Whimsical Secret Garden Wedding Inspiration

bride and groom

We have such a pretty shoot to share with you guys today, photographed by Ryan Johnson Photography! Filled with intricate details, unique patterns, overgrown florals + beautiful, yet subtle, butterfly + dragonfly design elements, the talent behind this editorial – led by To La Lune Event + Sweet Marie Designs – wanted to stage a setting that would inspire couples to think outside of the box + infuse their day with both whimsy + beauty. We’re totally on board with that idea!

More from Christy of To La Lune, There is something so effortlessly stunning and rare about dragonflies and butterflies that is wildly inspiring. Intricate details on every wing & their completely unique patterns create stunning perfection. As they elusively flutter by admirers it’s as though they whisper, “I dare you to catch me.”

We fell in love with the imagery of the bride whispering “catch me” to her soulmate; the groom she was beyond smitten to be caught by. One of our favorite details from this shoot was the escort card display. Guests would be given the chance to truly observe, up close, the unique beauty of these magical creatures, as they found their names beautifully scripted beneath the butterfly or dragonfly specimen that designated their table.

magnifying glass


Lovely Paper Things created hand-painted patterns on textured paper, inspired by the intricately delicate wings of a dragonfly, for each unique piece of the suite. So, so lovely, don’t you think?

botanical invitation

doors

lace back straps

purple ribbon bouquet

lace lined dress

bridesmaids


The Secret Garden bouquet formula: Purple clematis, hellebores, sweet peas, quicksand roses, ranunculus, muscari + maiden hair fern. We’re madly in love!

bridesmaids bouquet

white bridesmaid bouquet

dark bridesmaid dress

strapy heels

purple ribbon bouquet

bow tie vest

bride and groom

bow tie catch

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom


These vintage specimen accents are a perfect addition to the shoot!

butterfly seating chart

purple goblets

chocolate favor

purple goblets

gold flatware

purple bouquet

dessert table


And what a cake, right? That beauty was crafted + designed by Smore Sweets Bakery!

painted floral cake

boquet

bride and groom

lace strap bow dress


We have to call out the super sweet bow detail on the back of that stunning Truvelle gown! And to see even more of this ultra-pretty shoot, check out the film by Cloudless Weddings!


A very big thanks to the talented team of creatives below for sharing their Secret Garden Wedding Inspiration with us today! We love how they showed us a stylish + beautiful way to incorporate insects into a setting…something most people would never, ever think to include! Gorgeous work, guys!

photography: Ryan Johnson Photography // planning + design: To La Lune Event // venue: Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club Mission Viejo, California // florals: Sweet Marie Designs // videography: Cloudless Weddings // stationery: Lovely Paper Things // bakery: Smore Sweets Bakery // tableware: the Hostess Haven // photo assistant: Ashley Kelemen // hair + makeup: Melina Ruiz // linens: La Tavola Fine Linen // rentals: Archive Rentals // bridal store: Love & Lace Bridal gown: Michelle by Truvelle Bridal // bridesmaid dress: Zara

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryLove and Lace Bridal and Archive Rentals are all Featured Vendors in the GWS Vendor Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Guide.
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Quirky Vintage Pop Culture Wedding: Jessie + Steven

quirky food truck wedding

Happy Monday, lovelies! We are starting the week off right here at GWS with Jessie + Steven’s super rad Vancouver theatre wedding. As soon as we laid eyes on the incredible photos, captured by The Nickersons, we couldn’t wait to share them with you guys! These two truly crafted a celebration of epic proportions, with personality oozing from literally every angle. Every little detail – ranging from Jessie’s incredible vintage inspired dress, to the live music performed throughout the night by friends, to their very own food truck festival staged in the venue’s parking lot – was not only incredibly creative, but an honest reflection of this adorable pair. And as self-professed obsessors over all things pop culture, Jessie + Steven were sure to include as many fun references to it as possible, like retro McDonald’s Happy Meal toys from Craigslist for table décor, army men figurines set up on the charcuterie table + playful bouts crafted from old Ebay lego finds. Talk about infusing your day with personality and FUN! We just love it!

