Today I get to share a very cool wedding – I know cool is such a lame word, but it was. The couple was cool, the venue was cool, their modern, funky decor was cool- oh ya, and they had the coolest DOG just chillin’ at the party all night too!
How cute are these two?
The ceremony and reception was held at Studio 1342– nothing but good things to say about the place and people that run it! The venue provides a blank slate inside (literally, it is a photo studio so it is all white) and the outside is gorgeous filled with succulents, greenery, great lighting and awesome furniture.
Thanks so much to Maiko at Flurrsprite Photography for these beautiful images!
Her adorable bridesmaids- mismatched but all in navy.
The groom, Matthew, is a mixologist (that is the cooler version of a bartender) so cocktails were an important part of the wedding. They had delicious signature cocktails mixed by the talented and adorable Anne Marie of Friendly Libations. The venue also has a neat looking bar built in (actually super rare at venues!) that made for a lively cocktail hour.
For dinner, guests enjoyed the deelish Kogi truck which was a huge hit. I am getting more and more questions about using a food truck as wedding catering- there are pros and cons as with any vendor! It does take a little longer than a standard buffet/catering so if you are on a tight timeline, it may not be your best choice. It took a full hour for 75 guests to get through the truck line. The food is definitely great, and more unique than standard “wedding food” and it creates an experience.
Great example of “shit happens and you just roll with it” – they had a friend officiate the ceremony (which I totally support by the way!) but sometimes friends get nervous and may forget something…like say…the vows. No big deal! They ended up reading each other their vows after dinner, during the speeches. It was still special- maybe more special- and made everyone smile. Things will go wrong at your wedding- it’s going to be OK!
Costume change for Max the dog :)
I always ask my couples to share 3 “lessons learned”. Skyler said she could not nail it down to just 3 and to pick out of her list…well…they are all too good! Here are Skyler’s Lessons Learned:
-I didn’t realize how much I’d spend on trial makeups, different jewelry orders online, spray tanning, fitness… just personal items that I’m very happy I decided to go with, but really should have considered those costs in my budget.
-Early on, we thought we had some deals and would save some money on certain items via friends/acquaintances with hookups, but some of those fell through closer to the date. Not totally sure how to remedy this. Maybe ask for favors closer to the date or get a signed contract. It’s tricky asking for favors. However, plenty of the deals came through as well. And I’m very grateful for those friends’ generosity.
-If you DIY stuff, you still have to safely deliver it the venue somehow! (And pack it up and take it home.) Planning and timing deliveries and cleanup etc. can be tricky. However, as was the advice given to me, I would strongly recommend NOT scheduling yourself or your bridesmaids to do TOO much running around on the day. The day of should be about makeup/hair and relaxing!
-Don’t wait till the last minute to write your vows and have your officiant write the ceremony! My husband and I shared ours ahead of time and I think that really helped us synchronize our tone for the ceremony.
-I went through an extreme arc of emotion with my dress (and all decorations in general). I started out wanting everything different than the usual dress and nothing to be too wedding-y. Then I looked at so much online wedding material, I was convinced this dress had to be the perfect expression of my ideal self. That, of course, caused panic. Once I calmed down, I realized I wanted a dress that I could dance in (no train), something casual that matched my venue, something that I looked good in, and something not too expensive. I ended up with a simple, but flattering gown that only needed a simple hem. I think all the wedding blogs etc. online can be inspiring, but I also think they create unnecessary expectations.
-Hire a wedding coordinator first! Even before you book your venue. Minimally, you want a “Day Of,” but if you can afford it, get a little extra help! Unless this is not your first wedding, everything is going to feel new and you won’t know what’s reasonable or not. The coordinator is there as a guiding hand. Take it! And on the day, it’s all going to be a blur; I cannot imagine what I would have done if I didn’t have Allie. I’m pretty sure the appetizers wouldn’t have it made it to the venue ;) Plus, don’t you want to spend it with your guests and not helping the caterer figure stuff out?!
-I think when it comes to venues there’s essentially two kinds – the kind of venue that requires you to use their own vendors and essentially provides everything either internally or through preferred vendors and the kind of venue where you bring everything in yourself. I think you can save a little money with the latter, but you are investing a lot of personal effort and thought. It’s hard work; more so than the former. I went with the latter and there were definitely times where I wished I had just paid a little extra money and had a resort or hotel deal with the details.
-Venue contracts VARY greatly. My friend’s wedding at a resort had a contract that consisted entirely of catering rules… down to the most minute detail. It blew my mind. My contract did not talk about catering at all and basically put all liability on me. A little scary! It’s surprisingly difficult to know what is reasonable or not. This is why the advice of a coordinator/planner is so important!!!
-Standing in line at LA County Clerks office to get your marriage license sucks. It’s like the DMV. Fair warning!
-On the day of, just let go and be flexible. I didn’t have an exact idea of how the venue should be decorated, i just provided a sufficient amount of decor (of my style) and let Allie work her magic. I didn’t have a specific idea of how the tables, party favors, etc. would be laid out in the venue. I trusted Allie; she has great taste and sense of style, so I wasn’t worried. If it’s something you don’t want EXACTLY to be a certain way, then don’t worry about it. PICK YOUR BATTLES.
-Lotsa people offered to help me during the whole process, but I often found it difficult to organize tasks so they could do so. I think delegating is important, but even that can take some preparation. Just something to be aware of. And it’s important to have bridesmaids/groomsmen that are capable of helping. In prep and on the day, it’s really nice have people around you that are supportive and helpful. AND CALM! No drama queens.
-I would also say get a great photographer whose style you like. I heard a few stories of people picking their friends who do documentary photography or photojournalism and they hated the photos. If you get a photographer you trust, they can make anything look good. I just communicated a list of photos I ABSOLUTELY wanted (for me certain portraits) and the rest was gravy.
Thank you Skyler and Matt!