A wacky, fun and rainbow themed wedding is always going to be a winner with me, and seeing Melanie & Michael’s day, at Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, was no different. I mean what’s not to love?! “When we first began planning our wedding, we started with a list of things we didn’t want to do”, began Melanie. “We had been to enough impersonal ceremonies and stereotypical receptions in the past few years to have acquired a pretty substantial list! We wanted the event to be as engaging for the guests as for us, we wanted it to be silly but meaningful, and we wanted it to be the most fun wedding anyone had ever attended.”
“I’m a production manager for a theater company, and he’s a writer and director, so we began to think of the wedding as ‘the show we’re doing this summer’. We wrote a script which included a variety of movie music cues, kids in Halloween costumes throwing confetti instead of flower petals, and ‘readings’ by members of the wedding party. These ‘readings’ included the ‘Mawage’ speech from The Princess Bride, the Donny Eulogy from The Big Lebowski, ponderings on the nature of the Force by a fully-costumed Yoda, and a commissioned poem on the importance of love comprised completely from popular song lyrics.”
Matt & Dannie were married at the groom’s Grandmother’s house in in the Sonoma Wine Country, California. After a memorable proposal (that was captured on film!) the couple set to planning a day that was a true reflection of them as a couple. “The most special thing for us was our wedding location,” Dannie began. “It was at Matt’s grandparents house. His grandfather built the house, and he had so many good memories there as a child. It was an honor for us to be able to be married there. His grandfather passed away in early 2011, so it was a very emotional night for his grandmother and family. The house was beautiful and was the perfect location for us.”
“Because we are wedding photographers, we see a ton of weddings a year”, she continued. “We wanted our wedding to be different. Nothing traditional. We really wanted our day to be special for all of our guests. We were thrilled to finally get married, but most importantly to hang out with all of our friends in one place and have them celebrate the love we have for each other and for them! One of the most non-traditional things about the day was the food. We didn’t want to serve anything boring. We had pulled pork & veggie sandwiches with mac n cheese, salad, and plenty of bacon (at the grooms request).”
I know having favourites is bad… especially in my game… but, honestly, if I was held at gun point and asking to choose, I might be swayed towards Made U Look Photography. They are, without a doubt, some of the sweetest and most talented babes about. I love them endlessly and their photography fills my heart with joy.
So obviously getting a submission from Christina, Alie & Marielle is a red letter day in my book. I feel like all my Christmases have come at once when I first clap eyes on stunning wedding images like this:
UGH, girls. You killed it!
Heidi & Nathan’s beautiful outdoor wedding was held at Grand Oaks Ranch in Tehachapi, Ca.
“Nathan and I have been together for over 6 years so we wanted our wedding to be not only a celebration of our love for each other but also for our family and friends”, wrote Heidi. “They have been there for us throughout the years and have watched us grow into the people we are today. We wanted our day to be filled with love, laughter, tears, and lots of dancing… which was a total success of course!”
Manny & Rachel were married in an art gallery in California. Describing themselves as an artsy couple, they knew that they wanted their wedding to be different, quirky and to have some personality. The Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana was the perfect place.
“Manny & I are kinda artsy, but definitely not artists, and over the course of our relationship we shared lots of drawings, silly books and creative gifts”, explained the bride. “On top of that we love the modern look so we thought a downtown art gallery would be the perfect venue to showcase us! We put ourselves to work and came up with an entire exhibition of gifts to each other, along with some gifts from family. Every last detail was DIY. Needless to say it was more amazing than we had ever envisioned. And in many ways was the most unique, kick-ass wedding our guests had ever seen!”
This wedding was certainly a DIY affair with the creative pair hand making as much as they possibly could themselves. ”One of my favorite pieces was our seating chart. We hemmed and hawed over what to do for a really long time. With over 200 guests, we needed a lot of names, and we weren’t about to just post a plain old list. Then the kite idea popped into my mind! After all, we did build and fly a kite when we first started dating. The same artist, Olivia Guzman, that designed the head table backdrop, sketched the drawing of the kids flying the kite. We shrunk the image for the cute little artist easels for the table numbers, and enlarged the sketch for the wall! We used Sharpie marker to color in 20+ little canvases, and bought and cut some vinyl for large image. Then, I color coded everyone’s table assignment and wrote their names on the mini-kites! Color-coded seating? Awesome and time-consuming all at once! But I absolutely LOVED the final product!”
Ahh Big Sur. In the early part of my wedding blogging career I had no idea what this ‘Big Sur’ was… a magical sounding place that all the other wedding bloggers spoke of so often. And then finally I realised the obsession.
These Californain mountains are picturesque. And overlooking the Pacific ocean. Is it any wonder they’re such a popular spot for weddings? Come on English mountains… step it up a bit…
Sabeena & Ryan were married at the Henry Miller Library, a memorial and not-for-profit bookstore in the heart of the region. The couple planned a truly personal wedding, employing as few wedding vendors as possible. The lucky pair were able to call upon the talents of their nearest and dearest to lend a hand with every aspect. “We were engaged on a gorgeous beach on an island off the coast of Panama, at the beginning of a 16 month adventure that took us across the world… so we didn’t even begin thinking about a wedding until almost two years after Ryan popped the question”, explained the bride. “When we finally settled in San Francisco, we knew we wanted to get married somewhere that represented our sense of adventure: somewhere outdoors, non-traditional, a little off the grid. The Henry Miller Library was the perfect place.”
On 26th May this year Kira & John were married in Berkeley, California. The Lawrence Hall of Science at The University of California seemed to be the perfect space to host their reception as the bride had attended school there. It was a unique space and has plenty of things for people to look at and play with throughout the party!
“Our wedding was held at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley”, wrote the bride. “The ceremony was held in a large courtyard called Science Park over a fountain (and exhibit), and the reception was held inside the museum, where all of the hands-on exhibits were open to guests. All of our portraits were taken in the nearby Botanical Gardens. Our officiant was John’s law professor. We included a final blessing repeated by all of our guests… ‘Live long, and prosper!’”
The couple had a DIY wedding with them making the invitations (from a watercolour painting commissioned one of our their favourite online artists, Rebecca Clements), all the bouquets, boutonnieres & corsages, the succulent centrepieces (which they grew themselves!) and the paper tissue pom poms. ”Our wedding theme was DIY,” Kira continued, “from the scientific fun and lifetime learning exhibited at the museum to the handmade crafts we brought and our whole approach to the event. It was an extremely personal reflection of us as a couple, and broke my family’s tradition of a Chinese American church ceremony and seafood banquet in a Chinese restaurant. We wanted to make new traditions.”