Mahshid & Sassan

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Elegant Persian Wedding in Santa Barbara from Southern California Bride

"My life with Sassan has been one filled with love, adventure and never-ending laughter and I couldn't wait for the day we would start our lives together as husband and wife. Since we both come from a Persian background, we wanted our wedding to be rich in our cultural roots. For our ceremony, we included a traditional “sofreh aghd” which translates to “marriage tablecloth” in Farsi. It is an intricate spread composed of various symbolic elements all of which represent an element of the couple’s new life and marriage together. For the reception we had a traditional Persian fruit and dessert table for guests to enjoy as well as a DJ who would seamlessly alternate between Persian and American songs on the dance floor.

Our venue search was beyond extensive and since many of our guests were coming from out of town, we wanted our venue to offer a unique charm and a little getaway. The Belmond El Encanto fit those criteria and was anything but the typical "cookie cutter" of a venue. After our initial walkthrough, we both knew it was "the one". It was the perfect harmony between the West Coast lifestyle and Midwest charm. Situated high in the Santa Barbara hills and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the El Encanto is nestled among lush flora and Spanish colonial-style bungalows. It houses a horizontal Arbor Lily Pond inhabited with fish and turtles and a wooden deck that draws across it. At the head of this pond is where we placed our “sofreh aghd”. 

My advice to future brides is to enjoy every second of the wedding planning process and to not sweat the small stuff. If you are feeling the burn of all the planning just remind yourself it is part of the process and that it will all be worth it in the end. It was such a great feeling seeing all the planning come together and unfold and seeing joy in our guests’ eyes as they witness such a special milestone in our lives. Lastly, don’t forget to take a moment and soak it all in because despite it being the best day ever, it will be finished in what feels like a blink of an eye."

Photographer: SanazPhotography

Venue: Belmond El Encanto

Videographer: Mood PV

Floral Design: Precious & Blooming

Officiant: Persian Wedding Officiant Morteza Mohtashami

Linen: Luxe Linen

Bridal Hair & Make-Up: Nazeera Aqa

Entertainment/Lighting/Draping: Dashing Events

Coffee: Welcome Coffee Cart

Sofreh Aghd Design: Elegant Sofreh Design

Fruit & Desserts: Samira Wedding & Events

Sophie & Arick

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I love being brought on board in the middle of a client’s planning process, the main reason being they usually have found something or someone new that I’ve not yet come across or met. This was the case for Sophie & Arick and their wedding venue, the Palihouse Hotel in West Hollywood. I had done many events in that area but never knew about this little gem tucked between the hills!

 

Sophie & Arick were a dream to work with! At the time they were living across the country from each other, she was in school at UCLA and he was in St. Louis for work, and had ultimately decided on Los Angeles to host their wedding. Sophie was such a classy bride, everything about her style was simple yet sharp and played so nicely with the venues eclectic vibe.  

 

The morning of her wedding, everything went like clockwork. Sophie and her Bridesmaids were starting hair and make-up, while rentals were being set up on the roof top for the ceremony and Palihouse’s kitchen was finishing up their brunch service to then flip the space for the reception. Palihouse has a wonderful mix and match of tables and chairs in their dining room, some with 3/4 length linens which Sophie loved the look of. Even though all the tables were different sizes GBS Linens and I worked to find the perfect sized linens to make sure those table legs were peeking out! Any reason to create a spread sheet!

 

All the guests arrived and made their way to the roof top, with sweeping views of West Hollywood, a light breeze was cooling everyone off. Everyone took their place and the ceremony began. Sophie came down the aisle, escorted by her parents, the vibe was calm and cool. Everyone was focused on the couple and there was not a dry eye as they exchanged their vows.  

 

Following the ceremony everyone made their way to the lobby for cocktail hour to grab their specialty cocktail and escort card, designed by Fat Chick Press. In the dining room we were putting the finishing touches on each table. Once we were ready we opened the doors and dinner was under way. The rest of the wedding ran so smoothly I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter couple to work with!

