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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

 

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Gabrielle and Benjamin’s Miami wedding at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is DRAMA—in the best possible way. The bride’s vision of “Secret-Garden-meets-Miami, edgy-meets-romantic, and art-deco-meets-old-world-elegance” was achieved with the help of Elite Planning Firm and a slew of fabulous vendors. Gabrielle runs her own design biz, Cazadora Creative Co., and set the tone with the custom stationery suite. The rest of the details followed suite, highlighted by florals in a moody, dusty palette by Anthology Co. The couple enlisted Lauren Apel Photo to capture their day and the result is pretty spectacular!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

I think the fact that it was a destination wedding already made it a little more special. We really wanted to give our guests the Miami experience! But other than that, the wedding was just so us. I was very involved in every single decision throughout the process & at the end of the day I think our personalities really came through. Also, getting married at the famous Vizcaya Museum & Gardens didn’t hurt. We even had a tiny bit of rain after the ceremony and luckily were able to move the reception inside the mansion. It’s the first time Vizcaya has ever had a dance floor on the marble overlooking the east terrace!

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

I love this story! I spent all day with my mom and best friends trying on gowns. BUT I spent all day trying on over-the-top, lace, beaded gowns and they were ALL beautiful. On my way to my last appointment we got stuck in traffic and nearly missed the entire appointment. When I arrived they told me I had only 15 minutes and that I could try on one dress. I quickly ran thru the showroom and I grabbed this long sleeve crepe gown, not a bead or lace in sight. Sure enough she zipped it up and I knew instantly it was the one. But I wanted to see my mom and friends’ reaction before I truly decided. The moment I walked out it was tears all around! The dress was purchased at Patsy’s Bridal Boutique in Dallas, Texas.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

My vision was Secret Garden meets Miami, edgy meets romantic, and art deco meets old world elegance. We used a lot of mauvey colors and matte black accents. I also designed all of the wedding stationery. I own my own stationery design business (Cazadora Creative Co.), so I knew that was one way that my guests would feel the personal touches.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Hardest most impossible question. There are so many sacred moments for me! I loved when we were pronounced Husband & Wife and we walked out together to Say A Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin, all of our guests were singing along. Or maybe dancing the night away with all of our family and friends. Every single guest was on the dance floor and that was really special!

Tell us how you met and became engaged?

Benj & I met while both watching Game 7 of the NBA finals with mutual friends. Ironically, the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs that night and it was the first time Miami would come into our lives. Ben proposed 3 years later at the San Fernando Cathedral surrounded by our friends and family – AND mariachi bands. We stayed up until 5am celebrating our engagement with our friends!

Photographer: Lauren Apel Photo // Planner: Elite Planning Firm // Florals: Anthology Co. // Stationery Designer: Cazadora Creative Co. // Venue: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens // Videographer: Mcduff Productions // Dress: Martina Liana Bridal // Bridal Salon: Patsy’s A Bridal Boutique // Hair & Makeup: Sydney Ann Lopez // Shoes: Gucci // Veil: Kathryn’s Custom Veils // Jewelry: Family Heirlooms // Rings: Custom // Catering & Event Services: Thierry Isambert Culinary & Event Design // Cake: Earth & Sugar // Officiant: Rev. Eddie Rodriguez // DJ & Lighting: The Event Factor // Car Rental: Florian’s Classics // Hotel Block: East Miami // Groom’s Shoes: Stubbs & Wootton // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Atva and Samir’s destination Morocco wedding is absolutely breathtaking. Set at Kasbah Bab Ourika just outside of Marrakech, the multi-day, multi-cultural event blended the couple’s traditions with celebrations and ceremonies staged against the stunning backdrop of the Atlas mountains. The couple enlisted multi-talented planner, Best Day Ever Events, for the planning, styling and florals—all with a subtle modern, bohemian flair. We’re loving the fresh invitation suite by Mark van Wijk and the floral-dressed naked cake by Amandine Marrakech. But it’s photographer Raisa Zwart‘s stunning images that truly make Atva and Samir’s day feel like an advertising campaign for Moroccan nuptials. 

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What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

I think what made it us was the fact that we were able to capture the best of both Western and European wedding traditions and it blended perfectly on both days. The Henna night did have a traditional Morrocan dress – although less dramatic and traditional wedding djelleba for Samir. Our entrance was accompanied with traditional Berber folk music and dance. We also served shared Tagines and desserts as you typically see in Moroccan weddings, and of course Henna but for everyone not only the bride. Which was a huge success. Our wedding day was more traditional western with my dad walking me to the aisle, a western ring ceremony, photo shoot and toast,  but with Milk and Dates for prosperity and fertility before the ceremony and of course sugar – or candy – throwing at the end of the ceremony topped off with traditional Moroccan (and from Samir’s childhood). Pulo Duro – 50cent ice cream cones for our guests.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

For Samir his moment was me walking down towards him on Jacob Banks Silver Lining. Slightly nervous and stressed but so beautiful. For me it was the brief moment we (finally) sat together before dinner when you realize this great man is now my husband!

