A Fuchsia-and-Orange Whimsical Restaurant Wedding in California
The Happy Couple
Heather Taylor, the creative force behind the popular blogs L.A. in Bloom and Chef Speak, has hosted more than a few parties. On June 5, 2011, the sun was shining as 150 guests gathered in the blossom-filled yard of the couple's home to watch Heather and Alex exchange vows. Then it was off to one of the couple’s favorite restaurants, Campanile, via double-decker bus, for a family-style Tuscan feast, music, and dancing.
Heather carried a bouquet of lush pink garden roses, geranium leaves, and passion vines. “I didn’t want any bells and whistles, just the most exquisite flowers,” she says.
Invitations used calligraphy to evoke an Old World feel.
The couple’s charming West Hollywood home.
A string quartet played underneath the orange trees. During the ceremony, loved ones read “[love is more thicker than forget],” by E.E. Cummings, and “Airs and Angels: This Night Only,” by Kenneth Rexroth.
The bride’s parents walked their daughter down the aisle.
The stylish newlyweds share a moment together.
For the Guys
Boutonnieres featured orange roses and tiny California succulents.
The Littlest Attendant
The flower girl prepared quietly for her big debut.
Heather’s gown came with this blue bow and monogrammed doily sewn inside.
“I fell in love with the ‘Spanish princess’ feel of my dress,” says Heather, here with her sister, the maid of honor.
Thick as Thieves, custom suit makers in the San Gabriel Valley, made Alex’s wedding-day attire after a 15-minute meeting in the parking lot of the Alhambra Public Library during which he was measured and selected fabrics. The suit arrived four weeks later and fit like a glove.
The ring bearer and flower girl wear J.Crew Crewcuts -- including the sparkly flip flops.
The ring bearer took his work very seriously. Dressed in a J.Crew Crewcuts seersucker suit, he kept an eye on the moss pillow to which the couples’ wedding bands (hers an estate piece from Claude Morady, his a custom band by Kathryn Bentley) were tied with a white satin bow.
Double-decker buses, decorated with Mexican paper flowers, whisked guests to the celebration.
Choosing to do the reception at always-elegant Campanile kept the rental needs very low.
The Guest Book
Judging by the pretty scene set using one of Heather’s favorite tablecloths purchased on an annual family trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, and accented with a vintage vessel filled with bright peonies, guests would never know the book they were signing had been purchased at nearby Soolip Paperie just an hour before.
For the reception at Campanile, “we went for a romantic Romeo and Juliet vibe,” says Heather. Holly Flora, run by Holly Vesecky and Rebecca Uchtman, upped the romance of the space by draping orange blossom vines to highlight dramatic architectural details like skylights, arches, balconies, and paned-glass windows.
Vases of sweetpeas and bowls of bougainvillea provide vibrant bursts of color. “Our palette was inspired by my bachelorette weekend in Mexico,” says Heather. “I loved the Bougainvillea I saw there.”
To create a full but functional tablescape, Holly Flora filled a variety of 1960s-era ceramics and Heath pieces from Heather’s personal collection with an abundance of peonies, poppies, and garden roses.
Communal tables were dotted with dahlia-filled vessels, some from Heather’s personal collection.
A week before the wedding, Heather was still looking for an easy way to elevate classic white tablecloths. A quick trip the fabric store yielded a subtle, cream-colored textile with a French tea towel-feel that was used to make simple runners.
The table numbers had a floral design.
The couple worked with chef Mark Peel to create a multicourse meal inspired by a Tuscan feast that Heather spotted in an old issue of Gourmet. The promise of fresh pasta with crabmeat, peas, and chili, as well as sausage-stuffed calamari, tempted guests from the thick card stock menus, letterpressed by Jennifer Brandt and Nic Taylor of Thunderwing Press.
Heather and Alex stole a moment to sit and take in everything during their reception.
The couple’s close friends Sherry Walsh and Miguel Nelson, owners of eco-friendly event spaces Marvimon and Smog Shoppe. They often served as sounding boards for logistics, estimates, and resources, including the baker responsible for the array of wedding desserts.
Once dinner was over, it was time to dance. Tables needed to be moved in order to make space, so the flowers, candles, and vessels were cleared and transferred to the nearest shelves, coincidentally making the service station a much prettier place.
Heather’s father, who grew up less than a mile from the reception site, takes his daughter’s hand for a dance set to the Temptations classic “My Girl.”
One of four cakes: almond-cornmeal pound cake with mascarpone cream and strawberries. The others: Tres leches cake with dulce de leche frosting, Scharffen Berger chocolate cake with dark-chocolate ganache, and lemon-soaked cake with candied lemons.
Exterior Design: Tory Polone
Flowers: Holly Flora
Stationery: Thunderwing Press
Cakes: Veronica Rogov of TSP
Wedding Photography: Nancy Neil
Gown: Carolina Herrera
Bride’s Accessories: Estate earrings and bracelet, Claude Morady
Groom’s Suit: Thick as Thieves
Reception Music: Max Goldblatt
Day-of Coordinator: Jeff Fleming
Hair: Cristina Rocha at Andy Lecompte Salon
Makeup: Carola Gonzalez