Even though Katie and Rob initially wanted to throw a 120 person wedding in Palm Springs, COVID, unfortunately, threw a wrench in those plans. “We had to postpone like so many others,” says Katie. However, as the shutdowns and restrictions continued, it became unlikely that their strict Palm Springs venue would open in time for their new wedding date. So, Katie says they pivoted and began searching for alternative venues. “We were looking for any and all options,” says Katie. She jokes that they even considered the side of the highway. “We were desperate.”
Thats when Malibu Solstice Vineyards came into play. The private and scenic California venue is located at the tippy top of a Malibu mountain and was known for hosting smaller-sized events throughout the pandemic. “I remember watching their virtual tour and crying in my office at work. I mean, this was my DREAM VENUE. You could see the canyon and the ocean from the ceremony site and there was a house where my friends and I could stay for the weekend.” says Katie. She immediately called the venue expecting them to be fully booked, but was surprised to find that they had an opening in May. “It was a literal dream,” says Katie. So after reserving the venue, they plowed ahead and proceeded to plan an intimate mountain top Malibu celebration. “As it turns out, a wedding for 50-60 people is way more affordable than 120!”
Katie worked with wedding planner Samantha Dapper Event Design to blend her initial Fall-inspired Palm Springs theme into her current Springtime Malibu setting. “The details would be best described as Fall-meets-Spring bohemian vintage wedding,” says Katie. Desert hues and dried florals were seen throughout the wedding design, as well as, a deep cabernet color, which paid homage to Katie’s vintage marquise garnet engagement ring. However, one detail that stood out the most was Katie’s use of brass tchotchkes. “I had started collecting all manner of brass birds from thrift shops all over California as tablescape details before the pandemic,” says Katie. Adding, she even scoured the internet for them during the shutdowns. “I still have WAY too many brass birds in my house,” jokes Katie. See more of their special day below captured by the talented Jes Workman.
Processional: Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
First Dance: Holland 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel
Katie and Rob ended up having 52 of their nearest and dearest attend their wedding. For those who were unable to make it, a livestream of the ceremony was available for family and friends to tune in and watch. “I’m sure the wedding would have been great with 120 people, but 52 people was absolute perfection,” says Katie. “It was intimate, and after a year inside, it honestly felt like 700 people.”
Walking down the aisle - I chose to walk down by myself for a variety of reasons, and I walked down to an unconventional song (but one of my absolute favorites). It was a moment that felt so profoundly me - it felt so good to walk down the aisle on my own two feet, towards my partner of 7 years, on a mountain, in the sunshine, surrounded by the people we love from all over the country - it was just an incredible feeling. I felt strong and loved. Also, I definitely started bobbing my head to the music halfway down the aisle because I couldn't help myself :)
There is always a way to achieve what you want without an enormous price tag - it just takes a little more work and planning. Also, no matter how emotionally stable and sane your family is, if they're involved in the planning of the big day, there will inevitably be something emotional that comes up for almost everyone involved. It simply cannot be avoided and I wish someone had sat me down and told me that it's the same for basically everyone (which I found out later) - my advice is: figure out what's important to you about your big day, prioritize those things, then set boundaries and keep them. There may be some compromises that will be made in the name of family, but at least you'll be going into everything with your eyes open.
Another tip from the bride: “Everyone told me this and it’s 100% the truest thing – everything will NOT go perfectly – it’s just the way it is, but LET GO and have a little faith on the day of and STAY PRESENT, because the day flies by whether you’re present or not, so you might as well soak in every second of it – and besides – those little mistakes make for the BEST post-wedding stories.”
“We filled the day with things and people we love and despite all the obstacles we had to overcome, it was a magical day. Sure, I sunburned my back, forgot my veil (like, did not make it down the aisle with it) and ripped my bustle by the end of the night, but it happened just the way it was supposed to. It was our kind of perfect.” See more real wedding inspo #onGWS!
photography: Jes Workman Photography // venue name: Malibu Solstice Vineyards, Malibu, California, USA // event design: Bride, Katie // planning: Samantha Dapper Events // florals: Third + Park // wedding dress: Cortana 'Lirio' // wedding dress boutique: LOHO Bride // bride's shoes: LOQ // hair stylist: Laura Rocha // makeup artist: Courtney Dapper // groom attire: The Suit Shop // paper goods: Minted // catering: Harvest Kitchen // cake: Magnolia Bakery // tabletop rentals: Signature Rentals // furniture rentals: A Rental Connection // linen rentals: Signature Rentals // specialty rentals: Planks & Patina // music: Dart Collective // lighting: Signature Rentals // photo booth: Classic Photo Booths // tarot + poetry: Ars Poetica