Malibu Wedding from Amanda McKinnon Photography
November 22, 2013
United States
Classic WeddingsAl FrescoBeach Weddings
Malibu is known for its sandy shorelines and celebrity sightings, but after fawning over this beauty at Cypress Sea Cove by Amanda McKinnon Photography, its obvious it should be known for so much more. With a simple yet sophisticated style all of their own, this couple took their vision for their perfect day - filled it with florals from The Little Branch and delicious eats from Auntie Em's Kitchen - and ultimately created a Malibu memory all of their own. And lovelies, it was gorgeous. See it all here.
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From Amanda McKinnon Photography ...Hana and Harry are such an amazing couple to start, such great taste and elegant simple style. Their wedding was simple, romantic, and very intimate. Details filled with personality and perfect elegance. Their florals were all so unique and organic, deep plums and rich purples- figs, artichokes, and other plants I have never even seen in a table scape before! Hana and Harry's wedding was a very honest expression for the love for one another and the love and importance of family to them. Not a typical beach wedding, but a very very beautiful bluff wedding. Simple and oh so sweet perfection.

From the Bride....When Harry and I started talking about what we wanted our wedding to be like we knew we wanted three things: 1) a beautiful setting with trees AND ocean, 2) amazing food, and 3) lots of fun and dancing. To make sure we had all these things, the first two decisions we made, almost simultaneously, were venue and caterer.

We looked at numerous beautiful venues in Malibu, but when we found Cypress Sea Cove, we knew it was the right place. A storybook Cape Cod house surrounded by expansive, grassy lawns and tall, beautiful cypress trees, with gorgeous ocean views, it had a vibe of relaxed elegance, relying on natural beauty instead of artifice, that we really loved. I think we were really sold when we realized it had a beach bar on the sand too— just the right little element of fun, and the perfect place to host Harry’s pre-ceremony reception (tish) a Jewish tradition we wanted to include.

One of a couple “foodie” caterers we considered, we ultimately chose Auntie Em’s Catering because we knew they could execute the food deliciously and present it beautifully, and because their coordinator Elayne was willing to undertake our somewhat unusual request of finding a way to spit roast a whole lamb for us in addition to their normal catering options (something Harry had really set his heart on). Elayne and chef Terri Wahl of Auntie Em’s created a food lover’s dream for us. Served on the lavishly decorated buffet (so everyone could eat just as much or as little as they wanted), the food was delicious and everyone debated whether they liked the perfectly seasoned lamb shank or the tenderly roasted whole lamb more. The bartenders served our custom designed cocktails, and the amazingly delicious and moist red velvet cake was so beautiful with its simple decoration of fresh flowers. (I’m still craving that cake and might have to go visit their restaurant for more.)

A recently married co-worker recommended her florist, and I was delighted when I met Meg and Annie of The Little Branch at their downtown LA studio. Again, a vendor who was not only willing but excited to take on another unusual request. To create the feel of a banquet, we wanted to arrange our long rectangular guest tables in a square around the dance floor and instead of traditional centerpieces, I wanted four 24-foot long garlands of greenery interwoven with bright blooms in plum, wine, and fig tones running the length of each table, scattered with candles, again giving it that feel of easy elegance and a bit of old world charm. I had spoken with a couple florists before who told me it was a bad idea or impossible, especially for my budget. The ladies of The Little Branch were more than happy to tackle my vision and they knocked it out of the park at a price we could afford. I could not have imagined more beautiful flowers not only on the tables, but in the bouquets and corsages, and on the chuppah. Their inventive use of traditional flowers like roses and anemones blended with figs, blackberries, scabiosa, and other unusual flowers and herbs was at once fresh, exquisitely gorgeous, and yet still understated.

To round out the décor, I executed some DIY projects of my own with vintage French graphics for the programs, menus, place cards, and table numbers, that coordinated with our invitations, which I also created using our vintage French monogram (H+H) and sealed with burgundy sealing wax. But as Harry had said from the beginning, less would be more with our venue. We used a light hand when it came to décor, relying on the carefully cultivated natural beauty around us to charm our guests into relaxing and having a great time.

The details and mood of everything we created was captured by our wonderful photographer Amanda McKinnon with her beautiful and timeless style. She and her second shooter fell into the flow of the day with ease and she worked through the posed photos with a professional efficiency that allowed us to get all the requisite family groupings and join our cocktail hour (something I was convinced was impossible).

We are so grateful to everyone who contributed their talents to that day, from Auntie Em’s and the Little Branch for collaborating to create the most beautiful reception ever, to our DJ Scott Norris, who kept us on the dance floor all night long, and to our coordinator Carina McGlaughlin who was putting out little fires all night with unflappable calm; we, along with our family and friends, had so much fun! It was certainly everything Harry and I could have hoped for, a wonderful way to mark our joy and our commitment to each other.