Tell us how you became engaged.

Samir proposed to me when I didn’t expect him to do so anymore (to be honest I was hoping for it for quite some years). We just had a very romantic holiday in Mozambique, we just celebrated our 14 Year anniversary and nothing. So one random Saturday morning, when I was just desperate for coffee he asked me to sit down and he gave me a gift to unwrap. It was a traditional Moroccan sugar cone with a note that said will you marry me?

Samir + Atva / Wedding in Ourika, Morocco (4K) from The Dreamers on Vimeo.

Photography: Raisa Zwart // Event Planning, Styling & Floral Design: Best Day Ever Events // Floral Design: Le Kiosque a Fleurs & Theun & Bloemen // Stationery: Mark van Wijk // Venue: Kasbah Bab Ourika // Cake: Amandine Marrakech // Officiant: Marry van’t’ Zelfde // Videography: The Dreamers // Makeup Artist: Rob Peetoom // Wedding Dress: Pronovias // Henna Dress: Selma Benomar // Bridal Accessories: Jimmy Choo & Astley ClarkeIsabel Marant // Groom’s Apparel: Oger // Rings: Tiffany & Co

 

Sarah and Ramez were accustomed to the large weddings of their culture—they even met at one! When it came to their own nuptials, however, they preferred an intimate affair where their guests felt like they were on vacation. And what better vacation than the breathtaking scenes and stunning views of Florence?! Planned by Exclusive Italy Weddings, vows were said in a traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony at Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti followed by an incredibly romantic celebration at Villa di Maiano. Garden party vibes were accentuated by florals EVERYWHERE by Tuscany Flowers and guests enjoyed the outdoor dinner seated to view the sunset over the city. The couple enlisted the genius of Katie Mitchell Photography to capture all the details of Sarah and Ramez’s stunning destination affair and we’re thrilled to be sharing the photos with you today.

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How did you meet, how did you become engaged and for how long had you been engaged before your wedding day?:

Ironically enough, we met at a wedding! It was about 5 years before we got married, and we were actually both unsure if we were going to be able to make it (it was in Canada!). At the time, we both were focusing on catching up with old friends and family and weren’t in the “single and ready to mingle” mind set but another guest: “Mike from Toronto” introduced us and we will forever be indebted to him. We talked a while and Ramez tried to drag me out to the dance floor a few times but we missed each other at the end of the night and didn’t say goodbye. I came home to a Facebook message from him and while it was a little cheesy, much to my surprise I had no inhibitions talking to him. We would have long chats about our closest family and friends, our life aspirations, and eventually what we expected from the friendship. At the time, he lived in California and I in Virginia so long distance was difficult at times but we knew it was worth trying. One of my favorite things about him is he was bold enough to express his feelings for me yet allowed a natural progression of our relationship. A few months went by and he came to visit me in Virginia. My family fell in love with him just as much as I did and I knew it was right.

Ramez proposed about 1 year before the wedding, he had an elaborate plan for us to go skydiving and on the way down he had his friends hold up life- sized signs asking if I would marry him!! We were all set to go but before we got on the plane to jump, the winds changed and it was considered too dangerous. He was able to come up with an alternative, and took me to a winery where his friends emerged from the background with the signs! It was one of our favorite days but we’re still due for our skydiving date!

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

In our culture, we tend to have extremely large weddings (think +300), but we wanted our wedding to be more intimate and make our guests feel like they were on vacation with us which is why we decided on having a destination wedding, so location was very important to us. We came up with Italy because it was the perfect location that gave us the romantic vibe we were looking for but also had ancient roots and and a rich culture.

We wanted our wedding venue to have amazing views and what’s a better backdrop than the city of Florence?! Villa di Maiano is perfectly positioned on a hillside that overlooks Florence so for dinner, we had everyone seated so they could view the sunset over the city.

Your outfits and accessories – what made you choose them and what did you love about them?

I always had a vision about my dress, I wanted something dramatic but romantic and tasteful. I imagined a lace dress with a low- cut back, I must have visited 10 different bridal stores before finding the perfect dress but when I tried it on, I knew it was the one! I love the dress because to me, it’s elegance is timeless yet it still had a “wow factor” to it that made it unique.

