We love weddings that embrace the couple's culture in their design and this wedding inspiration shoot went one step further–all of the vendors that participated in this shoot are of Philippine descent. They celebrated their culture from the modern takes on traditional Philippine wedding ensembles to the elegant interpretation of a kamayan for the reception dinner. The florals and the rest of the decor leaned into a clean white and green color palette that really evoked the tropical feel of the Philippines. Gold and rich wood accents warmed the already glowing natural surroundings of the outdoor venue, Unity Of Tustin.
Lovely Steph Creations designed this wedding inspiration to showcase their culture. Together with Magical Moments By Megan they brought together a team of wedding vendors that shared the same background and vision for this shoot, including florists, Once Upon A Florist L.A., Petals And Pricklys, and Yours Truly Design, who are responsible for all of these stunning arrangments. Anne C. Salas and The Light And Glass took these gorgeous photos that dance with natural light and shadows. Christian Samson Studios and Martin Cabrera Media also captured this special day on video. Check out the full gallery to see all of the photos from this shoot, and read on to hear more from Planner Stephanie Ann of Lovely Steph Creations about all of the vendors that made this shoot possible.
As Filipinx-Americans, our culture and traditions are a large part of our identity. We pride ourselves on this culture and wanted to showcase our traditions in a current and relatable way. We looked to traditional Philippine elements as our inspiration but showcased it with a tropical, modern aesthetic. The florals from the ceremony, sweetheart table, and bridal bouquet all include tropical flowers and greenery to help tie the cultural theme together. The Sampaguita is the national flower of the Philippines, which is part of the jasmine family. Jasmine floral elements were included to represent the tropical culture.
The intricacy of our culture is found in our formal wear. A Philippine bride will typically be seen in this type of gown, called a “Filipiniana” or a “Maria Clara” which features butterfly sleeves as well as detailed, hand-woven beading throughout the dress. The groom can be seen in our version of a suit, the “Barong”. This sheer embroidered shirt can be worn for many occasions from birthday parties and weddings to funerals. It is versatile but has come to be a well-known signifier of Philippine culture.
At the center of our culture, and at the center of the table, you will find that FOOD is always a highlight. From Ube (purple yam) empanadas to custom, hand-drawn cookies, to a full “kamayan” spread, we wanted to showcase the flavors of the Philippines. “Kamayan” means “hands-on” or “with hands” and this meal is not often considered “elegant” as it can be very messy. By setting a modern table with fine flatware and custom place cards made from tropical leaves, we were able to show that a “kamayan” can be enjoyed at something as formal as a wedding reception!
While it was important to showcase the Philippine elements of a wedding, it was also important that we showcased actual Filipinx vendors. This styled shoot was a collaboration of over 20+ vendors, 90% of which identify or classify as “Pinoy”. Each vendor that participated felt a calling to showcase their passion for our culture as well as demonstrate their individual talents within the wedding industry. We wanted to break the mold and show that we are capable of pursuing our passions. From photographers and florists to culinary artists, every participant was able to bond on a deeper level as we worked to celebrate the Philippines together as a community!