This California Couple Kept Their September Wedding Sleek and Modern
Sleek and modern was the look Dawn Arciaga and Jordan Monteith—who became engaged in February 2018, during a romantic ocean-side proposal outside of Santa Cruz—were going for when it came to their wedding. With that description in mind, they turned to Natalie Choi Events to help them plan and design their special day. "Natalie was involved every step of the way," says Dawn. The group quickly agreed that a neutral color palette of pale pink, soft and dark gray, and white would set the tone; the shades were integrated into everything from the invitation suite to the reception décor. "We tied in the neutral color palette into the entire design aesthetic," Natalie adds.
The team did, however, run into a few problems here and there. Though Dawn and Jordan loved their industrial venue, BLOC ("It was basically a blank canvas that allowed our vision to come to life," says the bride), the Roseville, California, space's interior black beams formed the shape of an "M"; the bride and groom weren't thrilled with the idea of the harsh, angular columns as a ceremony backdrop. However, Natalie was able to problem-solve—she had to, since the beams were there to stay. "We decided to completely cover the beams with foliage and florals to create a backdrop that would surround Dawn and Jordan, evoking the feeling of being married in a garden," she says. The epic floral installation became the centerpiece of the celebration—and was later repurposed into part of the couple's sweetheart table.
Despite the bumps along the way, Dawn and Jordan knew they could rely on Natalie to make their event happen, even though they knew that their goals were big ones. "Our feeling was that this only happens once, so we might as well try to make all our dreams come to fruition," explains the bride. "We wanted our special day to be shared with as many of our closest friends and family as possible. We really tried to stay true to our style and keep things minimal, chic, and modern. We wanted to look back on it 30 years from now and still love the design."
As for the result? Natalie nailed it, they say—and their September 1, 2019, nuptials, attended by 200 guests, went off without a hitch. "Our amazing wedding planner made it as easy it could be. We couldn't have done it without her," says Dawn.
Dawn wanted to keep her paper goods as sleek and minimal as possible, so planner Natalie Choi of Natalie Choi Events directed invitation designer Carissa Vianca to use sans serif fonts wherever possible, and employ a balance of simple text and blank space within the modern design. "The invitation suite was flat printed on cardstocks in different shades of the color palette," says Natalie.
Dawn chose a simple ivory crepe Liancarlo wedding dress; the garment featured clean lines, a plunging neckline, and an illusion tulle back. A large waistband accentuated the bride's figure, adding a touch of allure to the elegant ensemble. "I knew it was 'the one' when I couldn't stop thinking about it," explains Dawn. "With all the different options out there, such as beading, lace, and sparkle, I knew deep down I wanted to stay true to a modern, classy, and sexy dress. It was everything I imagined myself walking down the aisle in."
The bride went with black satin Christian Louboutin stilettos, which boasted clear inserts and Swarovski-crystal embellishments.
In Full Bloom
Dawn's organic bouquet was designed by The Loved Co. and comprised of koko loko, stephen rulo, and white garden roses, butterfly ranunculus blossoms, white sweet peas, local tuberose, blooming pieris, and calcynia; trailing jasmine and delicate touches of eyelash grass completed the arrangement, which was tied with a neutral silk ribbon.
The boutonnières featured heuchera, gomphrena in shades of soft blush or white, calcynia, and eyelash grass. They were tied off with black velvet ribbons.
"I decided to keep it clean, but slightly trendy," Dawn says of the bridesmaids' Fame and Partners ensembles. "I went with a simple matte-satin slip dress with a pleated-detail bust, spaghetti straps, and a slightly flared skirt."
A Timeless Groom
Jordan wore a classic black tuxedo from The Black Tux, and completed his look with an ebony bow tie, white shirt, and black dress shoes.
The groom's attendants wore matching black tuxedos and bow ties—the goal was for Jordan and his men to look cohesive.
Frilly Flower Girls
Dawn and Jordan's littlest attendants were adorably outfitted in gauzy white dresses with plenty of frilly appliqués.
A Fabulous First Look
Ahead of the ceremony, Dawn and Jordan spent some precious time together in the venue's lounge area, where they shared their first look. "Before, I was definitely nervous. It's something that you dream about since you are a little girl," shares Dawn. "During, I was filled with utter joy and and I really just tried to savor the moment and enjoy it with my soon-to-be-husband (and also tried to not ruin my makeup!)."
Clever Ceremony Décor
Wooden beams were richly embellished with flowers and greenery, turning the original architecture of the ceremony space into a stunning backdrop—one that resembled a full-bloom garden, as opposed to an industrial fortress. Acrylic chairs brought a touch of modernity to the open room and didn't obstruct the lush views ahead.
Sealed with a Kiss
During the religious ceremony ("Religion is a big part of both of our lives, so it was important to have a wedding that reflected those values," shares Dawn), the couple exchanged traditional vows that were tweaked to speak to their relationship. "We both thought it would be too emotional to get through reading our own vows, so we decided to recite our handwritten vows in private," explains the bride.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, Dawn and Jordan recessed back up the aisle to "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole, courtesy of their DJ, Dart Collective.
The couple chose not to serve alcohol at their event, and instead provided embellished mocktails (the groom's was an Arnold Palmer, while the bride's was a Lilikoi cooler with passionfruit mint syrup) and cucumber water, accented with pretty florals—they spoke to the party's garden theme.
Find Your Seat
The couple made the copper frame that held their 10-foot-long linen seating chart by Ettie Kim Studio.
Romantic Reception Tables
The event's neutral color palette was prominent throughout the reception, which was held in the same space as the ceremony (it was flipped during the cocktail hour). On the long tables, pale gray linens and softly draped table runners creating a muted backdrop for matte white plates and black matte flatware.
A Pop of Color
"We kept our rentals on the tablescape within a neutral palette, so that the colors of our floral centerpieces would be the central visual point of interest on the table," says Natalie. The Loved Co. selected a palette of blooms in romantic tones and arranged them in an airy, Ikebana-like style. Votives in smoky glass were scattered along the table to complete the candlelit tableau.
A Table of Their Own
Dawn and Jordan sat at their own table—which was backed by the floral structure that anchored their ceremony—during the reception.
The newlyweds made a high-energy entrance into the party, much to the delight of their guests.
The First Dance
"Speechless" by Dan & Shay featuring Tori Kelly was the soundtrack to the duo's first dance. "We didn't have any sentimental reason behind choosing this song, but we thought it was absolutely beautiful," says Dawn.
A Memorable Money Dance
During their traditional Filipino wedding dance, guests "paid" the couple cash (and even one gift card!) in exchange for a dance.
A Classic Cake
Dawn and Jordan cut into a marble matcha and strawberry wedding cake, iced in white frosting and adorned with fresh flowers, by Butter&.
Photography, Meiwen Wang Photography
Venue, BLOC Venue
Outdoor Portraits Venue, Montalvo Arts Center
Event Planning and Design, Natalie Choi Events
Videography, Lenny See Films
Flowers, The Loved Co.
Invitations and Stationery, Carissa Vianca
Bride's Gown, Liancarlo via Kinsley James Couture Bridal
Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Hair, Bridal Buns
Makeup, Juanice Mua
Guest Book, Artifact Uprising
Seating Chart, Ettie Kim Studio
Music, Dart Collective
Catering, Fogcutter SF
Rentals, The Chiavari Guys; La Tavola Linen; Standard Party Rentals
Photo Booth, Glamour Style Photobooth
Doughnut Truck, Johnny Doughnuts