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Lauren and Dan enlisted Grey Collective member Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events to fill their wedding day at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain with all the “boho-desert vibes!” they dreamed of. The couple adored every single detail—and there were many, many details—including a custom-designed teepee, the organic blend of floral filled with roses and king protea Alexis Grace Floral Design, the Moroccan runner and rugs, custom designed luggage tag escort cards by Victoria York Design. The mood is vibrant, layered and so, so fun and lucky for us  Betsy and John Allen were on hand to capture all the details.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

We described the entire wedding from start to finish as “boho-desert vibes!” Every detail was absolutely wonderful. We were obsessed with the custom designed teepee, the organic blend of floral mixed with roses and King Protea, the Moroccan runner and rugs down the aisle way and under the teepee, string quartet, signature drinks- Lauren’s Honey-Do Sling and Dan’s Desert Old Fashioned, array of leather and wicker boho-style furniture, an abundance of candles, and the custom designed luggage tag escort cards displayed on wood! To be honest, we could go on and on about how each detail was so perfect!

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

I found my gown at Lovely Bride in Philadelphia! Each dress there is absolutely stunning and truly unique. When I saw my dress, I knew it was the one as it was everything I envisioned! The designer is Rue de Seine. It definitely fit the “boho-desert vibes!”

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

My brother was our officiant, which was absolutely perfect. Everything he said was a true reflection of us and he made the wedding so personal and special. We felt so comfortable with him standing next to us and we were so excited that he was the one to pronounce us husband and wife!

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

The most memorable part of the day was walking down the aisle. We were surrounded by all of our closest family and friends. The views were picturesque, the teepee was to die for, and Dan standing at the end of the aisle with tears in his eyes made for the most special moment.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We are high school sweethearts! We met freshman year of high school. Dan describes our meeting as love at first sight! We have been truly inseparable since freshman year. We became engaged on July 2, 2017 at Longwoods Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. We were on a quiet bridge surrounded by fields of different grasses and wildflowers. We were totally alone and it was perfect.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain:Lauren & Daniel from Stepheny Keith on Vimeo.

Wedding Planner And Stylist: Rackel Gehlsen Weddings & Events // Photography: Betsy and John Allen // Floral: Alexis Grace Floral Design // Invitations & Paper: Victoria York Design // Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain // Gown: Rue de Seine // Videography: Black Sheep Filmworks // Hair and Make Up: I Do Hair and Make Up Artistry // Specialty Rentals: Dang Fine Rentals // Chair Rental: Red Diamond Rentals // Ceremony Music: Araceli Strings // DJ: SATYR Entertainment

 

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Sue and Mike’s wedding at The Cree Estate was a reflection of themselves— laid back, welcoming, and fun-loving. Planner, Just Merried Events, helped them achieve the look and gave the couple’s guests the feelings they’d hoped for— relaxed, and ready to let loose and party. Joyful details with a subtle boho-flair dress the event and the tropical-inspired florals by Violette’s Flowers are totally scene-stealing. After the farm-to-table dinner, Sue and Mike kicked off the dance party with a confetti toss and ended the night with surprise silent disco (complete with light-up headsets.) We totally love the vibes and lucky for us, Inner Song Photography was on hand to capture it all.

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What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We planned our wedding to reflect our MO – laid back, welcoming, and fun-loving! We wanted people to feel relaxed, to let loose, and party. This mindset is also how we chose our vendors, who all shared our vision and were so easy to work with. We cut out a lot of traditional wedding formalities to curate a wedding really true to us as a couple.

Our ceremony was officiated by a dear friend and we kept the mood light with personalized stories and vows. We wanted to pay tribute to our Chinese heritage, so we sealed our union with a tea ceremony, in which we combined two different flavors of tea into one. Continuing the tea trend, we had made-to-order boba served during cocktail hour.

For our reception, we wanted it to feel like a giant dinner party! We chose family style with delicious/unique farm-to-table food. Our guests loved the family style! We both love good music and dancing and we are lucky our friends/family feel the same way. It was so much fun dancing the night away with everyone. We kicked off the dance party with a confetti toss and ended the night with surprise silent disco (complete with light-up headsets).  I can’t believe we had a 4 hour dance party!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

So many magical moments, but my favorite was when we sneaked away for 15 mins at the end of cocktail hour to enjoy the sunset together. We watched as the sky filled with golden and pink hues over our reception space – and it was the perfect QT we needed before the night started.

​Tell us how you met and became engaged. ​

O​ur story began in medical school. ​I was training for a half-marathon and not-so-coincidentally Michael picked up a lot of interest in running. Although we were “just friends”, we found ourselves spending more and more time together on morning jogs, study sessions, and late night fro-yo dates. Finally after a year of hanging out, we made it official. The signs were all there but if you ask Michael, it was definitely a chase!

