Tara + Ryker’s wedding is full of pinks, reds, hearts + lots of sparkles, so I couldn’t think of a more perfect wedding to share today in celebration of Valentine’s Day! I love that Tara (who works as an editor at TresSugar) used Pinterest for her research, inspiration, and DIY ideas. You can see her boards here (did you know GWS is on Pinterest? Follow us here). Such a great resource for couples planning their wedding! She was then able to send her ideas to her planners for the tablescapes, overall look, and flower arrangements. She also sent one to her bridesmaids and flower girl’s mom to help them choose their dresses – and she had a board to show her makeup artist what look she was going for.
From Tara,”While I had a good idea of what I wanted the overall wedding look to be early on, most people looked at me like I was crazy when I said I envisioned lots of hot pink and red, hearts, gold glitter, and gray and white stripes. But with the Smog Shoppe‘s vintage, industrial, succulent-filled setting mellowing things out, I think my girly, Kate Spade-esque vision came to life as fun and grownup.” And I couldn’t agree more! Thanks so much to Michèle M. Waite for the photos + to the super creative duo of Carter and Cook Event Co. for the design + planning of the day!
Every little detail for their wedding was about them! From Tara, We gave our wedding party a color scheme and let them all pick their outfits (no matching dresses or suits), my bridesmaids carried heart balloons instead of bouquets, the groomsmen wore sequin heart pins instead of boutonnieres, and I wore a headband instead of a veil (much to my mother’s chagrin). We chose the Kogi BBQ truck as our caterer because we’re always raving about it to everyone we know, and we really wanted to share it with our loved ones. And so many of our guests said it was the best wedding food they’d ever had! Since neither of us are big fans of cake, we chose to do doughnuts from a hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop instead. It was also a huge hit (and cheap!). The soda favors were from a soda shop where my husband I frequent in Pasadena, and they included my favorite, a strawberry cream soda, and his favorite, root beer.
I hand painted the artwork for the save the dates, and my husband and I spent a good amount of time picking our favorite songs for the music playlist. We also had the original Willy Wonka playing on the big screen during dinner, since it’s one of our most-loved movies. Even the photo booth props were personalized, with Canadian flags since my husband’s Canadian, props from Harry Potter (one of our favorite movies), and hats picked up from Chinatown in San Francisco (where we live). And to honor our grandparents we had mini bouquets for our grandmothers, and my husband’s wedding band was his late maternal grandfather’s wedding ring.
Our first look! It was so emotional and so love-filled, I'll never forget my husband's teary face when he first saw me. It was incredibly special to have a quiet moment to ourselves (well, and the photographer!) before all the craziness of the wedding, and even the pouring rain didn't keep us from enjoying each other and being so excited that it was actually happening. It really was the quiet before the storm, pun intended, and a good reminder that the day was about beginning this crazy, fun, romantic adventure with the love of my life, and to enjoy every second of it.
What a fun bridal party! Love the heart balloons and the ban.do red sequin hearts for the guy’s bouts. Totally agree on the look – super Kate Spade-esque :)
Processional: "Up" movie theme song for wedding party + groom, "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison for bridal walk
Recessional: "All You Need Is Love," by The Beatles
First Dance: "Taking You With Me" by Mindy Smith and Daniel Tashian
Favors: I hand wrote thank-you notes on red paper hearts (Etsy seller Eclat Designs), then punched a hole in each of them long before the wedding. Since we didn’t get the sodas in until two days before the big day, the night before the wedding our friends and family helped put them together by using baker’s twine (from Whisker Graphics) to tie striped straws onto the sodas.
Table Assignments: I created a private Instagram account where I put in funny, old, and embarrassing photos of all the guests from Facebook and then had them turned into cards on Printstagram. Then I wrote their names and table assignments on each one. I spray painted wooden hearts then hot glued them to mini magnets (Etsy seller buyjust5supply) to make heart magnets that the guests could take home with their photo cards. Then the magnets held the place cards on magnetic boards from Ikea.
Background videos: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, dancing montage video from The Flash Dance
Thanks so much to Tara + Ryker for sharing your gorgeous + personal + super fun wedding with us! And if you like the look + feel of their wedding, check out our shopping guide: for a heart themed wedding!
Use planners. Use Pinterest for gathering ideas and inspiration, anything you can't do yourself buy from Etsy, and ask your planners or other brides you know for recommendations on venders. Stay in constant communication with everyone so that things don't fall in the cracks. RELAX on the days leading up to and the day of the wedding, some things (like it being the only day in November it poured rain in Los Angeles) are out of your control. You can't do it all, so choose you battles. Do the DIY projects that you can, but don't kill yourself over trying to do everything. There were some projects I had wanted to do but decided it just wasn't worth the stress, so I either bought them already made like the heart pillows, or I just let them go. Other projects (like the menu cards and the striped fabric table squares) I delegated to helpful friends and family, who were also so amazing along the way, volunteering their time, money, and efforts to help in any way that they could. We couldn't have done it without their love and support.
Spend the money on the parts that are most important to you and your husband, and save on the details you don't care as much about. I loved my antique engagement ring, and I didn't want an expensive band that would take away from it. So I bought a wedding band off Etsy that was less than $100. Since our food was casual and messy, we didn't want to spend a lot on super nice china and linen napkins, so we went with disposable bamboo plates and cutlery and napkins from Ikea. And we didn't feel like spending a lot on paper goods, so we skipped the programs and one of my bridesmaids made the menus. But we spent a little more to have the sequin linens, incredible flowers (put together by our wonderful planners), and the gray and white striped fabric for the tables (which had taken months to find) — and the splurges were worth it!
All the vendors we worked with were so incredibly fun, friendly, and just amazingly talented. It's so important to work with people who aren't just good at their job, but are enjoyable to work with. DJ Flo, Phoebe from Fiore Beauty, the entire SmogShoppe team, Lori from Paper and Thread, Terence and Tyler from Photobox, Luisana from Kogi, and the incredible Michéle Waite went above and beyond to make our day amazing. Even the Etsy sellers exceeded my expectations with their kindness, efficiency, and quality. And I want to give a HUGE thanks to our planners Heather Cook and Ashlyn Carter, their work leading up to the wedding was invaluable, but where they really shined was the day of. We didn't have to worry about a single thing and it all flowed so smoothly thanks to them. I can't thank them enough!
photography: Michèle M. Waite // venue: Smog Shoppe // event planner + floral design: Carter and Cook Event Co. // wedding dress: Priscilla of Boston // hairpieces: Jennifer Behr and ban.do // shoes: Kate Spade // bridesmaid dresses: H&M and Rachel by Rachel Roy // makeup: Phoebe of Fiore Beauty // groom suit: J.Lindeberg suit and vest, Dsquared2 shirt, Howe tie, and Paul Smith socks and shoes // invitations+ paper goods: My watercolor painting was used as the save the date image and then put together by Paper and Thread. The invites were by Hello!Lucky // catering: Kogi BBQ // cake: Doughnuts from Donut King // music: DJ Flo from KIK Entertainment // photobooth: Photobox LA // heart pillows for photo booth: jeezejulia // photo table assignments: Printstagram // guest book poster: Etsy seller PERSONALIZEDprints // soda favors: Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops, Pasadena // plates and cutlery: Bambu // floral vases: Ikea // striped fabric on tables: International Silks & Woolens in Los Angeles // ring: engagement ring from Lang Antiques and Estate Jewelry in San Francisco, wedding band from Etsy seller Seashores // rentals: Classic Party Rentals // sequin linens: La Tavola Linen // heart sparklers: Amazon