A Beatles Inspired Wedding: Carmen + Pete, Part 1

Today’s wedding is filled to the brim with so much personality + creativity – I actually had to split it into two parts since there were so many photos! You might remember this sweet couple from their engagement session I shared a few months ago. Their wedding was a celebration of their passions and their love for each other. It tolds the story of Carmen + Pete in the music they love and the films they watch together. They chose the Beatles as an influence for the design of their wedding because they identify with the love infused in all of their songs. Carmen even says, “Pete has his Ph.D in all things Beatles and I love discovering more Beatles trivia from him.

We knew from the beginning we didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding. Our venue, the Smog Shoppe, gave us the urban vibe we were looking for….we are both lovers of our eclectic and hip City of Angels. We wanted our guests to experience a fun evening filled with our favorite things. From the Beatles cover band to classic romantic movie clips playing in the background, our wedding was a journey into our “All You Need is Shugar Love” world.

Thanks so much to Ashley Rose for all the gorgeous photos and the ultra creative event design was by none other than Jesi Haack who never ceases to amaze me with her creativity for her clients.

teal strap wedding shoes

beatles inspired wedding invite

yellow fabric flower bouquet

Carmen wanted to cherish her bouquet forever (which I just love this idea) so she wanted her bouquet to be made out of non-perishable materials. Carmen + Pete both decided that the bouquet would represent a gift he has given to Carmen and the boutonnieres would represent a gift she has given to him. The flowers on the bouquet were made from music sheet paper from the Beatles song “Anytime at All” which Pete sang to Carmen as he proposed while playing the guitar. The center accents are from vintage buttons since Pete’s nickname to Carmen is “Buttons.” The remainder of the bouquet contained feathers, large silver baubles, dry flowers + wheat and was created by Surroundings Online and Jesi Haack.

teal and blue necklace

teal bridal hairpiece

stylish bridesmaids

How gorgeous is Carmen! Just love her Lo Boheme hairpiece. Each of the bridesmaids picked out their own dresses. One of the bridesmaids actually made her dress (the beautiful vintage one) from scratch!

bridesmaids in heart-shaped sunglasses

bride in heart shaped sunglasses

I love that the bridesmaids walked down the aisle playing a red tambourine instead of carrying a bouquet. :)

bridesmaids with tambourine

bridesmaids with tambourine

fabric flower boutonniere

Pete wanted the bouts to represent a part of something Carmen had given him. Each bout for the groomsmen + groom was made from vintage atlas map paper from different cities they have visited or would like to go as a married couple. They are both travelers and are excited to explore the world together. Pete’s bout was a map of L.A. (the city they fell in love). The rest of the bouts were made from maps of Lansing, Michigan (Pete’s from Michigan), Australia (their honeymoon location), London, Vancouver, Paris, Portland, Mexico City (Carmen’s family is from there).

all you need is love groom socks

wedding party with maracas

A “ShuGar” Wedding.

This Carmen + Pete’s nickname. The first three letters “S-H-U” come from Pete’s last name. The last three letters “G-A-R” come from Carmen’s last name. Hence, “ShuGar!” It’s pronounced like the word “sugar.”

From Carmen, “We come from two different families, two different heritages. We are especially grateful for the values which have flowed into us from those who have loved and nurtured us and guided us to this point. Out of our two families, a new family has been created.

To represent the union of our two families, we asked our parents to bring a bag of sugar from their kitchens, one from Lansing, Michigan, the other from San Marino, California. The kitchen is the heart of every home. It not only provides sustenance to each member of the family, but also brings the family together. We blended together the two individual bags of sugar into a heart-shaped vase to symbolize our two families becoming one.

We want to always remember to have sugar in our marriage so that it can make our lives and our relationship sweet. After all, love is sweet!”

heart altar

heart altar

heart ceremony decor

After Carmen + Pete were pronounced husband and wife and danced back down the aisle, guests waved a flag made from movie film, which unraveled to spell out, “It’s for reel!” Super sweet since Pete is a filmmaker.

And I just love that the bridal party danced up the aisle to “Brown-eyed girl” by Van Morrison. Carmen walked in to the song, “Here, There & Everywhere” by The Beatles. During the ceremony the bridal party and Carmen + Pete each recited a line from the song, “Love” by John Lennon. The recessional was “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen.

cute flower girls in teal

Pete’s brother, Randy, got ordained just so that he could do the honors and officiate the wedding – so special!

heart ceremony

heart ceremony

Favorite moment of the day?

From Carmen: As soon as the ceremony was about to begin, I remember standing at the top of the stairs right outside the bridal dressing area. From the top, I had a bird’s-eye view of the entire ceremony. No one could see me, but I could see everyone. As soon as Pete walked down the aisle with his parents, I began to cry. I cried not because I was sad, but because I was filled with so much emotion in that moment. I didn’t let my emotions take control throughout much of the wedding planning, but at that moment when I saw my soon-to-be-husband walk down the aisle, I just lost it. Luckily, I had my mom and dad next to me to calm me down and make sure my makeup looked ok. I knew at that vulnerable moment all my dreams were about to come true. Those were dreams I had had since I was a little girl learning for the first time what true love meant. I was about to walk down the aisle to meet my true love and say “I do.” I felt chills throughout my body and magic was in the air.

From Pete: I suggested “Brown-Eyed Girl” to be played during the bridal party processional since Carmen has the most beautiful brown eyes.  After the song faded down, and I was standing at the altar, Carmen’s song, “Here, There, & Everywhere” began and she made her way down the aisle with her parents.  When I first saw her I was filled with awe and joy.  She looked so stunning!  Watching her approach me brought to reality the moment I had waited for so long with anticipation during our engagement.  The “ooohs” and “ahhhs” uttered from the audience were the perfect accompaniment, stating exactly how I felt during my favorite moment from the wedding.

I just love reading couple’s favorite moment of the day and theirs were both so touching. And just wait – much more fun to come in part two at the reception!


photography: Ashley Rose // venue name: Smog Shoppe // event design: Jesi Haack Designs // hairpiece: Lo Boheme // bride's shoes: Seychelles bought at Anthropologie // hair stylist: Susie Chhuor // makeup artist: Susie Chhuor // music: Tony at Red Shoe // coordination: Jesi Haack Designs // wedding dress: Watters Too purchased at Bella Wedding Bridal, short dance dress from BCBGMAXAZRIA // groom: J Crew // groomsmen outfits: J Crew // flower girl dresses: handmade by Pete's mom // floral design: Effusive Flowers // invitations: Posh Paperie // video: Floataway Studios // catering: Eco Caters / taco truck: King Taco // dessert bar: Hot Cakes // bouquet: Surroundings Online + Jesi Haack // necklace: Jennifer Jones Jewelry // music: Trio Los Franco, The Backbeats (Beatles cover band) & Al Stewart (surprise guest!)