Lora + Gary are from the U.K. but wanted to have their dream wedding here in sunny California. Since they were planning from overseas, they knew selecting talented + trusting vendors was key to having the wedding of their dreams. To help bring their vision to life, they worked with one of my favorite + creative planners here in Cali, Heather at Amorology. Lora + Gary wanted their day to be a mix of Twilight meets Sleepy Hollow meets True Blood feeling for their wedding. What a fun + creative vision for their day! Heather and her team incorporated pumpkins, old world scripts, antiquated silvers, tons of candles, and eerily romantic quotes from the movies so the guests would really get the inspiration behind the whole event. I thought this one was perfect for some Fall wedding inspiration! Thanks to Brandon Kidd Photography for the always gorgeous photos!
Lora + Gary fell in love with the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse, where the weathered wood and natural setting seemed to be the ideal backdrop for this hauntingly beautiful and elegant affair. The only challenge was bringing it to life in the middle of a bright and sunny August day! Amorology selected a color palette that would work for the summer wedding yet fall theme – ice blue, ivory, rich chestnut with touches of burlap, and of course blood orange.
Without a doubt the ceremony. JP Reynolds was the most spectacular officiant. We booked him without ever having met him because of his website and because of the snippets of his ceremonies we managed to find on various wedding blogs. He did not disappoint. There was not a dry eye in the house. Absolutely every guest raved about his ceremony. He managed to weave the ceremony so that it reflected us as a couple perfectly, and managed to create a ceremony that exceeded all of our (very high) expectations. The ceremony was moving, funny and sentimental.
The escort card table helped set the mood immediately for guests. Pumpkins of different shapes and sizes were used to display “scrolls” with guests’ name and the name of their table, which were named after the spooky towns that house the vampires and headless horsemen…Sleepy Hollow, Forks, and Bon Temps! Creepy black crows held up the banner over the escort card table that read “Bitten and Smitten.”
Since all of Lora + Gary’s guests were from overseas, they really wanted their favors to be a little piece of California, and what could be better than California Poppy Seeds that guests could plant on their own? Amorology couldn’t resist spooking the favor up! They put the packages of seeds in burlap bags that read “Dawn is breaking.” Guests were surprised to also find a scroll with eerie instructions on how to properly bury their seeds. :)
Lora + Gary are also an incredibly romantic couple and wanted their wedding to incorporate sentimental notions as well. To further decorate the tables and to bring a sweet element to the mix, they compiled and framed their favorite romantic quotes from Twilight, Sleepy Hollow, and True Blood. Cori from Brightly Designed created all of the paper elements that perfectly mixed romantic vintage with subtle dark accents.
And the gorgeous, gorgeous flowers! They were done by the lovely Kate from Flowerwild, whose loose and romantic arrangements were spot on with the vintage theme. Kate and her team created all the florals along with found vintage props, such as shadow boxes, old binoculars, vintage quills and ink wells to enhance the table decor. I also love the addition of garlic cloves and blood oranges – a perfect unexpected element that hinted at the vampire undertones.
Guests got a kick out of the dessert table that housed salted caramel macaroons, mini cupcakes, and mini cheesecakes. It was definitely “Love at First Bite!”
Seriously one of the most gorgeous venues ever…
And be sure to watch their highlight film from Shade Tree Films! What a beautiful + emotional film…don’t forget to hire a good cinematographer! I’m sure Lora + Gary will watch this one many, many times.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Definitely my lack of imagination. Heather had some of the most incredible ideas, but I just couldn’t see them all coming together in my own head. That’s the reason Heather is a fantastic wedding planner and I am not. Eventually Gary and I agreed that we had hired Heather because she created absolutely beautiful weddings and that she understood what we were looking for and we needed to trust her. That was the best decision we ever made. On the day we were blown away by the gorgeous wedding Heather created. Absolutely nothing was forgotten and everything came together in the most unforgettable way.
What an amazing, beautiful + ultra romantic wedding! Congrats to Lora + Gary on your day. And this just goes to show that when planning from a distance, hiring vendors you can trust is so, so key. Lora also shared her proposal story and I know I always love hearing a great proposal story, so I thought I’d share that also! :)
Gary proposed on February 13, 2010 (Unlucky for some but very lucky for me). He had been working in Hong Kong and had returned on the Thursday night (but I was away with work when he returned). We met for lunch on the Friday, and Gary says he saw me and decided that he wanted to marry me. When he left me, he headed straight for the jewelers to buy the engagement ring.
That night, he casually asked me whether I wanted to go out for a few drinks to my favorite hotel. The hotel is next door to our apartment and so it would be ridiculous to stay there, but it has the most incredible roof top terrace overlooking Manchester. I said yes, suspecting nothing at all, we were staying in for valentines day (as we always did).
On the Saturday night we headed over to the hotel and Gary was carrying a ridiculously big shopping bag (like he’d bought half the shop). We were due to exchange valentines presents and we’d agreed to buy each other “experiences” rather than physical presents so I assumed he had the big bag to throw me off.
We go into the bar downstairs and Gary goes to the bar and gives in his name. I thought that was a little strange, but then a woman appeared and said our table was ready on the terrace (this is not unusual that you have to book a table just for drinks on special occasions). We go upstairs to the terrace and on the terrace is one table with flowers, candles and a bottle of champagne. I still did not realize something was going on because I’m lucky enough to have a very romantic boyfriend who often surprises me.
Gary pours the champagne and then hands me a scroll. Inside the scroll is a poem. The poem talks about how everyone always say that love is not meant to last, that something will always go wrong, and that people cannot be happy forever. At the end of each verse is the line “prove that I lie”. Gary tells me that he has always thought that relationships would go wrong, that happiness had a time limit but that he knows that I will “prove that he lies”. He trusts that I will love him and that we will make it work and always be together. Then he gets down onto one knee and asked me to be his wife.
I didn’t even open the jewelry box he offered me, I just threw my arms around his neck and shouted “yes yes yes yes”! Thankfully he eventually drew my attention to the box, because it contained the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, I could not have picked a better one if I had chosen it myself.
photography: Brandon Kidd Photography // wedding planning + design: Heather Balliet of Amorology // venue: Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse // floral design: Kate Holt of Flowerwild // officiant: JP Reynolds // caterer + cake: Duo Catering and Events // wedding dress: Fauna by Pronovias // shoes: Jimmy Choo // hairpiece and bracelet: Acacia II, Jenny Packham // bridesmaids’ dresses: Penny’s Party Dress from French Connection // paper goods: Brightly Designed // lighting: Bella Vista // wedding band (reception): Blu Note Party Band // wedding singer (ceremony): Stevie Rae Stephens // make-up artist: Nicole Deanne // cinematographer: Shade Tree Films // rings: Slack and Andrews, Manchester UK