I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Kate and Danny’s California wedding reception was celebrated at Collins Ranch, a private estate on the west side of Ojai. The venue had all the elements of Ojai that Kate grew up loving including “the weaving road through golden fields leading up to the barn and mountainside landscape with massive boulders mounted throughout.” The couple enlisted the brides sister Hilary to plan the event and Gallup & Stribling to create the vibrant autumn-hued florals. Kate had this to say about the reception “the barn opened up on every side so you felt like you were dining in nature but with the comfort of a nice seat and well dressed table!” It’s all beautiful and luck for us Sarah Ellefson Photography was on hand to capture it all.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The whole day was so special and unbelievably stress free, which I have my generous family and sister Hilary to thank. Other than the fact that it was ‘our’ wedding (which made it the most special) what made it seem unique and different was our location we were lucky to find. We heard of Collins Ranch on the west side of Ojai through a friend who connected us with the owner. His property had all the elements of Ojai I have grown up loving. The weaving road through golden fields leading up to the barn and mountainside landscape with massive boulders mounted throughout. His barn type warehouse opened up on every side so you felt like you were dining in nature but with the comfort of a nice seat and well dressed table! The whole venue was something so familiar and dear to me but that I had never really seen as a wedding venue, so it felt unique and personal at the same time.

Danny’s family and many of our guests were flying in from out of state and a good number of them had never seen California before. From our ceremony at San Buenaventura Mission with the ocean breeze flowing through the tropical gardens, to the golden Chaparral mountain side of Collins Ranch, we could share what we love about California with all of them.

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

I had no idea what type of dress I wanted which it made it both fun and frustrating. Fun because I was open to any style, frustrating because there were too many styles! After trying on many gowns and visiting quite a few shops my mom and I finally went down to Pasadena to visit Lovely Bride, where I found my dress! There so many beautiful gowns that were in what i had narrowed down to be what I was looking for, long sleeve with bold lace. I found exactly that in the North Gown by Lovers Society. The design and texture of the lace was so unique from what I had seen, and I knew it was my dress! I also don’t think my mom would have let me leave without it, she bawled when I came out it in!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

I am from a family of gifted artists and I wanted them to be a have a hand in the decor.  One of my beautiful sisters, Monica, painted an abstract map view of the coast and mountain range that guests would be driving on from ceremony to reception. Guest loved it and I have it framed in my apartment now! My brother John sketched out a paint by numbers of the mission where the ceremony took place, and guests could pick up a paint brush and add to it while enjoying their cocktails. I am always in awe of their talent and was happy to show them off!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It is hard to pick one moment that was most memorable because really the whole day felt like a dream. However, one that sticks out among others would have to be after the speeches took place, my brother, sister and I sang one of our favorite folk songs for our parents (and guests). We have always sang together with my brother on the guitar and since I would be moving to Virginia immediately after the wedding, I wanted to give my parents one last show of us singing together! I’ll always remember that moment.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met each other in college sophomore year 2014 at Franciscan University, in Steubenville Ohio. We shared a lot of the same friend groups and happened to always be in the same social setting, all the while having deeper interest in one another (but never showing it!). End of senior year, Danny finally asked me out for our first date, and it didn’t take long for us to realize we wanted to continue what we started. Soon after dating we graduated and moved to opposite ends of the country (VA and CA) and thus began our journey of FaceTime and expensive flights to spend short visits, sometimes not even a full 48 hours. Again, it didn’t take long for us discover that we wanted to be with one another for the rest our lives; some might call it falling in love! To make this happen Danny and my sister (thanks Hilary!) planned a surprise visit and flew across the country to get on one knee, however the surprise was ruined by me curiously checking his location to figure out why my messages weren’t being delivered during his four hour flight! When I saw he was at LAX, I knew what this meant! He met me at my favorite winery and put some sparkle on my left hand!

