Kristin + Grean’s courtyard wedding in Pasadena, was a classic and elegant affair. Amidst historic architecture of the Caltech Athanaeum, you would never believe today’s featured couple could have gone with plan B on account of rain only an hour before the ceremony. But bless Kristin and her optimism and commitment to enjoy her special day no matter what…she knew the weather would clear up in time, and it did! I love that and a solid affirmation for all brides: no matter what happens, enjoy!
Kristin + Grean | September 30, 2012 | Caltech Athenaeum, Pasadena, CA | Dress Listing: Amy Kuschel, Radiance
Even though it never rains in Los Angeles in September, it started raining a little bit, an hour or so before the wedding. Everyone began to panic, except, strangely, me. I had decided that, no matter what happened that day, I was going to enjoy it. People tried to convince me to move the wedding indoors, but I just knew it was going to be outside and it was going to be fine. And it was. We had the ceremony, standing between majestic columns in the historic architecture of the Caltech Athanaeum, and the sky was perfectly dramatic and dry. I asked my best friend to read an excerpt written by Thich Nhat Hahn, from a book entitled “True Love.” The reading ended with, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside, but also inside.”
After the wedding, people gathered in the courtyard, and the string quartet played a beautiful set. Everyone drank wine and snacked hors d’oeuvres. I believe we made our announced entrance as man and wife, although those things always feel a little overly formal to me. The main thing I remember was that I had so much fun. I loved seeing all of my friends from such different eras of my life together all in one place. I must say honestly, I received so many compliments on my dress that I did feel like a beautiful bride.
Kristin’s Dress Search
I began my search intending to buy a much less expensive dress, and I went to Nordstrom’s without even an appointment, just to start the process of looking and get an idea of what was out there. I quickly discovered that salespeople take weddings very seriously! After trying on a number of dresses, I began to realize how important it was to me to have a beautiful dress that was really unique, special and truly elegant. After all, this would hopefully be an experience I would only ever have once in my life! I wanted the look to be sexy but classy and effortless. I wanted to wear the dress, rather than the dress wearing me. I thought the best dress should bring out a woman’s natural beauty. After much frustration and unsuccessful shopping, I went to Amy Kuschel and tried on their store examples. I knew immediately that I was going to buy a dress there. The fabric was incredible, the seams flowed in a way that was very flattering to the figure and yet elegant, and the quality was undeniable.
How Kristin Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Radiant, Joyous, Elegant.
Why Kristin Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
It’s a pity for a dress that beautiful to only be worn once and spend a lifetime packed away. If I had known that this website existed, I probably would have gotten my dress here, but now, at least someone else can enjoy it.
Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel, Radiance | Photography: David Frey | Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Caltech Athenaeum |Event Planning: Today’s Featured Bride with assistance from Dior Chase from the Caltech Athenaeum | Floral Design: Ixora Floral Studio | Cake: Patticakes
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Sexy, Sophisticated, Comfortable. Not only is this a great way for today’s featured bride to feel in her Jenny Packham gown, Laurel, but a truly apt description for Amy + Brent’s intimate ‘Palm Springs Chic’ wedding. I love Amy’s whole look (and Brent’s too for that matter)…her side-swept locks compliment the flowy ivory chiffon front of her dress. And the crystal embellished straps are an awesome focal point; or as Amy points out ‘the straps across the back take this dress to another level.’ Agreed!
Amy + Brent | November 7, 2013 | The Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Dress Listing: Jenny Packham, Laurel
We were married outdoors on the Croquet Lawn at the Parker. It was a very intimate ceremony with only 18 guests. I wanted to keep it simple yet “Palm Springs Chic”. So instead of the usual lining the aisle with rose petals I had the florist spread the petals where we would stand. There were some lovely olive trees at the reception but I wanted to elevate the look a bit by hanging some mid century modern swag lights from the trees which I rented here in LA at a local prop house. I also didn’t like the usual option of rolled cones to hold the toss petals. So I decided to make my own by using the plastic strawberry baskets you get at farmers markets and spray paint them gold.
Since we were only 20 people total I didn’t think it made sense to have the traditional reception in a banquet room with a dj. So instead we had a lovely cocktail hour outdoors near the ceremony which included passed hors d’oeuvres, a full bar and signature cocktail which was a French 77 (champagne, St. Germain and lemon juice). For dinner I rented out the private dining room within the hotel at the restaurant called Mister Parkers. The room was dark and swanky with a rat pack vibe, which was perfect for our intimate group. I think almost everyone gave a speech and cried at one point. I wanted to go simple/elegant with the cake so I used a vintage drink tray that I had for the cake tray and had the pastry chef just dust the rim of each layer with gold. Since our furry friends couldn’t be there we decided to use a set of Jonathan Adler (who also designed the hotel) salt and pepper shakers in the shape of two cats as our cake toppers, we also now have a great souvenir from our wedding to use at home!
Amy ‘s Dress Search
Originally I didn’t want a traditional white wedding dress at all. Knowing how small our wedding was going to be and the style of the hotel we were getting married at I was searching for an elegant champagne or silver colored evening gown, something you would see on the red carpet. But in order make my mom happy I went to a few bridal stores to just try some dresses on. The Jenny Packham Laurel dress was the 3rd dress I tried on and I knew it was the one. The shape was so simple and clean but it had the crystals at the shoulders and on the straps which made it elegant and the open back made it just sexy enough.
How Amy Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Sexy, Sophisticated, Comfortable.
