A Secret Elopement: Heather + Michael

secret elopement

Today’s wedding is super cute – a bit quirky – and most of all, perfectly resembles this fun couple. :) Heather owns a local LA dessert company The Scootabaker (and made the gorgeous cakes for the reception!), and Michael is a musician (he’s toured with The Wallflowers, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, and is currently on the road with Gogol Bordello). They had a private, intimate elopement in a secret location and then invited friends + family to a reception at their favorite Mexican restaurant. Mexico City in Los Feliz, California. Another amazing detail to note – they did the whole wedding for around $6000, with the help of their friends. Amazing!

gray and yellow invitations

bright bouquet with feather

bright bouquet with feather

vera wang wedding dress


Michael and I celebrated our 11th anniversary of the day we met on 11/11/11. And on October 1, 2011, we had a private ceremony of the two of us under a fallen tree in the hidden Franklin Canyons of Los Angeles. My best friend Gina officiated and Steph Fowler was our stellar photographer. We chose to have our celebration dinner with our closest friends and family that evening at our favorite Mexican Restaurant, Mexico City in Los Feliz. We wanted to fill everyone with good food and drink and have them be merry with us all night long with zero expectations of partaking in conventional wedding formalities.

orange boutonniere

secret elopement

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

For me it was saying my vows to Michael. I pulled out a long handwritten letter from my pocket, Michael called it the “dead sea scroll of vows”, and reading from it I could not keep from shaking and whimpering. I was once again nervous around the man I was marrying, just like our first date. Michael is a simple man; he says the most memorable moment of the day was marrying the woman he truly loves.

secret elopement

secret elopement

secret elopement

secret elopement


Why did you choose to elope?
It’s a funny thing because it didn’t occur to us that we were actually planning an elopement. We still wanted to include our family and friends in our celebration dinner reception. Initially we were in the process of planning a small wedding and as is so common, the guest count kept growing. It was no longer that “small wedding” we talked about and we were becoming very anxiety ridden by it all. We just wanted to get back to the real reason we were getting married, to be together for always and ever, just the two of us. It had to start that way with a wedding that belonged to just the two of us.

guitar pick wedding favors

modern wedding table cloths


I love Mod culture and design and since we were celebrating in a Mexican Restaurant I wanted to go with a theme of Mexican Mod. The colors, patterns, and arrangements at our reception were symbolic of the couple that we are – colorful, passionate, and modern. I made all four of my wedding cakes and sewed all the table runners. And being a creative type I’m really big into supporting local artisans, so I commissioned all my girlfriends with companies of their own to contribute custom work to our wedding such as stationary + artwork, wedding favors + cake topper, airplant terrarium centerpieces, and a bouquet + floral arrangements. All in all our wedding was an affordable $6,000! We saved the rest of our wedding funds to use on taking many little honeymoons over the next year!

assorted vases centerpieces

terrarium centerpieces

terrarium centerpieces

terrarium centerpieces

terrarium centerpieces

terrarium centerpieces

assorted wedding cakes

assorted wedding cakes

bride and groom cutting cake

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

If planning is stressing you out beyond comprehension, you’re taking on too much. Really assess what the MOST important things are and eliminate those things that you would like but don’t necessarily have to have. I HAD to have a stellar photographer and I had to have our wedding day on video, but I didn’t have to have a separate videographer do it, so we used a flip camera to capture our day by hand. It’s no less sentimental!

photography: Steph Fowler Photography // ceremony venue: Franklin Canyon, Los Angeles // reception venue: Mexico City Restaurant, Los Angeles // paper goods: Pink Butter Creative // wedding favors + silhouette heads cake toppers: Plastique*  // florals, succulents, vintage vase rentals, bouquet + boutonniere : Primary Petals // terrariums: Twig and Twine // ceremony dress: Vera Wang // cake cutting dress: Forever 21 // veil, feather hair bow: Tessa KimVie Moderne // bride’s shoes: Vivienne Westwood // hair: Calista Sanderson of Andy LeCompte Studio // groom’s suit: Tom Ford // cakes: The Scootabaker Desserts (The bride’s company) // linen: La Tavola // officiant: Bride’s best friend, Gina Buletta

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