Photography: Sarah Ellefson Photography // Planning + Coordination: Hilary Loughman // Florals: Gallup & Stribling // Venue: Ventura Mission + Collins Ranch (Private Estate) Ojai CA // Dress: Lovers Society from Lovely Bride // HMU: Hey Beautiful // DJ: DJ Mike Bruel // Rentals: Spark Creative Events / Otis & Pearl // Catering: DJ’s California Catering

 

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Anat and Keenan’s family traveled from afar for their 3-day wedding event en Paris. With the help of  planner Laurence Beal, the couple incorporated so much personality, and highlights from ‘the city of love’ into their big day including a Seine river dinner cruise rehearsal dinner, a bachelorette party in Disneyland, and a chateau ceremony and reception at Pavillon de Musique de la comtesse du Barry. The pale pink, light blue and gold palette is magical and shines in the florals by Lily Paloma which included a scene-stealing, voluminous ceremony arch. Other details include macaron favors and a our signature cocktail called the “Lavi(e) en rose”—a play on the bride’s maiden name and an adorably simple combination of pink bubbly and cotton candy. Lucky for us, Matthieu Bondon  was on hand to capture all the details—and spectacular Parisian scenery—in these lovely photos.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The wedding was most special as all our loved ones traveled from far and wide to be with us for the three-day event. As Paris is the city of love, it was the perfect backdrop and was also a perfect reflection of how we felt in our hearts both due to our guests and due to us getting wed. It was also so much fun to have everyone stay together in the Hotel La Perle Saint Germain and enjoy different activities throughout. On our first night, we held a Seine river dinner cruise as our rehearsal dinner. On the second day my bridesmaids and I went to Disneyland, whilst the bachelor party went to a Ju-Jitsu lesson in the morning (one of Keenan’s hobbies) and later explored Paris. All this was the lead up to day three, our wedding day which to us was a dream-come-true. Finally on day four we all gathered for a final breakfast before everyone headed home.

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

I actually found it quite a challenge to settle on a wedding dress and ended up buying two and going back and forth between which is the right one for me…. however once the Yolan Cris gown was tailored to my measurements it was a no-brainer decision to make. Keenan (who knew about the dress indecision, without seeing the dresses) was ecstatic when he saw me for the first time in the reveal and said it was perfect in every way and that he could not have pictured anything better suited, so I was over the moon.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

As French regulation doesn’t allow for non-residents to get wed, we actually held an official (and Jewish traditional), family only, 12 person event prior to our wedding in France. This worked out well as when it came to the celebration, we could make it completely personalized to us.

We didn’t have a particular theme but early on I created a list of different things that had meaning to us as a couple or that were of significance to our history and started DIY projects to incorporate these throughout. Examples of these were our aisle runner which had all the important dates of relationship, or our display of wedding photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings, as a sort of family tree. Additionally, a nod to our Jewish traditional ceremony was the beer and wine labels we created that had a picture from our first wedding and had L’Chaim (to life) written on them. To add a flair of Disney and a whimsical feel, we had garden games in the cocktail hour and had a Mickey and Minnie sitting on the moon as our cake topper (which also tied in well to our first dance song “Moon River”). We also chose wedding colors (pale pink, light blue, gold) to incorporate and to facilitate bringing all these elements together. Finally, we wanted to add detail to reflect the magnificent venue we were lucky enough to hold our wedding in, the Pavillon de musique de la comtesse du Barry and also some 1920s glam which funnily enough meshed well together. For the venue, some French highlights were giving everyone a macaroon favor, our champagne tower and our signature cocktail the Lavi(e) en rose, (a play on my last name), which was the simplest thing ever to make just pink bubbly and cotton candy. The 1920s elements we incorporated were a moon photo booth and  hats, masks, hairpieces (which I made) that we gave out to our guests during the band’s session (who played 1920s music and some Disney songs in that style).  It was a mish-mash of everything, perfectly depicting our personalities and it all ended up flowing seamlessly together.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Keenan and I have two parts of the day which we consider to be the most memorable. The first was the ceremony in its entirety, having had the opportunity to completely DIY it, it felt very pure and genuinely us from thanking our parents for showing us through example what it is to have healthy marriages, to the alchemist passage we chose as a reading, to the breaking of the glass reflecting our Jewish faith and of course our vows which we revealed to each other on the day. The second moment was our first dance to the song  “Moon River” a song that has meant a lot to us throughout our relationship and encapsulates who we are as a couple. We had a choreographed routine, got our amazing band for the night Swing’it Dixieband to preform a live version of the song and all the guests held sparklers, so there was a real magical feeling in the air.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Keenan and I met in college (we both have different opinions as to when the first encounter was, but certainly in the first few days of our first year). We were friends for a while and even before we became a couple I would tell my friends that if we were to end up together it would likely last a long, long time. In 2010, on my birthday, we kissed and the rest was history! We were boyfriend and girlfriend for about 6 years before one night when we were visiting London to organize our move there, he popped the question in our hotel room, champagne and flowers in tow. There were lots of tears and a big ecstatic yes!

