I first met Amber at one of our larger multi-vendor events at the Belamar hotel in June of 2008. She fell in love with a Reem Acra dress there and later purchased it. Not only does Amber have a flair for fashion (she is the lead designer for her own clothing line, LANYA), but she is one of the sweetest people I’ve met. A healthy congratulations to Amber and Will — may wedded bliss last a lifetime.
Here’s Amber’s recap of her Los Angeles based wedding — ENJOY!
**All photographs by Issa Sharp, www.issasharp.com
“When Will popped the question, we had no idea what we would do for the wedding. We knew it would be big, and we new most guests would be traveling from the East Coast and Europe, so it had be worth their trip. We had to figure grandeur on our small budget.
Like most brides, one of my first dress try-ons was The Dress, and of course, it was from Encore Bridal! My dress was an incredible Reem Acra design, covered with Swarovski pronged crystals and all over embroidered tulle. She was perfect from first sight! Being a fashion designer, I was so worried about needing to settle that I had even planned on making my own dress. Thank god I found Encore Bridal, because I could have never made anything so stunning, with all the gorgeous embroidery and applique details. Incredibly, my dress was originally over $6,000 and of course, I had it at a fraction’s fraction of that price! My dress, being of the old world Hollywood style, set the perfect atmosphere for our wedding – Old Hollywood Glamour.
- Reem Acra Wedding Dress from Encore Bridal
Since we had such a great response from the 150+ family and friends, who would be mostly traveling great distances, we wanted the focus to be on our guests. We wanted everyone to know that our wedding was special because our friends and family were sharing this most important day with us. My husband had recently discovered this incredible old Super-8 footage from his grandfather, dating back to 1920′s with Princeton football games and flapper parties, and I had just discovered my mother’s 1970′s Super 8 family films with 1st birthdays and Grand Canyon trips, so we knew these had to be incorporated. We love the Silent Movie theater on Fairfax, and while we were once attending a film party there, we thought, maybe we could get married here??! When we researched the venue on a whim, we learned that it was not only very affordable, but also accustomed to holding special events. The setting was perfect!!!!!!!!! While guests arrived, we had the Super 8 films playing on the theater screen with great reminiscent jazz as the soundtrack. This space also allowed for a lovely pre-wedding reception in the back bougainvillea patio. Guests could enjoy the films or meet each other on the patio with Champagne, Cheese and Crackers (all fancily decorated items from Trader Joes and Costco). Everything looked incredible with champagne glasses, white linens and a small bouquet at every cocktail table top.
My sister always has the best ideas and suggested that she rent an antique car for us for the drive from The Silent Movie Theater ceremony to our Griffith Park reception. Through the Automobile Driving Museum’s website, we were able to pick a stunning silver 1936 Packard with driver, again at an incredibly reasonable rental price for the 3 hours. We had the most memorable drive through Los Angeles and Hollywood as a newly married couple and all the horn-honking well wishers along the way!!!!!
To follow, we found this incredible spot for the reception at The Griffith Park Golf Course Club house with Monterrey Concessions. As my sister said, this was the best kept secret of LA, being unknown, affordable, high quality catering and beautiful Old Spanish atmosphere. We got a few strings of antique style lantern lights, hung big white paper Chinese Lanterns, added a few floral bouquet and the patio was absolutely gorgeous!
We were most concerned with our cake being super yummy, so we went to our favorite bakery, Susie Cakes, and let them have (almost) free rein in decorating. Susie Cakes is the most incredible tasting cake in LA and we got their traditional White Cake. I gave the designer my wedding inspiration page of color, trims and overall mood pictures, and let her design it with her own impressionist vision. Again, our cake was so gorgeous, and such a lovely treat to discover at the reception. As much as a bride wants to know every detail of her wedding, I loved leaving some items to the specialists and seeing what they created. I can’t wait to have it again at our 1 year anniversary! I wanted a cute wedding topper and was lucky to find a 1930′s vintage porcelain figurine on ebay, with its Venice Beach gold sticker still attached to the bottom.
My brother and wife were very generous and donated the flowers. This was not an easy feat with the several bridal party bouquets and groomsmen boutonnieres. Again, as with the cake, I let the designer work her artistry and did not micro manage this aspect of the wedding. She sent a few images of the line that she was thinking. Gorgeous spring bouquet inspired by my mood page and colors with simple single flower arrangements on the tables. We didn’t have the huge table center pieces, but I don’t think they were missed.
With so many out of town guests, my mother-in-law decided that transportation buses for these guests were essential. With the downtown hotel, the Fairfax ceremony, the Griffith Park reception and with all the champagne in between, buses were necessary, and I appreciate her foresight and offering to cover this expense. We went with US Bus Charters, which more expensive than a private owned school bus company, but they were insured and it seemed worth the security. This company was also less than most other quotes I received and the buses were, as my ring bearer said, “swanky”!
Fortunately, we have a great DJ in the family (DJ Neville Chamberlain if you are in the DC area and he does weddings! and he suggested his friend, DJ Marco in LA. We met Marco a couple times to enjoy meeting him during dinners at our home, and it was nice for us to get to know one another and for us to share our music interests. We let him know our music priorities, which he appreciated. A few times, he said that he wanted to bring the “must play” wedding dance songs, and we frankly – didn’t let him. We thought again, if we are hiring an artist who is respectful of our requests and will prioritize those, we didn’t want him limited to an idea of what “should” be played. I’m from a family of dancers, and we made a great list of our favorite hits, including Elvis, Devo, the Go Gos and even T Rex and the Stooges. No one made a special request, and Marco felt the freedom to play what he wanted. He felt the mood of the dance floor and adjusted the music artists to reflect what would be best. The dance floor was always full and everyone said we had the most incredible DJ. Marco is expected to play at many friends’ weddings to come!
Our photographer was amazing. Since my husband is a part-time photographer, picking someone to capture our day was not easy. Because we wanted the best quality, my husband searched and searched, and we found Issa Sharp. We loved her approach in non-traditional posing and over-all atmospheric and artistic pictures. I think our wedding pictures are stunning and love the old world wedding style which fits us perfectly.
With all our out of town guests, we had The Hotel Figueroa in Downtown as our hotel headquarters. Will and I stayed there for the pre and post wedding nights as well, which made it great to be part of the party with our wedding guests. The Hotel Figueroa has incredible group, wedding rates and is an exceptional, glamorous atmosphere. Uno is the manager and head concierge, and Uno made sure everything went smoothly. He was very patient with my bride jitters. Uno also provided a great “breakfast by the pool” so we could still share our last moments with our guests, and again, at an affordable price.
After all the festivities, our family and close friends were on the greatest love high, so my father hosted an impromptu post wedding dinner at Roy’s downtown for our family, which was a perfect end to a perfect weekend. Of course, Will and I were exhausted and delirious after the preparation, decorating, wedding, brunch and then post wedding dinner, but it was the most amazing finale to a once in a life time day and weekend. ”
Flowers: Centia Batz
1808 Gillette Crescent
South Pasadena, Ca. 91030
Ceremony: The Silent Movie Theater
611 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036-1714
Car Rental: Automobile Driving Museum
610 Lairport Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
Reception and Catering: Grifith Park
Wilson Harding “The Clubhouse”
4730 Crystal Springs Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Cake: Susie Cakes Bekery
11708 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Hotel: Figueroa Hotel (ask for Uno)
939 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1302
Photographer: Issa Sharp, www.issasharp.com