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If Amanda and Dan’s wedding day at The Villa Del Sol D’oro doesn’t knock your socks off, than you’re probably not that into weddings and this site might not be for you. But seriously you guys—it’s STUNNING. The day’s design was led by White Blossom Events and was decked out in florals everywhere by Lee’s Orchid. The ceremony was held in the courtyard of the villa overlooking the spectacular gardens followed by an elegant reception in the peach and blue palette that was introduced by a Rifle Paper Co. invitation suite. It’s all just so beautiful and lucky for us Jenny Smith & Co. captured it to perfection.

What made the wedding special and unique? 

We loved that so many of our family and friends that are scattered across the country and across the ocean were able to celebrate with us. Our officiant for the wedding was my law school roommate, Mercy. She was the one who originally encouraged me to apply for the job where I met Dan, so she’s been there from the start of our relationship. Dan and I said our own vows to each other and had a reading of a letter by Johnny Cash to his wife June, which is one of our favorite love letters of all time and reminds us of our own handwritten letters when we were long-distance for three years. Dan’s closest friend from college was able to make it out all the way from New Zealand and did the reading for us. Also, since the wedding, my grandfather and uncle and one of Dan’s uncles passed away, so it means even more now that we were able to share that special day with them.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

When we got engaged, I had a certain idea about my dream dress, but after going to 15+ bridal shops all across Los Angeles and Orange County, I still hadn’t found it. It was a little disheartening, and I thought I’d have to settle for a dress that was short of being “the one.” I was browsing through Instagram for inspiration one day and saw a bride wearing a beautiful crepe and lace mermaid gown with an illusion neckline. It was one I had never envisioned for myself, but I knew my Pronovias Vicenta gown was the winner when I tried it on. I didn’t think it was possible, but I loved my dress even more on my actual wedding day. I wish I had another occasion to wear it! The dress was perfect in every way and fit the super romantic mood I was looking for on our wedding day.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Almost everything about our wedding had some personal meaning to Dan and me. I came up with the idea of making the table numbers all places in California that Dan and I love and modeled them to look like the California historical landmark signs. I made all the ceremony programs, table numbers, place cards, and signage aside from our welcome sign. I worked very closely with our florist to come up with all the florals and scoured the internet for the perfect shade of dusty blue velvet and satin ribbon for the boutonnieres and bridesmaids’ bouquets. For dessert, we had a churro cart for all our guests because Dan had his first ever churro with me on our 6 month anniversary date to Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Putting together all these personal touches was really a labor of love that I enjoyed.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The most memorable part was when we read our own vows to each other. I had customized little gray Moleskine notebooks for us to write our vows in. It was really hard for me to capture my feelings for Dan in a short speech, so I ended up procrastinating and finally writing the perfect words at 2 am on the night before our wedding. Dan said his vows after me, and he surprised me by memorizing his vows so he could look me in the eyes the whole time as he recited them to me. I remember Dan was incredibly swamped at work in the months leading up to our wedding, so the fact that he found the time to do so meant a lot.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met during law school at UCLA in 2010 when we both worked as summer research assistants. During our training week, I saw Dan walk into the room. I knew immediately that he was the guy I was going to marry! I knew it was a crazy thought at the time, but I’m a romantic and I’d never felt that way about anybody before, so I thought it couldn’t be too crazy. Later that week, Dan came up to me and introduced himself and said something really corny that made me smile but also made my eyes roll. It definitely would not be the last time he did that. The next week, I climbed up the stairs to my favorite study spot in the entire library, which was in the 4th floor reading room. When I got there, I found Dan sitting in my favorite spot, so I took the seat at the other end of the table. And that was the start to our friendship.

We got engaged at the LA County Fair in 2016. The fair was one of the first places we had gone to together as friends before we started dating. Dan later revealed to me that on that first trip to the fair as friends, he had intended to ask me out on the ferris wheel. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it onto the ferris wheel that day. When we went back to the fair in 2016 as a couple with our friends, I told Dan that he owed me a ride on the ferris wheel. Finally towards the end of the night, we got in line for that long overdue ferris wheel ride and once we were at the top, he popped the question! I was definitely caught off guard. I was so excited that I wanted to soak in everything about that moment. I even still remember what the moon looked like on that night!

