A Look Back At The Carriage Before Marriage Wedding

threesome Viv looking up

I can’t believe our first wedding anniversary is almost here.  The year flew by, possibly because we also made another tiny human during that time.  I had wanted to blog about the big day right away, but as I learned, wedding photos can take a little while.  Now that they’re here, and well worth the wait (thank you, Next Exit Photography), I’m excited to share.

viv takes photo

Everything about our wedding made me so happy.  Sure, a few things went wrong (they always do) but I wouldn’t change a thing–except maybe I’d take two minutes to actually eat dinner. I hear it was delicious.

What follows will be wedding porn of the wedding magazine variety, written for…I’m not sure whom–wedding enthusiasts?  If this is not for you, move on, and I promise the next blog post will be something funny about kids or whatever xoxo

OUR VENUE

calamigos tree

We were married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.  The green, wide-open grounds reminded us of summer camp–a happy childhood memory for both of us.  The ceremony took place under a tree adorned with twinkly lights and the reception was held in an open tent, perfect for a warm July evening.

calamigos tent

MY DRESS

wedding dress empty

After combing the department stores and better known bridal shops, I found this gem at a special little boutique, L’Ezu, where they really know what they are doing. Case in point, during my second to last fitting, I was insisting that the bodice was too tight. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was practically hyperventilating.  The designer correctly surmised that I was having a pre-wedding panic attack.  After making me sit for a while and distracting my brain, the dress suddenly fit fine.

dress in mirror with Viv

On my wedding day, I truly felt like a pretty princess going to the ball.  It’s so not fair that we only get to wear our gowns once.  I’ve gone ahead and paid a small fortune to have it preserved museum quality on the theory that one of my daughters MIGHT want to wear it some day?  Except the flaw in that plan is that I am only 5’2″ and, thanks to my tall husband Dave, my kids are destined to tower over me.  Perhaps minis will be in style.

flower girl in mirror

Btw, I found Viv’s dreamy flower girl dress online and it was made to fit her perfectly.  Unlike me, Viv does get to wear her special dress again–whenever she’s feeling fancy.

genevieveelainephotography-92

FLOWERS

bouqet

The wonderful Marcia of McCann Florist was able to translate my vague vision (purplish, not too tight or formal) into the perfect cluster of garden roses, anemones and lisianthus.  The centerpieces also featured hydrangeas, a favorite of mine, and were surrounded by mercury glass votives for a hint of silver.

centerpiece

I didn’t want to make my bridesmaids get matching dresses, but they indulged me by selecting any purple dress in the style, length and shade of their choice.  The result was a gorgeous ombre effect and the bouquets really tied all the colors together.

bridesmaid bouquets

CAKE

We still talk about our yummy yummy cake, from Vanilla Bake Shop.

wedding cake

The white buttercream frosting hid a decadent suprise inside–dark chocolate cake oozing with dulce de leche.  I think we got more drunk on cake than cocktails.

eating cake

Our official cake taster did not steer us wrong. It was so good that we are actually looking foward to excavating the piece we saved to eat on our anniversary from the depths of our freezer.

cake topper resize

I’ve always loved those kitschy bride and groom cake toppers, and I searched far and wide to find one that would represent all three of us.  The Mudcards shop on Etsy customized our topper using photos and details of our outfits.  We will save this forever!

DECOR

My friend Cristina of Le Partie Sugar, who has incredible taste and style, designed our tres chic escort cards, table numbers, programs, cocktail menu and more.

table cards

She also commissioned this chalkboard sign that welcomed our guests…

chalkboard sign

…and these dyed-to-match lavender macarons as favors.

macarons crop

Our photographer encouraged us to bring in some extra lighting for the tent.  Since I was shooting for “rustic elegance,” I thought briefly about lighting the whole place with chandeliers…until I saw the estimate.  So our genius wedding coordinator Erin Bagaason, of Malibu Weddings and Events, suggested we decorate just our sweetheart table with a personal chandelier.  I think I need one of these over my desk at home.

sweetheart table

I also found these cute “Just Married” signs at the MyPrimitiveBoutique on Etsy for the backs of our chairs.  Nobody could really see them but us, but I knew they’d make a great photo and in fact this is one of the shots we have hanging on our wall at home.

just married chairs

MUSIC

Music is very important to both of us, so we really customized our soundtrack, beginning with solo guitarist Jason Sulkin, who played Beatles and Elvis love songs as guests arrived and segued to “Eternal Flame” as we walked down the aisle (yes, The Bangles — raised in the 80s, baby).

walking down aisle

Ryan and Sevy of Glasz Productions DJ’d our cocktail hour and pre-dinner dancing, and Ryan was the consummate classy-not-cheesy MC (we had enough cheese going on with our musical choices).

Dave and I danced our first dance as husband and wife to Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”  We had been secretly taking dance lessons at Arthur Murray for months, which nobody seemed to notice, so I’d hate to think what would have happened if we hadn’t taken lessons!

wedding dance pros

We had a ball out there nonetheless.  And Dave knocked the big dip out of the park.

wedding dance dip

Then, The Spazmatics–the greatest 80s cover band on the planet– rocked us out for the rest of the night.

The Spazmatics

From “Melt With You” to “Don’t Stop Believin'” and everything in between, we never stopped dancing.

wedding dance with Viv

Props also to our videographer Isabel Gonzalez who made even my video-shy husband feel so comfortable, and to Pacifc Event Lighting for the warm and pretty glow, and to Caitlin from Glue it Yourself who made the cutest bridesmaids gifts for me.

bridesmaid totes

(I stuffed the totes with chocolates, Fresh lip balms and tabloid magazines, as one does.)

And that’s how Carriage Before Marriage got married.  While I would like to just keep talking and talking about our wedding until I get really annoying (too late?), I suppose that brings us to a close.  Thanks for dancing down memory lane with me.

three on grass crop

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2 Comments

  1. Posted July 23, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Amy, I’m getting married next March, so I’ve really enjoyed reading all of your posts, but this one in particular. I stumbled upon it from a friend who is pregnant with her second, in a relationship with their father and unmarried. She loved your “You’ll always be first” post and shared it on Facebook. An hour of clicking away and somehow I’ve read most of your blog.

    I came to comment on something in this post that I disagreed with: the idea that you can’t wear your dress again. I’ve actually decided to wear my dress every year on my anniversary to do something fun. I think it will be cool to have 50 or 60 years of photos of us in the same outfit as we age. I got the idea from a teacher who accidentally wore the same thing 2 years in a row in his school photo and then did it on purpose for the rest of his career. Seeing all of the photos together was quite cool. My great grandmother wore a string around her waist for most of her life and if it got tight, she ate less and if it got too loose she ate more. I’m not that committed, but knowing I have to fit back into the dress I think will be a good incentive to live a consistently healthy lifestyle.

    I say all of that to say, don’t let your daughter be the only one who gets to wear her dress again when the mood strikes her. Especially since, unlike her, you won’t automatically outgrow your dress! 😉 Although, if you do, it sounds like you have a great seamstress who can fix that too!

    • Posted July 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for checking out my blog and for commenting. I love the idea of annual dress photos, but having just had a baby 3 months ago, it is a tall order. I can’t even fit into my jeans. After the first baby, I bounced back pretty fast, but not so much this time. I definitely have some work to do. I hope you’ll keep reading the blog – please subscribe! Congrats on your upcoming wedding.