Happy McAwesome First Anniversary Neva + Rob!!!!

These two get around, at least on my blog.  The photos aren’t always the highest quality (since I took them and I’m decidedly not a photographer)  but it hasn’t stopped me.  I love them and always will.

Elephants!

Actually I love this whole wedding.  I’m SO glad I got to be a part of it.

Elephant-topped cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!If there were ever a wedding that was a testament to the statement that you can have a wedding on any budget, this was it.  Spending under $4000 for a fabulous day full of love and personality and celebrating with your 60 closest friends?  Yes please.

Welcome to the McAwesome Wedding hand drawn sign by Events by Elisa

Of course it helps when you have a couple that is completely laid-back with no real expectations aside from having a good time.  And that particular couple happens to have a lot of talents.  And talented friends.

Cupcake Table by Events by Elisa and Courtesan Cupcakes!Also?  A fun theme rocks it every time.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen a wedding inspired by the movie The Party, but that didn’t stop them.  In fact, they took the basic inspiration and ran with it.  So this is also a great example of not letting the inspiration for a wedding or party limit you.

Yes, an elephant in a birdcage!It’s also a great reminder to let your personalities shine.  After all, not many people would get married by a robot.  But these two?  This was the perfect officiant for them.

Father Emiglio, the Robot Officiant!Of course if Father Emiglio is the perfect officiant for you, don’t hesitate to contact the couple.  They’d love to program him to marry you too.  No, really.  They made a video about it.

Married by a Robot. Oh yes.

It’s hard to believe that this wedding took place on the couple’s one year anniversary of knowing each other – and only three months after they got engaged.  Neva + Rob, you two truly are McAwesome and I love you both to bits.

The McAwesomes, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

I am so proud to have been a part of your wedding and I’m wishing you the happiest of first anniversaries, with many, many more to come!!!

The bridal party!

Neva + Rob’s McAwesome Backyard Wedding has been featured on RogueBride!  To read Neva’s fabulous review and see more photos of the day, check out my website!

Neva+Rob’s McAwesome Backyard Wedding Inspired by The Party 07*24*2011 Wedding Details:

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Happy Anniversary E+D!

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since your wedding day, but today marks the one year point…  I’m so blessed to have been a part of your wedding!  I only wish I could show pictures of your smiling faces that day. 😉

E+D Wedding Program

Bridal bouquet with mixed white flowers and ivy

To see more of E+D’s wedding, check out the following posts:

Neva + Rob “The McAwesome Wedding” 07*24*2011

It’s not every day that one of your best friends gets married.

And it’s not every day that you get to be in the wedding.

But when one of your best friends gets married, asks you to be in the wedding, and asks for your help designing and coordinating it?  Epic.

McAwesome.

As Neva says, “McAwesome isn’t a last name, it’s an unconventional conventional way of living.”  And Neva and Rob are anything but conventional!

Their wedding day was one year to the day after their first date.  Their wedding decor was inspired by the 1960s Peter Sellers classic The Party.  Their colors were “the colors of the sunset.”  The groom wore orange pajamas, a Chinese-patterned smoking jacket, and a fez.  Their wedding feast was cooked entirely by their family and friends.

Oh yes, and they got married by a robot.

Father Emiglio, the Robot Officiant!

Friends, meet Father Emiglio, robot officiant extraordinaire.  He started life as an Italian child’s toy.  Neva found him in a thrift store and brought him home.  Rob made him…

Well, McAwesome of course.

With a fresh coat of paint and an incredibly complex and hilariously funny program, Father Emilgio moved, spoke, lit up, and played “The Final Countdown.”  He interacted with the bride and groom.  There were incredible extras like R2D2’s beeps.  This robot was amazing.

Of course it’s not legal in California to get married by a robot, so he had a little help from a minister friend of the couple’s, minister Eric Sherman.  But really?  They were married by a robot.

Married by a Robot.  Oh yes.

