Real wedding: Kara + Loop

Kara and Loop’s wedding has all those quirky details that just makes me wish I had been invited! I love the groomsmens button boutonnieres that Kara made, and the adorable cake topper! Kara lets us in on some more of her day below….

Venue: Once we decided to have our wedding in Los Angeles (we are both from out of town) we knew immediately that we wanted to get married at the Marvimon House ( Loop’s company, Tact Event Management, primarily works from there and it was just voted best wedding venue in Los Angeles for 2008 by LA Weekly. Formerly a car showroom, this venue boasts soaring 17 foot ceilings and a private outdoor succulent garden where we had our ceremony. The exposed brick walls and amazing antique furniture fit perfectly with our romantic vintage theme. Huntington Catering, who created our fantastic menu, was able to use the bistro style kitchen and cook most of our dinner right in front of the guests!

Ceremony: Loop and I really wanted our ceremony to engage everyone and bring them into our world. Since music has been a huge part of our lives here in LA that was also an important theme. Almost all of our friends are involved in music in some way, so we not only got to borrow their talents, but also to have them be a part of that spectacular moment. Loop opened the ceremony on his acoustic guitar with Death Cab For Cutie’s ‘Transatlanticism’ and had our friends pitch in on their electric and acoustic guitars, drums, piano, and even a glockenspiel with the wedding party singing me down the aisle. It left everyone in tears! Next, our friend Nic, an accountant by day, got the crowd going with a roast about the two of us. He got the entire crowd rolling in the aisles. I found a really dark yet romantic reading that I had my grandmother read. After we were finally announced Mr. and Mrs. Haro we started up the prelude with tambourines as we exited to the reception.

Reception: Loop and I set out to create this wedding on the smallest budget possible so we worked really hard on designing it ourselves. To cut costs we bought all of our table decor at flea markets. We chose dark teal, deep purple, navy blue and black and basically horded any vase, glass, or plate that we could find. We even managed to find stemless purple, teal, and blue champagne flutes from Crate and Barrel for about $.50 a pop… that’s less than the cost of renting! Of course we had to have a fantastic drink to go in those beautiful glasses so we had our friend Ralph, a true mixologist, come up with some. He came up with the Loop75 (a mix of Jack Daniel’s, homemade sweet and sour, and champagne) and the Lavender Vodkara (we used Monin Lavender Syrup, vodka, and a sprig of fresh lavender). They were such a hit, they had to go to the liquor store twice to refill on liquor! Huntington Catering also supplied us with a soda machine filled with PBR, Pellegrino, and Soda. It was really easy for our guests to be able to serve themselves if they didn’t want to wait in line for a drink.

Because we had family travelling from afar we really wanted to have good old comfort food that reminded us of home to serve our guests. Huntington Catering ( ran with that theme and made us some tasty Gruyere macaroni and cheese, a pork roulade, and citrusey white fish. Because Loop fell in love with pickled herring after our first trip home to Minnesota, we had them create herring crostinis for an appetizer. So delicious! We enlisted a pastry chef who used to work with one of our friends to create our wedding cakes. We wanted 8″ mini cakes for display (on vintage cake stands of course!) and then sheet cakes to serve our guests. Danielle Keene (of Wilshire, BLT Steak, and the Little Door restaurant fame) did a fantastic job whipping up a delicious red velvet, lemon verbena with coconut, and German chocolate cake (an homage to my dad’s birthday which was the same day.) Our friend Liz even made us an adorable cake topper which had mini versions of us dressed exactly as we were! We also served Minnesota Mints (traditionally served at graduations) which are made from cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, and mint flavoring and then dipped into granulated sugar before being pressed into molds. I swear they are sent from heaven!

Florist: We were lucky enough to have the amazing Holly Flora ( create our beautiful floral displays. We wanted to stay away from the typical floral ‘arrangement’ that are often seen at weddings, so we had her simply fill our vases and glasses with beautiful dahlia’s, black calla lilies, and grasses. I let her run wild with my bouquet and the end result was a orgasmic creation of flowers, complete with feathers and beautiful satin ribbon. The bridesmaids got cute mini versions with teal feathers.

Photographer: We came across our photographer on complete word of mouth- she’d done almost all of our friends weddings! Cathryn ( got our look right away, and shot almost 4000 digital and print shots! We had a lot to look through, but she captured spectacular moments without making us pose. Plus, all of the colors came out so rich. The best moment was when we were shooting outside the venue and an ice cream man walked by. Cathryn just went with the flow and got him in the picture, it was one of the best shots of the entire wedding!

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen attire: We didn’t want to make any of our wedding party spend any money since most of them already had to pay for hotel and airfare to make it to the wedding. I let my bridesmaids choose between an adorable sweetheart strapless dress and a 50’s style cocktail dress from Isaac Mizrahi for Target: both were priced at an unbelievable $19.99! I let them wear their own black shoes and then created feather hair pieces for them all to wear. The men wore their own black pants and we found them all matching button downs and great striped cardigans from Forever 21. Instead of boutonnieres, I made hounds tooth fabric covered buttons. Loop bought them all Tom’s shoes as gifts to complete the look.

