Minimalist and Classic Wedding Inspiration

"I saw the space before I had the idea. The white, clean, urban space was calling for a shoot to compliment the beauty of this studio’s simplicity. Too many details, and the space would get lost. So we built the shoot around the aesthetic of the studio.

The core idea, is that of a slightly edgy couple who love simplicity and elegance. They love beautiful things, but are still doing what they can on a budget to pull together an elegant wedding day aesthetic. For example we envisioned an edgy DIY couple who chose to forego cake, and go for something a little bit more outside of the norm, like home made truffles with a monogram of their last name on it (inspired by the many cooking websites that they love to try recipes from). Or why not dye some cheese cloth at home and use it as a beautiful and elegant table runner for the table set up? Couple that with lush greenery, and you have a beautiful minimalist DIY wedding set up."

Rustic Pastel Summer Wedding at The Retro Ranch

"We had originally planned our wedding to be in Aspen, Colorado, deposits were down and save the dates sent. But about 5 months before the wedding day, my (the bride's) dad and grandma became seriously ill and would not be able to attend due to the high altitude. It was important to us that they were a part of our day, so we chose to move the wedding to California where my family is from. I made a last minute trip to California to try and reserve a new venue and we stumbled upon The Retro Ranch, which by some miracle had our date available and happened to be everything we were looking for! Ty and I always wanted an outdoor wedding and I had dreamt of a rustic country vibe. The Retro Ranch was all that I had envisioned from the adorable red barn, the retro airstream trailers, unique vintage furniture and table wear, to the stunning views from the ceremony location. The venue was all inclusive which made it much easier on us, rather than having to find all new vendors. We also loved the convenience of having both the ceremony and reception at one location, as well as a stunning house and pool on the property which was ours to use for the weekend.

We went for a rustic/country/boho theme, and tied in a few non traditional details to try and set it apart from other traditional weddings. For instance, instead of a candle lighting or sand ceremony, we chose to brand our last initial into a piece of wood together using a brand that Ty and his grandpa made. Instead of a guest book we decided to do a Polaroid book, which was super fun to look through on our honeymoon! Our color scheme consisted of blue, cream, and peachy tones, but the marsala was my favorite little addition to the mix. I really wanted a darker pop of color in our florals to make the light and airy tones truly come to life, and to add a contrast to the dresses." -Bride & Groom

The Proposal:
To understand the proposal, you have to know a little backstory. My grandparents (who are two of the cutest humans on the planet) have a pretty inspiring love story. Long story short, my grandma played hard to get with my grandpa. When my grandpa asked her to marry him, she told him she had plans to move to New York and become a model. He told her that she should just be his model. Wedding bells and 10 children later, the rest is history! They were going on 70 years of marriage until my grandpa passed away in November, just a few months after our wedding. 

On April 24th, 2015, Ty took me up to Grand Mesa, Colorado, where we had our first "date". We hiked up to a remote location overlooking the valley, and set up a hammock. He surprised me with my favorite Peach Palisade wine from a local winery we had visited on my first trip to Colorado. As we were sitting in the hammock enjoying our wine, it starts to snow and am soaking in every moment, in awe of the beauty surrounding us. Ty pulls out a box and tells me he has a gift for me. I open it and inside I find an old vintage camera. He explains that this camera belonged to his great grandmother, and he wanted me to have it. From stories he shared with me, I knew that his great grandmother was very special to him, so that gesture spoke to me in a way that words could not. I was so thankful. Then he tells me to see if there is still film in the back of the camera, I open it up to find a tiny note inside which read "will you be my model?". I look up to see him down on one knee and he says those 4 magic words - "will you marry me?".

My favorite part of wedding planning was easily trying on dresses. That was such a fun experience to have with my mom, sisters, and close friends. I honestly wish I could do that part all over again! The most stressful part of wedding planning for me was trying to figure out an accurate headcount for our caterer and reception seating. This was down to the wire as we still had people RSVP-ing just the day before the wedding!

If you're considering writing your own vows - DO IT! That was easily my favorite part about the whole day. To hear my husband humble himself in front of all of our friends and family and share his heart with me was something I will cherish for a lifetime. His vows were incredible and to this day, our guests still talk about how much they appreciated and enjoyed witnessing the intimate vows we exchanged that day that were uniquely our own. 

