Our wedding was full of artists! Being an artist myself, I handmade a number of details, but so many people made it possible. From the paper medallions that lined the church aisles, to the over 100 individually crafted paper flowers, to the library Dewey Decimal escort cards, the flower crown that Aubrey, one of our photographers, made, and even my wedding dress hand sewn by my mother-in-law, it really was a culmination of friends, family, and artistic skills.
Both Chad and I are avid readers and share a deep appreciation for literature which we wanted to incorporate in our wedding. We also love spending time in gardens and natural settings so it was clear combing these two themes would be the perfect way to celebrate our nuptials! To enter the reception, guest strolled down a path covered with lights to emerge in a garden. They passed under a book arch, put together by friends and family, before being welcomed to cocktail hour with a scavenger hunt and croquet matches.
Flowers were everywhere: those made from book pages and colorful cardstock were scattered among real blooms and petals. Our guest book incorporated library pockets and book checkout cards for our guests to write notes, answer funny questions, or simply add their names. We used the same library card idea for our escort cards, assigning each guest a genre instead of a table number. When the guests arrived at their tables, they found Penguin Book publisher-inspired genre cards complete with themed penguins.
It’s true: the day does fly by, but I love thinking back on some of my favorite moments! Staging a First Look was absolutely wonderful. I loved walking up to my groom under a trellis of foliage and roses to see his eyes light up when he saw me. Knowing how hard his mom and I worked on designing, creating, and sewing my dress, he was so appreciative of the details. I also loved our first dance. We wanted the dance to be a celebration and bring everyone on the dance floor, so about the middle of our song, “Lover of the Light” by Mumford and Sons, we grabbed our guests and started a true dance party. At the very height of the music, Chad and I found each other in the crowd, and we shared a kiss worthy of Hollywood. I am eternally grateful to our master photographers, Aubrey and Phillip Westlund of Yes, Dear Studio, for capturing this and so many other wonderful moments. They also adventured with us to find a ferris wheel to take a few fun shots.
The ferris wheel was extra magical because it reminded us of the first day we met. We both worked at Disneyland, and, when I saw Chad backstage, he was reading and walking at the same time as I often do. He was on his way to work the ferris wheel in the park! Full circle seems too easy to say… Our getaway vehicle may have stolen the show. We were able to rent a beautiful Westfalia VW bus from Vintage Safari Rental. It was the perfect shade of orange, and it fit our personalities so well since we are both lovers of folk music and 1960’s culture. It was the ultimate Californian ride!
If I can pass along any advice, it would be to enjoy the day! Slow things down, and remember to take time to pause, look around, and take it all in. During dinner I turned to my husband, squeezed his hand and said, “We’re married!” I was so happy to be sitting next to him, surrounded by friends and family, and celebrating the next “chapter” in our lives! If I could go back, I would have spent more time on the dance floor and planned a last dance, but I am so happy I was able to see all my guests and thank them. Having a day-of coordinator was enormously helpful, and I am so happy we hired a videographer to capture memories. If you are interested in preserving your bouquet, make sure you arrange someone to save it ahead of time. I tried to dry mine, but it wasn't as successful as some of the professional services I found after the fact. Finally, a last bit of advice: hire Yes, Dear Studio. No matter where you are, they travel. They are some of the most talented artists and kindest hearts you’ll ever meet. Your wedding will be in good hands.
Photographer: Yes, Dear. Studio
Ring Designer: Alishan Jewelry Gallery
Reception Venue: Calamigos Ranch in Malibu//
Caterer: Calamigos Ranch Malibu
Other: Emily Franz (Cake topper)
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Hair Stylist: Jennifer Benthale
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Jos. A. Bank
Floral Designer: Kate Baker Floral Design
Ceremony Location: St. Maximilian Kolbe Church
Dress Designer: Sue Wyszynski
Bakery: Sweet E's Bake Shop
Favors and Gifts: T-We
Cinema and Video: Tony Sherg
Equipment Rentals: Vintage Surfari Wagons
Event Planner: WINK!
Veils and headpieces:Yes, Dear. Flower Crowns