley.  See them here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… We really wanted our wedding day to capture who we are as a couple and to be as personal as possible. When we moved to Old Towne Orange (OTO) almost four years ago, we immediately fell in love with its historic charm. From the impeccably kept old craftsman homes to the exposed brick shops in the circle, we love it all. You can find us shopping the OTO farmers’ market every Saturday, and we relish being able to walk into the circle to grab a bite to eat or peruse the numerous antique shops. In fact, my engagement ring and our wedding bands are from a local antique jeweler in the circle. So when it came to deciding on where our wedding would take place, it was a no-brainer; it had to be in OTO. Venue options were limited, but after stumbling upon the Woman’s Club of Orange, we knew it would be the perfect location for us. It’s a beautiful 1920’s building that has once served as a billet for GI’s during World War II and a facility for the Red Cross.

We are so fortunate to have family and friends that are in the wedding business. My sister, Lauren Valladares, is a talented florist and stylist who works for Archive Rentals. She and I chose the tabletop pieces for the table, all of which came from Archive. My mom and I chose the fabric for the table runners, and a family friend was kind of enough to sew all of them for us. My sister and her good friend Malorie Clampitt, who is also an amazing florist, chose all the florals and created magic with them. One of my favorite aspects of the day was the gorgeous arch. I simply gave them my ideas and they ran with them. I knew I wanted oranges (the fruit) to be incorporated into the floral design, as a nod to OTO and they did a wonderful job of doing so. Malorie was able to connect with a friend whose family owns orange groves, and provided the crates of oranges for the aisle entrance. All of the credit for the exquisite design and details must be given to both Lauren and Malorie, and all of our family and friends who helped put it all together.

My oldest sister, Ana, did my makeup that day and she also baked our wedding cake. Other family and friends pitched in and baked other desserts for our dessert table. Ana’s husband, Bennett, is a LA-based DJ and he kindly DJed for us.

As for food, we knew we wanted food that was casual yet tasty. We really liked the idea of a taco truck, what’s more representative of Southern California than tacos? When we went to sample SoHo Taco, we knew that they were the ones! Our guests loved them, too.

Some of the DIY projects included the pinwheel backdrop I made for the stage. I wanted something to highlight the stage and to draw attention to the DJ. All supplies were bought at Michael’s and I simply folded up colored paper into pinwheels and hot-glued it to two foam-core poster boards and then connected the poster boards with wire. Some friends helped me hang the backdrop the day before the wedding by tying it up to the rafters above the stage with twine.

Another DIY project was all of the signage for the day. I designed most of it by downloading different fonts on dafont.com and formatting it all on either MS Word or MS PowerPoint. My friend Hillary helped me with some of the design and printed it all. We then mounted the printouts onto foam core and framed them with frames that I had bought at thrift stores and painted gold.

The day couldn’t have been any better. Even though it took A LOT of DIY planning and executing, it was all worth it. We loved that it was so personal and that our friends and family really pitched in to help make the day just as we had imagined it.

Photography: Rachel McCauley | Wedding Dress: David's Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Soho Taco | DJ: DJ Bennett | Grooms' Attire: J.Crew | Day-Of Coordination, Event Styling & Floral Design: Collected With Love | Event Styling & Floral Design: Lauren Valladares | Groom's Pre-Ceremony Location: Haven Gastropub | Photography - Assistance: Melissa Lipking | Wedding Venue: Woman's Club Of Orange

Donna Morgan and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.