Photographer: Matthieu Bondon // Wedding planner: Laurence Beal // Flowers: Lily Paloma // Venue: Pavillon de Musique de la comtesse du Barry // Reveal/ getting ready photos: Hotel La Perle Saint Germain // Bride’s Dress: Yolan Cris // Hair and Makeup: Harold James // Catering/wedding cake: Erisay // Band: Swing’it Dixieband

 

Stephanie and Hans spent their Tuscan destination wedding weekend with their favorite “amazing people, relaxing in the villa, enjoying delicious Italian food and partying till the morning.” The event, planned by The Tuscan Wedding, was held at Villa Le Piazzole and the team behind the styling and design let the natural beauty of the venue shine with relaxed, romantic details in a palette of white. Florals were by Flowers Living, the bride designed her lovely stationery and all the stunning images of the day were captured by  Purewhite Photography.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

We managed to get all our families and friends together for a weekend in beautiful Italy. We always knew we wanted to have a relaxed holiday feeling for our wedding and were thrilled that our 100 guests were willing to travel to Italy for us. We loved that it was a weekend so we could spend time with all those amazing people, relaxing in the villa, enjoying delicious Italian food and partying till the morning.

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

It’s an Aire Barcelona gown. I went to 2 boutiques in Antwerp. The first one was a brand new ‘boho style’ boutique, where I found some great options but didn’t get the feeling you are supposed to get. I then went with my mother to a more traditional shop (JPC in Antwerp) where they asked me to flip through binders and indicate what I liked. After I found everything too traditional  (what? Picky? Me? I have no clue), the owner told me she could understand my style from looking at my outfit and that she had the perfect dress for me. And she was right! I put it on and immediately loved it.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We chose to have a very personal ceremony where we involved friends and family members. We asked Hans’s childhood friend to serve as celebrant, my cousin and two friends are musicians while my brother, the maid of honor and best man had personal speeches. Given Hans proposed in Loch Lomond, they made up a song about us on the tones of the folksong “Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond”, complete with gestures and everything. Most of the guests were already informed and practiced without us knowing, so everyone participated during the ceremony. The song stayed inside my head during our entire honeymoon the weeks thereafter, love it!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

There were so many unforgettable moments, impossible to say just one. The atmosphere of the entire day was the thing we will remember forever. Everyone was so happy and relaxed, from the ceremony to the party. We loved how everyone danced along, my mom never left the dance floor once!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met at university. We studied the same subject but Hans was in his final year and I in my second. I was in a student’s union with mutual friends who introduced us. We went to a party together and it was love at first sight. We went on a couple of dates and I immediately knew this was the man of my dreams. Hans proposed to me in Scotland in September 2017 after we were together for almost 7 years. He often had to travel there for work and during one of the final travels, I joined him for the weekend. We first spent a day exploring Edinburgh and on our second day we went for a hike in Loch Lomond where he packed the cutest lunch and afternoon tea for a picnic at the top of the mountain. After our lunch, he took out the ring, went on one knee and proposed with the most beautiful backdrop.

