Duet Weddings

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Loving..Anna Whitford
August 20, 2008

I am absolutely loving Anna Whitford's gorgeous ring pillow designs right now. Anna is an incredibly talented textile designer who makes sculptural fashion, interior and wedding accessories in the UK.
These absolutely beautiful wedding ring cushions are made from soft, faux suede or metallic leather which Anna hand sculpts on a silk dupioni. At the center of the sculpted flower are two satin ribbons, which ties both wedding rings. Because Anna makes each of these masterpieces by hand, brides are able to pick and choose the color and style flower to suit their wedding vision and feeling. Check out Anna's site and super sweet blog for all of her beautiful creations.


Alli & Shon's wedding
August 13, 2008

This is probably the most excited I have ever been to share a blog post. Alli & Shon's wedding is one that is especially near and dear to my heart. The planning process was one that was so special to me- from the moment I received Alli's email that she was engaged, to the end of the wedding night hugging she and Shon goodbye. I felt incredibly honored to have their trust in my work and feel so grateful to call these two friends.
Alli would probably be the very first to admit that she has never been the overly sentimental, mushy bride type. She never dreamed of big flowing white gowns, tiered white cakes or lavish flower arrangements. She was never into bridal parties or bouquet tosses. But while she may not have given much thought to a ‘big day’ or dreamt ‘bridal dreams,’ she did always know exactly where she would someday be married.
The saying goes, “home is where the heart is” and Alli’s family home is just that.
It is a home so beautiful that upon entering you are taken by its elegance and grandeur but also immediately shrouded in a comfortable familiarity.
It is a family home.
One whose walls echo with family memories- a cherished space where all of life’s beautiful ups and downs have been shared together. It is the home where countless years of family photos adorn mantels and countertops. The home that still has a massive trampoline in the backyard.
And home was absolutely where the heart was on June 28th as Alli and Shon exchanged vows surrounded by their closest friends and family.
So it was only fitting that the feeling of “home” and family was what Alli & Shon’s day was all about. This was the most special inspiration with which to plan a wedding. The feeling of their day was of welcoming warmth and comfortable elegance. Alli and Shon wanted their guests to celebrate with great food, great drinks and great music- and to be relaxed and at home. We chose a fresh, natural palate of greens and whites to compliment what grows naturally around the house and in Alli’s mom’s beautiful gardens.
I could not have been more honored than to work with the beautiful Elizabeth Messina who captured the truly breathtaking images below. Elizabeth immerses herself completely into the weddings she shoots, and it shows in every ounce of her film. Elizabeth’s ability to soak in everything- the emotions, the incredible events, the details- as well as the seemingly insignificant- the details you may pass over as you experience them in person, but through her film works together to create the most beautiful story. She is an artist in every sense of the word.
I have decided to separate this post into several sections since there are SO many gorgeous photos and details that I am thrilled to share to let the story of their day unfold.
First a peek at the location- the inspiration for feeling of the day.


Alli & Shon's wedding- Part I

As guests arrived in the late afternoon for the ceremony, they were first treated to a brief cocktail hour before finding their seats in vintage church pews in the front entry space of the home.

Alli & Shon had always loved the fanciful creations that the bartenders at Table 8 created for them, so we were completely thrilled when the guys at Table 8 (who had never done a wedding) were on board to do all the drinks for the big day. Guests delighted in "Basil 8's" pre-ceremony- a refreshing combination of crushed fresh grapes, basil, vodka, bitters and gingerale.

The beautiful ceremony space in the front of the house. To add to the intimate feeling of the space, we brought in old church pews for charming, vintage character.

We designed the programs to be simple and clean, with a single piece of twine to wrap the pages together.

Alli and Shon exchanged vows under an incredible gnarled olive tree. Alli's stepfather officiated the touching ceremony as guests surrounded them from both sides. Rather than having a bridal party to stand with them at the altar, family members came up one by one and read a wish they had written for Alli and Shon. Shon's beautiful daughters, Ava and Julia stood with them as they exchanged vows to be not only husband and wife but also family.

The beautiful couple- husband and wife!


Alli & Shon's wedding- Part II

As guests exited the ceremony space, they headed across the street to the other side of the family home for cocktails. Having the Basil 8's as a preview of amazing drinks to come, guests were now welcomed with more incredible choices- crushed watermelon and jalepeno with tequila, and fresh muddled strawberry/kiwi with lychee vodka were among the choices. We brought in high bar stool Chiavari chairs for guests to have a front seat at the bar to watch the bartenders in action. Old family photos in funky frames dotted the cocktail tables and guests got a kick out of seeing everybody through the years. (Including some priceless photos of Shon in his 80's hair metal band..) Favorite Beatle's songs played by a guitar trio drifted through the trees as guests mingled in the beautiful space.

Half bottles of Proseco made the most festive little favors. We put guests names and table numbers on paper tags which were attached to the bottles with twine.

Alli and Shon are both food lovers, so when it came to choosing a caterer for their wedding, we went straight to one of their favorite restaurants in LA- Angelini Osteria. Chef Angelini provided a most memorable menu for their big day.
Marinated tuna on Belgian endive
Duck ragu on crispy polenta
Decadent chicken liver crostini
Arancini- (fried risotto with meat and cheese- yummm.)

Alli and Shon briefly snuck away for some photos with Elizabeth before joining their guests at cocktail hour.


Alli & Shon's wedding Part III

After cocktail hour, guests excitedly headed to dinner for an incredible family style meal underneath the stars. We used the street to create a most magical setting for Alli & Shon's dinner. Since the bare space was completely open and exposed, we wanted to define it in a way that did not take away from the residential feeling, but also create a feeling of warmth and enclosure.

In order to do this, we used the raw frame of a tent and kept the entire space open air. Gauzey fabric billowed along the tent poles and beautiful Belgian rugs ran along the length giving the space the coziness of a family dining room.

Vine covered chandeliers swayed from the tent frame above while the massive arms of surrounding trees reached through the frame, providing shade for the guests.

We used a combination of raw wood rectangular tables and round tables decked in hemstitched linens.

Rene and Niki, the GENIUSES of R Jack Balthazar brought in the most beautiful flowers and contained them in their insane collection of vintage silver, crystal, ceramic and wood for an eclectic, collected feeling..

We attached tiny table numbers to each menu card with twine.

Guests were greeted by plates of Farro salad waiting on their tables which they passed around family style.

Lobster and peach salad.

Giant roasted Porchettas were wheeled around the dinner space and carved tableside.

Sorbetto was presented to guests with Prosecco poured over the top for more bubbly goodness.

Miniature Italian pastries were nibbled on after dinner.

Alli & Shon's touching first dance. Paul Toal performed the most incredible cover of 'Alli & Shon's song,' Led Zeppelin's 'Thank You.' I still get goosebumps thinking of it..


Photo of placecards

You have just experienced one of the most incredible events of your life. The person who you love most in the world has popped the question and you have answered 'yes!' The whirlwind of the wedding planning world has now opened- questions and excitement from friends and family, your childhood wedding dreams re-visited, wedding magazines taunting you from the shelves of the check out lanes. You are finding yourself with a new language. A vocabulary full of words such as Fiancé, Chivari chairs, fondant--words you had no idea that you knew and now they seem to run off your tongue effortlessly.

I know how fast everything seems and how overwhelming it all can feel at first, so I created this blog to help answer questions, give advice and inspire new ideas.

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