Some couples see their wedding day as an extension of their courtship. Other nearlyweds feel that their wedding day is a new start to their lives. Neither vision is wrong, but for today’s Real Weddings couple, we are looking at a celebratory event that marks another day in six years together. The concept that Michael and Kristen decided on for their June wedding was a fun, casual, environmentally-conscious day with a core group of family and close friends, and lots of creative touches to express their personalities.
Michael is Jewish and Kristen is Protestant, but they have always enjoyed incorporating Jewish rituals into their home life together, and it was a natural choice for them to decide to have a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony with a very musical reform rabbi. They found the perfect, off-beat spot at Smog Shoppe, an amazing, indoor/outdoor eco-friendly venue in Culver City, California with vertical succulent gardens lining the walls and eclectic vintage furniture and decor. Next, they hired an organic caterer, arranged for planted succulent centerpieces rather than cut flowers, and picked conflict-free, recycled platinum wedding rings.
Despite being in grad school and working part time, Kristen poured hours and hours of time and creativity into the wedding planning, crafting almost all the details herself. Her list of projects included designing all the invitations and paper products, sewing different napkin sets for each table with corresponding fabric swatch escort cards (plus a coordinating backdrop for the homemade photo booth at the reception and a bag for Michael’s big glass-breaking moment for the ceremony), collecting vintage white compote dishes to use as planters for the centerpieces, designing and creating the chuppah canopy, as well as screen printing the favor bags, which Kristen and Michael filled with ruggelah cookies from Canter’s Deli on Fairfax.
Michael was no creative slouch either, mixing all the music and visual playlists in advance, and editing a movie of photos of their lives to show before dinner at the reception. For anything they couldn’t do themselves, Kristen and Michael tried to support small local entrepreneurs, from the dress to the cake. They both agreed that the day came together even better than they thought it would. Guests raved about the ceremony, the food was delicious, and everyone packed the dance floor, pitching in to lift the chairs for the Hora and creating a giant Love Train winding around the room!
Mazel tov, Kristen and Michael!
Venue – Smog Shoppe
Photographer – Suthi Picotte
Day Of Coordinator – Ruby Events LA
Catering – Eco Caters
Officiant – Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels
Cake – Kiss My Bundt
Bride’s Dress – Alix & Kelly
Belt – Ban.do
Hair and Makeup – Mandy Perez
Centerpieces – Succulent Love
Chuppah Stand – Happy Chuppah
Ketubah – New Ketubah
Favor Cookies – Canter’s Deli
Groom’s Suit – J Crew
Rings – Brilliant Earth