If YOU want to get married by a robot (or emceed, or bar-mizvahed), or just to get better acquainted with Father Emiglio, check out this video made by the bride and groom!

That’s not the only thing I loved about this incredibly personal wedding, by any means.  For one thing every single vendor was a friend of the bride and groom, except for the girls at Classy Covers (who are friends with me!).  That meant cupcakes, decor, officiating, and photography by friends.  Who all happen to be professionals.  Love it!

Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture hard at work on the couple's formal portaits!

Now, I have one special request.  Please look at the content of these photos, and not the fact that most of them were taken in Auto mode by myself or my husband (and de facto assistant for the day).  I will eventually learn how to properly use my camera – but in the mean time, unless there’s a professional photographer capturing every moment (and our professional was IN the wedding party!), you might have to make do.  But this wedding was so unique, so fun, and so pretty…  I think it’s totally worth showing off my poor photography skills in this incredibly photo-heavy post!

I adored the string of yellow and blue elephant Chinese lanterns, and the matching damask patterned ones we hung in the trees.

Chinese Lanterns!

Chinese lanterns!

I loved all the fun ceramic, ivory, and wooden elephants that Neva and I found at thrift stores, swap meets, and discount stores!

Elephants!

Elephants!

I think the elephant in a birdcage (a special request by the bride) was my favorite, though.

Yes, an elephant in a birdcage!

I drooled over the delectable vegan cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes.  No really, vegan cupcakes can be AMAZING.  At least, these were.  YUM.

Vegan Cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

Vegan Cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

And the cupcake table looked so pretty with my vintage serving pieces!

Cupcake Table by Events by Elisa and Courtesan Cupcakes!

I was so proud of the florals, primarily white mums and daisies with green billy balls and peacock feathers, wrapped in leather cords, that Neva and I created, seen here in a photo by Erin of Paw Prints Pet Portraiture (also one of the bridesmaids!).  Erin usually specializes in pet portraits, but was happy to photograph the “wild things” at this wedding!

Florals with Peacock Feathers by Events by Elisa, Photo by Paw Prints Portraiture

I thought that my vintage suitcases and books, and my Moroccan lamps, helped make the buffet table beautiful!

A buffet can be beautiful, no matter what is being served!

That food, by the way?  Seriously delectable.  I have been the guest at other weddings, weddings where a caterer or venue was paid thousands of dollars, where the food did not taste this good.  Or look this pretty!

Mushroom appetizers!

The secret?  I think it’s lots of love for the couple on the part of the cooks (the groom’s dad and grandfather, both moms and grandmas, and several of the couple’s friends!).

And of course, I am thrilled that I could bring in the beautiful handmade elements that I did, including this pair of elephants.  I wish I’d been able to make these more perfect, but the idea came to me less than a week before the big day.  I still think that they’re super adorable and they were a fun surprise for the bride and groom!

Handmade Elephant cake toppers by Events by Elisa

And the hand-drawn welcome sign, on the cabinet door chalkboard I created for E+D’s wedding!

Welcome to the McAwesome Wedding hand drawn sign by Events by Elisa

And of course these two fifteen-foot paper table runners (one for each of two feasting tables), and the pieces we used on the two smaller tables.

Handcrafted rice paper circle "sculpture" table runners by Events by Elisa

Neva and Rob hand made all of their wedding invitations using a beautiful sunflower-patterned rice paper and the elephant motif that was carried on as cupcake toppers.

Elephant-topped cupcakes by Courtesan Cupcakes!

So when Neva and I went shopping together for elephants to decorate the tables, we brainstormed other ideas for the table decor, and I came up with the idea for these runners, using primarily the rice paper from their invitations, with pops of solid color.

Handcrafted rice paper centerpiece for the family's round table by Events by Elisa

Sweetheart Table Sign!

Handcrafted rice paper runner by Events by Elisa!

I know I made them, so I should probably be a little bit more humble.  But I can’t help it.  I think they’re amazing.  I wish I’d gotten more photos of them, since they really were sculptural hand-made works of art.  Every inch of the runner was different from every other inch, and together they included over 300 individually hand-cut rice paper circles in various sizes, from 1/2″ to 6″ in diameter.

