“Boardwalk! Vintage! Spooky! Romantic!” These are just a few of the themes that creative couple Ashley and Bart gave their wedding designer Jesi Haack Design and—WOW—did she nail it. Jesi transformed the Carondelet House into a fantastical display of personalized wonderment for the professional writing-duo bride and groom. The couple’s “celebration of the life [they’ve] built together” has us totally transfixed, from the amazing animal-head wall, to the moody paper by Blot and Dot and Minted, to the fortune telling machine, to the peach tapers lighting the ceremony isle to the GORGEOUS deep pink florals by Siren Floral Co. … and the list goes on forever. Lucky for us, they hired the perfect photographer to capture all the moments and incredible details of their big day. Check out the crazy-beautiful images from our friend Steve Cowell Photo. We know you’re going to LOVE it.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Bart and I have been together for a over a decade, plus we work together every day as a writing team, so our wedding felt more like a celebration of the life we’ve built together than a way to “make it official.” Because of that, we really stuck to our guns and made sure everything felt like an extension of us and our personalities, despite the occasional raised eyebrow over more non-traditional elements. It also helped to have such incredibly talented friends — our wedding party was also one of our bands!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My dress is the Zara gown from Rue de Seine. After a couple of casual (and fruitless) shopping trips at home in LA, I ended up in a bit of a time crunch, realizing I should have picked a dress, like, yesterday, right as we were about to start a three week shoot in Atlanta. Luckily my amazing, life-saving friend Eva helped me find the adorable Kelly’s Closet in Candler Park and patiently helped me narrow down the field over the course of a weekend. I was actually trying to decide between two other dresses when I tried on the Zara on an indecisive lark, and bought it immediately.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
There were so many special touches that it’s hard to pick just a few. Jesi, our designer, really took the time to get to know our tastes, then ran with the ball hard, miraculously coalescing our all-over-the-place ideas (boardwalk! vintage! spooky! romantic!) into a coherent design. Bart and I recently spent three seasons working on a vampire show (!), so we really wanted to incorporate our love of all things strange without it feeling like a theme wedding. Jesi came up with the spell bags (complete with tarot card, sage, and candle) as dual-purpose place cards and favors, and I think they ended up being my favorite design element. The fortune telling machine was a must since Bart and I both grew up on the Jersey Shore. And the decorated tree near the fireplace commemorated the night Bart and I first met, at our friend (and groomsman) Andy’s annual “Beer Christmas” party. But I think my favorite touch of all was the cake topper on our little cutting cake. It was from my parents’ wedding, but when we first unearthed it, the lace had torn and the base had yellowed with age. My mom took a lot of care sprucing it up for us, and by the night of the wedding it was perfect.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The most memorable part of the day is a three-way tie (cheating, I know!) between the ceremony, which was by turns hilarious and tearful, the moment alone Bart and I took to eat appetizers and drink a cocktail and soak everything in, directly after the ceremony (everybody advises you to do this and YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY LISTEN AND DO THIS), and the moment the band took the stage and my brother, my co-maids of honor, my bridesmaid, and our officiant launched into the most ass-kicking cover of Danzig’s “Mother” the world has ever known.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Bart and I met at a “Beer Christmas” Party (a holiday both invented and creatively named by our friend Andy), but had known OF each other for a few years before that, thanks to a number of mutual friends. At the time, however, Bart’s family owned a concession stand on the Jersey Shore, and was always working when everyone else was hanging out. [We jokingly refer to him in those days as the “Tino,” for any My So-Called Life fans.] We got engaged nine and a half years later, during a quick trip to NYC, near the bar where we had our first official date. Bart knew I wasn’t the type to relish an overly public proposal, but also knows how much I like romantic gestures, so he figured getting down on one knee in the middle of a quiet New York street would do the trick. The only thing he wasn’t counting on was that it would be garbage day, so he had to perfectly time things out so we were between the piles of trash bags. Which somehow made it that much more adorable and magical (Spoiler alert: I said yes.).
Photography: Steve Cowell Photo // Design: Jesi Haack Design // Planning: Megan w/ The Love Riot // Paper Goods: Minted & Blot and Dot // Venue: Carondelet House // Catering: Tres L.A. // Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Tabletop Rentals: Borrowed Blu // Floral Design: Siren Floral Co. // Photo Booth: Amigo Booth // Hair+Makeup: Kacee Geoffroy // Zoltar Machine: Party Works Interactive // Ceremony Altar Rental: Found Vintage Rentals