Please see below for our other amazing vendors:

Photography: Mandee Johnson Photography

Flowers: Bouqs

Bridal Hair & Make-Up: Infinite Beauty LA

DJ: DJ Art

Wedding Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop

Lighting: Malibu Event Lighting

Rentals: Alex Party Rentals


Maureen & Allan

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After my initial consultation with Maureen I knew we would become fast friends and with her eye for design, that her day would be beyond beautiful! Her and Allan has chosen the gorgeous Carondelet House to celebrate their marriage. They fell in love with the venues art deco design saying it reminded them of Allan’s house. It was very important to Maureen that we sprinkle sentimental elements throughout her design as well as enhance the intimate and romantic vibe of the venue.

On their big day I was getting pretty big myself, already 5 months pregnant, but filled with energy and so excited for her to see everything put together! Partnering with some of my favorite vendors we got to work. tinimade came in and added swags of ivory drapery to accentuate the aisle and I filled the space with my hurricane vases and tall pillar candles. Pigsty brought in the most gorgeous and fragrant gardians to create her flower arrangements. The aroma adding another layer of detail. And with the venues vintage furniture the space was set. As the ceremony started it began to lightly rain, enveloping everyone in this warm, candle lit, intimate setting.

Following the ceremony guests took advantage of the custom bar menu and passed apps while Tres LA and my team worked to flip the ceremony to dinner. Adding personal touches such as his and her champagne glasses, escort card figurine holders and menus created by Shelby Creative Designs

 The tables were covered in beautiful damask linens from Luxe Linens, Pigsty’s full floral arrangements and my candles which we put everywhere. The setting was perfect for the family style dinner which created a sense of unity. After the toasts that had everyone laughing out loud it was time for their first dance to “Into The Mystic”. Vox DJ’s keep the party going all night long while guests enjoyed a DIY candy bar, cakes from Magnolia Bakery and a dessert very close to the couples hearts…homemade beignets fried on the spot by New Orleans Sweet Treats. It was a satisfying feeling putting up my pregnant feet up for a moment to enjoy a sweet treat and watch the happy couple dance the night away.

Please see below our other fabulous vendors:

Photography - Elm & Co.

Bridal Make-Up - BE.NYLA & Meg O’Hare Beauty

Desserts - Magnolia Bakery & Sinners & Saints Desserts

Rentals - Archive Rentals

Susan & Michael

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Susan and Michael wed on November 11th, as the sun set over Santa Monica beach. Every detail was immaculate. The whimsical flowers and wheat grass blowing in the ocean breeze created the most inviting beach wedding setting.

The beautiful couple exchanged their wedding vows in front of family and friends, who gathered from near and far. Following the wedding ceremony, guests walked to the The Loews Hotel Santa Monica.

Cocktail hour featured not just drinks and conversation, but lots of laughs as attendees enjoyed the photo booth. The fun spirit of the wedding only grew from there. Susan and Michael had some surprises in store for their guests, including karaoke during the reception --- and anime socks for the groomsman. And the couple received some unexpected gestures of their own – including a saxophone performance from Michael’s Best Man.

The ballroom was accented with gold - from the Chiavari chairs to the center piece votives and vases. These details complemented the pale pinks, oranges and greenery of the floral arrangements. Susan and Michael’s reception exuded a soft elegance that perfectly accompanied a blissful bride-groom and his blushing bride.

Cake was cut, champagne was toasted, and garter & bouquet were tossed as the couple and their close family and friends danced into the night. The intimate and joyous evening was the perfect start to this sweet couple’s new life together.

Please check out our wonderful vendors:

Photography - Sanaz Photogrpahy

DJ - DJ Art

Photo Booth - PhixPix Photo Booths

Flowers - Pigsty

Videography - Jordan Walsh Films

Rentals - Alex Party Rentals

Lighting - Malibu Event Lighting

Specialty Rentals - Archive Specialty Rentals

Industrial Love Filled Style Shoot

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An industrial setting offers a very different yet romantic backdrop for any wedding…all you need to bring is the love. Neville Wickstrom, of Nev Productions, has provided talented bands and DJs for my client for the past few years. Knowing him to always have his hands in many pots, I wasn’t surprised when he came to me with a “raw” venue he wanted to promote. So we set a date to take a tour of Monk Space. Located on the edge of Koreatown with no signage out front I was skeptical but once inside I wasn’t disappointed. “Raw” being the key word to describe the space, each room flowed into the next exposing distressed brick walls, concrete floors, wood planked facades, shuttered windows a courtyard and hints 1920s charm. I was immediately inspired and started working on a team to bring some love into this space!

