A Vibrant, Nature-Inspired Wedding in Downtown Los Angeles

wedding invitation set with ocean inspired details
Photo: Katherine Ann Rose

Colorful dresses, late-night ice cream sandwiches, and a surprise serenade from the groom made this celebration especially memorable.

01 of 21
bride and groom pose in wedding attire in front of painted wall
Katherine Ann Rose

Margot and Steven's California wedding, which took place on May 26, 2018, came five years after a very L.A. meeting: The couple was introduced when they were cast together as a couple in an independent music video one of Margot's friends was producing. Margot, now a therapist working in substance use recovery, had recently moved to the City of Angels from St. Louis; Steven, a musician, asked her out a week after they met. "It wasn't the shortest of roads, but it was a pretty steady one," says Margot of the evolution of their relationship. "And I can never really keep a straight face when I tell the 'how did you meet' story. It always comes with a laugh and an eye roll."

Four years after they first got together, Steven proposed during Margot's birthday trip to Channel Islands National Park. After getting down on one knee, he presented his bride-to-be with an asscher-cut diamond ring he designed with the help of a local jeweler. "I've always loved a good surprise, and this may have been my finest look," he says of the proposal.

The couple chose to host a colorful, moon-and-sea themed wedding for 200 guests at Valentine, a downtown event space with glass greenhouse roofs, an enclosed garden courtyard, and keyhole doorways painted with bright murals. With the help of their wedding planner at Bash Please, the pair organized a celebration that was centered around their favorite hues and lots of natural themes. As for the party itself, the bride and groom kept their guests fueled for the dance floor with the sweetest late-night snack we've seen yet.

02 of 21

To the Moon and Back

wedding invitation set with ocean inspired details
Katherine Ann Rose

The bride and groom worked with Bash Please to develop a theme that they describe as a mix of an incredible party with a few traditional elements mixed in. They ended up with a variety of celestial and ocean-inspired details, starting with a save-the-date that requested guests join them "under the stars," and continuing with a midnight blue and copper-printed invitation suite adorned with lunar imagery from Lotus & Ash. "By the end, we had this sort of lovely, subtle theme of the moon and sea running throughout," Margot says.

03 of 21

Pretty in (Light) Pink

wedding couple kiss on couch with colored pillows
Katherine Ann Rose

Margot went into the bridal salon at Nordstrom with an open mind. "My two rules," she says, "were I needed to be able to dance all night and be lifted up in a chair." A blush-colored Monique Lhuillier wedding dress met both requirements. "It is basically a slip and one amazing embroidered shell over it," she says. "I liked the combination of the high neck and the open skirt." She wore a traditional veil and blusher in the same pale pink tone, also from Monique Lhuillier, for her walk down the aisle. She skipped jewelry except for a pair of small, sparkling drop earrings that were a gift from her mother.

04 of 21


brides wedding shoes and white rose bouquet in glass jar
Katherine Ann Rose

The bride danced all night in a pair of strappy pumps from Jimmy Choo. "I normally go for a taller platform but my mom convinced me otherwise," she says. "Probably a good thing." Her bouquet—made of white roses—was a classic addition to her ensemble and picked up on the embellishments of her gown.

05 of 21

The First Look

bride and groom first look in front of painted wall
Katherine Ann Rose

Margot and Steven saw each other for the first time outside Valentine before the ceremony, where a bright floral mural made for a colorful backdrop.

06 of 21

Showing Their True Colors

bride with bridesmaids in different dresses in front of painted wall
Katherine Ann Rose

Margot's bridesmaids—her three step-sisters and her best friend—wore a collection of gowns in different colors, fabrics, styles, and prints that each woman chose individually. "We did a little bit of coordinating for pictures," says Margot. "I wanted everyone to have something they were comfortable in. What everyone ended up with actually coordinated really well with the venue—another happy accident."

07 of 21

Men in Black

groom and groomsman posting in front of painted wall
Katherine Ann Rose

Steven wore a J.Crew tuxedo (he generally leans towards the classics) and his groomsmen wore ones they already had, with black bow ties that were a gift from the groom. The florist created boutonnières with yellow roses for Steven and his brothers, who wore the flower in honor of their grandmother.

08 of 21

Petal Power

wedding flowergirl walking down aisle black and white
Katherine Ann Rose

The couple chose the daughter of the music video producer who introduced them to serve as flower girl. She performed the job with style in an heirloom gown that had been Margot's as a child. "Olivia wore a dress that I wore as flower girl in the wedding of two of my mom's best friends, one of whom is my godmother, who were both at the wedding," Margot says. "It was awesome."

09 of 21

Father and Daughter

wedding processional bride father guests watching with phones
Katherine Ann Rose

The bride's father walked her down the aisle to "Something" by the Beatles—just one of several of the group's songs that played during the ceremony. The couple's parents and siblings walked in to "In My Life" and the newlyweds left the altar as "All You Need Is Love" played. "Sort of predictable," says Margot, "but what song is better than that?"