Using white cloths from Classy Covers as a backdrop, we were able to decorate the tables with these…  McAwesome (heh!) runners, and pillar candles and flowers and elephants.  The runners brought it all together.  I love this photo by Erin of  Paw Prints Pet Portraiture (although I wish the wax wasn’t so drippy!).

Closeup of the family table by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

Back to the McAwesomes.  Don’t they look happy and in love?  This was their first look.

McAwesomes!

And their first kiss as husband and wife.

First kiss!

And a formal, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Pet Portraiture.

The McAwesomes, shot by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

SO. adorable!

And of course Neva looked STUNNING.

GORGEOUS bride!

That first photo is by me (so you can see her pretty dress too), but the ones Erin took are so much nicer!

Gorgeous! Mrs. McAwesome by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

Smiling Mrs. McAwesome by Erin of Paw Prints Portraiture

It was fun and creative and fit the couple perfectly.  Neva + Rob are anything but traditional.  And I was so happy to be a part of their McAwesome day.  This wedding is a great reminder that you can have a beautiful wedding with any budget – it’s all about making the right choices for the couple and the budget.  And these were the perfect choices for this couple.  Actually, for all of these people.  Aren’t we a colorful, fun bridal party?

The bridal party!

Neva+Rob 07*24*2011 Wedding Details:

E+D – 06*11*2011: Wedding Details!

I absolutely adore this couple.  I enjoyed every second of working with them, and I hope we can continue to be foodie friends! 🙂  Unfortunately even though they’re completely gorgeous, they’re also camera shy.  So they’ve asked me specifically not to feature any photos showing their faces or those of any of their guests.  As a result, today’s blog post will only feature photos of the wedding details!  Never fear, though – they’re beautiful!

This Rancho Palos Verdes wedding was all about Los Angeles.  From the food trucks which served guests dinner and dessert to the table names, made from photos of street signs in the couples’ favorite neighborhoods, the laid-back personal style of this couple and their love for their city was evident throughout.  The wedding’s overall feel was handmade but modern, relaxed and celebratory, and the couple was sure to include lots of fun and thoughtful elements.  They wanted to make the day comfortable and fun, with an emphasis on family, friends, and food.  The wedding itself took place in the groom’s parents’ home, with the cocktail reception, photo booth area, and food truck service in the front yard, the cake in the dining room, and the dinner in the back yard.   This entire wedding was put together in just under three months, and the bride and groom’s amazing family members all pitched in to help out.

An enormous thank you to the amazing Heidi Ryder for sending me these lovelies with such a quick turnaround time (and for re-sending them when I needed it!).  The full vendor list is below.

First, the program.  The wedding invitation (which is now featured here) was a colorful cut-paper affair (the guestbook, below, matches it).  But the bride wanted the rest of the wedding day details to be modern and understated, with the look of being handmade.  Yes, these ideas can coexist.  I’ll show in a later post how we tied the whole thing together, but for now, isn’t this pretty?

E+D Wedding Program

One of the groom’s aunts put together all of the flowers for the day (including corsages, boutonnieres, a crown for the flower girl, and these lovely bouquets!):

Calla Lily Bridesmaid Bouquet

Bridal bouquet with mixed white flowers and ivy

The ceremony was at a local church; following the ceremony, the bride and groom took photos on the beach while their guests mingled at their cocktail hour, which featured a fun photo booth area.

Photo Booth

The morning of the wedding, as we were setting up the photo booth area, I decided that there needed to be something a little more special in the background, so I whipped up some tissue poms.  They added just the right touch!

Tissue Poms

A friend of the bride’s had created papercut art for their wedding invitation; she used elements of the original artwork, plus the kraft paper used in the other printed materials for the day, to create this amazing handmade guestbook!