Michael proposed at our favorite beach during golden hour, followed with a surprise celebration with our best friends in downtown LA. ​

Sue and Mike Highlight Trailer from Buster Brown on Vimeo.

Photography: Inner Song Photography // Planning + Coordination: Just Merried Events // Floral: Violette’s Flowers // Venue: The Cree Estate // Bride’s Gown: Sarah Seven (Los Angeles location) // Hair + Makeup: Nancy Z Beauty // Cinematography: Buster Brown Productions // Vintage + Specialty Rentals: Adore Folklore // Rentals + L hting: Classic Party Rentals // DJ/Mc + Silent Disco: VOX DJs // Officiant: Couple’s Friend Susie // Groom’s Tux: The Black Tux // Evites: Paperless Post // Catering: MIHO Catering Co.

 

Michelle and Nick chose Palm Spring’s Korakia Pensione as their wedding venue because “…nestled in the mountains—it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert.” Orange Blossom Special Events embellished that Moroccan dream and led the design team in creating a stunning day filled with bohemian touches and rich red, pink and white roses in arrangements by The Bloom of Time. Our friends at Jenny Smith & Co. captured all the details, the gorgeous venue and all the joy of the couple so perfectly in these images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Palm Springs has always been a special place for us; we have a lot of great memories in the desert and it’s where Nick’s father used to live. When we looked at different venue options in the area, we visited Korakia first and we completely fell in love with it. Korakia charmed us with the lush bougainvillea and palm trees. We loved that it was nestled against the mountains – it felt like a Moroccan/Mediterranean dream in the middle of the desert. Each room is unique and we rented the entire hotel to ourselves – what made it special was that everyone at the hotel was a guest at our wedding. It felt like a weekend retreat! We did yoga in the morning before the wedding and ate breakfast together; it was truly a special weekend to have all of our family and friends in one place. We thought it was unique that Korakia makes guests feel like everyone is on vacation, not just the couple getting married!

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

I started looking online to get an idea of what I would want my dress to look like. I stumbled across the Nicole Miller website and on a whim decided to book an appointment to try on the gowns. I didn’t think I’d find my dress when I went – but after trying on my 4thdress I knew it was the one. I knew I wanted a form fitting mermaid style gown and I’ve always loved lace; so this dress felt like the perfect fit for me. I didn’t hesitate – I bought it then and there.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

I should have had 6 bridesmaids. A month before we were engaged one of my best friends passed away from cancer. Her absolute favorite stone was emerald, so on my wedding day I decided to wear emerald earrings in her honor. For the catering, Nick and I are both vegetarian. We wanted to have a wedding that felt like us, so we decided to make our entire catering menu vegetarian! They did an excellent job. I also ordered personalized napkins to be used during  the cocktail hour; which had a special message to our guests thanking them for being a part of our wedding. During our ceremony, we had Nick’s sister Mira read a passage from my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It magically turned out to be the perfect passage to be read; and it was years ago that I had fallen in love with it – so it was not a coincidence that it was read at our wedding day:

“When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke—the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen—the omen he had been awaiting, without even knowing he was, for all his life. The omen he had sought to find with his sheep and in his books, in the crystals and in the silence of the desert.”

“It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”—Paulo Coelho

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Nobody ever tells you about the rush of feelings you get as a bride (and groom too) when you’re waiting for the ceremony to begin. There’s nothing you can do to prepare for it and it’s a powerful moment you have with yourself. Hiding in the car (before my entrance) and watching the ceremony begin was a wild experience; I was filled with so much love and excitement and nervousness at the same time. I’ll never forget that feeling of seeing Nick for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. We also didn’t know if my dad would be able to walk me down the aisle due to his Alzheimer’s. We didn’t know if he would even be aware of what was happening that day. One of the best feelings was seeing the smile on his face when I came out of the car as he prepared to walk with me during the ceremony. It was evident he knew exactly what was going on; and it was the greatest gift I could ever ask for to have him present and by my side that day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I’ve known Nick’s best friends longer than he has. We kept missing each other at social gatherings but one summer we finally met at a BBQ during Memorial Day weekend. It was the summer I decided I was bored with LA and was moving to NY. So we met and 6 weeks later I moved across the country. He told me he didn’t want to do long distance and my response was “so when are you going to visit me?” A year later I moved back to LA and Nick and I went on several backpacking and hiking adventures together. When he proposed, he took me on his favorite hike in LA. He completely surprised me, I thought that he would be proposing during a Paris trip we had planned that summer!!

 

Michelle & Nick Highlight Film – Korakia Hotel – Palm Springs Wedding from Rebecca Blue on Vimeo.

