The Number of Personalized Details at This Malibu Wedding Will Truly Astound You
Kelly Patrice was only 17 when she met her groom, Nick Macke, in 2009. The high school sweethearts posed for prom photos at Cielo Farms in Malibu, California, with no idea that years later, they'd visit the same location to get engaged—and then once more to tie the knot. "We both felt like Cielo held so many special memories for us that we really wanted to share with our friends and family," Kelly says.
Kelly's experience as a wedding planner and calligrapher came in handy in the year leading up to the couple's October 26, 2019, nuptials. "I really wanted the day to feel well curated—and wanted our guests to walk onto the property and say, 'Oh, of course Kelly did that,'" the bride explains. Her expertise and some quick decision making allowed her to speed through the planning, design, stationery, and signage processes for the celebration in just three months.
The event that she created? A personal celebration with a unique design landscape. Inspired by the vineyard setting and the fall season, the elegant party was upgraded with a contemporary color palette of pink, rust, and brown tones; unexpected paper moments, from the modern guest book signage and table numbers, added of-the-moment flare. As for the aforementioned personal details? From a custom seating chart, complete with an envelope for each guest, to custom wax seals (no two attendees had the same one!), the event was as bespoke as it was beautiful. The wedding wouldn't have been complete, however, without the couple's 104 guests; they invited their closest friends and family members to join them in Malibu, California, where they exchanged personal vows—and then danced the night away at a silent disco.
Kelly is passionate about stationery—she broke into the wedding space as a calligrapher—so it was important that she have stand-out invitations. Each piece of the neutral suite was letterpressed onto handmade paper; a deep pink envelope, also crafted from handmade paper, added a pop of color. Naturally, the bride calligraphed each piece.
The process wasn't easy: "Handmade paper is one of the hardest textures to write on, so we had to hairspray each envelope by hand before I could calligraph it!" she says. Each piece of the suite also featured an olive leaf illustration as a nod to the venue. Kelly recruited Nick to help her with the custom wax seals and stamps, which were the final touches.
No Alterations Needed
Although Kelly knew exactly what she wanted in terms of her big day's design, she didn't have a vision in mind for her wedding dress. She visited Kinsley James Couture Bridal and surprised herself by falling in love with a fit-and-flare Angel Rivera gown with a sweetheart neckline, lace appliques, and beaded details. "Kinsley James let me take it home that day—and it didn't need a single alteration," the bride says. "It was meant to be! I felt amazing in it the entire day."
The Finishing Touches
Along with a special Tiffany bracelet that once belonged to her late grandmother, Kelly paired her wedding gown with simple stud earrings and Stuart Weitzman block-heel sandals. "I really wanted the shoes to pop out and be nontraditional," Kelly says, adding that she plans to wear them "again and again on date nights."
A Blushing Bouquet
Kelly's elongated round bouquet featured Italian pit, explosion grass, garden spray roses, spray roses, garden roses, tulips, carnations, astilbe, and preserved florals. "Michelle from Creative Light went to high school with me, and she knows what I love without even talking about it," Kelly says.
Bridesmaids in Pink
Kelly trusted her bridesmaids to choose dresses they felt and looked great in, so she sent out a color palette and hoped for the best. Each woman chose a dress in a soft pink tone, but each varied in style.
The couple wanted their groomsmen to stick to the classics, so they matched the groom in timeless tuxedos paired with black bow ties from The Black Tux.
The First Look
One of the most anticipated moments of the day was the first look. "I was so ready!" says the bride. "After bringing hundreds of my own brides to their first look, I couldn't wait until it was my own turn." The couple had spent the previous night apart and felt excited and relieved to see each other before the ceremony.
The Ceremony Location
Cielo Farms is owned by Kelly's high school friend's grandfather; it's a place where the couple has made many a memory together, from their high school days through their engagement. The Tuscan-inspired vineyard, complete with panoramic views of Malibu, seemed like the perfect spot for their celebration.
A Bubbly Welcome
As guests entered the ceremony space, they were greeted with Champagne served in vintage coupes.
Each attendee had a reserved seat on the green; spots were also marked with pouches of wildflowers to toss at the end of the ceremony.
A Statement Arch
Nick is over six feet tall, so Kelly knew that a traditional arch or structure would bring an unbalanced look to the service space. She recruited a friend to help her build the ceremony's décor focal point, which consisted of two posts on wheels (so they could move the installation into the reception space easily!) decorated with tons of dried flowers in cream-and-pink tones.