Why Amy Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I decided to sell my dress because it is just to beautiful to be boxed up and put away forever, never to be worn again. It’s also wasteful! I want someone else to be able to wear this dress on her special day and feel the same way I did.
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham, Laurel | Photographer: Steven Lam | Ceremony Venue: Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Reception Venue: Mister Parker’s at Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs | Event Planning: Today’s Featured Bride | Floral Design: Mary Kass at Jensen’s Florist | Cake: Mister Parker’s
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Oh my goodness, this Susannah gown from Johanna Johnson is stunning! Delicate antique gold French hand-beaded lace from the shoulders down the back, feminine capped-sleeves, dramatic and totally gorgeous low back, all in a sultry, ivory satin sheath silhouette. Wow. And the setting for such a swoon worthy gown? An intimate, destination-wedding in Tuscany, Italy. Oh my goodness, indeed. Congrats to Karen + Christian and thanks for sharing!
Karen + Christian | September 21, 2013 | Tuscany, Italy | Dress Listing: Johanna Johnson, Susannah
The Ceremony + Reception
We wanted a small wedding (50 people) and decided a destination-wedding weekend would be ideal. We loved the idea of all of our friends & family spending the weekend hanging out with us and getting to know each other. We had a friend who grew up near this amazing villa – Antica Villa Poggitazzi located 50 minutes from Florence, Italy.
Karen’s Dress Search
My girlfriend knew my taste and recommended two very specific designers, one being Johanna Johnson. I was lucky enough to go to Sydney, Australia and try on her dresses (they now have her dresses in New York!) and fell in love with the Susannah. My personality did not fit the Cinderella dress type (strapless, poofy gowns) and I wanted something to flatter my figure and stand out.
How Karen Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Classic, Unique and Beautiful.
Why Karen Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I am not very sentimental and would rather sell my gown to someone else who can put it to good use. I actually looked for a used wedding gown myself but could not find a Johanna Johnson dress in my size since she is not very well known.
Wedding Dress: Johanna Johnson, Susannah | Photography: SEGwayPhotoSF | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Antica Villa Poggitazzi, Tuscany, Italy | Event Planning: Sal Garcia & Paolo Fenili | Floral Design + Cake: Antica Villa Poggitazzi
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Personal touches and pretty pink details filled out Lauren and Tom’s wedding decor, but the surprises and stories from the day are even more compelling. Unexpected heartache days before the ceremony and severe storms on the day of definitely impacted emotions during their wedding, but the couple made those dark clouds show their silver lining. Be sure to put on your bunny ears and view the incredible wedding film at the end of the post!
Lauren + Tom | August 4, 2012 | Chicago, Illinois | Dress Listing: Monique Lhuillier, Aspen
In the days and hours leading up to our ceremony, we experienced an impossible string of bad luck. Three days prior, my father unexpectedly passed away. Then, on the day of our wedding, a months-long drought gave way to a downpour. Even the darn bus broke down, forcing the girls and I to make quite the entrance via taxi in the rain!
As I made my way down the aisle alongside my stepdad, the string quartet playing “Canon in D” in the background, the stress of the preceding days reached a breaking point. Emotions ran high, and all I needed was a hug from my boyfriend. I dashed to the end of the aisle, threw convention to the wind, and wrapped my arms around him one last time as his girlfriend.
The ceremony only got more special from there. We wrote our own vows, which were uncannily similar. At one point, I actually stopped the ceremony in disbelief. Neither of us could not believe it! It was the perfect example of how perfect we are for each other. And it really proved to our friends and family firsthand why we were all there in the first place. What a special half hour. I expected the reception to be my favorite part of our wedding, but at the end of the crazy day, the ceremony actually took the cake.
We wanted a seriously stylish wedding that didn’t take itself too seriously. Something glamorous, elegant and classy — but not without a little personality. So in contrast to a chic color scheme, fancy décor and the grandiose backdrop of the Chicago History Museum, we included personal touches like rabbit-themed cake pops for place cards, a Kleenex holder on our programs quoting Snoop Dogg (“Don’t cry. Dry your eye.”) and bride and groom chair signs with unconventional titles (“Big” and “Little”.) Our first dance? A piano version of Skrillex’s “Cinema.” Our reception kept it classy. But with top shelf spirits, non-stop dancing and even some impromptu karaoke, we certainly didn’t let the posh surroundings dissuade us from having a raucous good time.
Lauren’s Dress Search
I always knew I wanted a form-fitting trumpet or mermaid gown. And when I began my dress search, I had a specific gown in mind. To my surprise, it looked horrible on me in real life! So I kept looking, and eventually, my decision came down to two dresses: a Vera Wang and a Monique Lhuillier. The Vera Wang was so sexy and fun; it made me want to dance on the tables!! But the Monique Lhuillier … the Monique Lhuillier made me want to get married. And that’s when I knew it was “The One.”
How Lauren Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Like a bride
Why Lauren Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
As every bride on this blog says, I truly wanted this incredible dress to live to see another wedding day. It makes me sad to see it just sitting in my closet. And if I could help let another lucky lady make her dream of wearing a Monique Lhuillier come true in the process, even better. It was difficult to decide to let go to such an amazing garment, but as they say, “If you love it, let it go.”
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier, Aspen | Photography: Kristina Carter, Vrai Photo | Wedding Cinematography: Michelle Wodzinski | Ceremony Venue: Chicago History Museum | Reception Venue: Chicago History Museum | Floral Design: Ashland Addison Florist | Cake + Dessert Table: Costco Bakery
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