Wedding planner: The Tuscan Wedding // Photographer: Purewhite Photography // Florist: Flowers Living // Stationery: designed by Bride  // Venue: Villa Le Piazzole // Bride’s Dress: Aire Barcelona Gown // Catering and cake: Lodovichi Ricevimenti // Hair and makeup: Giulia Cresci // Lighting: Wedding Music & Lights // DJ: DJ Matthew // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

The inspiration for this gorgeous vow renewal from Sara Lasher and Emily Fuselier Photography was not only the couple’s beautiful family but also the bride’s favorite color—soft blush. Jessika and Jeff wanted a very intimate day full of love, with their young children playing major roles. They held a small ceremony at Jessika’s grandparent’s house, which unfortunately was lost in a fire a few years back, but that did not stop Sara Lasher and team from creating something so special for the couple. The entire day was full of life, love and shades of blush, which complimented the sunshine and shades of green that the south has to offer. Flowers were by Paradise Florist, invitations, calligraphy and artwork by Chi Doan and it’s all captured in these dreamy film images from Emily Fuselier Photography.

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Photographer: Emily Fuselier Photography // Planner: Sara Lasher // Florist Designer: Paradise Florist // Invitations, Calligraphy, and Artwork: Chi Doan // Hair and makeup: J See // Wedding Dress: BHLDN // Grooms Attire: The Black Tux // Cake: Celebrations // Film Lab: Photovision Prints // Catering: 1910 // Rentals: Old New Borrowed Blue Rentals // Rentals: Pure Vintage

 

Marissa and Chris had visited and fell in love with Charleston six months prior to their engagement, so the Lowcountry location was a natural choice for their destination wedding. The couple chose William Aiken House of Patrick Properties, for its classic southern charm—a perfect venue for the couple’s ‘tropical elegance’ theme. With help from our fabulous friends at Ooh! Events, the details of the day turned out exquisite—from the garden ceremony to the courtyard reception, the soiree oozed elegance. White florals by Out of Garden and Marissa’s STUNNING Marchesa gown are total standouts and lucky for us they’re captured, along with all the details, in these images by the always-excellent Clay Austin.

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How and when did you meet?

We’ve actually known each other since we were 11. Always friends through middle school and high school, but never romantic until after college when Chris VERY actively pursued me.

Marissa, tell us some about your dress!

Marchesa. It was one the first dresses the bridal consult pulled for me, and before trying it on, I said, “NO WAY.” I eventually put it on and fell in love immediately. It couldn’t have been more of a “Marissa” dress with the A-line with a fuller skirt, the flower appliqués, a hint of sexy with the illusions down the center and on the sides. It was so easy to wear..I never wanted to take it off! I wish I could wear it again.

Where are you from? If not from Charleston, what made you select The William Aiken House for your nuptials?

We’re both from Warren, New Jersey, but now we’re based in Hoboken. We chose Charleston because we knew we wanted destination, but we got engaged right after hurricane Irma so the Caribbean was definitely off the table! We had been to Charleston about 6 months prior to our engagement, and we fell in love with every aspect of it from the weather, to the people, to the bars, restaurants, and shopping, we knew it would be a great place for a wedding weekend. We chose the William Aiken because of the classic southern charm with bold pops of color which set this venue apart from the other historical homes. I knew I wanted to keep everything outdoors, and the grounds made this so doable!

 

What were some special touches and details that made your wedding unique and totally you as a couple?

Oh my god. We did the ceremony outside in front of the pergola, and obviously, a car had to drive by while blasting the loudest rap music, but in terms of special touches, I think the venue as a whole made our wedding unique. Chris and I try to do the unconventional like choosing a destination wedding, so we definitely did not disappoint. We had the cocktail hour on the balcony, delicious and interesting food, the BEST wedding cake I’ve ever had (lemon cake with passionfruit icing), and the sparkler sendoff was definitely something different from the weddings we’ve been to!

Spill the beans on the proposal.

MYKONOS!! Need I say more? Chris planned an amazing sunset dinner; he got down on one knee at sunset, and I said yes!

 

What was your absolute favorite moment from the reception, the both of you?

Our favorite moment of the day was the first look by far. We couldn’t wait to see each other, but in terms of the reception, we loved being on the dance floor together and with all our loved ones.

 

 

Design, Coordination & Rentals: Ooh! Events // Photographer: Clay Austin // Floral: Out of Garden // Ceremony & Reception Venue, Catering and Bar: William Aiken House, Patrick Properties // Officiant: Rick Burton // Videography: Lowcountry Wedding Film // Hair & Makeup: Slate Bridal Hair & Makeup // Ceremony Music: Palmetto Strings // Reception Entertainment: Right to Party