The ease of how this shoot came together was truly remarkable. Just as the rooms of Monk Space flowed into one another so did the different elements of this shoot and before I knew it we had a team of talented vendors, a vision and were ready to execute! The goal was to bring in the love and highlight the many different backdrops the space provided incorporating elements to enhance the space’s energy and warmth. To do this we choose a color pallet of soft white, rose-gold, rich greens and greys. Little Grey Events, did a wonderful job incorporating our color pallet into her flower arrangements. For the ceremony she created a gorgeous hanging arrangement, which immediately enhanced the life of the brick wall. The backdrop plus greenery on the rose gold chairs created depth and romance.

We choose rose-gold flatware, from Archive Rentals, to help pick up the rose-gold detail in our chairs, as well as candle holders with gold edges and the fruit we cut open to display its rich colors. The charcoal dinner plates and grey goblets, also from Archive, helped create depth on the table and pick up the dark greens in the hanging arrangement above. The dark grey napkins, from Luxe Linen, against the white menus, from Smitten on Paper, again created depth and contrast. As these elements were coming together it created a rich feeling of warmth that was held by the gorgeous wood planked backdrop.

It was very important that we showcased the love that was put into the building to preserve its historic features. Using the original façade from the original 1920s building with pieces from Archive Rentals and the gorgeous wedding dresses we created a softness to draw you in. We were so fortunate to borrow two beautiful dresses from JLM Couture in Beverly Hills. The dress by Lazaro Bridal had a beautiful pink ombre skirt that would make any girl’s heart flutter. And our Hayley Paige dress mimicked the rose gold accents perfectly! The hair and make-up, by DeMesha Hardy, was kept soft and natural to go along the warmth we were trying to incorporate.

As the day came to an end, and Tyler captured her final shots, we were all buzzing from the energy and warmth we created bringing love into Monk Space.

Please check out the rest of out lovely vendors:

Tyler Chase Photography – Photography

Lazaro Bridal - Wedding Dress

Hayley Paige – Wedding Dress

Alyssa Esparza – Model

DeMesha Hard – Hair & Make-Up

Luxe Linen Table Scape

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We are smitten over our latest tabletop design in our Beverly Hills showroom! Designed by Cluster Events, this botanical ethereal wedding inspiration added the perfect pop of color to our showroom! Pink and green florals by Pigsty created the perfect centerpiece. Votives from Anthropologie added a touch of romance to the table. Acrylic chargers and gold flatware from Classic Party Rentals continued the romance. Menus from Shelby Creative Design were placed on our blush napkins.

Thank you to Sanaz Photography for capturing the design!

Planner Turned Bride!

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Dreams came true this past year. Not only did I marry the love of my life but we exchanged vows at my favorite place…my parent’s backyard in Mansfield, Ohio. The ceremony was overlooking Charles Mill Lake, the reception under an open-air tent with drapery billowing and we danced the night away among the stars. It was such a magical day, finally having all of our favorite people, from all chapters of our lives, at my favorite place. And even though my Dad couldn’t be with us, we didn’t feel loss, only love….and he wrapped us all up in it.

Being a wedding planner in LA, I already knew the elements that were important to me. I wanted to create a space that flowed, that was welcoming and fun! My design was clear; I wanted full bodied colors sprinkled with sentimental details! My sister said my jewel toned colors reminded her of the Crayola Bold markers…which makes sense since those were always my favorite!

For those who don’t know where Mansfield, Ohio is…it’s about an hour between the two major cities, Cleveland & Columbus. Nestled between an Amish buggy and a corn field. Our total guest count was 180 with about 100 guests coming in from out of town, staying in downtown Columbus. All were a bit apprehensive when learning about the 1 hour shuttle they would have to take to get to The Lake, but soon realized it was all worth it!