Along the Aisle
Several fall-inspired flower arrangements lined the aisle, incorporating spray roses, garden roses, and dried sprigs.
A Meaningful Ceremony
Kelly was accompanied by her father, Paul, as she headed down the aisle towards her husband-to-be; "Bloom" by The Paper Kites played in the background. "It was a really special moment," she says. "We recently lost our family home in the fires, so it was one of the first times my dad came back to California after they moved, and it was just special to be together walking towards my now husband."
The couple then exchanged hand-written vows and incorporated a few Catholic prayers into the ceremony.
A Comfy Cocktail Hour
As the couple took portraits during golden hour, guests enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres like ahi tuna tartar in a crispy wonton taco, burrata puff pastry tartlets, and vegan coconut ceviche during the cocktail hour. Lounge furniture was set up throughout the space so guests could get comfortable and take in the surrounding scenery.
Along with a full open bar, Kelly and Nick offered two signature cocktails inspired by each of their careers. "The Wedding Planner" was an Aperol Spritz with dehydrated orange and "The Recruiter" was a blood orange old fashioned served with cherry. Kelly's brother owns a bar, so he made specialty mixes for the on-site bartenders to use.
Guests and Games
The couple opted for a nontraditional guest book—a Jenga set, which their loved ones signed piece by piece.
Find Your Suite
Kelly calls the oversized escort chart, which read, "Find Your Seat, Let's Eat," a "labor of love." Two boards on either side of the main piece held envelopes printed with each guest's name; inside, celebrants found their table assignments. The notes were thoughtfully personalized with a custom wax seal—no two seals were the same.
During the reception, guests sat at one of two long tables, where they enjoyed toasts, dinner, and the DJ. Later, they made their way to the dance floor around the corner where a silent disco was waiting.
On the Tabletops
Each centerpiece incorporated blush-and-cream tones and dried flowers as a nod to the fall season. Blush taper candles were placed in glass hurricanes at varying heights.
Connective Table Numbers
Terra-cotta-colored table numbers referenced the other contemporary pieces of signage seen throughout the celebration.
The Place Settings
The place settings featured blush colored plates, blush gold-rimmed glassware, and copper flatware. The statement touch? Scalloped rattan chargers.
Let's Toast with Toast
Kelly used watercolor on handmade paper by Silk and Willow for each menu. The couple wanted to do toasts before guests got up to enjoy dinner, so they started with a plated appetizer of bruschetta. They offered a salad and wood fired pizza station; nearby, a grill roasted up kabobs.
The First Dance
Nick and Kelly's DJ played "Here Tonight" by Brett Young for their first dance. "We both love country music and have been together since college," the bride says. "The lyrics perfectly describe the quirky things about our relationship—curfews, driving around too late, and an intimidating father!"
On the Dance Floor
The DJ's station doubled as décor: The pastel-washed bar blended in with the building's stone work, while a grounded floral arrangement, featuring blooms seen throughout the event, added texture.
Kelly and Nick's three-tiered cake was covered in pink fondant to match the day's color scheme and incorporated the bride's love of texture. Each decorative flower was handcrafted out of sugar by Colin O'dea Cakes.
To brides-to-be planning their big day, Kelly offers this advice: "Trust your instincts, and do your research! You are the only one who knows what is right for you and your groom, so listen to what your gut is telling you."
Photography, Jenny Quicksall
Venue, Cielo Farms
Event Planning and Design, Kelly Patrice
Day-of Coordinator, Star Hansen Events
Videography, Luxury Lifestyle Studios
Flowers, Creative Light Floral
Invitations and Paper Products, Kelly Patrice; Silk and Willow
Bride's Gown, Angel Rivera via Kinsley James Couture
Bride's Accessories, Kinsley James Couture (veil), Tiffany & Co. (jewelry), Stuart Weitzman (shoes)
Hair and Makeup, Blushing Beauty
Bridemaids' Dresses, Reformation; Show Me Your Mumu; Katie May; Stone Cold Fox
Menswear, The Black TuxCatering, TresLA Catering
Music, DJ Krieger
Rentals, Premiere Party Rents; Casa de Perrin; Papillon
Lighting, Premiere Party Rents
Transportation, Swoop App
Cake, Colin O'Dea Cakes
Coffee Bar, I Do Coffee