I have had delusions of wedding grandeur for the last two decades.
Working as a professional interior designer and event planner I see and source so much that when it came time to plan my own wedding I knew exactly the type of affair I was after.
It would be glamorous, romantic, intimate, and above all else… totally “us”.
DEFINING YOUR STYLE
I have been professionally designing interiors and events for the last ten years so the first thing I always advise clients is to decide on their wedding style. Once you lock down a “style” every decision will be easier since they must keep in line with your theme. My personal style is very vintage glam with a modern twist. Think luxe velvets, dark woods, crimson lips, tons of fur and dripping in diamonds. There’s no better time to celebrate the lavishness of it all than with a Hollywood Glam Winter Wedding.
Our wedding consisted of 3 main events:
The Friday tea ceremony | Saturday wedding day ceremony | Saturday evening reception
With the first event under our belts (Part I Chinese Tea Ceremony seen HERE
) we were relaxed and ready to celebrate the reception the following day.
THE FIRST LOOK
We didn’t do a traditional bride and groom shoot, instead taking that time for our “First Look” where we met on the rooftop right before the official ceremony. One look at each other and we started balling realizing the gravity of this rare moment as the culmination of over 12 years together, and over 18 years since we first met.
While I do admit at times I half-wished we took a moment to pose for those “perfect” shots, nothing can erase the candid recollection of turning around for the first time and seeing my best friend literally gasp and weep over the sight of his new bride. In that moment, time stood still
and I was exactly where I needed to be. With no regrets and a lifetime of memories to cherish forever.
FINDING THE PERFECT VENUE
We were married on the rooftop deck at dusk with skyscrapers twinkling against the indigo sky and a hundred of our bestest by our side. It was everything I had envisioned and more. Guests were greeted with bottomless champagne as slow rhythmic indie tunes blurred out the haze of street traffic below. We kept the décor minimal to really allow the beauty of downtown Los Angeles to shine. Ivory roses, cherry blossom branches, clusters of aisle candles, and at the center of it all, a blazing amber arch to light the way to our infinity and beyond.
The rich luxe vibe of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s Grand Ballroom dictated every other decision we made. From the mandatory black-tie dress code complete with event-matching swatches for guest attire, to the custom gold-leafed lacy black invitations I designed, down to the glittering metallic dessert table guests were indulging in at cocktail hour, when the venue is already so fabulously decked out, you don’t need to add much to the décor. Just a few grand gestures to truly make magic happen.
BREAKING DOWN THE DETAILS
I found ‘the one
’ on my first appointment at Panache Bridal
. The fit and flare style with hand beaded bodice and ruffled skirt was exactly the glamorous style I was after. I topped it off with a fabulous (faux) fur wrap, tons of glittering diamonds, and finished the look with the glitziest and highest heels I could find from the inimitable Christian Louboutin
My best friend Taylor is the designer behind Berries and Blush Cake Studio
, winner of Couple’s Choice Award for best wedding cake in Wedding Wire so it was a no brainer on who I would select. Together we conceptualized a cake that would represent my favorite material as a designer (white marble) along with my favorite pattern as a fashion blogger (gold leopard). The result is a fabulous 3-tiered hand-painted confection of gilded fondant with leopard spots. This cake screamed my style!
Rooftop deck of the Los Angeles Athletic club. With skyscrapers towering behind us and the cold winter LA breeze wafting in, the scene was set for a night of romance and reverie.
The Color Palette
Crimson reds and merlot hues, accented with metallic gold and rich browns, anchored by my signature inky black glam vibe. I even went one further and designated a “mandatory” dress code for guests, lol. Taking ‘bridezilla’ to a whole ‘notha level with this one guys! In all seriousness, I just really wanted my wedding photos to be perfectly coordinated and by the looks of it all, don’t you think I achieved that? Ahhhhh LOVE my friends and family so much for accommodating my OCD craziness!!!
Roses are one of the few flowers that bloom during winter so I ran with all the colors available in the variety. 4 shades of white and ivory for the table décor and 3 shades of red and pink for my bouquet. The white centerpieces would pop against the gothic glam black table linens and the red would be very alluring against my white dress.
Black, red, and gold foil. I designed our invitations
and wedding logo and brought the design to my friends at Print 5K to carry out. I purchased simple black envelopes from Amazon and bought metallic gold craft paint from Michael’s to hand brush the envelopes for an artist’s touch. A credit card sleeve held the dress code cards to indicate black tie attire for the gents, and floor length gowns for the ladies in the specified colors attached. Something about a perfectly color coordinated event that really excites me! Yes, that is the designer in me talking, lol. Traditional red wax seals in a Chinese Double Happiness stamp from Etsy finished off the invitation and gave guests a glimpse into our gothic glam
The historic Los Angeles Athletic Club. I chose the venue for 2 reasons. The first being that we could hold our ceremony on the rooftop deck of the private club and the second that I fell in love with the rich warmth of the grand ballroom. It was a convenient venue that checked off two major events so our guests wouldn’t lose any time traveling from one location to the next.
The Tea Ceremony
Traditional Chinese held at our home and the groom’s parent’s home. We started on Friday so that we weren’t rushed from Orange County then to Los Angeles, the venue for the reception. We were able to cruise through both wedding timelines and had enough time to simply savor the fleeting moments in these 2 days.
Tea ceremony ensemble
The traditional Ki Miao ensemble has been passed down in my family for generations. My aunt wore it to her wedding, my sister-in-law wore it to marry my brother, and I hope to one day pass it along to my daughter. My mother bought me the fabulous headdress to match the ensemble over 2 decades ago. Knowing one day that her daughter would marry in the most grandiose of ways, she saved it for me and here I am, 20 years later rocking it for my wedding.
Of course we couldn’t have pulled any of this off without help from my fabulous team and all our vendors/ friends listed below.
My favorite weddings are the ones that completely embody the story of the bride and groom. I want to feel instantly connected to them as a couple when the event can somehow capture their lives, recreate their love, and take the tiniest details of their individuality and develop them into the most magnificent feature of the entire occasion.
WEDDING RELATED POSTS
Catch up on all my previous wedding posts below:
While I couldn’t possibly pick out my favorites from over 10,000+ professional images that came pouring in from my amazing photographers, I hope you enjoyed these highlights as they depicted only what I can affectionately recollect as THE.BEST.DAYS of our lives. So far. Can’t hardly wait to see what the future brings!
Hope you enjoyed! Thanks so much for reading!
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