Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder July 18, 2013

real wedding | Charlie + Vivian

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I have an enormous soft spot for Catalina Island weddings… since I had my very own destination wedding on that romantic island and it’s like no where else in the world. Charlie + Vivian wanted that special, destination feel without being too far from home… so Catalina was the perfect choice. The background to their ceremony was the gorgeous Descanso Beach and it’s hard to beat their reception venue, at the top of the iconic Casino. “Twenty-six miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is waiting for me, the island of romance… water all around it everywhere, tropical trees and the salty air, but for me the thing that’s waiting there is romance…” – that’s a line from ‘Santa Catalina’ the song… and it’s so true!!!


“It’s really hard to narrow it down to just one thing, but my favorite memory of all would have to be the moment right after we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. We couldn’t stop laughing and I smiled as I looked at all of our friends and family. The music for the cocktail hour had begun, some of our friends waved our way and everyone had the most overjoyed expressions on their faces, we could feel the love and support surrounding us in that moment and it was magical! Our photographer caught some amazing photos of us too, candid shots that are some of my most favorite from the entire day!


..Since our wedding was a mini-destination, on an island I personally didn’t find it as easy to DIY as many things as I would have liked. I did a few things on my own as far as decor goes. For our escort cards I bought blank business sized cards in our wedding colors which I embossed and hand wrote each guests name with their table number on the back. I purchased the supplies for these at Paper Source.

For our table numbers I bought unfinished picture frames from Michael’s which I painted and sanded down after to give them a more rustic look. I bought beige poster board that I cut to fit the frames, painted the table numbers on each one and used a stencil to paint a design on them as well for a little extra flair.

I bought plain baskets from Michaels as well which I used for our flower girls. To tie them into our wedding theme I bought thin ribbon (the width of the basket weave) in our colors purple, white, and green which I then threaded through the basket. To top them off I glued some faux flowers to the handle to add a little extra flair. The girls loved them and they worked perfectly.

For our guest book I made a picture book on Shutterfly using our engagement pictures.  It was a perfect way to have a place to flip through these special photos for years to come and to have sweet notes encouraging our love surrounding them makes it one of my favorite keepsakes from our lovely day…


..My something old was a beautiful locket that my grandfather gave my grandmother on their wedding day way back in 1941! Their picture is still inside capturing their youth and beauty from around the time of their wedding. I used a pin to attach it to my bouquet. It was extra special to me because my grandfather is no longer with us and unfortunately my grandmother wasn’t healthy enough to make the trip at the time of our wedding.

I splurged on my something new, and bought my very first pair of designer shoes, Christian Louboutin to be extra soecial {swoon} I had a hard time finding the right shoes, I knew I wanted purple as a fun accent, but I didn’t want them to look cheap, they needed to be special. At the time I wasn’t necessarily looking to buy anything this special, but when I laid eyes on the glittery purple heels with that red sole I couldn’t resist! My husband wore purple Vans and we got great photos of our purple accessories.

I borrowed the veil that I wore from one of my very dear friends who had gotten married 9 months before us. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to wear a veil, but I am so glad I did. As soon as I tried hers on it brought the whole look together and I really felt like a bride. It was floor length and didn’t cover my face, but added a beautiful touch, the way the light reflected off of it in some of the pictures is breath taking. If you are thinking about if you should or shouldn’t wear one at least try one on to see how you like it. You might regret not wearing a veil, but I doubt you’ll regret it if you do.

My good friend Claudia makes beautiful accessories and made my garters for me which had my something blue in there. I loved them so much and saved them to use as baby headbands for my then hopeful daughter which we just welcomed to the world in April of this year.


..The best advice someone gave me early in the planning process is to choose the 3 things that are most important to you so that you can focus on making those things happen then let the other details fall around them. For us it was our venue, we spent a good part of our budget on this as well as the logistics of having our wedding on Catalina Island because we wanted a specific back drop for our special day.

For our photographer; I loved Melissa McClure and knew I wanted her as soon as we got engaged because she had shot another friends wedding. Splurging on someone who would capture our wedding beautifully was very important to me. Melissa nailed it too!

A couple of things I am so thankful we did for one was hire a videographer. Pictures are amazing, but having the video element brings everything back to life after your wedding. I watched ours 20 times or so right after we got received it! It’s beautiful to watch the movements of the day and listen to our vows again. If you can’t afford one maybe have a designated person take video for you to edit together later. We went back and forth on hiring a videographer, Nate Shute, and in the end it is one of our absolute treasures from the wedding, I am excited we’ll get to share it with our kids one day.

Secondly we hired a wedding planner and the only thing I would change about that is I wish I would have hired her sooner than two months out from wedding time. Event planners take such a weight off of you the day of especially as they worry about timing and getting everyone/thing where it needs be. Plus they have amazing ideas on how to add special touches to your day! Our planner, Lindsay Weinstein, was a God send on our day I am so thankful we had her!

Finally the best advice I can give is to try and relax as much as you can the day of. If a small detail or two don’t go as you hopes do your best to not worry about it. Your guests won’t know or care all they want to do is celebrate your love and have a good time. All of the little things just don’t matter on that day, but being surrounded by your family and friends while you marry the love of your life takes over and everything else is just icing on the cake.  Enjoy it, look around at all of your loved ones having a blast and enjoy!” – Vivian, the bride


photographer: Melissa McClure Photography // assistant photographer: Jamie Lawler // wedding planner: Lindsey Weinstein // ceremony: Descanso Beach Club // reception: Wrigley Casino Ballroom // florist: Bloom Floral (my fav!!!) // catering/rentals: Catalina Island Resort Services // videographer: Nate Schute // DJ: Aaron Massey, VOX DJ’s // makeup: Vanessa Broin, Bee Pretty // wedding cake: Rossmoor Pastries // gown: La Soie // Bridesmaids: Priscilla of Boston // Groom + Groomsmen’s: SuitFellas

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