Wedding Chicks

Color and Lights at Smog Shoppe

1

Our Story My husband, Michael and I live in Los Angeles.  He's a screenwriter and I'm an actress.  Seven years ago we met at perhaps the most quintessentially "L.A." locale; an acting class.  A year after that class, we went on our first date and six years later, we walked down the aisle.  Michael is from Chicago and I'm from the Yukon Territory in Canada, so when we started looking for a wedding venue, we wanted to find a place that would perfectly represent our adopted city. The Smog Shoppe fit the bill perfectly; fun, cool, unique and...well...a former smog check station.  You can't get more L.A. than that!
Read on to learn more about this amazing wedding!

5

13

8

4

2

3

9

66

7

6

11

10

Wedding Design/Coordination: Amber Gustafson of Amber Events Venue: Smog Shoppe Photography: Picotte Weddings Video: Buckley VideographyDJ: Red Shoe LAFlowers:Holly Flora Rentals: Smart Party Rents Catering: Heirloom LA Cake: Superfine Bakery Bar: Sunseri's

Our Philosophy Because we're both artists, Michael and I really appreciate being trusted to do what we do best and given the freedom to be creative.  We gave that license to all the people we worked with.  We chose vendors whom we could trust to do beautiful work, we gave them some ideas and parameters, and then said, "do your thing!".  I think that approach to the planning process took a lot of pressure off of us and gave everyone we were working with the room to bring their own artistry to the table.  The results were better than we ever could have asked for.
Vision Our fantastic wedding planner, Amber Gustafson, helped us develop an aesthetic vision for our wedding and then introduced us to the best vendors to make that vision a reality.  We wanted our August wedding be bright, colorful and summery, so we decided to go with a vibrant, sunset palette of pink, orange and yellow.  A "riot of colors" as our cake baker, Andrea Boudewijn said.  She employed all the colors beautifully in the cake design and Holly Flora created incredible bouquets and arrangements of zinnias, garden roses, wildflowers and succulents that worked like a dream in our eclectic venue.
Amber had the genius idea of having Scott Coppersmith (http://www.scottcoppersmithdesigns.com/), a marquee sign artist, design and create a specific piece for us.  We decided on an big ampersand.  He also made a very cool Edison-bulb-illuminated cake stand, which Amber herself designed.
Food was one of our biggest priorities and Heirloom LA did a great job.  Not only was the food delicious, but it was beautifully presented.  People are still talking about the lasagna cupcakes and inside-out s'mores.
Details I am completely in awe of people who hand-make all the details for their big day.  That's not me.  I did, though, choose a couple of things to create; a "taking the plunge" box into which our guests could put pieces of advice or well-wishes for us and a slideshow of funny, adorable and completely embarrassing pictures of me and Michael that was projected throughout dinner.  Michael took charge of choosing the music and it perfectly captured who we are.  We had everything from Fleetwood Mac to Sam Cooke to Henry Mancini.  It was really cool to see all our choices come together so seamlessly on the big day, thanks to Amber Events and all the great vendors we had.
Photography Photography is one of the few parts of the wedding that you actually get to keep, so we really wanted the images from our day to reflect the spirit of our wedding day.  Picotte Photography did a truly inspired job.  Suthi Picotte and her husband, Sanjay Nagar, were so warm and fun, they made everyone comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera and they really captured the joy everyone felt on that day.  They also caught so many of the day's details that Michael and I didn't get a chance to see, like the tables being set and people from different walks of our lives laughing together.  Those images are invaluable to us.
Ceremony We wrote our ceremony and vows ourselves and our dear friend, Eric, officiated, which was really meaningful for us.  It was so reassuring, while we standing there, feeling very nervous and overwhelmed, to look at Eric and know that our pal was going to lead us through this important moment in our lives.  We also asked two of Michael oldest friends (they've been friends since they were five) to compose and play a song for us.  We chose not to hear the song until the actual ceremony and it was so moving to experience it for the first time that day.
Favorite Moment My favorite moment of the day was our last dance.  Towards the end of the wedding, everyone was outside in the courtyard, enjoying the warm summer night, and the reception room was empty except for me and Michael.   The voices and laughter of our friends and family were floating in from outside and we were just taking in the magic of the day we'd just had when our d.j. put on our last dance song.  Love Letters by Ketty Lester.  The timing was perfect.  It was amazing to have that private moment; just the two of us, dancing alone in the soft candlelight, as husband and wife.