Jane and Otavio planned their West Hills, California garden wedding remotely from Chicago. So, to get the gorgeous day of their dreams, the enlisted army of trusted vendors to make it all happen. The couple definitely chose right— Joyce Kim Weddings led the team, while Bended-Knee created breathtaking florals (the bridal bouquet and ceremony arbor are perfection), Baby Bea’s Bakeshop executed the sweetest dessert table and Melissa Gidney Photography captured it all. We know you’ll love this super-fun, super sweet celebration.
What made the wedding special and unique?
The venue felt like a hidden gem with a blank canvas that I could call my very own. It fit the bill for what we had envisioned for our wedding, rustic yet elegant, and were incredibly flexible about allowing us to bring in our own vendors.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
Not to sound crazy, but I found the dress a few years back while helping a friend shop for wedding dresses. It was love at first sight (just like when I first met my now husband) and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. However, I didn’t want to get too in over my head because I was nowhere near being engaged. When the time came, I still thought about the dress, but wanted to give myself a chance to fully explore all available options. After a day spent trying on dresses, I decided to finally try on the dress and instantly knew. At the moment, I realized that planning a wedding shouldn’t be too complicated if I just go with my gut.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
With an army of talented vendors that brought my vision to life, I was able to incorporate a lot of vintage pieces that made the venue feel more personal and homey.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Aside from finally diving into the dessert bar, the first dance. It was the culmination of our wedding day and the time we could finally relax. The day had gone without a hitch, and we got through the most nerve-wrecking part, the ceremony! Ironically, it also finally hit me at that moment that I am now a Mrs.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We first met in Chemistry class at UCLA during our freshman year. After ten years of a whirlwind romance, he finally got down on one knee right where we first met and asked me to be his wife.
From The Bride… We first met in Chemistry class during our freshman year at UCLA. However, it took us both a little over two years to realize there was something truly special in our bond. Needless to say, our friendship turned into something more after our first kiss, and the rest is history. Fast forward ten years, everything comes full circle and Otávio proposes to me right where we first met. Shortly after, we pack our bags and make our way to Chicago with the company of our newest, attention stealing family-member, a Siberian Husky. Just as we started planning our wedding, I enroll in business school at Northwestern University while Otávio starts fundraising for his fintech startup, Nvestly.
With the help of an army of incredibly talented and very patient vendors, we somehow managed to plan a wedding remotely across country in the midst of exams, recruiting, summer internships, a company acquisition and puppy rearing. We picked Orcutt Ranch in West Hills, California for the venue – a hidden gem filled with charm that provided a beautiful blank canvas to make our own. We just wanted our guests to have a great time, so having the right atmosphere was very important to us. Our caterer, Viviane Arlotto, created a menu inspired by our roots (for Otávio, that meant Churrasco style steak, Coxinhas and Caipirinhas; and for Jane, lemon grass shrimp and scallion rice) mixed with California fare like grilled sea bass and seasonal roasted vegetables. The tabletop, by Modern Party Rentals, was the perfect balance between elegance and simplicity – ivory linens adorned with glass-beaded chargers, mercury votives, wooden table-numbers with DIY menus and guest placecards.
We were also very fortunate to have very talented friends add their personal touches to make our day even more special. Our guests spent the evening dancing under the stars listening to the latest grooves spun by Marlon Fuentes, posing away at our photo booth creatively set up under the rose arbor by Pixel Photo Booth, and noshing on delectable desserts from Baby Bea’s Bakeshop. Joyce Kim Weddings delivered every vision in my mind and more – we were simply in awe of everything the day of and grateful that both Melissa Gidney Photography and Atomic Tangerine Films were there to beautifully capture every moment special to us both.
Photography: Melissa Gidney Photography // Photography Assistant: Vanessa Tierney // Event Planning & Design: Joyce Kim Weddings // Floral Design: Bended-Knee // Videography: Atomic Tangerine Films // Wedding Dress: Vera Wang // Stationery: Beacon Lane // Bride’s Shoes: Valentino // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan // Catering: Viviane Arlotto // Dessert: Baby Bea’s Bakeshop // Hair & Make-Up: Theresa Huang // Calligraphy: Letters To You // Grooms Attire: Suitsupply // Rentals: Modern Party Rentals // Vintage Rentals: Found Rentals // Vintage Rentals: Etablir Vintage Rentals // Venue: Orcutt Ranch