Upon entering my parent’s driveway, which doesn’t look like much from the road, we were able to create an element of surprise for our guests as they came down the gravel lane, with perfectly manicured woods my Dad would always be working in and an old barn that literally has every tool you can think of. Once you get to the house you are met by two beautiful ponds. My Mom, along with help from family and friends, had spent the past few months working in her flower beds that wrap around them to create a colorful masterepiece in the landscaping.

Everything was perfect, however that did not seem like it would be the case just a few days before the main event. Ohio was getting hit by all the residual weather from the hurricanes. When we landed, the Wednesday before, it was pouring rain and I was mildly freaking out. I was trying to listen to the advice I always give my Brides, that everything is going to be ok…we have a plan B. But of course, I was stalking the weather reports and having mini hear attacks every few minutes. By the time Friday came around the weather broke and the sun was shining and by Saturday the forecast was predicting the most gorgeous day of the month. There is no doubt in my mind that my Dad had everything to do with it. He always knew how to turn any situation around!

The morning of the wedding was a sleepy, delicious haze. My Mom, Sister, Jacqueline & Leigh (my Bridesmaids and best friend from high school) and my soon-to-be Mother-in-law had all spent the night since we needed to be up early. Our make-up artist, Amber Preston, arrived promptly at 7am and went right to work alongside my amazing talented hairstylist, who was also my Bridesmaid, Leigh. It was wonderful! No fuss, we weren’t in a hurry. My mom made breakfast and we shared stories and squeals of excitement since we couldn’t’ believe the day was finally here! Michael Segal, our photographer who came all the way from LA, arrived in the early afternoon. I was so excited when he agreed to come to Ohio (it wasn’t hard, he said yes right awayJ). I had vetted him for previous clients and always kept him in the back of my mind for our big day. Once Steve proposed he was the first person I called! Steve and I both love his bold style and how his shots really showcase feelings and emotions. Plus, he’s loud, just like we are!

Steve, his Dad and Groomsmen arrived via shuttle from Columbus to start getting ready. They all were wearing the same custom Italian blue suits from SENE with matching white shirts and ties from the Tie Bar. My Bridesmaids were wearing long jade dresses from Le Jeune Mariee and Madison, my Sister and Maid of Honor, was wearing a high waisted mustard colored skirt, also from Le Jeune Mariee, with a white crop top from Nordstrom’s. My Mother was in a beautiful long strapless burgundy dress by Hayley Paige and my Mother In-Law a gorgeous plum sparkly number. I never pictured myself in a ball gown but that’s exactly what I ended up with and I loved it! It was the first dress I tried on at JLM Couture in Beverly Hills, just for fun to appease my Sister, but once it was on I didn’t want to take it off. Hayley Paige’s Pepper gown made me feel so good all I could do was giggle and that was exactly what I wanted. I wanted our wedding to be full of laughter. There was no question, that was my dress, and putting it on the morning of our wedding I got that same feeling and knew this was going to be the most amazing day!

Guests arrived via shuttle and were dropped off at the house. They walked down the gravel path around the house and past the ponds to where our back yard opened up. They were greeted by our acrylic welcome sign by Rich Design Co. and sign in book which had all our engagement photos from our shoot with Micahel against all the graffiti in Venice. We used a piece of pottery my Dad had made, which was supposed to be a pedestal bathroom sink, for our card box. And of course I had to incorporate my Dad’s 1969 Porsche Roadster, nicknamed, The Barron, as the back drop to our Welcome Table. It created the perfect photo op for our guests, especially for those who knew my Dad. We looked at it as his way of being in every photo.

To create the ‘venue’ we wanted we rented from our planner, MMJ Events’ specialty rental company, Aiden & Grace, their beautiful 360 degree round bar that we made sure was ready to serve while our Guests arrived and took their seats for the ceremony. I wanted the ceremony to be simple, under a huge sycamore tree, gold chiavari chairs from All Occasion Events, a gorgeous colorful arch created by our florist, Evergreen Flower Co. and in the background Charles Mill Lake. The lake I had been looking out at my entire life.

