“Arriving at Angelina and Brandon’s wedding was literally like walking into a fairytale! I knew beforehand that they were doing a lot of awesome details themselves, and also that the location was going to be gorgeous, but it’s hard to even put into words just how amazing everything turned out. I think my mouth hung open in awe as I walked around, with just how picturesque the scene was. From the floral and table design, all done by the bride and groom, straight down to the ring box; I do not think a single detail could have been more perfect. What really made this day memorable, was when Brandon stopped me right before the ceremony, telling me that he had planned a surprise serenade for his soon to be bride. Expressing how she had taken so much time and effort to plan their wedding, that he wanted to do something in return that she didn’t have to plan at all. The bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and even the officiant each had their part; and the look on Angelina’s face is not one I will soon forget! The night ended with light painting in the woods, karaoke, and some pretty deep dips on the dance floor, and it’s easy to say that this wedding was a gorgeous and exciting event fit for two gorgeous and exciting people.” – Jennifer Lourie Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
My favorite wedding day memory would have to be when Brandon, our officiant and entire wedding party broke into song! They all sang, Fly me to the Moon, by Frank Sinatra. It was a complete surprise that everyone hid from me. It was amazing. Brandon did a few solo verses of the song, and many of our non-singing wedding party joined him! It was such an awesome surprise, and so sweet. Definitely made our ceremony incredibly special!
What did you DIY for your wedding?
Haha! This is a hilarious question, because I really DIY-ed almost everything there!
I did my bridesmaids bouquets that morning, but had practiced a few months earlier. I also did my bouquet just minutes before the ceremony because we had a hard time getting the peonies to open up in time to make them when we made the bridesmaids bouquets! It was a bit nerve racking, but it worked out.
I designed the table arrangements, I bought the candelabras from Michael’s and painted them gold. I couldn’t find any affordable gold ones, so I decided to make my own. I really wanted a lovely family style dinner, but I also wanted that beautiful floral garland down the center of the table. So, I got some wood from home depot and had them cut it into pieces that would make nice rustic risers that could be placed over the garland. We stained them a dark wooden color to bring a rustic touch to the glam of the garland and candelabras. For the flowers, I went to the SF Flower market, and just picked out flowers that fit the color scheme and romance that we were looking for; we went early in the morning the day before the wedding. I purchased some flower tubes, and the wedding party put the flowers in the tubes that morning, so that the flowers would survive the evening. We used pink, red, and white tulips; red and white roses; white hydrangea; and some other random red and pink flowers mixed throughout a long garland of silver dollar eucalyptus. Instead of my neighbor hiring a tree trimmer to trim her tree, I asked her if I could do it, and keep the clippings! Haha – it was certainly a random request, but she was happy to oblige. So about three days before the wedding we clipped everything, sprayed it down with water to remove any dust or dirt, and put it into some home depot buckets filled with sugar, glycerin, and water (to preserve the eucalyptus), then we sprayed it with some Wilt Pruf to prevent the leaves from wilting or drying out. Then we left them until the day we needed them.
For the lights, we didn’t want to pay an arm and leg, so I bought a bunch of lights from Target. Then we got some closet poles from home depot, stained them, and screwed some eye hooks into the tops, and put them in sturdy umbrella stands, and they were good to go! The grooms brothers put them up, and it looked great. We spray painted some discounted Halloween lanterns from Target, from black to gold, and then I hand traced our names on to the windows with a chalk pen.
I handmade some fabric bunting that was hung over the bar area, and that came out really gorgeous. I made some tissue paper tassels from different shades of red, pink, and gold, and strung them together to decorate the bar area. We also used some tissue paper to decorate a paper-mache heart. My brother, who is an artist, drew and cut some game of thrones and disney photobooth props for us.
For the dancing/barn area, I created a little backdrop behind the dj, with some paper, and taped some balloons to the paper. I made a Eucalyptus chandelier using a hula hoop and floral foam. I cut each piece of floral foam in half, lengthwise, and sandwiched the pieces around the hoop, and then used floral tape to secure both sides to one another. We wet down the floral foam, and put the eucalyptus in. However, because of the weight, hanging it was pretty tough.
My favorite DIY, though, was my living plant heart! I wanted to have a DIY project from the wedding that I could take with us, and that I could keep! I had been wanting a living plant wall for some time, so I decided to make a living flower heart. This was accomplished by purchasing a strong foam heart from the flower market. Then I wrapped the heart in plastic chicken wire, securing it tightly into shape with some zip ties. Then we got some cheap plastic plant pots from the flower market, and fastened them to the chicken wire with the tiny zip ties, keeping in mind the size of the flowers, and how we wanted them arranged. I overlayed some heavy plastic, and another layer of chicken wire. To place each plant, we cute as small a hole as we could, shoved some soil and the flowers into the plastic pot under the plastic, and resecured the chicken wire with a few zip ties. Repeat. Then we attached some bulb lights to the edges, and it was done! It was a lot of work, but it looked really cool, and is something I still have to this day. I think I may replace the flowers with herbs this fall!
There was lots of little stuff I also DIY-ed, like our invitations, the wishing well, games, and some signage. There was also some stuff that didn’t make it out to the wedding, which is frustrating, but will probably happen to most DIY brides.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
- Something old: The ribbon I wrapped my bouquet with.
- Something new: The headpiece.
- Something borrowed: Some lovely earrings from my mother in law.
- Something blue: A cute little pair of undies that my mother bought for me that said, I do.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
Two pieces of sage advice:
- Finish all crafting at least 2 weeks before the wedding. So much stuff comes up in those two weeks, and you don’t want to feel stressed out trying to complete everything last minute, or on the day.
- If you are wanting to do a lot of decor, definitely hire a day of coordinator! You really overestimate how much time you will have to do things, how long they will take you to get done, how well friends and family can follow directions, and how many things will go wrong, get lost, or be forgotten at home. Even the most perfectly planned, detailed directions will find a way to get confused. A coordinator should understand your vision, what you are looking to do, and have the attention to detail that you would have if you were available. That is something that even the best friends or family members won’t necessarily have. A coordinator will also have more time to do everything, because they don’t need to be AS ready as your family, friends, and wedding party do. If I could do it again, I would hire a coordinator, because I wasn’t able to be in ten places at once to answer questions, and I had to leave so early to get ready that some things weren’t put out, some things weren’t found, and some things weren’t done the way I would have liked. These are things that I believe a coordinator would have been able to take care of for me, and would have saved myself and my friends and family some stress. Its really worth it to find a place for a day of coordinator at least. – Angelina, the bride
Photographer: Jennifer Lourie Photography // Venue: Stones and Flowers Retreat // Desserts: Buttery Bakery // DJ: Big Fun DJ // Transportation: The Santa Cruz Experience // Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals: // Dress: Star - Hayley Paige // Hair piece: Danani // Shoes: Target // Hair: Jennifer Davidson of Bay Area Beautiful // Makeup: Kelly Huntze Makeup // Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein Suit // Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux // Invitations, signs, decor, flowers, etc: DIY by the Bride