Another favorite memory of mine was getting to dance with my Papa. He promised me he would stick around to dance with me at my wedding and he kept his promise. He would just light up a room when he walked in and he was the life of every party. He was the first and last person on the dance floor - always. His spirit never aged, even at 90 years old he was still as witty and sharp as ever. I remember him holding me close on the dance floor under the dangling lights while he hummed to each song as we swayed back and forth. I can hear his sweet voice just thinking about it! 

Another moment I will cherish is getting to have my childhood Golden Retriever in the wedding. She was 16 years old and still just as sweet as can be. She grew up alongside me and my siblings, so it meant so much to have her be a part of such a huge milestone in my life. She passed away in December at nearly 17 years old, so these photos and memories are even more valuable to me now.

Remember that this is a season that will come and go only once, so truly take the time to enjoy it while it lasts. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you get too caught up in all the little decisions like boutonnieres and linens, you lose sight of what really matters. Your wedding day is supposed to be a coming together of your closest friends and family to celebrate and bless your commitment to the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. That is huge! What comes after the wedding is what's most important. Don't expect everything to go perfectly because if you do, you will be disappointed. Bumps in the road are a natural part of life and they're not going to stop for your wedding. Everything will come together in the end. I got to marry this amazing man that the Lord had prepared for me. THAT is what made my wedding day the best of all my days, not the florals or the donuts, although I did love those as well!

My sweet husband planned our entire honeymoon. We are both outdoorsy people, so we didn't want to just sit on a beach for a week. We wanted to go somewhere where we had the option to both relax and be adventurous. Kauai was absolutely perfect. We spent 10 days lounging on the North Shore beaches, hiking, boating, swimming in waterfalls, and exploring the island and its coastal waters. We made so many amazing memories there and we plan to go back eventually. I would definitely recommend Kauai, whether you're looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway, for a more active trip, or both!

Our wedding venue was all inclusive, so luckily we didn't have to deal with any rentals or finding a good DJ, bartender etc. The only things that weren't included were flowers, alcohol, dessert and photos/video. I called several local florists and found one that was willing to work with our budget and that was sweet enough to create a sample bouquet of what I had envisioned. She totally nailed it! All of our bouquets, centerpieces and ceremony arch turned out amazing. For dessert we decided to go non-traditional and do pies and donuts instead of a wedding cake. We had a bride donut that was white frosted and a groom donut that was chocolate glazed which we fed each other in place of the "cake cutting". The photographer and videographer were the two most important things to me, mostly because I am a photographer myself, but also because I remember watching my parents wedding video as a kid like it was a Disney movie. Capturing those memories mattered far more to me than table cloths, florals or fancy food. I searched through the work of what felt like 30 videographers and photographers. When I found White in Revery, I fell in love with their cinematic storytelling and the way they captured so much emotion from the day. I was watching strangers' wedding videos and bawling as if I knew them! 

When searching for the right photographer, I was really looking for someone with a unique style that didn't look like everyone else's work. Something that really stood out to me. I found our amazing photographer through another website who featured one of her weddings. I immediately knew she was "the one". Her talent shined through her work. She knows how to work a variety of different lighting situations and still manages to keep her work consistent. She has this magical airy light that makes each image so romantic. We were so blessed to have found such an awesome group of talented people to capture our day!

SoCal Bride Recommends:

Wedding Planner: Pure Lavish Events | Photography: Kristen Booth Photography | Venue: The Retro Ranch in Temecula | Florals: Flower Allie | Desserts: Nomad Donuts + Betty's Pie Whole | Make-up: Tiana Rae | Hair Stylist: Karen Angel | Videographer: White in Revery

