Our Wedding: Ceremony + Reception

Last, but certainly not least, breaking down our wedding ceremony and reception! Sorry (not sorry) for all of the photos…

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PAPER

I absolutely loved designing all of our paper goods for the day. I printed everything with my favorite printer, Kristine at Presshaus LA. She is a dream to work with and helped bring my vision to life!

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The Ceremony

It was so important to us that our ceremony feel personal and reflect our personalities and beliefs, and that our officiant be someone we had a personal connection with. We immediately thought of my older brother and felt so honored when he accepted the job as our officiant. We gave him some general guidelines and wrote a few portions of our ceremony, but he really blew us away with the personal reflections and stories he added. He did such a great job that people even asked if he did it for a living - ha!

We aren’t very religious, but Grant’s side of the family is Jewish so we decided to incorporate a few Jewish traditions - the breaking of the glass and the Horah at the reception. We had two readings during our ceremony. The first reading was actually a portion of a Bruce Springsteen song, “If I Should Fall Behind, and the second reading was a poem titled “I Can’t Promise You”. Both were read by two of our closest friends and were so special.

Another thing that was important to us was to write our own vows. We knew it was going to be a daunting task, but in the end, so so worth it. To make sure we didn’t outdo one another’s, we set up a little formula that allowed us each some room to personalize, but still have some common parts. There were lots of tears and laughter when we read them to each other. Being from opposite coasts, it meant the world to us to have family and friends come from all over to celebrate with us. 

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DECOR

Our venue had such an incredible built-in Italian vibe, full of beautiful natural elements. I really wanted our decor to be minimal and build off of the existing beauty. We had a mix of wood tables and covered tables, all united by the same oatmeal linens.

For flowers, I wanted them to be informal, the way you would do for your own backyard dinner party. Lots of little vessels on each table held a few stems each of olive, black & white anemones, white dahlias and chocolate cosmos (my favorite element!).

We opted to make all of our own linen napkins, inspired by my friend Molly. We sourced linen from the LA fabric market and are so thankful to our family & friends who made all of the napkins. And now we have a lifetime supply of napkins ;)

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food & drink

We originally set out to do a typical wedding dinner (salmon, chicken, filet), but kept debating it. After seeing a wedding that served In ‘n’ Out burgers, we realized food was something we could inject our personality into.

We decided to scrap our original plan and went with pizza and pasta, which are some of our favorite foods. We were a little worried how it would go over with our guests, but everyone LOVED it! Everyone said it was exactly what they wanted to be eating.

We got engaged at Wölffer Estate in the Hamptons and bought a few bottles of their rosé for Grant and I to drink. It was so special to have wine from the year and vineyard we got engaged in. For dessert, we had a small cake (mostly as a photo opp) and then served ice cream sandwiches, which were a HUGE hit as well.

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the reception

We had our first dance to “Let’s Be Still” by The Head and The Heart, one of our favorite bands. It was the perfect song to savor the moment and really take everything in. The Horah was a non-negotiable for us - it’s always been one of our favorite parts of weddings. It was the absolute best way to start the party and get everyone dancing. Not pictured: Grant almost being dropped from his chair.

All four of our parents (both sets are divorced) gave incredible toasts, as well as Grant’s brother and two of my bridesmaids. I danced with my with my dad to "She's On Her Way" by Phil Vassar. We ended up dancing to the entire song and I don't think there was a dry eye in the place.

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I hope you enjoyed getting to see all the little details and moments from our day!

All photos by Shannen Natasha

To see more about our wedding: The Venue + Decor, Getting Ready

Our Wedding: Getting Ready

Excited to share more details from our wedding day! We were so lucky to have space at our venue to get ready for the day. It made it a breeze to be in one place and not have to worry about transportation. When we first arrived, I remember it feeling so surreal that the day had finally come!

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I got ready with my mom, Grant’s mom and my five bridesmaids. Once I decided on my getting ready dress, I had everyone else wear white tops + denim, which is basically my summer uniform, ha. We spent the morning getting excited for the day while having our hair and makeup done by Janet & the team at Be. NYLA. They did such an amazing job making everyone look beautiful and natural.

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I had the hardest time figuring out what I wanted to wear while getting ready! I didn’t want to go the robe/pajama route and every dress I came across wouldn’t be easy to get off after having my hair and makeup done. Eventually I found this dress (ironically from the maternity line HATCH) that was a breeze to get on and off! I love that it’s a dress I can wear in my everyday life and be reminded of our special day.

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I gifted my bridesmaids earrings for them to wear and some Glossier Balm Dot Calm in Rose (it’s my fave!). I also had custom bags made for each of them on Etsy. I also found vintage handkerchiefs on Etsy, which I gave to my mom, Grant’s mom and my stepmom.

