Ashley + Paula’s love story is one for the ages, and we cannot wait to give you a sneak peek into their magical day. This wedding had a slew of incredible inspirations! Bride Ashley shared with us what they envisioned:
“We wanted our wedding to feel like you were being transported into our universe and immersed in colors, motifs, illustrations, and music that told our story. Our main inspiration came from the glowing jewel tones seen in Pandora of the Avatar world, the mystique of the Spirit World in Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and then combined with the dreaminess of a classic pink sunset of Los Angeles. We put all our faith in our florist Inessa Nichols to bring our colorful, tropical, magical dream to life and she definitely exceeded our expectations with the installations she dreamed up.”
Ebell of Long Beach was the perfect California venue for A + P where they got to celebrate with friends and family. Laura Memory Photography is to thank for these beautiful shots that we can hardly wait to dive into.
We love a matching bridal squad!! They ditched the traditional bridal-robes and stayed comfy in these tropical track suits!
The magical first look we were all waiting for!
“When we both set out to pursue our master’s degrees in the fall of 2016 at the New York School of Interior Design, neither of us thought we would be meeting our future wives on the first day of school. Sitting just a couple of seats away from each other proved to be too far of a distance and I soon found myself making rounds in the classroom just to get a chance to stop by Paula’s desk to spend time with her. Little did she know those long nights in the studio bantering around together kindled a burgeoning crush on my end. Little did I know that it was emphatically reciprocated; that is until a normal December night out on the town with classmates turned into the date we now mark as our anniversary. The rest, they say, is history.
A shy “will you be my girlfriend” came tumbling out of my mouth soon after. Then a quiet first “I love you” from Paula was slipped under the lights of Union Square Park. Followed with an invitation to meet my family in LA flung out with no reluctance. The ensuing years saw us U-Haul together in Brooklyn, travel abroad, orchestrate two proposals, graduate, and then U-Haul AGAIN, but this time all the way across the country with ample time to settle in for our Long Beach wedding.”
Obsessed with these smiles! We couldn’t help but swoon when we heard their engagement story…and we know you will too!
“Both of our surprise proposals were executed in the spring of 2019 before we graduated and both happened in our little pocket of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My plans to propose to Paula started in late winter of 2018 as I needed to find a way to discreetly transport her grandmother’s ring to New York. We ended up taking a trip with her mother and brother to Disney World for the New Year and her mom brought the ring to Florida for me – needless to say I was a nervous wreck transporting the heirloom on two more flights after that.
In late March all my plans were ready to go and on the day of, my best friend Paige helped me set up a little spread of sentimental snacks and champagne inside the Tom Fruin glass house at North Brooklyn Farms. Paige also played chauffeur and picked up Paula plus our dog Charlemagne for the big moment! Everything went according to plan and we ended up doing a little photo shoot around Domino Park under our beloved Williamsburg Bridge to mark the occasion before heading off to celebrate with a proper meal and stay at the One Hotel in Dumbo.
“Paula proposed back to me about a month later at the Brooklyn Cider House! What I thought was a cute, intimate little proposal with a fun photoshoot around the Bushwick Collective afterwards turned out to be the biggest surprise of my life. I never expected it to be that weekend as my other best friend Hayley was meant to come into town to visit for “tennis training” purposes amongst other crises that popped up for Paula that weekend. Turns out it was all a well orchestrated plan!
The day-of I woke up to a box with directions and a new bow tie. Next thing I know I’m getting picked up by an Uber to meet Paula at the surprise destination and getting some bling on my finger shortly after! The plan was to walk around the murals then later come back to the cider house for a private tasting and brunch, but when we got back our hostess lead us to the very back room and when I opened the door we were greeted with about 30 of our closest friends – many of whom flew in from out of town.
To say I was in hysterics is a massive understatement. Paula had sent out glitter-laced invites, coordinated timing, and decorated the room and I did not have a single inkling of this grand plan. It’s a day we’ll both never forget!”
The Bridal Party
This color scheme? Yes please!
Paula’s beautiful v-neck gown is from the custom bridal company, Anomolie!
These earrings make a statement while still remaining very delicate and feminine. For more wedding earring inspiration, check out this roundup!
The Jaw-Dropping Venue
Orange Blossom Special Events absolutely nailed the event design + planning!
We truly admire that the brides wanted their guests to be present with them for their special day! They requested their wedding to be a no-phone-zone, and we are loving every second of it.
Ashley’s custom wedding suit with vintage silk is by Klein Epstein Parker. She is glowing!
Beautiful decor and even more beautiful brides! What more could you need?!
This is the couple’s dog, Charlemagne! Paws-itively adorable if you ask us!
Processional: Ashley: La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong | Paula: Moon River by Frank Ocean
Recessional: Electricity by Silk City with Dua Lipa
First Dance: Your Song by Lady Gaga
Sealed with a kiss! These two are official!
Time To Celebrate!
“Another highlight for us was our stationery and signage which we designed ourselves that brought in another layer of the magic we wanted to create. Paula illustrated our favorite animal companions of tv shows or movies that we love and they ended up being the table numbers or, as we liked to call them, our guests’ spirit guides for the evening.”
Such a unique (and adorable) seating chart — by the bride herself!
A Cultural-Infused Celebration
Stick to what brings you happiness and not on what you think a wedding should look or feel like. As interior designers, we’re so used to designing for others that focusing on what we wanted was a change-up, but also so freeing to be able to incorporate different parts of our lives into the story we were trying to tell on our wedding day. So have fun and bring your stories to the forefront because that is what is most impactful and memorable!
Paula’s second dress is from Asian-American wedding dress company East Meets Dress.
Ashley: The money dance! I loved getting to have individual moments with so many of our guests while also paying homage to Paula’s Filipino heritage. Paula: My side of the family surprised us with a family talent show. It was the first time we all got to gather together since before COVID. They started with typical family performances and ended with a full Ballroom Style competition with the different “houses” of our family pulling out their best vogueing.
Congrats P + A from all of us here at GWS! To see more of their spectacular day, enjoy this gorgeous video by Mels Films that captured each and every highlight!
photography: Laura Memory Photography // venue name: Ebell Of Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA // event design: Orange Blossom Special Events // planning: Orange Blossom Special Events // florals: Inessa Nichols Design // wedding dress boutique: Anomolie // bride's ring: Single Stone // makeup artist: Girl Meets Bongga // videography: Mels Films // music: DJ Tessa/Prism DJs // Brides Second Dress: East Meets Dress // Wedding Suit: Klein Epstein Parker custom suit with vintage silk