The music for the processional and recessional was very important to me. I wanted to be sure it set the tone for the rest of the evening so the songs were nothing but ordinary. For the Wedding Party’s processional I chose the song “Over” by Kings of Leon. Not for its lyrics, since they’re actually about a relationship being over, but for its music and beat. I had my friend in LA, DJ Art, remove the lyrics and re-mix the song to create the perfect entrance for the Wedding Party. Our guests had to wait in anticipation until the song got to 0:15 when it was time for Steve and his parents to walk. Cheering erupted as Steve got to the alter. After Steve, it was our Bridesmaids and Groomsmen who all took a seat in the front row. Finally our Best Man, Josh who stood next to Steve.

For my processional I chose “Feel the Love” by the Rudimentials and again made our Guests wait in anticipation until 0:45 in to make our grand entrance. For some reason I always knew my Dad wouldn’t be around to walk me down the aisle. It was a feeling I always had but never understood until he passed away in May 2016. I knew I didn’t want to walk down the aisle by myself, I need my support system, I wanted my Mom next to me. But my support system also includes my Sister, so it was clear I was going to walk with both my Mom and Madison. And when we got to the aisle everyone started cheering. I’ve never been at a wedding where they literally cheered the bride down the aisle but it made it all the more special and was exactly what we needed.

We had asked our good friend, Colm, to officiate our wedding. We knew he would make it fun, personal and full of love. It was perfect! I was literally throwing my head back laughing and next would erupt in the happiest of tears. It was so personal yet everyone felt included. After the ceremony we headed off for more pictures while cocktail hour started. Guests found their escort cards, from Minted, on the round bar and made their way to their seats. I decided on a mix of rounds with light grey linens, form Event Source, and dark wood farm tables from Aiden & Grace.

Our place setting was simple but meaningful. Since my married name was going to be Pine I wanted to incorporate pine cones...but vamp them up by adding gold leaf to the edges. My loving sister Madison, took on the task of making over 200 bedazzled pine cones that we placed at each table setting and 2 on top of our cake. The head table that sat our wedding party and parents was lined with a colorful garland down the center, while the other tables had mixtures of small and medium arrangements among candles of all sizes. Everything was bursting with color!

One of my favorite things about Ohio are the puffy clouds during the day and the stars at night. I’m also in love with drapery! I think flowing drapes are so romantic and dreamy. While talking to Able Tents, they quickly knew what I wanted and came up with a drawing for my draper, Events 2NV, to incorporate their white drapes. The interesting thing about having a wedding in a backyard is working through the logistics….like finding out there is a 4’ slope and you can’t have your tent where you initially thought. After a few conferences calls and google earth layouts we found the perfect spot.

Everything turned out just as I had imagined. It was my goal to make the wedding flow, to feel like there wasn’t a pause or break in events. I wanted to get the energy to a certain level then let it build. Our ceremony definitely set the tone, followed by a bustling cocktail hour as our groups of friends merged into one. Next a delicious dinner, catered by Cameron Mitchell Catering, then to my favorite part of a wedding, the speeches! Which created another round of throwing our heads back in laughter. After dinner it was time for the dances. Steve and I danced to Rhianna’s ”Love on the Brain”. Then I danced with my three uncles, Uncle Danny, Uncle Don and Uncle Dick to “The Boxer” by one of my Dad’s favorite artists Simon & Garfunkel. Finally it was Steve and his Mom’s turn. They started off slow to Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” then the song quickly switched to Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” accompanied by a choreographed dance number that I put together for them the week before. After a few steps they waived us all to come join them! Immediately after “Love on Top” with everyone on the dance floor we started the “Hora” which I had never danced to but did my best! Steve was a pro being hoisted up in the chair but I was terrified and you could see it in my white knuckles.