tulle dress

bridesmaids


Let’s hear about this amazing dress from Jessie! I wanted to look like myself. I collect vintage dresses and skirts, and wanted to make sure that, whatever I chose to wear, I’d feel like me. My heart skips a beat when I think about my dress. We named it at the first fitting – “Olga.” A lovely champagne–coloured-frothy-party-on-a-hanger. Yards and yards of crinkly crinoline with pink lace. During my fitting the seamstress was telling me that she would steam all the wrinkles out of the skirt and I was like “Oh no! Don’t steam the wrinkles. Please keep the wrinkles.” She told me at my final fitting that (at first) she thought I was crazy. Bonus: the coordinator not having to worry about wrinkling the fabric when helping me up and down stairs.

lace tulle dress

bridal accessories

temporary tats

boutonniere

food truck wedding first look


Loved their fun first look!

bride and groom

tulle skirt

bolero bride

old steps bride

hair accessory

groom

groomsmen

action figure lego boutonnieres

crazy groomsmen socks

bridesmaids

rose food truck bouquet

gold bridesmaid clutch

food truck wedding tulle dress

reception space


The rainbow bunting overhead, crafted by Jessie + her friends from old wallpaper samples, set the right tone for the day off the bat!

bunting

seating chart

seating chart

stay hydrated

calligraphy

bunting

gold letter balloons

tears of joy

dramatic ceremony space

invitation

ceremony

Seeing the sun come out while we were at the salon. Jumping up and down with Sarah, one of our fabulous photographers.

Being surrounded by our family and friends as our ceremony was beginning, with all our friends singing - and looking around this big group of HUGE smiles and shining eyes. (We’re all criers. There were a lot of happy tears.)

Seeing the looks on everyone’s faces when the desserts were brought out – gourmet pie from The Pie Hole and pop culture-inspired cupcakes from Love Your Cake will make anyone go weak at the knees. You could see people mentally picking out which one they wanted and being prepared to fight to the death for Wally, Jack the Pumpkin King, a Ninja Turtle, or one of the Fat Elvis pies (seriously the best thing you’ll ever eat).

Sitting down with the wedding party after the ceremony, all the girls kicking their shoes off and the boys drinking from their flasks. Everyone was like “Let’s Party!”

At one point we were in the dressing room above the reception and the building felt like it was vibrating as the entire party sang Don’t Stop Believin’ at the top of their lungs.

The non-stop dancing, thanks to our wicked New York DJ pal Ashley Ball.

Seeing all of our guests go crazy in the photo booth, and then watching them craft their own guestbook pages with markers and washi tape. We took the guestbook back to our hotel room at the end of the night and read them together.

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

ceremony

Processional: Make You Feel My Love – Bob Dylan

Recessional: You & I – Ingrid Michaelson (Duet on a ukulele with 30+ person chorus which ended with the entire congregation clapping and foot-stomping!)

First Dance: Second Star to the Right – Doris Day & The Four Lads (Solo by one of the couple's dearest friends)

ceremony exit

chandelier room


Guests were given fun, faux itineraries + envelopes that held tickets for food + drinks – like a carnival!

table number programs

welcome signs

donald duck

gold letter balloons

dessert bar

cake topper

harry potter cupcakes


We had a sweetheart ‘lounge’ filled with crazy theatre props instead of a head table or sweet heart table – it was used by guests throughout the evening for their own silly photos. Steven and I are both obsessed with pop culture and had a great time crafting different elements for décor that could bring that in.

stage setting

photo booth

guest book

food truck wedding

food truck wedding

food truck wedding

food truck wedding

chandelier room

stage set up


Jessie topped her dress with a bolero made from her favorite vintage skirt for the reception! So colorful + fun!

first dance

first dance

ceiling of string lights

ceiling of string lights

ceiling of string lights

Make it your own. We bucked a lot of traditions and had fun making some new ones too. Our wedding party sat with the rest of the congregation instead of standing with us (my pregnant sister was very, very appreciative). The traditional cake cutting was replaced by a rousing group rendition of “Happy Wedding Day To You” and a very firey wedding cake. We did food trucks instead of buffet or plated meal. In lieu of glass clinking, we asked guests to challenge us to a “Pop-Culture-Off.” They would challenge, we would ask them a trivia questions, and if they answered correctly we would oblige with a kiss. Needless to say, hilarity ensued thanks to numerous challenges that featured groups singing theme songs.