Photography: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: White Blossom Events // Florals: Lee’s Orchid // Invitation Design: Rifle Paper Co. // Venue: The Villa Del Sol D’oro // Dress: Pronovias // Bridesmaid Dresses: RenzRags // Save The Dates: Minted // Invitations: Paperless Post // Makeup & Hair: Kelly Zhang Studio // DJ/Lighting: Art of the Party DJs // Videography: Buckley Videography // Photo Booth: JS&CO Photobooth // Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop // Dessert: Let’s Have A Cart Party // Catering/Rentals: Santa Anita Gardens Catering // Cake Topper/Welcome Sign: Letters To You // Groom’s Tux: J.Crew // Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

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Amanda and Adam knew most of their loved ones—dispersed around the country—would be hopping a plane to their wedding regardless of location, so the couple fully embraced the “destination wedding” concept and threw a long weekend bash in Los Cabos. The couple enlisted Amy Abbott Events to create the celebration of their dreams. With the help of fabulous vendors, tropical accents, personalized details and TONS of florals, the team transformed Flora Farms into a lush garden affair with twinkling cafe lights to cap it all off. Photographer duo Chris & Lynn were on hand to capture all the magic in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

With Adam’s family in California, and my family in Michigan and Texas, we knew that most people would need to get on a plane in order to celebrate with us. So, we decided to fully embrace the idea of a destination wedding! Cabo was an easy decision. My parents are owners at Esperanza, so we are down in Cabo a few times a year. Baja California has become a place near and dear to our hearts, and we couldn’t wait to share it with our family and friends! We actually decided on Flora Farms as our wedding location even before we were officially engaged!

To us, it was important that our wedding was more than just one day. From our experience, a wedding is a total whirlwind and blur – not just for the bride and groom, but often for the guests too! We wanted to make sure we had ample time to celebrate and spend time with the most important people in our lives.

So we thought: Why have a one-day wedding when you can have a four-day wedding weekend extravaganza?! With the help of our incredible wedding planner, Lynette Dow with Amy Abbott Events, we planned four days of events for our guests… So much planning and details went into the four days of events, we sincerely could not have done it all without Lynette! She was a true lifesaver and miracle worker.

We kicked things off on Thursday with a private catamaran sunset cruise with Tropicat. Our guests were able to mingle and get to know one another, while soaking in some of the most beautiful sights of Cabo, including The Arch. On Friday, the day before our wedding, we hosted a Mexican Fiesta on the beach at Esperanza – complete with a mariachi band! From there, we enjoyed an elegant dinner overlooking the ocean, on Esperanza’s “Seaside Terrace,” with an incredible saxophonist and fireworks to cap off the evening!

Most of our guests attended all four days of events, which meant that by the end of the weekend, strangers had been transformed into close friends. There was no distinction between “Adam’s family” or “Amanda’s family.”  This closeness and energy was so apparent at our wedding – it was truly magical.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The gown is Jenny Packham. (2017 collection, Style: ‘Nashville’) The dress was absolute perfection. I felt like a million bucks wearing it. And it was ridiculously comfortable.

When it came to wedding dress shopping, I was incredibly spoiled since we live in New York City – all of the best salons and designers are right here. My mom, sister, and best friend flew into NYC from every corner of the country – Michigan, Texas, and Minnesota – for a weekend of dress shopping. Little did we know, we would find the dress on the very first day!

The gown was exactly what I was looking for, down to every detail. I knew it was “the one” as soon as I tried it on. We found it at a bridal salon right near our apartment – Gabriella New York Bridal Salon, in Soho. Bonus: Gabriella was having a Jenny Packham Trunk Show, which meant a 10% discount!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

There were so many personal touches throughout the day… In particular, every aspect and detail of the wedding ceremony was incredibly personal to us. It was important that our officiant was someone who knew us extremely well, both separately as individuals and together as a couple. The decision was easy: my sister’s husband and our brother-in-law. To us, Jeff was the obvious choice – beyond being one of the most important people in our lives, he is funny, articulate, and well-spoken. As a former trial attorney for the Department of Justice, we knew Jeff could easily command the crowd. We did not have a Plan B or back-up choice, so we were extremely relieved when he agreed to officiate! With Jeff we designed and wrote our entire wedding ceremony, start to finish. It was an incredibly time-consuming process, but also an incredibly powerful experience. In the months leading up to the wedding, Adam and I would sit together at a neighborhood coffee shop on the weekends, working on the ceremony. It was a unique opportunity to verbalize and solidify our definitions of love and marriage.

There were several personal touches throughout the ceremony, including:

Our Parents:  First, it was important to me that both of my parents walked me down the aisle. During the ceremony, I wore my mom’s wedding garter, and a piece of my mom’s wedding dress was wrapped around my bouquet. Additionally, we asked both sets of parents to join us at the front during the ceremony for a “Parents’ Affirmation.”

Ring Bearer Trucks: Our two nephews (my sister’s boys) were our ring bearers. In the months leading up to the wedding, Eli (4) and Ezra (2) made it known that they would not go down the aisle without trucks. So, with the help of a DIY blog and a very crafty person on TaskRabbit, we found two classic metal Tonka dump trucks, sanded them down, took them apart, repainted them, and put them back together! This was not an easy task – we found out the hard way that current day Tonka trucks cannot be taken apart. So we had to track down two classic trucks on eBay. But the end results were beyond worth it… The dump trucks were transformed from a garish bright yellow to a soft bridal white – a much better fit for the aesthetics of our wedding! And the boys loved the trucks! (They took them home with them from Mexico.) We put rose petals in the back of the dump trucks, and the rest is history…. The boys completely stole the show!

Hand-Selected Readings: We didn’t want just the typical, cliché wedding readings that you tend to hear at every single wedding. The two readings we selected were incredibly meaningful to us – for us, the readings were a way to make a statement as a couple about our shared set of values and beliefs. The first reading was an excerpt from the majority opinion from the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. The second reading was a love letter written by Johnny Cash to his wife, June Carter, on her 65th birthday (after more than 25 years of marriage).

Vows: Since we wrote our entire ceremony, it was only fitting that we also write our vows. While many couples opt to write their own vows, separately, we wrote our vows together. We decided together what promises we wanted to make to one another and of course, we agonized together over every single word choice. It was so meaningful and powerful to recite the vows we had written together to one another during our ceremony. Amanda: For better or worse, I can’t help but concentrate on every single little detail! Every decision was made and every details was selected with a great deal of care, thought, and purpose… From the local, handcrafted avocado soaps from Santo Cabo in the bridal party gift bags to the vintage, mid-century, Mexican sterling silver cufflinks I tracked down on Etsy for Adam as a gift on our wedding day. To me, the magic of our wedding was in these small, thoughtful details and personal touches.

Adam: Adam is more of a “big picture” kind of guy. But he got all into the details when it came to the music! Music was an integral and personal part of our wedding, from start to finish, with several meaningful songs throughout. We selected a string trio for our ceremony – comprised of Daryl Currie and Cabo Strings. Adam entered the ceremony to “In My Life” by The Beatles. I walked down the aisle with my parents to an instrumental version of “Latch” by Disclosure – a meaningful song to us that came out in 2014 when we first started dating.

We found an amazing Cabo-based band, The Currents, to perform during our cocktail hour, dinner, and first dances. Our first dance was to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. Thanks to dance lessons we had been taking in New York, we surprised the crowd with a beautifully choreographed dance… complete with two lifts! Neither of us are particularly coordinated or rhythmically inclined, so this was a big deal for us! And to keep the dance party going, we transitioned from live music to DJ Alex during the reception. Adam worked closely with DJ Alex on the playlist, which was incredible – the dance floor was packed all night. The dance party was a whirlwind – there was even an impromptu conga line! The last song of the night was another meaningful song to us, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It’s impossible to pick just one… In many ways, so much of it was memorable. And in other ways, so much of the day was just a complete blur! A few stand-out memorable moments:

Morning Coffee / Vow Writing: We woke up early on the morning of our wedding and sat outside on the balcony of our villa at Esperanza – drinking our morning coffee, and looking out over the ocean as the sun was rising. It was truly magical. And it was so important to have a few quiet, peaceful moments together before the chaos and craziness of the day began! And of course, since we both tend to save things until the last minute, we still had not yet finalized our vows… We had been working on them over the previous weeks, but had been agonizing over word choice, length, etc. We couldn’t seem to finalize our vows. But that peaceful moment provided much-needed clarity – suddenly, it was so easy to finish our wedding vows that morning. It was truly a magical way to start our wedding day.

First Look: We’re so glad we opted to do a “first look” before the ceremony. We did our first look at Esperanza, in a beautifully lush and tropical part of the property. It was so private and intimate. We were both so excited, we were grinning ear to ear. I was shaking, Adam was speechless.

Little Moments of Humor & Levity: It was important to us that our ceremony was heartfelt and meaningful, but not too sappy. I really, really did not want to cry! There were a few much-appreciated, unplanned little moments of humor and levity that continue to be the things that stand out most in our memories. Most notably, our nephew Eli interrupted our ceremony in the most adorable way possible. He decided he wanted to go dig in the dirt with his dump truck. So he nonchalantly walked up to me, handed me his precious lovey (“Brown Owl”), and said “Here, hold this” before running off with his dump truck. (I ended up throwing “Brown Owl” to my mom, who was sitting in the front row.)

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Adam and I met in February 2014 on Match.com – the true OG of online dating, before the countless dating apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble became ubiquitous with dating in New York. Adam had recently moved to NYC from LA to get his MBA at Columbia. I was working 80 hour weeks at an advertising agency. Without Match.com, our paths likely would have never crossed.

Neither of us believe in love at first sight, but it was as close as it gets! Our first date was perfection, even though I was 45 minutes late and broke a glass! By our third date, Adam had basically moved in! We ended up living together in a 500 square foot studio apartment for almost a year – and more importantly, we didn’t kill each other!

We got engaged about two years after dating, in early 2016. Adam managed to surprise me with a proposal in Washington Square Park – complete with our friends, massive balloons, and a photographer to capture it all! That said, I might be the hardest person in the world to surprise… As he fell asleep that night, Adam whispered: “This was the best – and worst – day of my life. I will never surprise you again.”

 

Photographer: Chris & Lynn // Planning: Lynette Dow of Amy Abbott Events // Flowers: Pina Cate // Paper Goods/Printed Material: Bells and Whistles // Cake and Venue: Flora Farms // Wedding Dress:  Jenny Packham // Hair and Makeup: Blanc Bridal Salon // Minister: Jeff Tapick (bride’s brother-in-law) // Rentals: Baja Boutique (lounge & bar) / Del Cabo Event Design (tables & chairs) / Pina Cate (table decor) // Dance Floor:  Let it Be Events // Reception music, DJ and Lighting: DJ Alex Alanis // Transportation Company: Impala Transportation // Ceremony Entertainment:  Daryl with Cabo Strings // Cocktail & Dinner Entertainment: Daryl and Monique (cocktail) The Currants (dinner) // Wedding Shoes:  Badgley Mischka // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Carly and Dave’s first date was a bust—Dave got sick and his car was towed—but it was meant to be and, for better or worse, they’ve been together ever since! The couple tied the knot in a modern celebration at La Quinta Country Club in Palm Springs. HoneyFitz Events planned the day filled with tropical and luscious greens by Little Hill Floral Design that reminded the couple of their favorite vacation spots. An understated color palette highlights all the stand-out details like the graphic acrylic seating chart affixed to a topiary wall and white blooms dancing around the custom neon signage. We love the bold, happy vibes and lucky for us Michelle Kyle Photography  was on hand to capture it all!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Having all of  their closest family and friends together to celebrate with them!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

Carly’s Wedding Gown is Pronovias and was purchased at The White Dress in Newport Beach. She was immediately drawn to the unique lace and illusion panels on the side.

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What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Touches of tropical and luscious greens reminded them of their favorite vacation spots — including Palm Springs. The Chuppah Canopy was hand-sewn by the groom’s mom. Carly’s wedding gown had lace from her mom’s wedding gown sewn on the inside.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Stomping on the glass and making it official!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Carly and Dave met at a bar — Palihouse in West Hollywood, CA. After having one of the worst first dinner dates — Dave got sick and his car was towed — they have been together ever since!

Planner: HoneyFitz Events // Photographer: Michelle Kyle Photography // Florist: Little Hill Floral Design // Signage & Paper Goods: Simply Stated Stationery // Ceremony & Reception Venue:  La Quinta Country Club // Wedding Gown: Pronovias from The White Dress in Newport Beach // First Look/Hotel Block: La Quinta Resort and Spa // Entertainment: Dart Collective // Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Makeup: Make-up by Hailey // Videography: Viken Photography

 

Welcoming, sensual, minimal, organic, and artisanal are the words Alexandra McNamara found inspiration in for this modern, blush editorial. Sourcing maker quality items from the likes of Notary CeramicsLeanne Marshall and  Silk and Willow was key to the overall mood. Hunt and Gather  created florals with a unique mix of warm and neutral tones and foraged foliage, in line with the organic and natural story of the shoot. While warm candlelight and stationery on handmade cotton paper by Paula Lee Calligraphy provided the finishing touches and Christine Lim was behind the lens capturing all the details in these lovely film images.

