I love weddings. I have never been to a bad one. I’m not one for feelings, but there is something so special about seeing people on the happiest day of their lives. That happiness is infectious and I love being a part of it, big or small. When I got engaged I was so excited about the prospect of spending the first day of my married life surrounded by the people who mattered most to us in the world. My own wedding was about as perfect as I could have wanted it to be, and thinking about it even now, I am so happy we got to spend it with the people we love.
Given that I love planning and throwing parties, you might find it hard to believe that I never gave much thought to my own wedding and I didn’t have any strong ideas about what I wanted until close to when we actually got engaged. The year before I got married, I saw a pin on Pinterest of a boutonniere made out of a noisemaker and I said to my mom, “That’s a neat idea – when would you need that?” and she said, “If you got married on New Year’s Eve.” And I thought, what a neat idea. And then I kept thinking about it. Like, all the time. And then I mentioned it to my boyfriend. And he said he thought it was cool, but it was already January, and he wanted to know how many months you need to plan a wedding, and I said 9 months at the minimum. I didn’t think much about that comment again until he proposed – on March 31 – exactly nine months before New Year’s Eve. So I called my mom and asked – “Do you think we can do it??” With the help of my mom and a family friend with a great skill for logistics, I planned the entire thing, and it was one of the most fun things I have ever done. Like many people, planning my own wedding made me think about event planning as a serious career change.
With a lot of organization and so, so much glitter, we got married on December 31, 2013 at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in Santa Monica and celebrated with a reception at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. And it was just the most perfect day.
I would 100% recommend getting married on New Year’s Eve. It was the most magical day, and everyone we invited was so excited to have fun plans for the holiday. And every year on your anniversary, it feels like everyone is celebrating with you. The day of the wedding gave us an easy theme to work with (sparkles) and my husband and I both wanted a black tie affair for New Year’s Eve, so that guided a lot of the planning for the big day. We wanted to go for a little bit of a vintage vibe to channel the glamour of the holiday and years past. NYE is also in the off-season, so that made some aspects easier or less expensive. But because it is a holiday, some vendors don’t want to work and will charge more.
The hardest thing was finding a venue in Los Angeles that wasn’t outdoors, fit our vintage theme, and wasn’t booked for Rose Bowl activities. We got so lucky finding the SLS Hotel, and I can’t recommend their events coordinator enough. It had just the mix of modern and vintage decor to set the glam ambiance I wanted. Because I’m me, we did a lot of DIY projects to create the most perfect day. Here are some of my most favorite details and portraits from the day.
We had about 120 guests at the wedding. I have zero graphic design skills, but I found a Gatsby font and some free graphics on the internet and made my own place cards.
My cousin’s husband took the most gorgeous styled engagement photos for us and had some favorites blown up for the cocktail hour to decorate the guest book table (you can check his work out here). For the guest book we had our engagement pictures made into an album using Apple and left space for guests to sign.
We made a wedding day time capsule that the guests were able to leave us advice. It was really fun to open it later. I found the idea on Something Turquoise.
All I wanted for the reception was sequin tablecloths. Despite being EVERYWHERE on Pinterest, it was reaallyyy hard to find a party rental company that had them when we were planning the wedding. We finally found one downtown that had them made for their inventory in time for our wedding.We also got our furniture rentals from them. I loved the way the reception looked, and everyone had an amazing time dancing the night away.
The party hats and Happy New Year Bunting were made by me, and reused from our Save the Date photo.
We did a mix of high and low flower arrangements, but I absolutely love the candelabra vases we found. For flowers we stuck with the blush, cream, champagne, and golden color palette.
For table numbers, I bought cheap bottles of champagne and printed new labels for them that matched the place cards to identify each table. Then the bridesmaids covered the exposed glass in gold glitter!
Our party favors were 1920s-style champagne coupes. I bought them in bulk online, and then my mom and I applied glitter in silver or gold ombre so they looked like they were bubbling. We used them as part of the table setting and then the champage toast was served in them at midnight. You can find a tutorial on Something Turquoise to make your own!
Our cake was made by Joanie and Leigh’s Cakes and it was to die for delicious. They used our invitation as inspiration for the Art-Deco scrollwork and took one of our favors as a cake topper!
Since my husband didn’t have much input in choosing anything for the wedding, I surprised him with a groom’s cake in honor of his beloved alma mater, Notre Dame.
One of the hardest vendors to find with less than a year’s notice was a good videographer. We got SO LUCKY with Jamie from All Because he asked. Not only did he capture our day in video so well that I feel like I’m there again when I watch it, he made what he calls a ‘Couples Video” for us to share with our guests at the wedding. He helps you tell your own love story to share with guests who may not know both of you very well, and recreates key moments that have everyone cracking up or saying “Aww.” The catch is you can’t see it before the wedding, so you and your guests all see it together for the first time. It was probably the most talked about element of our wedding during and after!
Using Rent the Runway for bridesmaid’s dresses was the smartest thing I ever did. I found the custom hangers for them on Etsy, but I don’t remember where!
Today we are completing our third year of marriage, and looking back on that day and these three years, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Videography (Wedding & Couples Video) – All Because He Asked Rentals (Sweetheart stage, chairs, chandeliers, tablecloths, lighting) – Unique Chic Events Bride’s Makeup – Bridal Makeup and Hair by Rhonda Johnson
Videography (Wedding & Couples Video) – All Because He Asked
Rentals (Sweetheart stage, chairs, chandeliers, tablecloths, lighting) – Unique Chic Events
Bride’s Makeup – Bridal Makeup and Hair by Rhonda Johnson
Venue – SLS Hotel Beverly Hills Florals – Blossom Floral Bridesmaids Dresses – Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown via Rent the Runway
Venue – SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
Florals – Blossom Floral
Bridesmaids Dresses – Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown via Rent the Runway
Music – DJ Dos-A from Scratch Weddings
Photography – Peer Johnson Photography
Cakes – Joanie and Leigh’s Cakes (Formerly Cake Divas)