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DIY Wedding at SmogShoppe

When a bride handcrafts 150 feet of tassel garland in the months before the wedding, you know the day will be something really special. And while I’ve swooned my fair share of SmogShoppe ”I dos” this DIY beauty from Leila Brewster truly takes the cake. Fresh and hip, yet elegant and refined, you’d be hard pressed to find a gallery more pin-worthy than this.

Art Venue

From the Bride… Jesse and I are complete opposites. With that in mind it’s pretty amazing that we both had the same vision for our wedding – fun, full of life and unhindered by things that traditionally “have to be done”. We wanted an intimate ceremony, but an epic party – a wedding that represented us one hundred percent. Seeing SmogShoppe for the first time, I had stars in my eyes and Jesse signaled his signature nod of approval. Beautiful, hip and with a subtle element of surprise, it was the perfect venue for us.

As with all weddings, décor options are without limit, but because SmogShoppe had so many marvelous style elements already, we wanted to keep it simple. I have always loved the look of Confetti’s System’s tassel garlands, and I was inspired to craft my own set – all 150 feet of it. As a freelance painter, I had the time, but it was still a monstrous project to take on. Several months later, with the help of Jesse and my friends, and an uncountable number of hours of folding, cutting and twisting, we were finally done. It was truly a labor of love and the results were nothing short of fantastic!

In the midst of all this, Tracy – my coordinator from The Bride Concierge – went with me on a little adventure to downtown LA’s textile district to hunt for burlap fabric to use as table runners, along with ribbons to bring a peach and pink color scheme to life. We cut the burlap and stripped the sides to give it a warm, rustic look. And who doesn’t love some accents of gold glitter to top it all off? It was the perfect way to imbue the tables with just the right amount of sparkle!

I was overflowing with emotion on our wedding day as we watched it all come together with truly breathtaking floral arrangements from Erin of Dandelion and Grey. Coral and blush hued peonies, dahlias and ranunculus perfectly complimented the vintage stamps from our wedding invitations. Our photographer, Leila Brewster, did an amazing job capturing the essence of our décor and the spirit of our wedding and I really couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.

As for the day itself, it was a blast! Our ceremony was immediate family only and felt like a warm hug; like a sanctuary in this crazy, fast-paced world that we live in. Without an awkward walk down an aisle, a bridal party, or even a bouquet to worry about, the focus was drawn completely to us, our love, and the ones whom we hold dear. Seventy-three of our closest loved ones soon joined us for dinner and a party that raged on well past everyone’s bed times.

We danced and whooped and bounced off the walls all the way until the very end and I’ll always remember that it was a night bursting with laughter and love. Jesse and I were so glad we did everything our way – no fuss, no muss – and we are so grateful that we had such a dream team of sweet, supportive and exceptionally skilled people who went above and beyond for us the whole way.

Photography: Leila Brewster | Floral Design: Dandelion + Grey | Catering: Huntington Catering Company | Planning + Coordination: Tracy Choy at The Bride Concierge | Venue: SmogShoppe

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California Wedding from Mindy Weiss + Elizabeth Messina Part II

If you thought the first part of today’s affair was beautiful, you’re going to want to crawl through your computer screen over the second part. That dress by Monique Lhuillier that literally induced squeals heard round the office. The ceremony and reception that were crafted into pure magic under a canopy of chandeliers at the hands of Mindy Weiss and flowered by Mark’s Garden. It’s all folded into a day that reminds me of why I love my job so much; poring over a beautiful wedding full of love and wildly gorgeous images by Elizabeth Messina. I call that a really amazing day at work. See the whole affair from beginning to sparkling end right here.


From the Bride… With the help of Mindy (i.e., the extraordinarily talented Mindy Weiss, who we just think of as mom, or “maj” ), and all of her amazing and generous friends and colleagues, our wedding was all we could have ever hoped for and more. We had a lot of fun during the planning process; we woke up early on Sunday mornings and scoured flea markets for vintage green and blue glass vases for our tables, we brainstormed our favorite 90s rap songs that we used as our ceremony music (we used classical string renditions), Jordan and I even made our own “beer tasting” date one Saturday afternoon to decide on the beers that would be served at our “beer garden.”

We were beyond lucky. When my mom walked into the space where our ceremony took place on our wedding day, she said it looked like paradise with all of the beautiful trees and flowers. That’s exactly what the whole day felt like to me — paradise surrounded by our friends, family and all of the love that went into planning our wedding. I’m so grateful for every moment of it!

