Rancho Las Lomas has never NOT been amazing and Kristen and Ben’s beautiful day is no exception. The couple’s quick, six-month engagement posed no problem for the expert DIY-ers and their team of talented vendors led by Monge Amore Events. We love the white and french blue palette—a natural choice based on the location’s hand-painted tiling and the florals by Bended Knee are gorgeous at every turn. A floral-dressed three-tiered cake by Flower Eggs and Butter is a true pièce de résistance tying together all the classic details. See in all in the se stunning film images by Mallory Dawn Photography.
What made the wedding special and unique?
We got engaged in February and got married in July! I’m a teacher, so it just made sense to have the wedding during the summer…and I wasn’t about to wait until the next summer! We worked together and did a lot of the planning together. The only way we were able to get all of our vendors booked and all the details set in place in time was by tag teaming and working together.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My dress is from Jaclyn’s Bridal in Costa Mesa. It was the third shop I visited, so I had a pretty good idea of what type of silhouette I wanted. I had my mom and my best friend with me, and I think they were sure about the dress even before I realized I was sure. I love the sweetheart neckline and the details of the lace. I also really liked the fitted silhouette that flared out to the lace train, even if it did make the first dance a bit of a challenge!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
We made a ton of the decor ourselves. Both Ben and I are artsy and I’m also very crafty on top of that. I’m a total planner, so I just started pinning ideas and making lists of projects for us to work on and design ourselves. I made a LOT of trips to Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Joann – like a LOT. We bought unfinished wood signs, stained them, and used paint pens and India ink to letter them. I watercolored the foods of our menu and then scanned them into Photoshop and arranged them around our menu. I obsessed over finding pretty containers that fit exactly the correct volume of dry ingredients so that we could make our instant brownie mix favors, then designed and ordered custom labels for them. I wrote “bon appetite” in calligraphy with a dip pen and gold ink above stamps of the meal choices on hexagon tiles. When Rancho Las Lomas said they didn’t have a current map of the wildlife, I designed a map so that guests could visit the animals during cocktail hour, and we included it in the program fans that we made for guests. I wrote stories of some of our most memorable dates and we used them in place of the table numbers. I also made the cake because I’m a pastry chef and used to manage a custom cake shop that specialized in ornate wedding cakes. I taught Ben how to make sugar flowers and leaves, and he did a pretty good job – his leaves even made it onto the cake! I wanted a tiny wedding cake that was simple but elegant, so I just added a subtle pattern to the fondant for texture and focused on making lifelike sugar flowers.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
I think it was a blur for the both of us. Everyone warned us that it would be, so we just tried to enjoy every moment that we could. For me, there was this moment that I was alone in the bridal suite. It was probably the only time I was alone the entire day and I think I remember it because I was alone with my thoughts and time slowed a bit. The wedding party was lined up to walk across the bridge and down the aisle, and I could peek out the window and see one section of the bridge. Before my brother returned from escorting my mom to her seat to walk me down the aisle, I remember seeing Ben cross the bridge and thinking that he looked so confident and dapper. He had been so excited to get married, and I think it really showed – even in that brief moment I could see him from afar.
For Ben, he said it was when he saw me walking down the aisle toward him. He said that as cliche as that answer is, he was thinking how lucky he was that it is him that gets to spend the rest of his life with me.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met online! I reached out to Ben and we starting talking immediately. It’s never been complicated – it just felt easy to spend time with him. Soon enough we were inseparable, and now it feels like we’ve known each other forever!
Ben pulled a surprise engagement at the Huntington Library. It’s one of my favorite places and it had become one of his as well. When I woke up that morning to run the pancake breakfast after the 5K at the high school I teach at, I had no idea where the day was going to take me. So when Ben so nonchalantly suggested we go to the Huntington after the event, little did I know that our usual path through the gardens would be followed and documented by a professional photographer, who was of course there to capture the moment he popped the question.
Photography: Mallory Dawn Photography // Coordinator: Monge Amore Events // Florals: Bended Knee // Venue: Rancho Las Lomas // Gown: Jaclyn’s Bridal // Beauty: Design Visage // Cake: Flower Eggs and Butter // Caterer: 24 Carrots // Rentals: Found Rentals // Table-top: Signature Party Rentals // Grooms Attire: Grooms Grotto // DJ/MC: Diamond DJ’s Entertainment // Film Lab: The Goodman Film Lab