Jessie and Adam let The Harper—a BRAND new venue—steer the design direction of their lovely Costa Mesa wedding. The couple wanted to emulate their laid-back style but maintain a modern and sophisticated feel and The Harper‘s design elevated the look perfectly. The sunny, courtyard ceremony framed by olive trees was followed by a lovely reception where guests sat family style under large retro brass chandeliers. Understated, modern elegance was at every turn including soft, white florals by French Buckets, Jessie’s streamlined gown by Made With Love from Love & Lace, and type-driven paper design by Kayla Adams. The couple enlisted the eye of Hannah Beth Photography to capture all the details in her signature journalistic style and we’re totally loving every bit of it!
What made the wedding special and unique?
We were so honored to be the FIRST wedding at the new venue in Costa Mesa, The Harper. It was exactly what we wanted – something modern and sophisticated but not overly fancy. Our style is laid-back, but we really wanted our guests to feel like they were coming to something special. The ceremony was outdoors, where the altar was framed by two big olive trees. The reception was literally in this completely renovated room with brass chandeliers, refurbished antique wood bars, and modern decor. It came with long wood farm tables so our guests could sit family style. The chairs were metal and wood and felt so much more sophisticated then a typical folding chair. There is a huge sky light over the dance floor that created a really nice focal point in the reception. I loved that everything at the venue was close together, but there were plenty of little spaces for guests to hang out; modern lounge furniture, outdoor space, and a garden. I wanted to keep the color palette really neutral and timeless, but since it was an October wedding, we decided to incorporate some dried florals with the live florals. It was a perfect way to create a Fall look without using orange and red.
The venue uses a caterer called roomforty. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever loved wedding food like I loved ours. They did a modern tostada bar with a gorgeous presentation. And the appetizer highlight was the “Nachos in a Gutter”, where delicious nachos were served straight from an 8 ft rain gutter!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I knew I wanted something minimalist, but it was surprisingly hard to find! So many people told me not too stress about the dress since you “only wear it for one day.” As I thought more about it, your photos are the only thing from the day that last, so if I didn’t like my dress, I probably wouldn’t like the photos either! So I did a TON of research and found a brand called Made With Love Bridal. It’s an Australian brand with an amazing mix of modern and timeless dresses that are so flattering! And they all have cute names – mine is called Georgie. Oh, and I bought it at an amazing little shop in Irvine, CA called Love & Lace Bridal. The whole team was lovely.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
– A friend of ours is a musician and played live music (that he wrote for us!!) as the bridal party walked down the aisle. It was perfect.
– During the ceremony, my brother came up and told the story of how we met in a sweet but funny way. It had the whole audience cracking up, and instantly made the environment feel light-hearted and relaxed. It helped slow everything down and we really got to take it all in. We had time to actually look around, laugh, and remember our journey.
– For the guestbook, we pre-attached photo corners to note cards so guests could take a Polaroid photo, attach it to the card, and write a note. Then we had them put the cards in a customized wood box from Artifact Uprising with our names and wedding date printed on the lid.
– We had signage at the Bars & Dessert Bar highlighting each of our favorite desserts and drinks.
– We had pouches of flower petals on the aisle seats to be tossed as we came back up the aisle.
– Our biggest highlight – we had an epic balloon drop during Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Adam and I wrote each other letters that our bridal party exchanged for us in the morning. Before all the photos and festivities started, I read his letter and it set the tone for the whole day. The week of your wedding is busy and hectic, but pausing for a moment to read a letter about how he felt about me made me forget the crazy past week and look forward to the day in front of me!
I never wanted to do a first look, but I also didn’t want to leave in the middle of our wedding to go take photos, so we decided to do it. Honestly, it was perfect. It felt so special and intimate. It allowed us to get our nerves out of the way and just be able to enjoy the day. I’ll never forget his teary eyes when he turned around and his shaky hands that grabbed mine, and our nervous laughter as we awkwardly looked each other up and down with complete joy! Of course the day still flies by, but we tried to incorporate little things throughout the day to slow time down.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
It was Summer 2014. Jessie walked in her front door, and a foxy blue-eyed, red-bearded man in a Carhartt t-shirt was sitting on her couch. Our roommates were hanging out and Adam happened to tag along. There was an instant friendship but things stayed casual. We spent the rest of summer BBQing with friends.
Then, it happened.
One night while they were hanging out with friends, the new Tim McGraw song came on and when Adam sang every word verbatim, Jessie knew this wasn’t your typical Orange County boy. The flirting quickly became more obvious, followed by our first hang out at SideCar donuts, a trip to the OC Fair, and our first official date at Side Door. And two days later Adam met Jessie’s entire family, so it’s safe to say he was all in.
The next 4 years were a roller coaster of lots of travel, a couple moves, and some career highlights and challenges. But in the midst of it all, we became best friends, fell in love, and scored the most amazing community of people.
Venue: The Harper // Photographer: Hannah Beth Photography // Catering: Room Forty // Florals: French Buckets // Invitations: Kayla Adams // Wedding Dress Designer: Made With Love from Love & Lace in Irvine, CA // Groom’s Suit: Hudson’s Custom Suits // Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu // Groomsmen Suits: The Black Tux // DJ: Ahsohn The DJ // Wood Box for Guest Book: Artifact Uprising // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box