Real Wedding: Tim + Merrill’s Smog Shoppe Wedding

I was so excited when Tim sent me a link to his wedding photos they other week. Tim and Merrill are fun, super creative, their wedding was at one of my FAVORITE venues The Smog Shoppe, and their photographers were Mark and Candice from Mark Brooke Photographers! Well, their wedding did not disappoint! It looked like such a fun time and most importantly it was about them as a couple. You can see that in all the little details from the day. Tim and Merrill were kind enough to share some of their planning and details about their day with us. Thanks so much you too! And best of luck in your new life in NYC – yep – they moved cross country a few days after the wedding!

Design Inspiration & Theme:
We originally had the idea that we wanted to do a cool beach wedding but once we started looking at all of these wedding blogs and saw some really unique things people were doing, we wanted to do something very unique and memorable. Not something standard.

The first thing we did was pick five colors that would be used throughout the wedding. From invitations to outfits, everything was based on these five colors. Once we found the Smog Shoppe, we knew we could do a lot of awesome DIY details and they would fit in perfectly. We wanted everything to be very bright, colorful, and happy. We also wanted to do as many eco friendly things as possible. We were also trying to keep costs down so the majority of our decorations were purchased from flea markets and thrift stores.



first look

first look

hot pink bridesmaids

mustard gold bridal shoes

hot pink bouquet

This is why I love the Smog Shoppe – how amazing is this ceremony location? And you don’t need to do any decorating – the succulent wall, the wooden benches, the combination of outdoor and indoor space, and lots of eclectic pieces throughout the space.

smog shoppe wedding

bride and groom

This is the invitation we sent out designed by Tim. We didn’t even want to send out paper invitations but we were worried many people wouldn’t be able to properly receive the invites if we didn’t. We purchased a 9″x12″ tree-free 100% hemp sketch book from an art store and printed 2 invitations per page and cut them on a paper cutter. This saved a lot of money and trees. We then had people rsvp by phone or email. We also set up a website with more info about the wedding. On the right is one of the table assignment cards.

bird inspired invitation

The design of our table assignment cards (by the groom) were also printed on the same hemp paper as invitations. We found this awesome white picket fence on the side of the road and had the idea to frame the table assignment cards and put them on it! We also strung up faux-polaroids of us holding up “W E L C O M E” as drawn on a dry erase board.

polaroid seating chart

We placed our engagement photos that we took ( featured on your site already :) ) in the bookshelf that was already at the smog shoppe. All the other decorations in the shelf were already there! The painting on the right is by our friend Jeff. He is a painter and he makes these awesome and funny paintings so we asked him to do a portrait of us for our wedding. He was also the best man!

After we did our first dance to “how lucky we are” by meiko, it broke into “single ladies” by Beyonce and we did a minute long choreographed (by the bride) piece. It really showed our personalities because we love doing funny stuff. In the background we had a slideshow playing the entire time of pictures of us. However, half way through, our photographers had edited some pictures already so we put those up on the screen! It was a huge hit! Then we started putting up some of the pictures people had taken in the photo booth! It was really fun for people to be able to see the pictures instantly!

smog shoppe wedding

These are our centerpieces. Most of the vases we got were from thrift stores and flea markets. we didn’t want to cover the awesome reclaimed wood tables at the smog shoppe so we just did a simple faux-grass square in the center to add some color. Plus, these elements worked really well in our venue because most of the stuff there was recycled and repurposed. At each place setting we placed deepak chopra success cards which had inspirational sayings on them. They came in our colors too! Bottom right is the “guestbook” table where people would fill out the guest tags. We framed our parents’ & grandparents’ wedding pictures and put them around the table. You can also see a small picture of the bride’s grandma hanging off of her bouquet. We wanted to make the wedding a blend of the old and new.

smog shoppe wedding

The cupcakes were from our caterer, but the cake on top was made by the groom’s godfather. The cake toppers were purchased from mexico and are dia de los muertos bride and groom which represent being together forever, even in the afterlife. On the right are the labels that we wrapped around toothpicks and stuck into the cupcakes. designed by the groom.

cupcake tower

These were the instructions we put up in the photo booth. We put it in a victorian looking frame we bought from a thrift store that we painted white. The venue had this strange closet sized pink room so we immediately thought we should set up a photo booth inside. we set up a camera on a tripod and used a wireless shutter release. it was the HIT of the event! We used this photo of us as the image for our “thank you” postcards we are sending out.


Our favors kept with our theme because we gave out reusable canvas bags to encourage our guests to avoid using plastic bags. They seemed to love them. We also put a button/pin on them that had our birdie mascots and the date of the wedding. This way people could keep the button on the bags, if they wanted, or remove it. We really wanted people to use the bags!

Favorite Memory? Merrill’s favorite memory was when she was sitting in the mezzanine of the venue, watching all the people as they arrived and seeing how excited they were. It made her very excited. Tim’s memory of the night is a blur. Everything was happening so fast that it is hard to remember one specific thing. Everything was so awesome. It was fun when we were able to put up the photo booth pictures, that people had taken that night, up on the big screen in a slideshow so people could see themselves.

Any advice to those planning now? Don’t be swayed by other people if you really want to do something because it is your wedding, not theirs. Many of the ideas we had were very non-traditional and some of our family and friends didn’t get them when we brought the ideas up. “You are using a dirty fence you picked up on the side of the road????!?!??!?!?!?!” “JUST WAIT!” we said. And they LOVED everything!

Bride’s Dress: Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal
Bride’s Veil: Bride made it herself
Bride’s Maids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal, Windsor, Calvin Klein
Bride’s Shoes: Qupid
Groom’s Outfit: H&M; pants & vest, Gap shirt, Converse Chuck Taylor shoes, Camera belt buckle from eBay, skinny tie from solid color neckties
Groomsmen’s Outfits: H&M; Pants, Heritage 1981 Vests, skinny ties
Catering: Silver Service Events
Flowers: Mr. B’s
Cake: cupcakes from Silver Service Events, bride & groom cake was made by groom’s godfather

Thanks so much you two! You guys are the cutest! Also if you are looking for photography or design services, check Tim out here. Merill also has the cutest vintage store and writes a great blog also. And thanks SO much to Candice and Mark for letting me show some of your AMAZING photography. They have even more photos from the wedding on their blog, so check them out also!