At the surface, this wedding is stunning. The kind you could get lost in for hours because every moment planned by Bash Please and captured by Paige Jones is just as pretty as it gets. But when you start peeling back all the layers and get to the core of this beautiful day, you realize it’s so much more than just pretty. It’s meaningful. It’s handwritten notes given to each guest, it’s a description from the Bride worth reading over and over, and it’s a wonderful celebration of love. It’s everything.
From Paige Jones…Brooke and Max had a classic, elegant affair this April in Ojai California. Lots of lovely navy hues as well as leather elements were paired perfectly with spring florals scattered throughout the beautiful day. Brooke has a beautiful story to tell if you decide to go ahead and feature this event. Also SHARK PIG will have a stunning video to share as well!
From The Bride…As far as design, Max and I went into planning with no idea what we wanted. Our only goal was to create an environment where everyone could have fun. That and dancing. Lots of dancing. Feeling both excited and daunted by the possibilities, we began with finding a location. I’m from New England and Max is from the Midwest, but we’ve both lived in Southern California for over ten years. We met here and fell in love here. As such, it has special meaning for us. Our hope was to escape for the weekend with our nearest and dearest to a quiet oasis in nature. Ojai was the perfect spot. It’s beautiful, rustic, historic and smells of orange groves and lavender. The place is pure magic. We had seen several venues, but when we stepped foot onto the estate where we ultimately got married, we just knew. It’s tempting, I think, to get caught up in the endless options and to intellectualize every decision. In weddings, as in life, there’s a lot to be said for trusting your gut. Once we had chosen our venue, all the other details unfurled organically.
What I loved about working with Bash, Please was their receptiveness to our very abstract descriptions. We knew how we wanted our wedding to feel, so I just drew up lists of sensory triggers and adjectives that evoked those feelings. For example: spring, California, nature, rustic, Tuscan feast, botanical herbs, whiskey, 1920s, cut crystal vessels, Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, Chesterfield chairs, gardenia, musk, leather, linen, casual glamour, blended masculine and feminine sensibilities, romantic, classic. Our wonderful planners were able to translate these ridiculously abstract lists into beautiful, tangible design elements.
A correspondence with our stationery designer, Megan Gonzalez of Mae Mae Paperie…We’re aiming to create a sophisticated style with a nod to heirloom that will be made tactile through textured design & application. The design will reference well-loved library book covers, worn-in leather study chairs, handwritten letters with wax seals, and personalized emblem & patterns. The palette includes: faded textured blue, regal navy, rich tan & coffee, ivory, gold and copper. Think navy & gold antique library books, gold foil calligraphy, Italian natural paper enclosures, flat printed cards with dusty blue book-cloth texture, and navy letterpress on ivory paper as a nod to vintage title pages.
My mother created gorgeous kraft welcome boxes adorned with custom M+B stamps and tied with twine and sprigs of fresh lavender. The boxes included local wines, lavender lemonade, Ojai pixie tangerines and other treats.
I’m a big fan of written correspondence, so each guest also received a personal, handwritten note in his or her welcome box. Writing these notes was a wonderful practice in gratitude – a sort of meditative experience during which Max and I gave thanks for each guest’s presence in our lives and at our wedding.
I loved so many of the crafted details, from the hand-calligraphed escort cards to the locally sourced rosemary in our cocktails, to the thoughtfully composed paper goods. I take no credit for any of this. Our vendors, family and friends really pulled together to create this magical experience, and so many of the crafted details at our wedding were a complete surprise to me. Having been involved in pretty much every aspect of the planning, Max and I delighted in being pleasantly surprised on our wedding day. In a sense, the surprises were the best part!
I would give any bride a piece of advice I received from my veil designer, the Los Angeles-based artist Sonia Boyajian. At the final fitting for my custom 1920s-inspired silk tulle cathedral veil, I asked Sonia where we should pin it to make sure it stayed put on the day. In her infinite wisdom, Sonia gently reminded me that everything is in a constant state of motion. Life is not fixed. Art is not fixed. This veil is not fixed. It will move when I move and shift when the breeze blows, and therein lies its beauty.
When it comes to weddings, there is much talk of perfection. In life’s most heightened situations, it seems, we’re tempted to curate experiences, to immortalize transient moments. As an alternative, what if we bask in impermanence? Enjoy the free fall, knowing all the while that this constant state of motion is the whole point. There’s no such thing as a perfect veil. A perfect wedding. A perfect bride. There is only that which is true to you and that which you’ve organically co-created in the moment. Perfect imperfection — a thing that is truly alive. And what could be sweeter than that?
Additionally, I would give brides-to-be my husband’s favorite piece of advice (which we, in turn, received from a college girlfriend of mine): do not let go of each other As in: once you’re married, hold hands and stick together. That way, you can have a shared experience of the day. Your wedding day flies by at the speed of light. Be present in every moment, and make memories that you can share forever.
Photography: Paige Jones | Cinematography: Sharkpig | Event Planning: Bash Please | Floral Design: Sweet Marie Designs | Wedding Dress: Christos | Stationery: Mae Mae Paperie | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Bread + Water | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | DJ: DJ JP | Groom's Attire: Alan Bennett Of Davies & Son | Venue: Outdoor | Bartending: Pharmacie LA | Desserts: Scootabaker | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Table Ware: Casa De Perrin | Veil: Sonia Boyajian