While the main components are often the same, every wedding has that special something absolutely unique to it, and discovering those unique touches is my favorite part of my job and often what I love to talk about up here. But in today’s wedding captured by McCune Photography and planned by High Society Event Planning, there are too many incredibly cool and thoughtful touches to fit them all in one paragraph! For example: This Rancho Las Lomas wedding had two ceremonies – one Filipino Catholic and one Thai Buddhist; the mother of the bride designed and sewed the bride’s custom gown for the first ceremony; and the bride wore her mother’s own wedding dress for the second. See what I mean? You’ll have to read below to find out more!
From the Bride… When I originally envisioned our wedding, the words “romantic, rustic, and shabby-chic” came to mind. I was in love with the idea of soft-touch pastels, peony flowers, eucalyptus, lavender, wooden-signs, and a magical venue that could help bring all those elements together. Additionally, Jeff and I both envisioned getting to incorporate our cultural customs, religion, and personality into the whole program. We really wanted to create a memorable and personalized wedding in which our family and friends could enjoy, appreciate, and remember for the rest of their lives.
We held both a Filipino ceremony, which we drew from my husband’s Filipino-Catholic background, and a Thai ceremony, which we drew from my Thai and Buddhist-influenced customs. Initially setting out to do this was a bit of a challenge since both ceremonies were drastically different in style, setting, and decor. Luckily for us, we had a venue that offered multiple settings, each with its own charm. Our Filipino ceremony was held on the Teatro level of Rancho Las Lomas, and it was the perfect setting for me to walk down the aisle to meet my handsome husband. It provided that classic garden wedding fit for a grand procession to enter, and it was everything we ever wanted for our big day.
Our Thai ceremony, on the other hand, was meant to be a bit more laid-back and was held on the Grand Salon level where our cocktail hour was being held. We planned it this way to give our guests a more relaxed environment where they could participate in the ceremony, grab drinks, and casually mingle. This portion of the ceremony also gave us the opportunity to be more intimate with our guests as they were able to walk up to us, provide their well-wishings, and take individual pictures with us. Due to the size of our wedding, Jeff and I weren’t sure if we were going to get a lot of one-on-one time with all of our guests, but luckily this portion of our program really afforded us that opportunity.
Since Jeff and I were friends for 7 years before we even started dating, we have many stories and trips that pre-dated our romantic relationship. One of our fondest memories revolves around Hawaii and the Maui Lavender Farm because it was after that trip that we bonded and decided to go from just friends to romantically dating. Our touch of Maui came in form of our specialty cocktail drinks, which we offered at our open bar. We presented Maui Wowies — which are mixed with pineapple juice, triple sec, and liquor— and Lavender Lemon Drops — which featured hints of lavender in a sweet and sour lemon drop concoction. Jeff and I also got to incorporate our Hawaiian theme into our dinner menu, which 24 Carrots Catering did an incredible job of delivering on. Additionally, we had a Hawaiian-inspired Lechon Roasted Pig to tie in my husband’s Filipino traditions into the meal. Meanwhile, we were able to incorporate our symbolic lavender flower in many ways, including placing them in all of our bouquets, boutonnieres, table settings, and floral arrangements.
While a lot of the look and feel to the wedding came from my personal input, we tried to incorporate my husband’s laid-back and personal taste by including one of his favorite things in the world: donuts. Instead of going with a traditional-tiered cake, we went with a 5-tiered donut stand, which was hand-made by a seller on Etsy. We placed (or rather our amazing coordinators did) a gorgeous, mini 8-inch cake on the top, which allowed us to still cut a cake, while the rest of the tiers held our mini sugar and glazed donuts. The whole thing was a huge hit as our guests swarmed to the table immediately after it was presented.
My floral inspiration came from rustic, romantic, and semi-bohemian themes. I was also keen on incorporating lavender into our arrangements and wedding setting as that was “our flower”. The final product was a collection of beautiful white peonies, light pink floral accents feathered with muted eucalyptus greens and lavender. While the florals kept with the romantic theme that I wanted, I tried to add a little “rustic-ness” to the design with handmade signs and decor. Fortunately, my best friend, and one of my bridesmaids, is a talented artist, and she was able to able to provide the perfect personalized touch to our wedding with incredible handmade signs for our welcome table, reception tables, and favors table.
Besides getting to marry the man of my dreams, one of the best and most memorable parts of my wedding day was getting to walk down the aisle in the gown that my mother made me. Growing up, my mom made all my dresses for the important events in my life — homecoming, prom, graduation — so when it came to my wedding, it only seemed appropriate that she would make my dress. My mom and I were inspired by the elegance of lace, the traditional look of a Cathedral train, as well as modern and functional details. So for the Filipino ceremony, I wore the full look with my detachable train clipped on like a belt at the waist. Then at my reception, I was able to take the train off and enjoy a more simple, figure-hugging yet elegant look that allowed me to move freely throughout the dance floor.
Another aspect of the wedding that was very special to me was that I was able to wear my mom’s very own Thai wedding dress for my Thai ceremony. We didn’t always plan it that way; in fact, it was a last minute decision. My mom showed me her very own wedding dress a week before the wedding, and I fell in love with it. So, with some adjustments, I was able to proudly wear my mom’s dress, which was incredible!
One piece of advice that I would give brides-to-be is to really think about what’s important to you, your fiancé, and perhaps your family (if that’s important for you) when it comes to your wedding and what elements you want to incorporate. Figure out what are the non-negotiables and nice-to-haves and go from there. Planning a wedding can be very overwhelming and stressful, especially with all the details, details, details… And while all the hard work and time will pay off in the end, remember to have fun in the moment and enjoy the process, because it is one of the most exciting times in your life.
Photography: McCune Photography | Cinematography: Velo Films | Event Planning: High Society Wedding & Event Planning | Floral Design: Little Hill Floral Designs | Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop | Catering: 24 Carrots | Hair + Makeup: Union Salon | DJ: Elevated Pulse Productions | Ceremony Music: The Ocdamia Strings | Venue: Rancho Las Lomas | Doughnuts: Krispy Kreme | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Photo Booth: Elevated Pulse Productions | Ring Box: Amonie | Signs: Mint Wattanatorn