10 of 21

Happily Married

bride and groom kiss ceremony plants backdrop
Katherine Ann Rose

The non-religious ceremony incorporated many traditional elements and personal touches. Steven's brother, David, officiated the wedding, while Margot's cousin read a poem their grandmother gave them at their college graduation. The couple exchanged vows they wrote themselves under a copper framed chuppah draped with greenery instead of cloth.

11 of 21

Drink Up

wedding reception menu frame with peach cocktail and roses
Katherine Ann Rose

Cocktail hour boasted a pair of signature drinks as well as a whiskey bar. All the offerings were on display in a celestially-tinged menu set out in a copper frame.

12 of 21

A Touch of Glass

sea glass escort cards seating arrangement
Katherine Ann Rose

Escort cards made of sea glass by Debbie Bean ("Probably my favorite detail from the wedding," says Margot) directed guests to their seats at long tables. Clusters of sea glass pendants hanging over the reception tables displayed each table number.

13 of 21

Sea and Sky

wedding reception tables and place setting with sea glass pendants
Katherine Ann Rose

A striking ocean mural on the wall in the dining room tied into the hanging sea glass table numbers. Moon Canyon created lush centerpieces of green, ivory, peach, and periwinkle flowers, alternating them with bud vases of tulips.

14 of 21

A Memorable Meal

wedding place setting with men and floral arrangement
Katherine Ann Rose

Dark plates, rosy gold-trimmed glassware, and gold flatware from Casa de Perrin made for chic and shiny place settings. The couple hired Someone's in the Kitchen to create a buffet dinner that included Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and a sushi bar. "The food was super important to Steven and it was amazing," says Margot. "Pretty sure it was the most talked-about part of the evening."

15 of 21

On the Dance Floor

wedding couple first dance dip low as guests watch
Katherine Ann Rose

For their first dance, Margot and Steven chose Sam Cooke's "You Send Me"—an easy-to-dance-to song by one of their favorite artists. "We didn't choreograph it ahead of time, but Steven and I aren't too shabby in the dance department," Margot says. "We know how to put on a good show."

16 of 21

Up in the Air

groom and groomsman dancing wedding reception
Katherine Ann Rose

Friends and family hit the dance floor before dinner for a lively version of the traditional hora. "There were handstands and all five of our parents went up in the chair, which was definitely a highlight for my family," says Margot. "We don't mess around when it comes to the hora. Generally at least one person is shirtless by the end."

17 of 21

Toasts or Roasts?

wedding three groomsman toast
Katherine Ann Rose

Steven's brothers and co-best men kept up a family ritual by roasting Steven in their toast, but the real star of the speeches was Margot's best friend: "She gave a speech and then got an audition because of it," says Margot. "Welcome to L.A."

18 of 21

Time for Cake

bride groom slicing tiered wedding cake surrounded by small candles
Katherine Ann Rose

Margot and Steven didn't feel strongly about having a cake, but agreed to one at the request of Margot's mother. "I'm so glad we did it," Margot says. "It was delicious." The five-tier design from Cakes by Colin included chocolate and vanilla cake with espresso buttercream and an elegantly curved exterior.

19 of 21

Ice Cream Sandwiches

wedding reception servers carrying ice cream sandwiches
Katherine Ann Rose

The couple also served up another classic dessert: Ice cream sandwiches, one of Steven's favorites. "We wanted a fun dessert for the non-cake lovers," says Margot. Their caterer stuck to the classic staple of chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream inside.

20 of 21

A Sweet Serenade

wedding couple kissing groom holding guitar
Katherine Ann Rose

Later in the evening, Steven pulled out his guitar to surprise Margot with a performance of a song he wrote for her called "Looking Glass." "Luckily, I had heard it many times before, otherwise I would have been a total puddle of tears—and not in a cute way," she says. The song is about facing challenges and growing old together. "It lyrically embodies what I otherwise would have put into a traditional wedding speech," adds the groom.

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wedding couple hold hands walking across street in wedding clothes
Katherine Ann Rose

Photography, Katherine Ann Rose Photography

Location, Valentine and Grass Room

Event planning, Bash Please

Catering, Someone's In the Kitchen

Flowers, Moon Canyon

Videography, Shark Pig

Stationery, Lotus & Ash

Calligraphy, Calligraphy Katrina

Cake, Cakes by Colin

Music, DeBois Entertainment

Rentals, Casa de Perrin

Bride's gown and veil, Monique Lhuillier

Bride's shoes, Jimmy Choo

Hair, Erica Dean; Ashley Heart

Makeup, Symmetry Beauty

Groom's tuxedo, J.Crew

Sea glass escort cards, Debbie Bean

Lighting, The Lighter Side

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