Donna and Richard were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, Calif. on May 24. “After seeing how naturally beautiful the property was, with a ton of green, rustic character, trickling ponds, the fun vintage ferris wheel, and of course the big oak tree that served as our backdrop for our ceremony, we knew we found our spot,” Donna said. The bride wore a sweetheart lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown, accessorized with a pair of Valentino’s “rockstud” pumps, while the groom wore navy blue suit, accessorized with a checkered button-up shirt, and denim bow tie. “This fabric was the starting point for our entire color inspiration,” she said. “The wedding passed by in a flash. Richard and I joke all the time that we can’t remember much of it but as cheesy as it sounds, but I will always remember the moment we were up at the altar. It was as if time slowed.” The ceremony took place underneath a big oak tree dangling with cafe lights, and a vintage ferris wheel off to the distance. Afterwards, all 112 guests walked with the newlyweds, waving ribbon wands, to the tented reception. Do-it-yourself mason jar escort cards were filled with nuts. Each table was decorated with white linens, peony centerpieces, and chalkboard numbers. Their favorite detail? The dessert display! Just look at that three-tiered naked cake topped with fresh fruit and various other pastries. “Be flexible,” Donna said. “I know most brides will have a clear vision of what they want, but what I have learned is no matter how well you try to plan the event, you will run into problems. Whether your problem is a logistical issue or a budgeting problem or just the fact that your bridesmaids can’t agree on their dresses, as long as you are open-minded and willing to deal, than things will work out!” Amen.
Rachel and Garry were married at The Japanese Garden followed by an outdoor backyard reception in Van Nuys, Calif. on June 7. “The moment you step foot into the Japanese Gardens, you are surrounded by peace and serenity,” Rachel said. “Any stress, any worry seizes to exist while you are there. You can’t help but admire the beauty. ” The bride stunned in a v-neck halter wedding gown, accessorized with a fingertip-length veil and sparkly peep-toe pumps, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with no tie. Bridesmaids wore short coral chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of peonies, roses, and dahlias. All 80 guests sat at round tables in padded folding chairs, decorated with sandalwood linens, white napkins, floating candle centerpieces, and a personalized thank-you note at each place setting. “Garry and I took a moment to reflect and kind of stepped back and looked around at all of our friends and family,” she said. “To see their smiling faces, laughing and dancing – so much love was everywhere. It was truly humbling, and our hearts were bursting.” An indulging dessert display included a buttercream-frosted cake, oatmeal cream pies, Ho Hos, and chocolate covered marshmallows. Lucky them! The newlyweds jetted off in a 1961 Bentley at the end of the night for a touch of old Hollywood glamour. “If at the end of the day, you marry the love of your life, the rest doesn’t matter,” Rachel said.
Katie and Kevin were married in a traditional church ceremony at the Chapel of our Lady followed by a reception at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco, Calif. on March 21. “It was actually the first (and only) place that Kevin and I looked at,” Katie said. “We walked into the Chapel of our Lady and immediately fell in love with the gorgeous beams above us and the stunning glass window behind the altar. It was where we wanted to get married without a doubt. After we toured the Golden Gate Club, with the amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, we were completely sold.” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with off-the-shoulder capped sleeves, accessorized with a finger-tip length veil in her loose half-up/half-down curls, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a white tie. “The way the chapel looked when the doors opened for me to walk down the aisle, seeing it packed with our loved ones, the bridal party all lined up in the front, and the smile on Kevin’s face made for an absolutely perfect moment,” she said. Following the intimate nuptials, guests traveled to the reception complete with buffet dinner stations like a Cheese and Nacho bar, tables decorated with chevron runners, and glass centerpieces filled with hydrangeas, greenery, and fiddle heads. The newlyweds’ favorite moment? “The speeches!” Katie said. “They were the perfect combination of touching memories, hilarious anecdotes, and well wishes. My dad’s in particular was supremely heartwarming.”
Kelly and Tom were married at Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills, Calif. on February 8. “Not only was our venue located on a beautiful garden making, but also it was large enough for everyone to fit comfortably,” Kelly said. “So many other venues we’d seen had advertised maximum capacity at a number far greater than what I believed could actually fit. It also had a rain plan (it was winter, after all), and in my opinion, didn’t overcharge us.” The bride wore a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown with a beaded bodice, accessorized with a chapel-length veil, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a gold tie. Bridesmaids wore long satin gray dresses and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, and calla lilies. “The moment right before I walked down the aisle, my dad whispered, ‘You’ve made the right choice. Many marriages fail because they didn’t make the right choice. You did, kiddo,'” she said. “And that’s when this poised go-get-‘em bride lost it.” After the vows were said and done, the newlyweds kissed! Notice the fist pump? The reception followed inside the ballroom decorated with rhinestone vase centerpieces atop mirrors, picture frame numbers, and floating candles. The most sentimental details of all? “The nods to mom,” Kelly said. “I incorporated the day to feel the presence of my mom, who passed away when I was 14. They included, fastening her wedding ring to my bouquet, taking our vows in the rose garden like the one she nurtured, having her carrot cake recipe as a layer of our wedding cake . . . and playing the song ‘When I’m 64′ by the Beatles as my parents did at their wedding.”
Sydney and Matt were married at Bernardo Winery in San Diego, Calif. on April 19. “It was very unique,” Sydney said. “It is the oldest working winery in San Diego and had so many beautiful backdrops that it made decorating easy. We absolutely loved the rustic feel it had too.” The bride wore a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown, accessorized with a chapel-length veil, while the groom wore a gray suit, accessorized with a white tie. Bridesmaids wore long one-shoulder pink chiffon dresses and carried do-it-yourself bouquets of hydrangeas and baby’s breath. “The moment I saw my emotional groom standing at the end of the aisle,” she said. “It is one of the images I will never forget, and I just could not wait to be his wife. The whole ceremony was filled with so much love, and it meant so much to me to see how happy everyone was for us.” Guests were escorted to their assigned tables via a chalkboard. Tables were decorated with burlap runners, numbers stamped on, succulent centerpieces, and homemade cookies in favor bags that said, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats” at each place setting. “My grandma’s helped me make them a couple nights before the wedding,” Sydney said. “The recipe was on the back.”