Real wedding: Mandy + Brian

How gorgeous is Mandy and this wedding??  I love all the details and ESPECIALLY the photography!

Theme–  Black and ivory, vintage and lots of branches.  Branches were in all our centerpieces, flowers and on our invitations.  We kept all the decorations black and ivory as well as requested all our guests to
keep with the theme with their wardrobe.  The vintage feel of the wedding was seen a lot in my wedding dress and veil.  We wanted something simple yet unique so we used my wedding ring for inspirations since it held much of a vintage feel and included black onyx.

Invitations–  Since we could not find a lot of invitations that reflected our theme I had my brother Chad at design them.  We gave him some ideas and he really made them come to life.  I
had them printed, cut, and put them together on my own. Every part was ordered separately so everything went together.  We used,, and to
make our own invitations in our own style.

Venue–  Right away when we got engaged we knew we wanted to get married in Santa Cruz where Brian is from.  It is so beautiful and holds great memories for us both.  Since is was more of a destination
wedding we took some time finding a venue.  When we first saw Kennolyn we knew it was where we wanted to be married.  It is an old hacienda building on a hill that over looks the city.  On a clear day you can
see the ocean and its set on 300 acres of forest.  Many of our guests loved our venue.  Also Carrie, the day wedding coordinator is amazing!

Decorations and Flowers–  The majority of all the flowers and decorations were done by myself and my family.  My mom and I spent a few trips to downtown L.A.’s flower mart coming up with ideas.  All of
our centerpieces and the flowers at the ceremony site were all done by us.  The branches were bought is downtown L.A. and brought up to Santa Cruz 2 days before the wedding so we could get them all put together. We glued little white flowers on a few of the branches to add a hint of color. Also we used artichokes in our centerpieces from nearby Monterey to give a feel from the area.  The bouquet and boutonnieres for our wedding were all done by Boulder Creek flowers in Santa Cruz. They did such a great job staying with our black and white theme, and having fun being creative!

Dress and Veil– I found my dress at Marry me bridal in Orange.  It definitely went with our vintage them.  To add the flair of the black we added a black sash to my dress.  The veil and flower were made by
Stephanie James couture in Huntington Beach.  She did a great job of adding a hint of black to the ivory flower.  All of her flowers, veils, and dresses she designs are inspired by the 40s and 50s.

Photography–  Not too long after we got engaged my brother let me know our friend Carson at James Carson photography had been shooting weddings.  We took a look at his website and instantly knew we wanted him to shoot our wedding.  He has a great eye for what looks good and we love the way our photos came out.  We also did a day after session on the beach to get some different photos.  We had such a great time with Carson!

Cake–  Our cake was made by Black China Bakery in Santa Cruz.  I’ve been vegan for nearly 12 years and we wanted to have cake everyone would enjoy.  All of our cakes were vegan but they also do regular cakes.  We had one small cake that was decorated with black and ivory.  We also had two other flavor of cupcakes.  We went with chocolate on one and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting on the other.  Everyone loved it!

Extras–  As our sign in book we had a few friends take Polaroid photos of our guests as they arrived.  We had them sign a guest book with their photos right above.  It turned out great!

[images by James Carson Photography]

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Real wedding: Jade + Chris

Normally I’m not a big beach wedding kind of gal, but this one could almost make me change my ways!  My favorite part has got to be the beautifully organic florals, and the Queen Anne’s lace that mimics the lace of her gown.

[images by Karen Wise]

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Real wedding: Joelle + Pete

I love the florals in this wedding by inBloom Events + Design…especially that moss covered J+P and the galvanized tin centerpieces.  A very affordable alternative if you’re thinking about doing your own arrangements!

[images by Jocelyn Fisher]

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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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Real wedding: Crystal + Andrew

I got this wedding yesterday from Crystal and loved every single detail! Don’t worry, many more pictures to come later today….

Madrilejos – Towne Wedding
Medina, Ohio

Invitations: Being a graphic designer by trade, I couldn’t help but take on this challenge. The invitations have a grass theme that was kind of a foreshadowing of the actual event. The invitations were printed by a local printer in Medina.

Ceremony: Andrew’s parent’s house sits on 50 acres of land just outside the Medina city limits. Finding the perfect spot for the ceremony wasn’t hard because the location is so beautiful. We decided to have the ceremony in an area just within the forest line with the trees towering over us. Up until we decided to exchange our vows in this spot, it was just a lot of grass and weeds that Andrew’s parents let grow wild. So we, and Andrew’s parents, mowed the ceremony spot and an aisle for a whole year before the wedding date as the rest of the vegetation around it grew tall.

Reception: The reception was at the same place as the ceremony, in Andrew’s parent’s yard. We had three large tents to seat about 250 guests (we both have large extended families) and the food and drinks were catered by a local restaurant, Medina Steakhouse & Saloon.

Decorations and Flowers: We didn’t want to have traditional flowers so we decided to go with just greenery (other than my bouquet which were peonies cut from bushes in our yard). Each centerpiece was unique and consisted of 3-4 individual planters in either green, white or clear vintage glass. Ohio being the mecca of thrift stores, we were able to buy all these containers for around $100. Me and my sisters put together every one of the planters, which were a mix of everything from moss to succulents. While we were planting, the guys went in search of fallen trees in the woods to cut into slices that were used to raise the planters to different levels. Underneath the centerpieces we had different patterned squares of vintage fabric. The table numbers were xerox transfers on balsa wood that we set into Y-shaped tree branches that we gathered. We also made lanterns from old jars and hung them from the big sycamore tree that is the focal point of the backyard.

Dress + Shoes: My dress was made by a Brooklyn-based fashion designer, Laura Budde. She is a great friend and an amazing designer. The dress turned out perfect. I wanted something very simple and feminine with color incorporated into it. And flowing! The shoes were Anna Sui from Anthropologie. They were leather, almost like running shoes, with leather flower accents all over them. Weird sounding, i know, but they were so cool.

Photography: Lauren Crew ( took our photos. Lauren was my Photo Editor at a magazine that I was Art Director for in NYC so I already knew that she was an amazing photographer. She isn’t a traditional wedding photographer, which is exactly what we were looking for. She shot both film and digital and we are extremely happy with how they turned out.
Desserts: I am a huge dessert person with the biggest sweet tooth! I wanted an elaborate spread with cakes and candy and cookies as far as the eye could see. And that’s pretty much what we got! A good friend of the family, Amy Ash, made the majority of the baked good. Her family is known for their magic touch in the kitchen and they did not disappoint with their Red Velvet Cupcakes, Carrot Cake, Lemon Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes, Classic White Cupcakes, Italian Creme Cupcakes!

Favors: One of the very first decisions that we made was to get a photo booth (a “real” black and white, film kind). We used Photobooth Scrapbooks ( and were very happy with them.

Extra Touches: For a guest book we used a vintage typewriter that we got from Andrew’s grandparents with a long roll of paper. The best thing about it were the drunk messages people left for us by the end of the night. The most popular message: Don’t go to bed angry. Thanks, we’ll remember that.

[images by Lauren Crew Photography]

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