When the Hora was over Steve’s Mother, Susan had a little surprise for us! She and her friends had re-written the lyrics for “Sweet Caroline” to “Sweet Morgan Pine”! They got up on stage with all the Groomsmen (who called themselves The Pine Nuts) and gave us an amazing performance and had everyone singing along. After the performance it was our bands turn to take over and keep the party going! Booking SWAGG was one of the best and easiest decisions we made. They are beyond amazing and talented and kept everyone on the dance floor the entire evening.

The whole day was perfect! And while a big part of my heart, my Dad, couldn’t be there to celebrate with us we could all feel him in the sun, the air, even in the hugs we were giving one another and especially at the end of the night when we closed out with a seven-minute fireworks show, he was wrapping us up in his love.

Because I’m a planner I thought for sure I wouldn’t get that feeling of shock at how fast it all goes by. Not true at all…it happened and still today I can’t believe it’s over. As a planner, the best advice I can give to other brides is to focus on the love. As long as love is filling your hearts and driving t

he reason you’re putting this amazing wedding together nothing can go wrong. As a bride, the best advice I can give is take moments to look at everything. Look at your husband, look at your family, your friends. See them and take mental pictures of this most amazing day.

Please check out our other amazing vendors...

Cake: Miam Cake | Paper Goods: Minted | Fireworks: Rozzi Fireworks | Invitation: Unique Custom Products

Tola & Joe

In the beautiful St. Monica’s church, where they first met, Joe and Tola wed on October 29th in the presence of close friends and family. Joe’s father, a deacon of the Catholic church, performed the wedding vow ceremony and announced his son and new daughter-in-law as husband and wife.

A twilight cocktail hour on Tiato’s garden patio set the magical tone for the reception. The greenery and bistro lights offered the intimate setting desired by the couple. But it was the personal touches throughout the evening that really told their love story.

From the unique guestbook puzzle to the goofy props and poses at the photo booth, Tola and Joe’s reception perfectly showcased their fun personalities and the depths of their bliss. Every couple’s wedding day should be filled with such joy and laughter.

The soft lighting, touching and well-composed speeches and the special gestures to honor the memories of Joe’s mother and sister all made for a sweet and inclusive evening. The friends and family gathered weren’t just attending a party, they were truly a part of the wedding in every way.

Tola & Joe capped off their wedding night with their bridal party at a pre-Halloween party at the rooftop of nearby Shangri-la hotel, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Whimsy Style Shoot

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A lake wedding is one of the dreamiest and romantic places. After spending over 80 miles on the road driving around Southern California, scouting for the ideal location for the shoot, we finally settled on Big Bear Lake. The area we found, Juniper Point, welcomed us with a soft cool breeze that wrapped you up in fall. The lake was still, reflecting the homes, pine trees and clouds creating a picture-perfect backdrop. What made the location even more special is that, Morgan, the owner of Cluster Events, has always dreamed of getting married at her parent’s lake house, where they got married thirty-six years ago.

Another great inspiration for the shoot was the work of Tyler Knott Gregson, who became famous by having a 'typewriter' series of poems on social media. With the world where everyone is online, lacking the 'realness' in relationships, Tyler makes the old and new worlds meet and takes advantage of the new age to bring back something timeless. Below is the poem we choose to use for the custom napkin screen printing: "I promise to find art where there may be none, I promise to try to become it if absolutely none exists. I will live in a manner in which I look back and know I chased two things throughout: all the light, all the grace."

We wanted to highlight the design with bold colors of burgundy, charcoal, dark brown, gold with hues of pinks and peaches, and Chelsea Carter Events did a wonderful job incorporating this daring color palette into the flower arrangements. We choose gold flatware, from Alex Party Rentals, to make the sharp angles stand out and pick up the gold detail in our stemware, as well as lanterns with gold edges and our pyramid table number from Urban Outfitters, all of which flowed together nicely with our goal of incorporating organic and geometric details. The dress by JINZA Couture Bridal had beautiful long sleeves and beaded detail that would make any girl’s heart flutter. The hair and make-up, by Meg O’Hare Beauty, was kept soft and natural to go along the warm grey suit from The Black Tux.

As the sun settled over the nearest Los Angeles mountains, we continued to shoot through the dusk. It was as if time stopped, and nothing else existed other than all the light and all the grace.