RAMEZ: We wanted a break from the norm of grooms in black tuxes so I wore an royal/electric blue, and thought it would make me stand out that much more from my groomsmen who did wear the traditional black tux. We also love how sharp the groomsmen looked wearing their ivory pocket squares which matched the bridesmaid dresses. The list goes on and on for accessories! I wore Pantherella merino wool socks, Calvin Klein loafers, a T.M. Lewin Marcella wing collar tuxedo shirt, a Tissot watch given to me by my father. Perhaps my favorite accessory though were the Italian flag cuff links I purchased for me and my groomsmen. They were elegant, but also very fitting for a wedding in the Tuscan Hills!

What made you choose your flowers/general decorative arrangements?

We wanted lots and lots of flowers at our reception, so the idea of a pergola with hanging flowers over the guests tables captured the garden feeling we were looking for, we hung lanterns from the pergola for warm lighting at night. We wanted to match that with floral table arrangements that were full and lower to the table to balance out the look. From there, with the help of our planner and florist we came up with the gazebo floral arrangement for the sweetheart table and around the chandelier on the dance floor. We were blown away by the results!

I initially wanted a bouquet of peonies but our florist told us they were out of season in July but then I saw this amazing round bouquet of garden roses on Pinterest that my florist was able to replicate. I fell in love with it and wish I could have brought it home to the states with me. The bouquet was simple, pale peach garden roses with no greenery, but since my dress was intricate, I thought it was the perfect balance.

Tell us more about your ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows:

We are Coptic Orthodox which is one of the most ancient denominations of Christianity so our wedding ceremonies are very traditional. We are robed and crowned as a symbol of becoming king and queen of our new home together as we take the responsibility of making our home in a sense, a Church, where God will be the center of our marriage. We embrace our traditions and couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

 

Where there any DIY elements?

Though it was difficult to transport items from the US to Italy, we wanted to give our guests a favor that would be memorable to our location so we asked Villa di Maiano for bottles of olive oil that they make and we tied “Grazie” notes to each one for our guests. Since the wedding, many of our guests have told us they use the olive oil when they cook. We love that our favors were a little taste of Italy and something our guests could use when they came home.

My sister, Marina Salama, was pivotal in our wedding planning. We were both first years in residency and dental school so our hours were long and we were exhausted by the time we came home. She was so helpful in keeping us encouraged and worked to make our vision into a reality. A lot of the time, she was the point person that would be speaking to our planner and vendors and did a lot of research with our vision in mind, this wedding truly couldn’t have happened without her help! She understood what we were looking and worked tirelessly to make sure we were happy and we are forever thankful for her. By the way, she did this when she was 7 months pregnant! Talk about superwoman.

What was the vibe of your day? What colors/styles/themes did you use?

We wanted the vibe of the day to be whimsical and romantic which is why we wanted our reception to be outdoors with an emphasis on the flowers to make it an elegant but airy garden party. We kept the color scheme simple, mostly shades of ivory, white, and peach with gold accents seen in the flowers, the tableware, and the decorative pieces on the tables. Our tables were full of vases and delicate candle holders and votives. While it was a formal event, we still wanted everyone to feel relaxed so we decided to have long tables to make it feel more family style.

 

 

 

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

This is an almost impossible question to answer, but if we had to pick we would say we loved the moments we had alone after the ceremony. Driving through Florence in an old school Bentley and taking pictures at some of the cities most famous landmarks had to be the highlight for us. It was the first time in the day when the nerves seemed to settle and we were able to just catch our breath, and process the fact that we just got married. Those private moments we spent together, and the undying smiles on both of our faces in the car on the way to the reception were moments we will never forget for the rest of our lives!

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and their wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?

We would tell anyone planning their wedding to try not to stress too much. That’s certainly easier said than done because ultimately everyone has different opinions and there are just so many options out there it’s hard to pin it down! Pick the most important 3 elements for the wedding day to your (ex: the food, the entertainment, the decor) and focus on those initially then tackle the rest. Be prepared for a few set backs and always be open to other options. Ultimately, your wedding will always be the most memorable to you, no matter what!

 

Wedding Video at Villa di Maiano Florence from Marcoabba on Vimeo.