Photography: Jenny Smith & Co. // Planner: Orange Blossom Special Events // Florals: The Bloom of Time // Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas // Venue: Korakia Pensione // Dress: Nicole Miller // Makeup: Susie Moldavon // Hair: Done personally by the bride // Videography: Rebecca Blue Media // Catering: F10 Creative // Bartending: Mint Bartending // Officiant: LA Wedding Woman // Photo Booth: Classic Photo Booths // Rentals & Lighting: Signature Party Rentals // Rentals: Planks & Patina // Dessert: Top Tier Treats // DJ: Dart Collective

 

Bride Kelly drew inspiration from favorite movies and television shows—like Little Women and Downton Abbey—for the styling of her wedding her wedding to groom Matthew. So, the couple enlisted Cibi Events to turn Legare Warring House into an English garden and with the help of floral genius The Purple Magnolia, the result was spectacular. Every last detail is filled to the brim with roses and we’re loving it. Kelly’s minimalist gown is by Theia, letterpress invitations are by Aerialist Press and beautiful photographs are by Caroline Ro.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

It was important to Matthew and me that our wedding reflect our individual personalities and our interests as a couple. I drew a lot of inspiration from my childhood and favorite movies and television shows (including Little Women and Downton Abbey.) I wanted the wedding to feel as if our guests were strolling through an English garden, and I felt as if our ceremony and reception space perfectly reflected that! (All thanks to the fabulous CiBi Events and Purple Magnolia)

Another aspect of the wedding that was important to us was our dinner. Both Matthew and I enjoy sharing meals with our families and friends. Our family style dinner allowed us to recreate the feeling of a huge family dinner made even more special among candlelight, flowers, and drapery. It was so special to look out from the head table and watch our families laugh, chat, and mingle.

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

I was so excited to go shopping for my dress, and I had in mind a bohemian/loose fitting style dress. Everyone tells you that your wedding dress will never be what you initially have in mind, and it’s very true! I shopped at two stores in Charleston, SC, and I found my dress at the second store we visited.

After trying on multiple dresses, my sister picked a classic style dress with a sweetheart neckline. I was shocked at how much I liked the clean silhouette. The bridal consultant then pulled the unassuming Theia gown I chose. As soon as I slipped on the dress, I loved how elegant and sophisticated I felt. I felt like myself but older and more mature – in a good way. The very next day, I returned to the shop to ensure my first reaction held true, and it did! I would suggest to other brides that they have an open mind when trying on dresses. Also – don’t forget the ability to customize! I love that I wore a lace topper for the ceremony which made the dress feel even more bridal to me.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Matthew and I are lucky that so many women in our families are creative and artistically talented! My mom embroidered pillows with forget-me-nots to recognize my grandmother who battled Alzheimer’s disease. Matthew’s sister custom made two signs that were both showcase pieces for our ceremony and reception. Matthew’s mother painted and hand-drew many smaller signs for our wedding and rehearsal dinner. We also included family photos inside Legare Waring House which allowed us to remember our entire families. Now we are able to showcase these signs and photos in our home, and they will always remind us of our wedding day.

Additionally, Matthew and I love music, and it was important that our music choices reflected our personal interests. The song I walked down the aisle to (“For the Beauty of the Earth”) was one of my favorite church hymns and was also featured in Little Women. We also used the same DJ that our friends had used in their weddings, so it was great to relive those memories!

Another feature that became personal was the first layer of our wedding cake! Matthew’s parents also had Italian Creme Cake as their wedding cake.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There were so many memorable parts! However, one sticks out in my mind. As soon as we finished family photos, Matthew and I sneaked back inside the house and went into the library which overlooked the courtyard. It was very special to peek out through the window and watch as our family and friends visited with each other and enjoyed cocktail hour. We loved having a quiet moment to ourselves prior to joining everyone. Our caterer spoiled us with some of our passed hors d’oeuvres which made the moment even better.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Matthew and I met through Matthew’s sister SaraBeth. Matthew attended Clemson University, but he had an internship in Columbia, South Carolina my freshman year at the University of South Carolina. One night a few of my friends headed over to Matthew’s apartment to celebrate the end of the year, and the rest is history! We dated for seven years (many of those long distance) prior to becoming engaged.

Our engagement seemed like a dream to me! Matthew planned a date night in August during the middle of the week. He suggested we walk along Sullivan’s Island, SC (a place we frequented while we dated), and then afterwards we would get a drink at one of our favorite restaurants. The day he planned to ask me, my cat became seriously ill (he’s now recovered), and Matthew almost backed off his plan, but I’m glad he didn’t!

