An Elegant Outdoor Wedding in Sierra Madre, California

emme daji wedding couple walking down stairs
Photo: Laura Gordon Photography

This classic, fashionable black-tie wedding was defined by its old-meets-new theme.

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emme daji wedding couple walking down stairs
Laura Gordon Photography

When Emme and Daji met through a mutual friend, they weren't exactly excited about jumping into a long-distance relationship—after all, Daji had just moved to San Francisco while Emme was living in Los Angeles. But after texting for a few weeks, Daji drove south and Emme offered to cook him dinner to make up for the long trek. "We talked about our past, present, and future, and found out we had a lot of values in common," Emme says, "We decided to give the long-distance relationship a go and we dated since we first met that July Fourth weekend."

Their relationship moved quickly, and the couple decided to buy their first home after just eight months together. When Emme opened the front door of their new house for the first time, she was met with a huge surprise: The entire home was decorated with flowers and Daji was on one knee, holding a ring. With renovation plans for the house and a baby on the way, the pair took six months to plan a traditional black-tie affair for 90 guests on March 23, 2017.

When the big day came around, the celebration was anything but basic—the bride (who runs an online vintage clothing store called Gossamer) and groom (who works in the tech industry) merged old and new details in a personal way. Their venue is the perfect example. Although it looks like a storied location in Europe, Villa del Sol D'Oro is just minutes from the pair's home in southern California. And the invitations, which featured sophisticated calligraphy and fonts, were more modern in terms of their design. Sarah Park Events helped the couple define their vision and plan their perfect wedding day.

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An Ornate Engagement Ring

emme daji wedding engagement ring in box
Laura Gordon Photography

Emme's engagement ring, which came from Trumpet and Horn, fit with the rest of the couple's old-meets-new wedding theme.

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Modern Invitations

emme daji wedding stationary suite
Laura Gordon Photography

In keeping with their "traditional-meets-modern" vision, Emme and Daji chose invitations with modern typography and calligraphy by Julie Ha. The cream-and-blush stationery kept everything feeling a little romantic.

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The Homemade Wedding Dress

emme daji wedding dress and bouquet
Laura Gordon Photography

Emme was pregnant throughout the majority of her engagement, so she held off on selecting a wedding dress until shortly before the big day. "I'm so glad I decided to wait," Emme says. "I found the perfect fabric at a specialty fabric store with tulle mesh and beading that went perfectly with our stationery. Our whole family, including my sister-in-law, pitched in to sew the dress before the wedding."

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Sparkling Accessories

emme daji wedding bride adjusting gold garter
Laura Gordon Photography

Emme completed her look a garter belt from The Veiled Beauty.

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Her Bouquet

emme daji wedding bride with bouquet
Laura Gordon Photography

The bride's bouquet featured a variety of blooms arranged in a loose style, including blush and white roses to fit the couple's soft, muted color scheme. "We wanted those tones to complement the colors of the venue," Emme says.

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The Groom's Look

emme daji wedding groomsmen
Laura Gordon Photography

Daji had a classic black suit custom-made in Thailand, which he paired with a simple black bow tie and black dress shoes. His best friends looked just as dapper in their formal wear.

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Portrait Time

emme daji wedding couple smiling
Laura Gordon Photography

The pair opted to have their photographer, Laura Gordon, take portraits of them before the ceremony. After their vows, they posed once again—this time on the venue's lawn—to take advantage of the stunning sunset lighting.

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Their Bundle of Joy

emme daji wedding couple with baby daughter
Laura Gordon Photography

Emme and Daji were blessed with the birth of their baby girl just three months before the wedding, so they were lucky enough to celebrate their big day as a family of three.

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The Bride's Entrance

emme daji wedding processional with mother and bride
Laura Gordon Photography

Having lost her father a few years prior, Emme walked down the aisle accompanied by her mother. The pair entered to Pachelbel's "Canon in D."

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The Sweet Ceremony

emme daji wedding ceremony under venue balcony
Laura Gordon Photography

In the days leading up to the wedding, Emme got sick, so the couple decided to skip their personal vows and have their friend, who was the officiant, tell the story of their romance before officially marrying them under their venue's balcony.

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The Vintage Gown

emme daji wedding couple kissing on staircase
Laura Gordon Photography

After the ceremony, Emme changed into an antique lace dress that dates back one hundred years. She paired it with Bella Belle shoes and skipped the jewelry to let the vintage gown speak for itself.

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Alfresco Dining

emme daji wedding reception table
Laura Gordon Photography

Guests shared stories, laughs, and toasts over dinner at one long table on the venue's lawn.

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Pretty Centerpieces

emme daji wedding floral centerpiece
Laura Gordon Photography

The floral centerpieces mimicked Emme's bouquet, with white and blush roses, peonies, ranunculus, and pale green hellebores.

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Elegant Place Settings

emme daji wedding place setting with roses and gold accents
Laura Gordon Photography

Place settings were kept simple, with white plates and gold silverware to match the metallic candle holders. The group enjoyed a variety of different meals, including filet mignon with grilled veggies, lobster or chicken with risotto, sea bass with steamed vegetables, and a vegetarian option.

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The First Dance

emme daji wedding first dance
Laura Gordon Photography

Surrounded by family and friends, Emme and Daji shared their first dance to James Arthur's "Say You Won't Let Go." The pair says this was one of the most memorable moments of the night.

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A Marbled Wedding Cake

emme daji wedding marbled wedding cake
Laura Gordon Photography

Jasmine Rae Cakes designed a four-tiered wedding cake embellished with translucent white flowers and a subtle marbling technique for a unique texture. Inside, lavender and lemon flavors awaited guests.

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Dinner at Dusk

emme daji wedding reception venue candles
Laura Gordon Photography

Though it rained the day before, the skies were clear and the weather was perfect for the wedding.

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Expanding the Family

emme daji wedding couple walking through garden
Laura Gordon Photography

The happy couple decided to hold off on a honeymoon for a while, as they have a young baby and another on the way! "We'll wait until they're a little bit older and take a longer family trip," Emme says, "We'd want them to be included."

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emme daji wedding back of couple walking down stairs
Laura Gordon Photography

Photography, Laura Gordon Photography

Location, Villa del Sol D'oro

Event coordination and Flowers, Sarah Park Events

Catering, Santa Anita Gardens Catering

Videography, Josh Gooden

Stationery & Calligraphy, Julie Ha

Cake, Jasmine Rae Cakes

Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental; Premiere Party Rents

Bride's accessories, The Veiled Beauty veil; Trumpet and Horn jewelry, Bella Belle shoes

Hair & Makeup, Liz Wegrzyn

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