Photography: Katie Mitchell Photography // Wedding Planner: Laura Frappa of Exclusive Italy Weddings // Second Photographer: Fontaine // Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers // Stationery: Minted // Preparation Venue: Florence with a View // Ceremony Venue: Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti // Reception Venue: Villa di Maiano // Videography: Marco Abba // Dress: Pnina Tornai, Dress 4372 from Kleinfeld Bridal // Veil: Kleinfeld // Jewelry: Swarovski // Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein // Groom’s Watch: Tissot // Groom’s Attire: 3 Day Suit Broker // Hair and Make Up: Laura Navarinni // Décor, Styling & DJ: The Alma Project // Transport: Alterini // Caterer: Galaeto // Cake: Sugar & Spice

 

Jenn and Brett have orange soda to thank for their love story (yep! read Jenn’s account of the day they met below) and onelove photography to thank for some seriously gorgeous wedding day portraits. The couple said and celebrated their vows and Vibiana in a courtyard ceremony and a reception in the dramatic interior of the restored building in Los Angeles. Coordinating is by Bride’s Bestie , florals are by Shindig Chic, stationery is by Shine Wedding and our friends at onelove photography were on hand to capture it all in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

This might sound like a Miss America answer, but our wedding was so special because we had all of our family and closest friends in one room to celebrate our marriage. We relished in the idea of how incredibly rare it is to get everyone we love in one room to PARTY!

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

I found my gown at Lili Bridals in Tarzana, CA. We spent the day driving all over Los Angeles and Lili’s was our final stop. As soon as I tried on the dress, I fell in love with it. Still not trusting my instinct, I tried on a handful of others until I caught myself thinking about “the one”. The dress was designed by Martina Liana. I altered the straps and removed some of the embellishments in order to simplify the dress. My first fitting was a little daunting since I had no clue how my dress would turn out, but luckily it came out perfectly!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

-We had one of our best friends, Todd, officiate our ceremony. Fun fact: he’s a divorce attorney.

-The coordinators of the Vibiana caught wind that we met due to Brett’s infamous “orange soda” order and they placed two cans of Crush on our sweetheart table.

-Our puppy, Bernadette, made a surprise appearance down the aisle. She stole the show!

-Lastly, we wrote our own vows. In my opinion, there’s nothing more romantic than expressing your love for each other on your wedding day.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There was a moment when Brett and I said goodbye to each other the morning of our wedding. Brett dropped me off at the Vibiana and walked me upstairs to the bridal suite. We hugged each other tightly and I started to cry- to be honest I have no idea why I was crying. However, I will always remember looking up at Brett, not saying a word to each other, but smiling, and then kissing him goodbye. It was a bittersweet memory because of the emotional farewell, but we both knew that we were about to embark on one of the best days of our lives together.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met on a Southwest flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We sat next to each other and didn’t even notice one another until drinks were served. Brett ordered an “orange soda” and I immediately laughed. His drink of choice sparked an interesting conversation lasting until we landed in LA and the rest is history. And no, there was no orange soda on the airplane.

We LOVE massages. Therefore, it seemed fitting that we got engaged at a Burke Williams in Santa Monica. We were nearing the end of our couples massage. My therapist politely asked me to flip over (facing down) and as my head and eyes adjusted into the cradle, I noticed a gorgeous ring in a black box on a bed of roses. Brett helped me off the table, dressed me in a robe, and got down on one knee. Burke Williams was so sweet; they decorated their rooftop with rose petals and left us with a bottle of champagne and a delicious cake. Needless to say, it was the best massage of my life!

From the Bride (details):

Brett and I wanted to focus on three things for our wedding: 1) our vows because we wanted to express our love and commitment for each other, 2) the food because there’s nothing like good food to bring people together, and 3) the music because we love to boogie and it’s always been our favorite part at other weddings.

In regards to decorations, I wanted to keep things simple, subtle, yet romantic. The font on our invitations was a modern calligraphy with a pale pink belly band a pink envelope liners. The menus for our guests were coupled with greens from the florist and a flowy pale pink ribbon (which I loved!). Clearly, I like pink.

My advice to future brides would be to enjoy the planning process! It’s once in a lifetime and it flies by so quickly so enjoy the ride!

My second piece of advice is to make sure to eat dinner! There were so many people saying hello during the wedding that neither my husband or I got to eat a full meal.

Highlights include our first look (wayyyy more emotional than either one of us expected), our ceremony (it was magical, but again shorter and funnier than expected), first dances, and speeches.

Jenn & Brett from Anchor Pictures on Vimeo.

Photography: onelove photography // Coordinator: Bride’s Bestie Erica Kumala // Florals: Shindig Chic // Stationery: Shine Wedding // Venue & Lighting: Vibiana – Los Angeles, CA // Dress Designer: Martina Liana // Makeup & Hair: Kelly Zhang // Caterer: Red Bird // Videography: Anchor Pictures // DJ: Red Shoe // Shoe Designer: Kate Spade