Beautiful Handmade Guestbook

To welcome guests into the reception, the bride asked for a chalk board.  I made this out of a spare cupboard door, and created some artwork to mimic the birds on the wedding invitation and guestbook.

Welcome Chalkboard

We used belly bars in the front yard to allow guests a space to stand and eat, and the bride requested menus at each table.  The mother and aunt of the groom spent a weekend putting together countless succulent pots to decorate the tables for both the cocktail hour and the reception.  Each pot was filled with a mixture of plants.  The pots in the back yard all matched, while the ones in the front yard were unique.  It’s little elements like this that I just love.

Appetizer Menu

Front Yard Succulents

Succulent Pot

The back yard was transformed from a simple grass area into the perfect party.  Ambiance AV provided white globe lights to make the space magical.

Backyard

Backyard

Backyard

The same very talented friend of the bride who created the invitation artwork and the guestbook put together this fun seating chart!

Seating Chart

Seating Chart

You may have noticed the table names on the seating cards.  For anyone not familiar with Los Angeles, they’re the names of neighborhoods in the city.  The bride and groom are UCLA alums, and have lived in the city for years, and they just love where they live.  They made table names from photos of the street signs in their favorite neighborhoods – the resulting table names were a big hit!

Table Setup

Table Name

Another of the groom’s talented aunts baked and decorated the walnut wedding cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was incredible!

Wedding Cake

The bride and groom are huge foodies and knew that they wanted to feature food trucks at their wedding.  They contracted with Kogi for a dinner of Korean tacos and Coolhaus for a dessert (yes, there was cake and dessert!) of ice cream sandwiches, including brown butter and bacon ice cream!

Kogi Food Truck

E+D, thank you so much for letting me be a part of your special day!  I adored all the fun little details, the personal touches, and the love that you put in to every single element of your wedding!!

Thank you to the team of amazing professional vendors, below:

And of course, thank you to the family and friends of the bride and groom for lending your incredible talents:
  • Artwork (used in invitation, guestbook, program, and custom ice cream sandwich wrapper) and Seating Chart Design * friend of the bride
  • Floral Design * aunt of the groom
  • Cake Baking and Design * aunt of the groom
  • Succulent Design * mother and aunt of the groom
  • Reception Location * parents of the groom

Happy Anniversary Lynn + David!

One year ago tomorrow was the backyard wedding of Lynn and David!  I’ve known Lynn for a looooong time and was actually an invited guest.  But, when a series of unfortunate events happened that made the wedding preparations that much more difficult, I was honored to step in as her Day-of-Coordinator.  Lynn and David’s family and friends really came together to make this homegrown wedding a happy day.  It included homemade everything (wedding gazebo, ring pillow, bouquets, cake, oh – and wedding DRESS, not to mention a potluck dinner, a serve-yourself bar, and an iPod music selection).

Potlucks are the most difficult thing to pull off at a wedding, but these two and their friends had it perfectly orchestrated.  Backyard weddings, too, are so tough – because your venue isn’t actually a “venue” at all – and stepping in to Day-of-Coordination within a week of the wedding is something I prefer not to do under most circumstances.  But the awesome guests at this wedding really did make my job easy!

While I love weddings dripping with details, this simple, relaxed wedding was a real celebration of love.  This is still one of my favorite weddings ever, because you can just see the love between these two!!!

All of the photos below were taken by myself/my husband with my camera; you can see more of their photos, taken by their friend/photographer, David Bean, on my website!

Sammy, the Ring Puppy!

Sammy, the Ring Puppy!

Married!

Married!

Cutting the cake!

Cutting the cake!

No cake-smashing here!

No cake-smashing here!

The First Dance!

The First Dance!

Dancing with her daddy to "I Loved Her First"

Dancing with her daddy to "I Loved Her First"

The garter - and that million-watt smile!

The garter - and that million-watt smile!

Myself with the bride!

Myself with the bride!

Lynn and David, Happy Anniversary!!!  Here’s to many, many years of happiness in your marriage, and love!