Romantic Los Angeles Wedding
August 11, 2014
RomanticBackyardFall Weddings
I adore all the weddings we feature on SMP, but sometimes a wedding like this one come across my screen and really plays with my heart strings. Beautifully designed by the super talented Sweet Emilia Jane and seen through the lovely lens of Rebecca Fishman for Birds Of A Feather, after one look at this gallery you'll know exactly why I'm head over heels for ever moment of this wedding. 
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From The Bride...One of my family's favorite places in the world is Mallorca, the Mediterranean island off the coast of Barcelona. It has this perfect blend of wild nature, stunning architecture and a hippie sensibility. The location became my driving vision for the wedding: outdoors, laid-back, exotic, bohemian and romantic. Relaxed elegance was the vibe.

To capture the Spanish seaside village style, I chose a white on white color palette for the long, family-style dinner tables and classically European, dark wooden bistro chairs. Heavy white plates and silver place settings lent a refined rustic feel. The table glowed with brass lanterns and dripping candlesticks, while the pool and every stairway was lined by tall white votives. White round bulb string lights hung over the dinner and dancing areas.

Travel has formed a huge part of both Dan's and my lives, from trips with family and friends to studying and living abroad. Mallorca is a crossroads between cultures, so to create that global feeling, we decorated the lounge areas with Moroccan tea glasses, African stools, colorful pillows from Greece, wooden Spanish benches, painted Moroccan tables and clay water pitchers from Portugal. As a nod to my family's ties to Mexico, papel picado wedding banners floated above our guests as they arrived. Almost every decorative item came out of our and my parents' homes, reflecting years of traveling and collecting.

I knew day one that I didn't want floral arrangements - that the greenery we used would come from my parents' garden. Our ceremony took place under my parents' pergola covered in grape vines and our guests sat among four olive trees. Potted lavender and dwarf orange trees lined the ceremony aisle, olive branches ran down the dinner tables and sprigs of rosemary attached the escort cards to a Moroccan iron screen. Yellow roses, my grandmother's favorite flower, served as accents. I carried a bouquet of daisies, my birth flower. And a single clementine sat on each guest's plate at dinner - a detail I picked up from photos of a Mallorcan wedding I found.

We had no wedding parties; our immediate families walked down the aisle with us while flamenco guitarists played. My godfather married us as we stood on a Moroccan rug in a nontraditional ceremony that drew from wedding customs around the world. We wrote and recited our own vows. Our programs described the symbolism of each visual choice and ceremonial element. One of the most memorable moments came when our family members stood and gave us their personal blessings.

Glasses of cava with lavender sprigs welcomed the guests pre-ceremony, so they could immediately get into the party spirit. Large metal tubs overflowed with Old Speckled Hen, the first drink Dan and I ever shared together. At cocktail hour, while the guitarists continued playing, we served signature beverages named after where we met (The Village Idiot, made of bourbon and cherry bitters for Dan) and where we got engaged (Hollywood Forever, a mezcal and citrus concoction for me).

To keep things casual and intimate, we knew we wanted to do family-style sharing for dinner. The meal started with a plated salad of arugula with stone fruit and burrata. Then came salmon with lentils, hanger steak with a shallot wine sauce, chili-flake broccolini and the most amazing "smashed" potatoes ever. Passed appetizers at cocktail hour included risotto balls, goat cheese and fig tarts and ahi tuna tacos. The bread was from one of our favorite restaurants, Tavern. And we meticulously tasted and chose the Spanish wines together.

When the lights went down, our ceremony space transformed into a fire pit, encircled by traditional Mexican leather chairs and fixings for s'mores. Across the pool, we projected drinking and dancing clips from classic movies, edited by our DJ company. The music rocked and we were so glad we picked a DJ over a band - it definitely created the perfect party atmosphere. On the dance floor, Dan's and my '80s and '90s favorites mixed seamlessly with old standards and current hits. Guests of all ages filled the dance floor nonstop.

We cut the cake once again under the pergola, which now sheltered the most incredible dessert table ever, lit up by dozens of candles. Star-shaped lanterns hung above. Our main cake was carrot with buttercream frosting, decorated elegantly with sprigs of lavender. It was flanked by five smaller chocolate bundt cakes, a recipe that came from my mother, and is one of our family traditions.

When we finally had to turn the music off, the guests who still had energy moved to an after-party in a room overlooking the pool. Guests lounged together on floor pillows and poufs, enjoying midnight snacks: french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches and Mexican wedding cookies. I surprised Dan with a platter of his favorite: gourmet pigs in a blanket - which I had once sworn I would never, ever serve at my wedding!