Wedding Photography: Elizabeth Messina / Wedding Venue: The Bookbindery in Culver City, California / Wedding Design + Planning: Mindy Weiss Party Consultants / Floral Design: Mark’s Garden / Wedding Cinematography: Vidicam Productions / Wedding Catering: The Kitchen for Exploring Foods / Wedding Cake: Charm City Cakes West / Wedding Stationery: Lehr and Black / Music: West Coast Music / After Party DJ: Danno Metoyer / Sound: Design Sound / Lighting: Images by Lighting / Furnishings and Fabric: Revelry Event Designers / Rentals + Tabletop: Classic Party Rentals / Soap Favors: You Smell /  Linens: Resource One Inc. / Ceremony Chairs: Chameleon Chair Collection / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti / Bride’s Earrings: Vintage / Bride’s Nail Polish: London Butter / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August / Mindy’s Dress: Reem Acra / Hair for Bride + Mothers of the Bride and Groom: Eric Bilardi / Makeup for the Bride + Mothers of the Bride and Groom: Renee Eisenman / Groom’s Suit: Dolce and Gabbana / Groomsmen’s Suits: Ralph Lauren

Joanna August and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.
LA Wedding at Marrakesh House from onelove photography

Colorful weddings always stand out in my mind. I think it’s the vibrancy of the day that really gets me and with this Marrakesh House, that vibrancy is palpable. A couple with smiles as big as the state of Texas and a wedding crafted to reflect that energy and love is one you can’t go wrong with. Take florals beautifully designed by Seed Floral and images captured by onelove photography, weave them all together and BOOM! We have ourselves a looker with a whole lot of heart. See it all right here.

From the Bride… We wanted our wedding to truly be a labor of love. We were so thrilled to tie the knot, surrounded by our favorite people, after seven and a half years together, and we were so excited to share with them a visual representation of ourselves. Sean is a big-picture thinker, and I notice details, so we made a great wedding planning team. He could articulate his visions for the day in the larger terms — great food (mac and cheese was a must!), great drink (why not have a scotch bar?), honest vendors and danceable music. I was in charge of the details — vintage, Moroccan-looking magazines for the tables, a Marlene Dietrich movie (Morocco, of course) screening in the library and details that highlighted my Italian heritage. Working on it together made it feel like our day, which is what a wedding is, rather than just the bride’s day. We both had a hand in everything that made our day special, making it all the more memorable and drawing us even closer.

I have a strong affinity for our table numbers. They were fairly simple — we got dollar store 8×10-inch frames and painted them, then collected all the family wedding photos we could find. We copied the photos and added numbers for each table, as well as an explanation of their relationship to us and the year they were married. We learned so much about our families through this process, sitting with our grandparents and hearing their wedding stories. We even found wedding photos for some of our great-grandparents! It was a great way to incorporate the whole family into our wedding.

Once you’ve decided on your total budget, make a list of your priorities. Some things are worth the money, and some aren’t — it’s different for everyone. We picked food and photography as our priorities. The venue and music were next. This gave us a sense of how much money to allot to each element of our wedding. The items we had to be more frugal with ended up being just as great because it forced us to be creative. We only had a little bit of money for invites, so we found a way to make our own. We couldn’t afford a rental photo booth, so we used an inexpensive program and our laptop to make our own, complete with goofy props. In the end, you will be married, and everything else is just a detail that you can emphasize as much or as little as you want.

The whole day was so memorable and wonderful — lots of warm fuzzies from being surrounded by friends and family and getting to marry my best friend. One of my favorite moments though was at the very end of the night. Our venue required a shuttle as there is no parking nearby. My husband and I took the shuttle down with the last few remaining guests. Someone mentioned that they had been hoping to hear the Chicken Dance and were sad that we hadn’t played it. The shuttle driver heard, pulled over and put it on his iPod so we could dance. People and cars were stopping to see what we were doing, but we didn’t care. My husband and I, our best man and bridesmaid, and about six of my dad’s cousins chicken-danced proudly in the bus for all to see. Such a sweet gesture by the driver and such a memorable end to the party!

Wedding Photography: onelove photography / Wedding Venue: Marrakesh House in Culver City, California / Floral Design: Seed Floral / Wedding Day Coordination: Michelle Rodriguez of Eco Caters / Officiant: Rev. Clint Hufft / Catering: Eco Caters / Wedding Cake: Lisa and Mo / DJ: Ian Gotler of Red Shoe / Lighting + Rentals: Town & Country Event Rentals / Wedding Dress: Lea Ann Belter via Ivory Suite Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: ModCloth / Hair: Christine Crest of Chrome Salon & Spa / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Groom’s Attire: Express

J.Crew and Lea-Ann Belter are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. onelove photography and Eco Caters are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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