"My husband is Australian, but we live and work in Berlin, Germany where he plays professional volleyball. Also, his mum is Dutch, so half of his family lives in the Netherlands. This meant that we were going to have guests from all over the world coming in for the big day. It’s true to some degree for every couple, but this would really be the only time in our lives that our families would be all together in one place. So, we wanted to create an intimate, welcoming celebration. When we found a beautiful house in Long Beach that offered that warm, intimate atmosphere, with the freedom to make the space our own, we jumped at the chance.
Planning from afar, it was challenging ensuring our family members felt involved in the process. However, they certainly got their chance for involvement when we put them to work in crunch time. They showed up on Friday, the day before the wedding, smiling, and ready to work. They set up, transported, lifted, taped- they just made it happen. We were totally humbled and spoiled by their help. It was well and truly a do-it-together affair, and an oddly effective bonding activity.
In terms of aesthetics, we didn't want anything too fussy or fancy, but hoped to create a garden wedding with some unique personal touches. For example: We named our tables after different cities around the world where we have lived and traveled. I wrote the table names over maps I tore out of a German atlas I found in a thrift shop near our Berlin apartment. I wrote the seating chart on beautiful doors made by my late grandfather. Also, the ladies of the family created all of the floral arrangements. When I went to the flower market, I had only one demand: Eucalyptus. The Australian native that has made itself at home in California-what could be more perfect?" -bride & groom
From the bride & groom: In attempting to pinpoint my favourite moment of the day, I came up with two:1) It sounds cheesy, but the ceremony was so surreal, transcendent and joyful. When we kissed, it was one of those bizarre moments when the love and support of our guests was so palpable, yet I felt so present with Paul. We were in our own world, our own dimension in those few seconds.
2) Paul’s Dutch mother was very concerned about the lack of tent at our outdoor California wedding given the Netherlands’ propensity for wet weather. After assuring her over and over that “It NEVER rains in southern California in August”, the unbelievable happened: it rained. In the last fifteen minutes of our reception, with everyone dancing around with glow sticks, it began to drizzle. In that moment, it felt magical. Luckily, my gracious mother-in-law hasn’t given me any ‘told you so’ teasing.
Vendors: Photography: Ashley Ludaescher Photography | Venue: The Devon Estate in Long Beach Gown: Sarah Seven | Bridal Belt: Untamed Petals | Hair & Make-up: Design Visage | Wedding Planner: Hutchinson Weddings | Videographer: Jonathon Chou