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Photography: Christine Lim // Design and creative direction: Alexandra McNamara // Flowers: Hunt and Gather // Stationery: Paula Lee Calligraphy // Dress: Sash and Bustle // Dress 1: Saja Wedding // Dress 2 Skirt: Theia Couture / Top: Leanne Marshall // Hair and Makeup: Amy Beth // Chargers: Plate Occasions // Ceramics: Notary Ceramics // Table linen: Linen Closet // Napkins: Silk and Willow // Chairs: Contemporary Furniture Rentals // Earrings: The Loved One // Ring: On The Other Hand // Model: Anya from Ciotti Models

 

Sheela and Joe wanted their wedding “to feel like a giant dinner party with our closest family and friends.” Sheela also happens to be a food writer, so cooking and food experiences are a favorite pastime of the couple. Needless to say, the bar was set high and Piccolo delivered the dinner party of their dreams at Portland’s The Barn on Walnut Hill. The event is filled with garden party details and farm-inspired florals by Broadturn Farm. Emily Delamater was behind the lens and she captured it all in these stunning images.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

Sheela: I lived in Italy for awhile and quickly fell in love with the food and the relaxed style of dining there. Since I also happen to be a food writer and cooking and sharing food experiences are two of our favorite hobbies together, we really wanted our wedding to feel like a giant dinner party with our closest family and friends. It was exactly that and then some. We can’t tell you how many times people told us that wedding food is always an afterthought and it will never be as good as we actually wanted it to be, but it was that and more. We loved that people were as excited about the food and drink and company surrounding it as we were — and that we ate more at our own wedding than we have at any other wedding! Piccolo blew us always with their ability to deliver the dinner party of our dreams and we will always be so thankful for that.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

Sheela: The gown is Truvelle, a boutique designer based in Vancouver, Canada. I stumbled upon them on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with their modern yet classic design that’s feminine and whimsical. There are only a handful of shops in the U.S. that carry their gowns and luckily there was one near my apartment in Brooklyn. The dress I chose felt like it could have been made for me — it was so airy and effortless, with really thoughtful touches. Plus, it was the most comfortable gown ever — I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the night!

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

Sheela: There are too many to count! Though I’d have to say the ceremony itself stands out the most. We asked my aunt and uncle to marry us — I am incredibly close to both of them and they’ve been married for almost 60 years. They’re as in love now as they were the day they got married and having them bless us and start us on our journey as husband and wife together couldn’t have been more special. We also wrote our own vows, and while there was so much trembling and tears, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Joe: We hate to say we met at a bar but, well, we met at a bar, as wing-people for our two friends who were on a sort of casual first date after meeting randomly a few nights earlier. Sheela’s friend dragged her with her because she had met the guy late at night at a bar and wanted to ensure he wasn’t completely crazy upon meeting him the second time. She came as her back up plan in case he actually was, in which case she could casually say they needed to go, ha! I came a little later. One, to let my friend spend more time with Sheela’s friend without her, and we quickly hit it off and spent the rest of the night talking and getting to know each other. We exchanged phone numbers and went on our first date a couple of weeks later.

I proposed 4 years later. Sheela had been away for the weekend and I told her I’d take care of dinner the night she got back. As we were just finishing our meal out on our balcony, I reached into my pocket and immediately she thought it was an engagement ring, which was exactly what I hoped she would do. What she didn’t know was that I had a special pair of earrings custom made for her, and this was what was in the box. I said that “I just missed you this weekend and wanted to give you something special.” What she didn’t know was that I still had a little bag in my pocket that contained the ring. In order to not seem obvious, I told her I had to use the bathroom, which would allow me the opportunity to take the ring out of the bag.

Once I got back outside to the balcony and sat down, I started telling her the story of how the earrings were made. I told her that the earrings were actually made using her mom’s engagement ring band, and then proceeded to pull out the remainder of the ring (the diamond) on a newly mounted setting and asked her to marry me.

Photographer: Emily Delamater // Event Planning & Design: A Family Affair Maine // Floral Design: Broadturn Farm // Invitation Design: Gus & Ruby Letterpress // Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill // Wedding Dress Shop: Schone Bride // Wedding Dress Designer: Truvelle // Bridal Shoe Designer: Stuart Weitzman // Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Truvelle (Veil), Davie & Chiyo (Hair Pins) // Grooms & Groomsmens’ Suits: J.Crew  // Grooms Shoes: Cole Haan // Wedding Rings: Clay Pot and Bario-Neal // Engagement Ring: Clay Pot // Bridesmaid Dresses: Various // Event Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals // Band: FreeStyle from Wilson Stevens Agency // Hair/Makeup Stylist: Brigette Bonenfant // Caterer/Cake/Desserts: Piccolo // Wedding Favors: Donated to Cancer Research Institute in Sheela’s mom’s name in lieu of favors // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box