Backyard Soiree Wedding: Joycie + Steven

bride with bouquet

Happy Monday everyone! I have such a treat for you all today. When Joycie (whose engagement photos I featured last year) first mentioned that her wedding was going to take place in Montrose, CA (a small town north of LA) with the wedding in the middle of the town square, I couldn’t wait to see it! It just sounded so unique + fun. And then I discovered that one of my favorite photography duos would be capturing their day – Our Labor of Love! I just love their creative approach to wedding photography. A perfect fit for this fun couple! Congrats to Joycie + Steven.

bride in vera wang wedding dress

bride at a bowling alley in wedding dress

How fun are these photos below? Part of the wedding events included bowling! :)

bridesmaids in bowling alley

bride and groom with red bow tie

From Joycie,”We knew we wanted to bring an element of New Orleans to our wedding (we reconnected in New Orleans after a few years apart) and I have a love of the 1930s, so our starting point idea was “A Backyard Soiree for the 1930s Mint Julep crowd.” I was really inspired by The Sartorialist photos from the Governor’s Island Ball from the past few years and the idea of 1930s prohibition parties. We then added a “buy local” theme when we decided to move our wedding from Palm Springs to Montrose (in Glendale just north of Los Angeles where we were living at the time). The city of Glendale really helped us with permits, so we wanted to showcase the town of Montrose. It’s such a charming destination with picturesque storefront and independently owned shops and a really great place to live. We really wanted to support and highlight the local businesses.

bride and groom on truck

bride and groom at bowling alley

band for walk down the aisle

wedding ceremony on a street

wedding on a street in california

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? Steve says saying “I Do” was the most memorable. Special moments for me were: when my dad’s four brothers, with whom he was quite close, gave me away in his honor and my dad’s sister walked with my mom down the aisle and seeing my 12 year old son Nicholas beaming and standing proudly next to
Steve during the ceremony.

A humorous moment during the ceremony was when I proclaimed I had a few special things I wanted to share with everyone about Steve and then unraveled a 6 foot scroll of paper. The scroll was blank, but the crowd and Steve erupted in laughter. I used to joke that it was my goal to make other people cry at our wedding (I do at everyone else’s!), but I accomplished the opposite.


wedding exit smiling

flower girl with umbrella

bridal party our labor of love photography

I always love fun photos with parasols! :)

bridesmaids with parasols umbrellas

red balloons wedding

red balloon wedding couple

red balloon bride and groom

wedding reception in a street

red checkers wedding reception

wedding invitation fun

wedding map design

Love the super fun invitations by Carolyn Ramos + a dance party by The Flashdance!

flashdance wedding dj

wedding cake red hearts

wedding cake red hearts

first dance

Any advice for those planning now? We both felt it was so important to have a day that celebrated us. Everyone has an opinion and gladly shares their POV, but be true to the two of you. Afterall, you live with the pictures!

I can’t remember how much time we spent with Our Labor of Love on our wedding day, but it’s a lot of time! Pick a photographer whose work you admire, but also someone you have good chemistry with. They’ll practically be your BFFs that day. Also, keep things in perspective. Things may not go exactly as planned, but that’s the beauty of real life!

venue name: On the street! Honolulu Avenue in picturesque old town Montrose, CA, -- just north of Los Angeles // wedding dress: Vera Wang (Saks Bridal Salon and Beverly Hills) // hairpiece: Pearl comb from Saks Bridal // bride's shoes: Jeffrey Campbell // bridesmaid dresses: Bridesmaids chose their own and in shades of grey // hair stylist: April Ray Salon // makeup artist: Merle Norman // groom attire: J Crew // photos: Our Labor of Love // photobooth: Smilebooth // cinematography: 8MM footage: Shark Pig and footage Flo + Stephanie Zavala of Big Skills // Day-of-Coordinator: Ruby Dichirico // Floral Design: Wedding party flowers + ceremony arrangements (Icelandic Poppies, Anemones, Delphinium, Scabiosa, herbs): Peony and Plum (Susan Tom Nellis); Table centerpieces in mason jars by local flower shop: Crescenta Flower Mart // Invitations: Invitation suite + posters designed by the bride's cousin: Carolyn Ramos, Monogram designed by Florencio Zavala // cake: Red Velvet wedding cake: Jane's Cakes & Chocolates, Montrose, CA; Assorted desserts, cookies and pies: Home Bakery, Montrose, CA // music: Pre ceremony through Cocktail hour: Gremoli, Dinner + Dance Party: The Flashdance // catering: Cocktail hour hors d'oerves: Gail's Gourmet A Go Go, Montrose, CA; Dinner: Zeke's Smoke House