When Harper + Aaron initially started to plan their wedding, they very much wanted to capture some of the intimacy that is found when sitting around a backyard table with a few close friends + a bottle of wine – basically, they wanted to recreate a large dinner party outdoors. Inspired by photos of long natural, family-style dinner tables under a canopy of twinkle lights strewn within large oak trees, Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California could not have been a better venue for them to fulfill their vision.
Since Harper + Aaron are both architects, they love getting involved with all the little details. Once they started diving into the little things, the big picture really came together. With subtle tones of gray, lush, aromatic greens, and small pops of coral, their understated palette wove it’s way through the evening. I love that they created a unified graphic look anchored by the physical marks of their individuality – their fingerprints – on everything from the the invites, table numbers, escort cards, signage, menus and favors. Congrats to Harper + Aaron and big thanks to Aaron Young for the photos and to Heather of LVL Weddings & Events for all the planning!
We designed our own wedding invitation suite. We’re both architects and wanted to put together a clean, modern invitation suite that also had some playful elements. We’ve always loved brown kraft paper and the way it contrasts with crisp white paper, so we made sure to use it as an accent material in the suite. For the fingerprints, we individually scanned our ring fingers and then traced the prints in AutoCAD (nerds, I know). We overlaid the two fingerprints to create the heart and used that as a graphic thread to tie together elements of the wedding.
Processional: Groom + Bridal Party: Til Kingdom Come – Coldplay; Bride: Crazy Love – Van Morrison
Recessional: You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
First Dance: Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James
As counterintuitive as it may seem, both of our favorite moments of the evening were probably the last song (We Are Young by FUN.). There was something so magical about everyone being on the dancefloor at once, at the end of the evening no less, and singing at the top of their lungs with nothing but love and happiness and joy in the air. It was one of those truly out-of-body experiences where we caught ourselves looking at each other and smiling ear to ear at how beautiful the whole day had been. We would not have wanted to end our wedding day any other way - singing, dancing, and surrounded by friends and family (a fortuitously timed solar eclipse as the reception was getting started didn't hurt to make it a memorable night either!)
Everyone will tell you to "cherish the moment" and "take a step back and enjoy it" and as cliche as that may sound, and as many times as you may tell yourself you will - tell yourself again. Really make a point (and not only during the wedding itself but also during the planning) to take a look at what you're doing and where you are and pause to just enjoy it. These are moments that you won't have again and will keep with you forever. And if nothing else, JUST HAVE FUN. When else will you get to throw a party for your self with all of your friends and family there to celebrate with you?
As for the planning process - make sure to choose vendors that you really like and that you'll feel comfortable working with – not necessarily just the one who says the right thing or shows you the right price. These, more than anyone else, are going to be the people that will make or break your day. You spend so much time before and during the wedding with them and they help shape and accomplish the vision that you have. We couldn't have asked for a better team and at the end of the night, we weren't asking them to work, we were asking them to share the dance floor with us. Heather of LVL, Aaron Young, Brian of Elevated Pulse and Brynne of BBlossom truly brought our wedding to life and we couldn't be happier to now call them our friends.
venue: Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu CA // photographer: Aaron Young Photography // coordination: Heather of LVL Weddings & Events // catering: Eco Caters // floral design: BBlossom // ceremony + cocktail musician: Chris Wooley // dj: Brian Lee of Elevated Pulse // dessert: Coolhaus // hair + make up: Melissa Hennessee of OC Make up Artist// paper goods: designed by Aaron +Harper, printed by Cordes Printing, New Jersey // groom’s suit: Dan Trepanier for Michael Andrews Bespoke, NYC // groom’s tie: Jack Spade // shoes + belt: Cole Haan // bride’s dress: Cymbeline Paris // bride’s shoes: Calvin Klein (Heels), Vera Wang Lavender (Flats) // bride’s sash: handmade by bride //groomsmen vests + pants: ASOS //groomsmen ties: The Tie Bar //bridesmaid’s dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid