You know it’s going to be a good story when the couple met over shared interests on Tumblr, and that’s exactly what you’ll find with Andrew + Ashley! Beyond the interwebs, their story spans across Washington DC, Los Angeles, and most recently, Dubai. But we pick up right here at LA’s SmogShoppe, a venue that Ashley found early into the relationship. The pair was dawn to the quirkiness of the living walls amidst the industrial space and knew, when the day came to get married, this must be the place!
Ashley let us in on the heart behind the day: After 8 years, we saw the wedding as more of a celebration of our life together than the start of a marriage. We already felt married so why focus just on us? Our main goal was to throw a party honoring, not only our commitment to each other, but the joining of people from so many different places and phases of our lives. We aimed to create an environment where guests could gather, engage, and participate rather than simply witness. We definitely lean towards the untraditional, so things like our bespoke crossword puzzle, dictionary guest book, photos, and trinkets acted as easter eggs around the venue for guests to find throughout the night. Overall, we wanted a light atmosphere to provide the opportunity for or guests to “meet new people, catch up with old friends, dance your heart out — find your joy!”
When it came to photos, Katherine Rose of Max & Friends understood the couple’s request for “very little emphasis on traditional,” and absolutely nailed it with the natural, candid images:
First up? The first look! How fun are these two?!
Ashley wore a beautiful striped gown with a tiered skirt by Hayley Paige.
Such a beauty!
Playing on their nicknames, Bunny & Bear, Ashley + Andrew opted for personalized embroidered Patronus badges (crafted by CAMPCAPE) as boutonnieres for the men and bouquet ties for the ‘maids!
So stinkin’ cute – love this idea!
Orange Blossom Special Events helped A + A plan the day, to much applause from the couple!
By far, the most important decision we made was choosing a great planner. If we were only allotted one vendor, it would be a full-service planner. Orange Blossom Special Events was recommended by Dana at Smogshoppe and we couldn’t be more grateful for the introduction. Brooke and her team walked us through each step of planning – acting as a sounding board when we couldn’t make decisions, reassured us (again and again) when we had concerns (‘but what if there’s not enough seating?!’ I said 1,000 times), and and took care of every important detail. Brooke, Janna & Kelci were there to hold my hand and ease my nerves ahead of walking down the aisle - they were all around amazing.
In order to create a more unique feeling, Dart Collective suggested a Gypsy Jazz band, Django Foxtrot, for the ceremony and cocktail entertainment. Having a live band put their own take on our processional/recessional tunes really helped make the ceremony our own.
Processional: Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka
Recessional: Close to Me by The Cure
First Dance: Look at Where We Are by Hot Chip
Andrew and I asked my uncle, a Magisterial District Judge, to officiate and chose to write our own ceremony to keep it as personal as possible. We recited call-answer-style vows both as individuals and together – focused on goals important to us: partnership, intention, and confirming our commitment to each other. TIP: Vows can be stressful, writing and getting through them on the day. Putting a spin on the traditional “call-answer” gave us the best of both worlds.
Okay, how perfect is this?!
Start spreading the booze, indeed!
To fit the lounge theme we opted not to have assigned table seating and instead focused on an extended cocktail hour and buffet where people were free to eat & drink what they wanted, when they wanted, where they wanted. Our caterers, Woah Nelly, Caterers provided an amazing selection of passed appetizers and bold flavors that were memorable and easy to eat anywhere in the venue.
“Fromage Hands to Yours” – genius!
The Small and Savage Wild built the custom shelves for the reception space, which A + A filled with little delights and fun, personal touches.
We spoke to our florist, the amazing Enchanted Garden Floral Design, more about feelings than actual florals and the team was able to perfectly capture the tone and feel of both the ceremony (soft/muted) and reception (vibrant/bold) to provide the right embellishments for open spaces around the venue.
The couple called on their crafty friends to produced accent pieces around the venue, including the super-fun Eat/Sip/Drank signs by The Glue Up!
And for dessert…what else? A peg wall was filled with gourmet donuts by Danielle at Sheila Mae. (Psst – they ran out fast!)
One of our favorite moments of the wedding was “Know Ya Boo” - a Newlywed-style game exploring our opinions of each other (Who’s the better driver? (him), Who’s better at giving directions? (her), When you have all of the sauces, who can handle the hottest one? (her). A quick break in between dinner and dancing, this set a playful mood to ensure everyone livened up after eating all the amazing food. TIP: Highly recommended activity if you’re looking for an alternative to bouquet/garter tossing.
Such a beautiful celebration for a fun couple! Wishing much more fun and love to Ashely + Andrew – we donut think you’ll run dry ;)
photography: Katherine Rose of Max & Friends // venue name: SmogShoppe, Los Angeles, California, USA // event design: Cherry on Top Based in Dubai, UAE // planning: Orange Blossom Special Events // florals: Enchanted Garden Floral Design // wedding dress: Hayley Paige // hair stylist: 1011 Makeup & Hair // makeup artist: 1011 Makeup & Hair // paper goods: Orange Blossom Special Events // catering: Woah Nelly // cake: Sheila Mae // desserts: Sheila Mae // tabletop rentals: A Rental Connection // furniture rentals: A Rental Connection // music: Dart Collective // bespoke book shelves: The Small and Savage Wild // woven wall hangings: Kellee Creative // eat, sip, drink signs and donut wall: The Glue Up // personalized embroidered patronus badges: CAMPCAPE