Hamilton Inspired Wedding in Los Angeles at The Theatre at Ace Hotel

"Planned and designed by Fandom Affairs, this styled wedding took place at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We can’t think of a better place to have a Hamilton wedding than on a stage in a gorgeous historical theatre! Mary Costa Photography beautifully captured this romantic and chic interpretation of this musical phenomenon. The Men’s Attire was modeled off the soldiers uniforms featuring a navy blazer, khaki pants, and a double breasted waistcoat. The gorgeous gowns by Deborah Lindquist Eco Couture feature colorful English net skirts reminiscent of each Schuyler sisters’ signature color, while the wool beaded bustiers provided a subtle nod to a more historical period silhouette. So many thoughtful details in this shoot nod to the production. From “The Story of Tonight” marquis, the lyrics of “Helpless” written on the Bride’s bouquet, to the “Hurricane” signature cocktail with “raise a glass” and “do not throw away my shot” drink coasters. There isn’t a single element that hasn’t been translated from the show. The ceremony design featured an 8‘ by 4’ parchment scroll with the lyrics of “That Would Be Enough” written in calligraphy by Ink and Nod Designs. The scroll was anchored by wooden ladders to look like set equipment with hardcover books of The Federalist Papers, Constitution, and The Declaration of Independence peaking out on the steps. The stationery, designed by Boxed Wedding Invitations, was inspired by a real theatre going experience starting with “A Special One Night Only Presentation” Save the Date ticket. The wedding program resembled a broadway playbill complete with the Bride and Groom’s Hamilton inspired logo and a full scene breakdown and cast list inside. Tying it all together was a beautiful vintage invitation suite with musical note motifs and sheet music paper florals. Beautiful gold tablecloths with lace overlays embellished the reception tables. Significant years throughout the show such as 1776, were used as table numbers. 1780, the year Eliza and Alexander met, was saved for the sweetheart table, while chair signs that read “Marrying You…That Would Be Enough” were displayed on the back of a beautiful tufted mint sofa. The centerpieces were comprised of brass candlesticks with colored taper candles, loose florals, and vintage books. Set atop a beautiful vintage buffet table from Provenance Vintage Rentals, the two tiered cake by Nicole Bakes Cakes featured black fondant with gold brushstrokes and torn wafer sheet music from the actual musical score. The colorful bouquets by La Rosa Que Creció are inspired by an English garden accented with satin ribbons that correspond with each Schuyler sisters’ signature color. The boutonnière florals were accented by sheet music shaped into leaves."

Elegant Spanish Style Wedding Inspiration at Rancho Las Lomas

"For this shoot our venue was our muse. Nestled in the foothills of southern California Rancho Las Lomas is a beautiful Spanish style oasis. We drew inspiration from the architecture and tiles, which we loved incorporating into the vision. Not only did we highlight the tiles on property, we added our own tiles in the form of escort cards, with gold calligraphy by Kelly Patrice.

The blue and white Spanish design was an element that we weaved throughout to tie all of the shots together. The china for the tablescape was provided by Cherished Rentals and really brought the look all together. 

One of my favorite details was our stunning Berta gown which accented the style and venue beautifully. Our models were a real life engaged couple, Rachel and Tony. Their natural chemistry made the shoot so fun and shows through in the pictures. Their love for each other is so obvious and was a joy to witness." -
CMG Weddings & Events

Whimsical Baroque Wedding at the Bard Mansion

"The inspiration behind Brian and Rachel's wedding was a combination of baroque details infused with a timeless whimsical ascetic. Everything about their special day was just what Rachel had sketched out, so it was a dream come true for the two of them to see her vision come to life. Rachel refers back to her wedding day as, I truly felt like a princess and Brian my prince as we celebrated. Brian and Rachel had a traditional ceremony at their church in Santa Monica and decided not to have a first look; however, the look on Brian’s face when he saw Rachel for the first time walking down the aisle was priceless. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Brian and Rachel took a drive up the coast together to their reception venue in a vintage car Brian surprised Rachel with! . Rachel’s wedding reception decor reflected a little Marie Antoinette, a splash of Coco Chanel, and a hint of Beauty and the Beast. The guests were greeted at the venue with a escort card decal mirror with the saying ‘Be Our Guest’. The perfume bottle table numbers designed by Jasmin Michelle Designs paired perfectly with the draping pearl accents hanging off the baroque style frame menu. Stella Blooms Design beautiful centerpieces were accented with a single rose under a glass dome. . The evening was an affaire to remember as Brian and Rachel dined in their very own secret garden filled with love."

Intimate Fairytale Wedding in The Forest

"With only 8 of their closest friends and family members in attendance, Chantal and Dan said “I Do” in a scene straight from a fairytale! They dressed up this magical little spot in the woods, with a custom tree trunk backdrop and some personal accents. Simple. but enchanted. The gorgeous flower girl is the bride's daughter." -Kristen Booth Photography

Romantic Pink Pastel Wedding at Elings Park

"Before I walked down the aisle, I took a minute and stopped to look around and soak it all in. I looked at all my guests that came to celebrate us, looked around at all the hard work I put into that day, and looked at my handsome husband standing there waiting for me. Every girl dreams about this moment, and it was better than my dreams. He looked at me with pure love, and it finally hit me that I was marrying my best friend. Like everyone told me, the day went by insanely fast. We danced our booties off and drank the night away with our family and friends.

My husband and I are very laid back, go with the flow type people. We didn't have a date or venue in mind. We both loved spending time together in Santa Barbara so I looked up wedding venues in Santa Barbara and found Elings Park. The venue matched our personalities: very simple and elegant.

My favorite part of wedding planning was rehearsing the father-daughter dance with my dad. We choreographed a fun dance for our guests to enjoy, and it was so much fun laughing with my dad during our practices. It really took the edge off from all of the stress from planning. I also really enjoyed tasting the cakes with Cameron. We tried so many cakes and fillings and made jokes the whole time about who was going to get caked in the face first on our big day." -bride

Vintage Athletic Inspired Wedding with Mid-Century Modern Touches on Coronado Island from Cavin Elizabeth Photography

"Katie and Todd knew right off the bat that they wanted their wedding day to be unique and a reflection of their bright, fun and eclectic personalities.  Both have a love for all things retro and Todd works in the Athletics department of San Diego State while Katie is a big sports buff who played college Tennis.  They met dancing to "Call Me Maybe" at a friends wedding and it was literally love at first sight! When it came to the overall vision for their big day they wanted an elegant upscale party that combined vintage sports with a dash of Mad Men circa 1960's.  Piece of cake, right?  

The ceremony took place overlooking the Coronado harbor and To Be Designed specialty rentals created large glass terrariums that Sugar Rose Flowers adorned with large bright arrangements.  Todd loves to surprise Katie with bright flowers so we kept that sentiment alive with flowers that showcased mixes of orange reds, mustards, pops of white and greenery. Keeping with the theme the bride arrived to the ceremony and pulled up to the end of the aisle in a yellow vintage sports car.  After they were pronounced husband and wife the two hopped back in the car and drove off with their "just married" sign on the back!  It was a wow moment for all of their guests!

A custom bar made out of tufted leather inspired by vintage footballs was built just for the occasion.  Hanging over was a large "BAR" marquee.  The bar displayed retro sports photos.  They chose an old fashioned and French 75 for their signature cocktails. The escort display created by To Be Designed was a large tennis tournament inspired display with floral garland.  Guest found their bracket, which told them their table number.

They decided on two different looks for the guest tables.  Half were designed with stacks of vintage books (for Katie's love of reading) complete with large gold trophies filled with gorgeous colorful arrangements.  The other half of the tables was a collection of glass terrariums with floral arrangements, vintage decanters with florals and various pieces of sports memorabilia (including vintage tennis rackets, boxing gloves, helmets, basketballs and even leather cleats!).  All the sports items were extra special because they were collected over the months leading to the wedding by their family.  To complete the design, Cheris Vintage rentals provided all the crystal champagne coupes and cobalt blue water goblets. The reception lounge was Mad Men inspired complete with a bar cart with vintage decanters.  Katie's dad provided old LIFE magazines for the coffee table and a side table with a gramophone tied together the throwback feel.

All the elements of their dream vision blended together seamlessly.  Guests could not stop talking about what a creative and gorgeous wedding it was!  They danced the night away just like the first evening the met.  It was perfect!" -Coastyle Events

A Salt & Stone Styled Bridal Shoot on the coast of San Diego

"Anndrea of Peaches to Poppies and Diamant of Blue Ladder Botany drew inspiration from the exposed reef rock on the local beaches in Cardiff, which appear each year in late February and March. We imagined a springtime wedding or elopement with simple nods to a laid back beach ceremony. We loved pulling color inspiration from the sand stone cliffs, the turquoise reef rocks, and the pebbles along the coastline this time of year. A little bit of sultry with a little bit of sweet for our bride.

Washed wood furniture from To Be Designed Rentals, sandy toned fabrics from Silk and Willow, and a mix of candlelight and beach rocks created the perfect sweetheart table. Once Adorned created this beautiful custom dress with sheer leg panels and delicate back detailing - flowing in the perfect shade of sand stone just like the towering the cliffs behind us. And the dazzling teardrop ring from Trumpet and Horn sealed the deal pulling the turquoise tones together! Adding a bit of beach rocks and salt scrubs all tagged with the seamless lettering from Four Things Paper helped us to bring all the little details together!

The overcast ocean breeze helped set the tone and created beautiful coloring and movement to the whole day! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!"

SoCal Bride Recommends

Photographer: Cavin Elizabeth Photography | Event Design: Peaches to Poppies | Florals: Blue Ladder Botany | Beauty: Hair Commandmentz | Calligraphy: Four Things Paper | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Rentals: To Be Designed | Wedding Dress: Once Adorned | Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Jewelry: Noon Designs