When you send out your wedding invitations, and people start getting them in their mailbox, the excitement really starts brewing. I figure it is the very beginning of your wedding. It’s a glimpse into what your colors will be, what the ambiance will feel like, the formality of the event. So when the guests of this California wedding opened up their invites, from the wonderful MagnetStreet, they knew to expect tradition with a twist, lots of fabulous colors, and a fun, glamourous atmosphere. And judging by the photos from Melissa Brandman Photography, I’d say they were not disappointed. The whole affair lives up to the gorgeous, lively invites. And that is something worth celebrating – all afternoon in the full image gallery.

Evan and I met at UC San Diego’s Hillel. I was looking for the perfect Jewish guy and I found him! I was eyeing him as soon as I saw him. The night that started it all was at a Hillel dance at a local bar and some wave of courage came over me and I asked him to dance. Evan takes great pleasure in telling everyone that I picked him up at a bar. Our shared love for good food, baseball and Lord of the Rings were a sure sign that we’d be sticking together for quite some time.

We hadn’t even thought of Bridges Auditorium as a venue until we heard that a friend had done some photography work there. Claremont was my second home growing up. I absolutely loved that east coast feel, the big leafy trees, antique architecture. When we found out that Bridges worked with the catering company that did my friend’s wedding where the food was incredible, it was like it was all meant to be! It was so perfect. When we visited Bridges, we fell in love with the elegance and sophistication.

I knew that I wanted our wedding to be unique which for me, started with the color palette. I had gone through the rainbow multiple times in my head and nothing seemed to pop. Turquoise is one of my favorite colors so I began playing around with that. I also knew that I had to have something kind of bright so I landed on orange. Black for tuxes didn’t seem to jive so Jennifer, who did the flowers, suggested grey. Who knew?! The combo was perfect.

I was also really into the Spanish look, eying invitations with a tile-theme, and referring back to my lacy dress for inspiration on the details that would really jazz up the occasion. As in most cases, the bride was making a lot of the decisions. I did my best to include Evan in whatever we did, but he knew that he wouldn’t have much say at the end of the day. He insisted on three things though: the quilt being made by his mom, that our Grand Entrance song was “The Final Countdown” and that succulents were incorporated into the floral arrangements. All three were perfect choices, though I was hesitant about the song and succulents at first… now I know not to ever doubt his decisions again.

Evan and I knew that we wanted some special touches that represented each of our families to really bring everybody together. Not only did we incorporate the chuppah, an element of Jewish wedding tradition to the ceremony, but Evan’s mom made a quilt as the covering. Its gorgeous tones of gold, brown and beige were so perfect during the ceremony as the sun was setting. We’ll get to keep the quilt forever. From my side of the family, it was inevitable that hints of Brazilian flare would be spicing up the occasion. From the guestbook and keepsake boxes both hand-crafted by my aunt, to the samba cocktail music and the surprise serenade performed by my mother, grandmother and aunts, it was a night to remember. (The serenade melted my heart.)

Everything went by so fast but what I remember most was standing under the chuppah, holding my husband’s hands, looking into each other’s eyes and just smiling. I felt like I was on a cloud (except for the pain I felt on the balls of my feet).  The pictures are so incredible and capture everything so flawlessly which makes reliving the entire day such an enjoyment. It warms our hearts every time we go through them. The whole day was absolutely perfect! I felt so glamorous and happy. Evan and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Photography: Melissa Brandman Photography / Ceremony Location: Bridges Auditorium / Reception Location: Bridges Auditorium / Catering: Gourmet Gourmet / Frozen Yogurt Bar: 21 Choices / Flowers: Jennifer Lafferty / DJ: Rhythm Entertainment / Invitations: MagnetStreet / Shoes: Caparros / Dress: Allure Bridals / Bride’s Clutch: ANGEE W. / Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy

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