Use your circle. We were so lucky to be surrounded by ridiculously talented people who said “Yes!” to our “will you sing/play/set-up/decorate/loan/drive” questions.

Having a coordinator on the day of was amazing - and worth the investment for ease of mind. We had taken the lead with much of the planning then had a couple of meetings with Rachel to hand the whole thing off. Being able to spend the event focusing on the day and not the details was incredible.

Eat. Something. Even if its gummy bears hastily procured from the hotel vending machine.

Ask for help. And be ready to toss a project if it isn’t working out. DIY all you want, but make sure you’ve got a couple bottles of wine and a team of friends – it’ll go faster and you’ll be less likely to go crazy and end up in a pile of paper scraps, covered in glue and shouting “Why!? Why did I think this was a good idea?!”

photography: The Nickersons // planning + design: Radiant Events // venue: Performance Works Vancouver BC, Canada // florals: V&J Plant Shop // cake + cupcakes: Love Your Cake // other desserts: The Pie Hole // food trucks: Roaming Dragon, Vij’s Railway Express, Kaboom Box // dress: Enzoani (Modeca Olivia-M) from Bryan’s Bride // bride’s shoes + jewelry: Vintage // dj: New York DJ pal Ashley Ball

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Rustic + Retro Anniversary Session: Britney + Brian

Condors Nest session

We absolutely love when a couple continues to celebrate their relationship milestones with a gorgeous photoshoot. Who says it all has to end after the engagement session + wedding? Britney + Brian wanted to mark their first year as a married couple with a gorgeous shoot with their photographer, Allie Lindsey, at the beautiful Condor’s Nest Ranch in Pala, California. From Britney’s fun vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress to the pretty spring bouquet by Monica at RSVP Floral, we’re thinkin’ these two did it right + they just might inspire other married couples to celebrate their love in a similar way!

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session


A little bit of first year of marriage advice from Brian:

What I feel that I have learned being married to absolute love of my life Britney, is that once you get married, that’s honestly when life truly begins. Just to be with your best friend, 24/7 and go through things that you had always done yourself, but now you have the most special person in your life there, to experience all of life’s amazing parts, with you. I honestly have never been happier, my life has never felt more complete, and being married is the best. Things that I have learned are to always listen, always always have fun, and try to not take myself or anything really too seriously. You are in it now as a team, and if you communicate, show humility when you are wrong and basically always try to put the other person first in everything…your team effort will never fail.

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session

bouquet

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session

yellow and orange bouquet

Condors Nest session


A little bit of first year of marriage advice from Britney:

Where to begin…. Marriage is amazing. Being married to Brian has brought me more joy and happiness than I could have ever imagined. Getting to come home every day to your best friend and wake up every morning with someone there is an incredible feeling – it makes each day matter. Our philosophy is: always talk and have fun. Brian and I talk all the time and about everything. I find we often don’t really get into arguments because we have already talked about things before they become an issue. Even if we’ve had a problem some of my most favorite memories are lying in bed talking till 3 a.m. and it always ends the same: laughing, kissing and telling each other how much we love each other. Life is crazy, stressful and unpredictable, you can get thrown some pretty fast curveballs but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Always find something to laugh about because in the end you’re in it together and things will work out – so find a way to enjoy every moment.

yellow dress

yellow sun dress

Condors Nest session

Condors Nest session

rustic

horses

Condors Nest session

barn

barn

vintage umbrellas

vintage umbrellas


Big congrats on one year, you guys! :)

photography: Allie Lindsey // venue: Condor’s Nest Ranch Pala, California // florals: Monica // dress: vintage Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress // plaid shirt: Old Navy // shoes: TOMS

 

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