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The dress! I kept going back and forth about what I wanted — I was drawn to both super simple silk dresses and overly textured dresses. I think everyone expected me to go with a silk dress à la Carolyn Bessette, but I ultimately wanted something more special. I originally found my dress on Moda Operandi, sent it to my mom and said “This is what I’m looking for! But picture it without long sleeves…and without the mini skirt...” I had completely forgotten about the dress when we had an appointment at Saks Bridal and Elizabeth Fillmore happened to be having a trunkshow of her dresses. Lo and behold, the mannequin was wearing the dress I had sent my mom! I tried it on, along with a few others, but instantly knew it was the one.

I was fortunate enough to meet Elizabeth herself, and she invited me to finish all of my alterations and do my fittings at her personal studio. It was a dream come true to get to fully customize my dress and have it made exactly as I envisioned. It was such a special process that I will never forget!

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I had been looking for a few pins to wear in my hair and my mom surprised me at one of my dress fittings with my grandmother’s veil. Her veil was not in great condition to be worn, but she had these amazing flowers that formed a headband and coincidentally were very similar to the flowers on my dress. I took the veil apart and used the loose flower pieces in my hair. I loved being able to incorporate part of her wedding day into my look and have something so unique and special.

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For my jewelry, I wore simple stud earrings and was incredibly fortunate that my dad gave me one of my other grandmother’s bracelets to wear. She loved opals and I have so many memories of her wearing them. It is a piece I will always treasure.

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Grant and I did a first look so we could take all of our family portraits beforehand our ceremony. We exchanged cards with one another and it was so special to have that time alone, before all of the festivities began. If you are comfortable with it, I highly recommend doing a first look. Doing portraits pre-ceremony allowed us to actually be a part of our cocktail hour and spend more time with our guests. It also helped get all of the jitters out!

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I opted to wear a veil for our ceremony and loved how simple mine was. I wanted to make sure you could still see the back of my dress through it so I opted for a sheerer style from Twigs & Honey. They send you swatches of their tulle, which made it super easy to coordinate with my dress.

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I had all of my bridesmaids wear the same dress — the High Neck Cinch Gown in Sand from Natalie Deayala. Her dresses are so beautiful and simple and come in so many colors and styles. Sorry to see that she has closed her business — she filled such a void in the marketplace!

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Last but certainly not least, our adorable flower girls! I found their dresses at Pink Chicken and am so obsessed I wish I could have bought it for myself. I got them swiss dot bows by Coco and Manu for their hair and they wore Saltwater sandals in gold.

All images by Shannen Natasha

Our Wedding: The Venue + Decor

I can’t believe it’s already been over a year since our wedding! Our wedding was recently featured on Over the Moon and I wanted to do a few posts here to share more about our day, starting with our venue and decor…

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I am originally from New Jersey and although we live in New York City, we decided to have our wedding outside of Los Angeles. Grant is from LA and has grandparents who wouldn’t have been able to travel to the East Coast. Getting married in Southern California also ensured we’d have perfect weather, which we did—75 degrees and perfectly sunny!

We settled on Hummingbird Nest Ranch for our venue. My close friend, Janelle, got married there two years before us and we fell in love with it. We toured a lot of other venues, but none of them came close to the character and Italian villa feel of Hummingbird. We loved that it felt like an amazing home (with a pool!) and our wedding could feel like a dinner party.

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Our ceremony took place under a grove of olive trees and we used olive branches throughout our decor. We kept everything pretty minimal, for aesthetic reasons and to keep costs down. I loved how simple and classic everything turned out and how seamlessly our decor went with the venue.

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A few details from the ceremony—our welcome table and bags filled with flower petals for post-ceremony tossing. We had white hydrangea petals scattered up the aisle and also used them to fill our “to toss” bags. I knew they would make a big statement in our recessional photos!

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We used the existing greenery around the pool to create the backdrop for our place cards. Wooden clothespins held up the place cards and we also used some mini clothespins for name cards at each person’s seat.

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One of my absolute favorite details (and everyone else’s!) were the balloons in the pool. These almost didn’t happen and were a last minute addition. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and couldn’t get it out of my head. Originally I thought we could easily tackle these ourselves and save some money. However, after talking to our day-of coordinator, it became clear that it would be quite difficult to pull off on our own (plus added stress). Party Blitz came to the rescue and blew us away with her install. It seriously came out better than I could have imagined!

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Stay tuned for more posts about our wedding!

Sources:
Venue: Hummingbird Nest Ranch
Rentals: A Rental Connection
Balloons: Party Blitz
Flowers: Of the Flowers
Paper Goods: designed by me, printed by Presshaus LA
Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party

All photos by Shannen Natasha