Intimate Elopement at The “Kill Bill” Church: Vicki & Lee

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It’s no secret that I am completely obsessed with Made U Look‘s photography. I know I’m not supposed to have favourites and all, but if I was forced… well, they’d be way up there. They just kill it every time. Which is why, when Vicki and Lee sent me the photos of their elopement at a church in the Californian desert, shot by Made U Look, I didn’t hesitate for one second when I replied saying “Yes, yes, yes I want to feature you!”

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Quite apart from the stunning photographs, this is the kind of wedding that I truly adore. I’ve written before how much I love low key, simple and intimate weddings and this one completely encompasses that – no stress, no stuff, just the two of them, their son and their witnesses. The ceremony was followed by a jam session on guitars with beer and cake by the roadside – I mean, what could be more perfect than that?

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“Whenever we talked about getting married we always said we’d love to do it in a little road side chapel in the desert”, wrote Vicki. “Somewhere like the chapel in the film Kill Bill. We also loved the idea of an elopement-style affair rather than a big family gathering. We felt that the desert setting was perfect for us and provided, without any need for decoration, exactly the kind of aesthetic that we both love. Think Badlands, Paris Texas and Gram Parsons.”

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“There wasn’t a great deal of conscious thought or planning, it just kind of happened”, she continued. “The church was booked (via a single email exchange), and we sorted our wedding clothes just a couple of weeks before we flew out to California, spending the week before the wedding on a road trip from San Francisco to LA, just the 3 of us, along Route 1.”

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“On the morning of the wedding I popped to a local farmers market to choose flowers to make a simple bouquet which I tied together with a piece of lace I found at Annie’s Vintage Clothing in Camden Passage, London. My dress was already hanging in my wardrobe and with a little modification it ticked all the boxes for me. We had invited along two friends (who live in LA) to be our witnesses. They arrived at our rented apartment (built in 1924 by Charlie Chaplin’s studio stage crew!) hung out for a bit, had some photos taken there and then we all set off for the church.”

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“I’ll never forget turning onto Avenue G and seeing the church for the first time I was so overwhelmed that I cried for about 15 minutes! Proper uncontrollable, sobs and tears of pure happiness. Luckily that was two days before the wedding when we went to meet the Pastor so I didn’t ruin my eye make-up on the big day!”

“We didn’t even know who else was going to be there! The Pastor, Oscar Castaneda, told us he might invite a few a few of his congregation (I think he felt sorry for us having no guests?!) and when we arrived there were two or three old couples we’d never met in our lives. Plus us five. And the Made U Look girls of course. It was amazing. Everyone was lovely.”

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“We loved the simplicity of our wedding”, she concluded. “The lack of any kind of planned structure for the day allowed the kindness, generosity and warmth of the few people involved to really shine through. Especially our friends Lindsey and Eli whose natural ease and enthusiasm helped things run so smoothly. Looking after Bo, preparing food, reminding Oscar to let us exchange rings!”

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“Things seemed to just happen organically – as and when it felt right (the service, the food, the music, the photos). Nothing was hurried. It felt quite dreamy, and was totally relaxed and with no pressure. Just a few friends hanging out for the day – which just happened to have us getting married in the middle of it.”