As we walked down the beach, I noticed a photographer taking photos of three young girls dancing. I mentioned to Matthew that my sister and I had our photographs taken on the beach as a Father’s Day gift when we were young. As we walked closer to the girls, I noticed a huge heart drawn in the sand with white flowers and three signs that said “Kelly, will you?” Just moments before Matthew proposed, his mom and dad set up everything for the surprise.

Everything around me disappeared, and I had a hard time paying attention to what he was saying! The photographer was actually for us, and the young girls dancing were visiting from France. I’ll never forget that moment.

kelly and matty from Gabrielle Powell on Vimeo.

Planning & Design: Cibi Events // Photographer: Caroline Ro // Flowers: The Purple Magnolia // Invitations: Aerialist Press // Venue: Legare Warring House // Dress Designer: Theia // Dress: Gown Collective (Formerly Fabulous Frocks) // Hair & Makeup: Ash & Co // Escort Cards: Candlefish // Cake: Cakes by Kasarda // Catering & Bar: Cru Catering // DJ: Dragon Entertainment // Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals // Rentals: Ooh Events // Ceremony Musicians: Charleston Virtuosi

 

Bright, natural, elegant and effortless—these are the words Carolina and Ethan gravitated to in early discussions of what they wanted their wedding to feel like. The couple enlisted Michel B. Events to create a day at Ojai Valley Inn filled with mixed wood textures, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. The vibrant reception florals by Rockrose were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile and a fun, illustrated invitation suite by Nooney Art and La Happy Design set the joyful tone. Michelle Beller was behind the lens, all over the grounds of the venue, capturing the lovely couple and their fresh, romantic wedding day.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When we talked about what we wanted our wedding to feel like, we gravitated toward words like bright, natural, elegant and effortless. We wanted the wedding to feel like it represented us. And having been to many weddings as guests, we both knew what we didn’t like – anything opulent or stuffy was definitely out. That’s how we arrived at the mix of wood, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. Lighting was also key. We wanted to achieve a warm and cozy glow for Friday’s event, and a brighter, though still soft and romantic feeling for Saturday.

The colors were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile. Nine months before the wedding, we walked through her father’s beautiful garden and picked flowers, trying different combinations. What became clear was that we preferred the vibrancy of a Spanish garden to the pastels that are widely used.

To have so many friends and family coming together, many from long distances, we wanted our guests to feel that each space was inviting and comfortable. We wanted people to be able to sit and talk and feel at home, hence the sofas on both Friday and Saturday nights.

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

My dress Saturday was Inbal Dror. I wore Saint Laurent shoes and a pair of vintage rose gold and diamond drop earrings.

Deciding on the flower girl dresses was actually one of the hardest decisions we had to make! We knew we wanted something classic and simple. After searching for months, we finally settled on these cute seersucker dresses.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

We wanted our ceremony to be as intimate, authentic and personal as possible. To that end, we wrote our own vows, chose meaningful readings, and invited our mothers to light a candle symbolizing the union of our families. The officiant was Ethan’s best friend, who also lives in Los Angeles.

Our favorite part of the day was the ceremony. Standing under the majestic oak tree, surrounded by friends and family, promising to love each other for the rest of our lives – that was truly magical. A close second would be our first dance. The band played a gorgeous version of Colin Hay’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin,” and all the practice we’d put in paid off. We nailed it!

Also, Marilyn Stillman, aka “Nanny,” the groom’s 93-year-old grandmother, flew across the country from Boston, and Ethan walked with her down the aisle. This was one of the most special moments of the whole weekend.

Tell us how you met and became engaged?

Both of us had been waiting for the right person to come into our lives, and when we met, we instantly knew that this was unlike anything we had experienced before. It was also the perfect moment; Carolina was consulting at a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles and Ethan was writing a pilot for ABC, which means we had the time and energy to prioritize and really get to know each other. Within a few weeks, we knew that this relationship could last the rest of our lives. And two happy years later, having fallen in love with each other and each other’s families, Ethan proposed under a gorgeous, red sunset in magical Sedona, Arizona.

Planning & Design: Michel B. Events // Photo: Michelle Beller // Floral: Rockrose // Stationery & Calligraphy: La Happy Design // Invitations: Nooney Art // Venue: Ojai Valley Inn // Video: Lovespun // Band: West Coast Music BH // Cocktail Musician: Anthony Ybarra // Ceremony Music: Angelica Strings // Linens: La Tavola Linens // Silks: Stella & Wolfe // Rentals: Elan Event Rentals / Casa de Perrin / The Ark / Found Rentals / Lounge Appeal // Hair: Sheila Raye Stone // Lighting & Drape: Spark Creative // Ice Bar: Ice Bulb // Favors: Staffords Chocolates // DJ: RedShoe LA // Rentals & Drape: Rrivre Works // Lighting: Images by Lightinghttp://imagesbylighting.com/ // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box