My Look: I had tried on a few of the traditional big dresses and everything felt too stuffy. I wanted to be comfortable and yet have the look of a 40’s film star. My mom and I found the dress on a whim at Foley and Corinna on Melrose Avenue. The dress was off the rack and needed no alterations! I attempted making my own veil, but finally caved and found a fantastic one at I searched forever for the perfect shoe and found ivory patent leather peep toes with rhinestone covered heels from Nina. My good friend Heather did my makeup and completed my screen siren look with fuchsia blush and lipstick.

[images from Cathryn Farnsworth]

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Jennifer Skog contest

Jennifer Skog Photography is offering a Valentine’s Day giveaway for couples in any market nationwide.

Details: A full day stylized photo shoot with Jennifer Skog and hair and makeup design by Maria Chang
of Professional Makeup Artistry. The Shoot includes up to 3 different looks and an opportunity for a
Couple Boudoir in the bedroom.

Requirements: In about 1,000 words share your love story. The most romantic story will be the winner
and will be announced on Friday, February 20th. Jennifer Skog Photography will not actually be
picking the winner; a carefully chosen panel of colleagues will judge the stories.

Who can enter: Everyone! This contest is not limited to California residents – we will actually come to
any location nationwide to do the shoot!

How to enter: Email submissions to:
Please include 1 or 2 of your favorite photos together (1000px max).
As well as your name, city, state and email address.

Contest Deadline: VALENTINE’S DAY at MIDNIGHT.

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Diana’s DIY invitations

Diana, a Pratt graduate student, sent me the wedding invitations she designed for her own nuptials…nice pattern and colors!  I guess now would be as good a time as any to start showing off some of YOUR designs, so if you’ve got a cool wedding invitation suite, send it over! I’ll start posting them next week.

[images from Diana]

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Real wedding: Audrey + Jesse

Audrey and Jesse’s wedding just looks like fun, doesn’t it?  I could tell just by those bridesmaids dresses….


Green apples, birds, and twigs all in a chocolate brown/green apple/white color scheme. We had apples everywhere, from the apple colored invitations, apples in each centerpiece, and apple flavored candy. The birds were featured on the cake topper, the stamps on each program, and the candle holder near the guest book. My Mom constructed the tree that held our seating cards, and both my Mom and Dad worked hard punching out hundreds of dots on each individual card.


We got married at The Common Man Inn in Plymouth, NH. I’m from northern NH and Jesse’s parents have a vacation home up there, although we both live in the Boston area now. All of our guests gave this place rave reviews! The Common Man is a chain of restaurants in NH, this inn/spa being their first. It had such a comfortable, rustic feel to it – everyone was so relaxed, it really felt like being at a luxury camp! We stayed in their signature suite called “Camp” complete with an antique canoe above the bed.


Jesse’s lovely cousin and my co-worker Gienna Shaw did all the photography. A photographist by hobby, I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results! We asked for a photo-journalism non-formal feel, and she definitely achieved that. I highly recommend getting to know your photographer beforehand, or better yet find a talented family member. I didn’t even realize she was there. Also, we have free reign to all 1,300+ photos!


I bought my wedding dress online from David’s Bridal about a month before the wedding. It was only $99! I didn’t really want something super traditional and definitely didn’t want to spend too much. Luckily Jesse’s mom is an excellent sewer/designer/seamstress and did all the alterations for me. The bolero is made of a nubby silk and made completely by her. I got my silver Rampage shoes from DSW for $11, and the jewelry was a gift from my mother. The girls wore fun green mod-inspired dresses from Nordstrom with brown shawls from Walmart (shh!) All the guys wore brown corderoy blazers from Old Navy, khakis, and white shirts from various places, and green ties from Etsy seller rabbitstop. My hair and makeup by me!


Two of Jesse’s good friends from high school just happen to be dj’s. We went through the generations, starting with classical for the ceremony, 40’s and big band for the cocktail hour/dinner, 60’s and 70’s for dancing, and all our current music for later in the evening.


I couldn’t resist the candy buffet trend for the favors. My mom and I bought various glass jars from a variety of stores – Michael’s, Walmart, Christmas Tree Shops, etc. The candy also came from lots of different places, and was quite the labor of love! I picked through many many bags of M&Ms and Skittles to get just the right colors. We bought little plastic bags and had my Dad write our names on every tiny piece of paper that was attached to a silver twist tie. It was a big hit.


I was so happy with all the flowers. We used huge spider mums for all the centerpieces as well as the bouquets. Scattered here and there were button mums, orchids, curly willow, and little green berries. The colors were so vibrant and the mums are just starting to wilt now. Flowers were done by Linda Hutchins, a family friend that owns Riff Flower Shop in Lancaster, NH.


The cake was done by Lori Shearer out of Lancaster, NH. It was beautiful, and boy did it taste good! All three layers were a spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, with buttercream and fondant on the outside. Our cake topper is a handmade nest from Etsy seller Mosey. It really kicked off the whole theme of the wedding.

[images by Gienna Shaw]

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