Erica and Jordy's Colorful Outdoor Wedding on a California Commune
Erica and Jordy had a thoroughly modern start to their relationship—they met on OKCupid back when the website was still in beta mode. After three and a half years together, the Los Angeles-based couple wed on September 6, 2014, in La Selva Beach, California. Jordy (an attorney at a boutique law firm) and Erica (a doula and founder of The Mama Circle) wanted their 120-guest wedding to be communal and connected. "We both agreed that we wanted the wedding to feel fun and be a place we would want to hang out and let our hair down," Erica says.
The bride and groom love the artist Henri Matisse and got inspired for their color palette, décor, and stationery by his famous snow flower paper cutouts. "Bright but equally grounded, we loved how the cutouts were based on an organic landscape and gave us room to play with color," says Erica. Pilgrim Design, using the colors and shapes, created the rectangular invite.
Back in 1975, close friends of Jordy's father helped establish La Selva Commune, where the wedding took place. Since Jordy has visited the location since he was little, one of the founding families offered the property as a venue for the celebration. The commune, which overlooks farmland and the Pacific Ocean, boasts a handful of bungalows, gardens, fields, and a forest.
Erica sifted through about 15 looks before choosing a white lace half-sleeve Houghton gown with an exposed back that she describes as "classic but daring" and found at bridal shop The Dress Theory. "I love that it was a full lace dress and showed my shape," she says. "Plus, I could dance, sit, and, most important, eat comfortably!" The groom wore a light gray suit from Topshop paired with a white button-down shirt.
Bridesmaids included two of Erica's best friends and her sister-in-law, who all wore maroon gowns from Reformation.
Jordy's brother and Erica's brother-in-law served as groomsmen, donning black suits from Topshop.
The Flower Girl
Leah, the bride's little cousin, was the flower girl and carried a basket of petals down the aisle.
Jordy and his groomsmen sported vintage yarmulkes. Since Jordy wanted something less traditional, he decided on a Buhari style, which stems from Asian-Jewish tradition. He loved the color and flair of the head topper.
Erica asked floral designer Studio Choo to play off the Matisse color palette for her bouquet, which was bursting with dahlias, nasturtiums, and other wildflowers.
Prior to walking down the aisle, Erica's father, George, sat with her and shared a few heartfelt words.
A Mother's Blessing
Nnenna, Erica's mother, said a traditional Nigerian blessing before the wedding.
Erica's parents walked her down the aisle to "Feel It All Around" by Washed Out. During the ceremony, which kicked off at 4 p.m., the couple stood on a rug from Jordy's father's friend's extensive Persian rug collection. They exchanged self-penned vows under a fabric swath in an oak tree.
The First Look
Jordy says watching his future wife walking down the aisle was his favorite part of the wedding. Erica recalls that moment with equal sentiment. "I remember his face so well," she says. "I get a little teary thinking about it."
A female rabbi officiated the traditional Jewish ceremony. The couple decided to incorporate several rituals, including the passing of the kiddush cup. All 120 guests stood up and held the cup, either sending silent blessings to the couple or saying a few words to usher in the new stage of married life. "We got to see and connect with everyone at our wedding in a very intimate way, and they got to truly be part of the ceremony," Erica says. Another symbolic part of the service was when the bride and groom circled one another seven times each. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jordy partook in one last Jewish ritual—the stomping of the glass.
Once the pair was declared husband and wife, cocktail hour launched the night of celebration. Since Erica is Nigerian and shares a love of traditional West African music with Jordy, songs by the Oriental Brothers, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, William Onyeabor, and more played in the background. The couple also had a signature drink, "the Paloma," made with grapefruit juice, lime juice, sugar, and mezcal. Appetizers included potato feta dill cakes, sauerkraut endive leaves, and grilled olive bread.
The Guest Book
Guests signed a simple white book, stamped with the couple's favorite snow flower cutout in deep red.
The Escort Cards
Brightly colored escort cards adorned with Matisse-inspired snow flowers hung in the walkway between two trees with clothespins. The bride's friend, Amy, a textile designer, hand-stamped each one.
The couple aimed for a festive table setup, with colorful vintage glassware, modern gold flatware, classic cream china, and clear candlesticks. To create connection and spur conversation among guests, Erica and Jordy went for family-style dining. All of the food was locally sourced, and some of the ingredients even came from the farm next door. Upon sitting, guests were offered a cheese plate paired with various condiments, fruits, breads, and olives. For a starter, guests enjoyed an arugula, radicchio, and frisée salad with figs and pecorino. Dinner included grilled Monterey Bay sea bass; porcini-rubbed tri-tip; new potatoes; tomato salad with burrata and fried garlic croutons; and creamy polenta with Parmesan and herbs.
During the reception, Erica's father and Jordy's father gave speeches, and the groom's mother also said a few words. Erica spoke as well, ending her speech by singing a few lines from Bootsy Collins' "I'd Rather Be With You." The song was on the first record Jordy ever played for Erica, on their first date.
The couple offered a selection of cakes from Tartine, in flavors such as tres leches (which they cut into), German chocolate, and lemon meringue.
The First Dance
The newlyweds danced to "Back Together Again" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
Tossing the Bouquet
The tossing of the bouquet was "the ultimate femme moment," recalls Erica. The DJ played Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" at Jordy's request, and the dance floor transformed into what Erica calls "a wall of beauties." The bride let her personality shine through, dancing and swaying her way into throwing the bouquet.
Each guest left with a souvenir of the day—a cutout print of the couple's favorite snow flower.
Photography: A Smith Photography
Event Planning: Lauren Toker of Nicoella Events
Catering: Feel Good Foods
Flowers: Studio Choo
Officiant: Sara Shendelman
Stationery: Pilgrim Design
Cake: Tartine Bakery
Hair and Makeup: Jessica Cook
Lighting: Classic Party Rentals
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