Urban Chic LA Wedding
October 27, 2014
BohemianGarden WeddingsFall Weddings
If I had to sum up this LA lovefest a few words "chic," "glam" and "cool" would be at the very top of my list. Of course, a wedding this stylish comes as no surprise with a vendor team including The Little Branch, Bella FiguraStudio Castillero and Inclusion Films. Take a jaunt through the stunning affair here - Oh, and you just might recognize the Bride's famous aunt and uncle in the mix!
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From The Bride…After the surprise of the proposal (although we had been dating for 11 years since we met in sophomore English class) the reality set in that we had to plan a wedding. First on the agenda was a date and a venue. Surprisingly, those came easily. We knew we weren’t country club, hotel ballroom, yacht club, or beach types and we weren’t rugged outdoors types. That certainly limited our options in Los Angeles. But, as soon as we discovered the Smog Shoppe venue with its blank canvas, urban vibe we were sold. Since we live out of town in San Francisco, we knew we needed a wedding planner to coordinate. I found Nira DeLuna of Amber Events and right away I knew her laid back, confident energy was a perfect fit. Nira kept us on track from day one!

The Dress

The minute Jared proposed, my mother was in the car with the motor running wanting to just “go look” at dresses. Most brides-to-be have a vision of the perfect dress; I did not. This probably was good because I was willing to try on anything and everything and that was really fun. But, nothing felt like “the one.” After several trips to department stores and designer boutiques between Los Angeles and San Francisco, I happened on a San Francisco boutique, And Something Blue, which carried Trish Lee, a local designer. As soon as I put on the Trish Lee dress, I knew it was right! I paired it with my grandmother’s antique diamond and jade hanging earrings for a pop of color (“something old”) and I had my mother’s wedding veil recut for the perfect accompaniment (“something borrowed”). Jared surprised my on the day with a beautiful diamond necklace for “something new!” And the groom looked handsome in his Hugo Boss tuxedo!

The Venue

As soon as we set foot in Smog Shoppe, we knew we didn’t have to look any further. It’s a unique venue because it has a lot of quirky details: the succulent walls, bookshelves with knickknacks, and vintage furniture were great additions to our vision for the space. Smog Shoppe has a great open vibe and indoor-outdoor space which is great for a May wedding in LA.

The Invitations

Bella Figura designed letterpress invitations in simple, classic black and cream, a themed which we carried throughout the wedding with our printed menus and table numbers. We really liked the contrast of the classic font with our asymmetric, bohemian floral arrangements. We also loved the fact that Bella Figura will include complimentary table cards that in lieu of wedding favors, we would be donating to our favorite charities.

Décor & Design

Beyond a few inspiration photos found online, we really needed some help crafting an overall look for the space. I liked the idea of having a lot of gold candlesticks on the table and small vessels and arrangements and a seasonal palate. When we met with Meg and Annie from The Little Branch, they did a really great job to guiding me toward look we really loved. This began a very organic process of building our design concept; one layer at a time. Together we chose saturated gilded tones of burgundy, mustard, brass, gold, rose gold, dusty rose and corals. The big blooms and whimsical flowers were wrapped in gold for my bouquet. The groom’s bout was textures with mustard and burgundy tones.

They also designed our birch chuppah with simple branchy asymmetrical florals in Boho style to set against the backdrop of the succulent wall at the Smog Shoppe. The gold mercury urns, vintage brass vases and gold and glittered bud vases were filled with arrangements of flowers they used including: Ranunculus, Anemones, Peonies, Garden Roses, Butterfly Hydrangea, Spanish Moss, and Gold Painted Succulents. I had collected large vintage varied gold frames that they suspended on the wall behind the dessert table with floral arrangements within the frame. One hundred varied gold mercury votives were on the reception tables and throughout the room. Various sized glass vases were filled with brass candlesticks and candles.

The chestnut wood tables included gold flatware, gold-rimmed china, mixed-matched vintage glassware and custom made linen runners and mixed cloth vintage design patterned napkins from an amazing Etsy designer, Dotandarmy.

Since our beloved basset- hound mix, Verne, couldn’t attend the wedding, we wanted to show our obsession with dogs in a few of the details The escort table was made up of gold spray painted dogs with hand calligraphy names. Everyone loved the dogs so much-- they were almost as popular as Heirloom’s chicken and waffle appetizer. We had an entrance table with photos of family members who were with us in spirit. Also, a large glass vessel was filled with mini chocolate bars with a hand-wrapped picture of our dog in a top hat and tux!

The Food

We chose Heirloom LA for their organic, farm-to-table philosophy. From the tasting salon to the menu preparation to the final day’s execution, they were professional, easy to work with and so delicious! We had hot and cold tray passed appetizers for the cocktail hour including their famous chicken & waffles. When guests arrived at their tables they found an Heirloom LA crostini platter with fresh milk cheeses, organic vegetables and house-made crostini and dips. A plated salad of the chef’s choice of seasonal market green and fruits was served before a meal of Beef Shank Osso Bucco with Risotto and Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Pan Roasted John Dory with Green Artichokes, Sauteed Papini & Cherry Tomato Bruschetta, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Chef’s “Trust Us” Vegetables were served family style. Our guests loved that they were able to try everything!

The Sweet Buffet & Coffee Bar

The Little Branch and Heirloom LA designed a spectacular Dessert Table around my vintage throw and cake platters. We chose his and hers 9”cutting cakes in Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting and Vanilla with Fresh Seasonal Berries and a selection of Heirloom desserts including: Seasonal Pie Squares, Chocolate Locket Cookies and “Nside Out Smores.” Our guests enjoyed the dessert and coffee bar all night as they danced the night away!

The Music

We chose Jason Sulkin’s alternative string trio (guitar, cello and violin) to provide the live ceremony and cocktail hour music. We chose a different song for the groom and bridal party’s procession, the bride’s procession and the couple’s recession. The Smog Shoppe doesn’t have a very long aisle but, Jason edited the music seamlessly. It was beautiful! Tony Liebetrau of Red Shoe Productions was our live DJ/Master of Ceremony and he set the perfect tone for the reception while keeping the party moving with music that all ages could enjoy!

Photography & Videography

I knew the look I wanted for our photos so Nira recommended Megan and Brent at Studio Castillero. Jared and I wanted to do our family photos before the ceremony so we wouldn’t miss the cocktail hour while taking photos. The reveal was at The Culver Hotel where we were all staying. This historic location is so beautiful and we knew it would make our photos special. I was so nervous I told my parents and Jared’s mother in our suite that it would be just us and the photographers for the reveal, but Jared invited his groomsmen and his family! Luckily, the photographers were so amazing and they captured everything from the reveal, the ceremony, all the decorative details of the reception and all our guests and family!

My father’s film crew (Andy and John) from Inclusion Films captured the whole event and along with my dad created a beautiful video memory. The Stylish Fox provided the “photo booth.” They set up the booth utilizing the beautiful chuppah/succulent wall background. They provided a photographer and props then printed out 4” by 6” photos right there on the spot. We added our touch by having a lifesize cut-out of our dog to take photos with-- it was the biggest hit of the night! We had a scrapbook table with scrapbooking paraphernalia and guest were asked to add a page to the book. This made for a hilarious keepsake.
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Additional Vendor Credits
Wedding Dress
Trish Lee
Bride's Shoes
Jimmy Choo
Groom's Suit
Hugo Boss
Ceremony Music, Ceremony Music
Jason Sulkin
Wedding Ceremony & Recption
Smog Shoppe