This Oscar de la Renta wedding gown is such a lovely choice for Johanna + Seth’s outdoor Malibu wedding. Its beautifully crafted, clean design with the dramatic tiered skirt and train create a perfectly structured style while still maintaining a light as air quality. I love how the details of this dress just float off the tongue: lightweight silk and silk taffeta, gorgeous strapless sweetheart neckline, ruched bodice…And the end result; a California bride that looks at ease, elegant and natural. Perfect!
The Ceremony The ceremony took place under a big beautiful old tree on a green lawn, and the aisle was lined with my favorite flower, fiery pink bougainvillea. It was important to me to have a natural setting for the ceremony. The weather was perfect with sun, blue skies, and the glittering Pacific Ocean off to the left of the ceremony. Seth and I designed and wrote our own ceremony. We wanted it to reflect our combined spirituality, which is deeply influenced by the religions in which we were raised, Roman Catholicism and Judaism. We also wanted to include and honor the most special people in our lives, our friends and families. Our dear friend and Seth’s friend from college, Alex, served as our Officiant. As our relationship began and grew while both of us were traveling for our careers, we told the story of our relationship through readings from our bridal party, where they enacted our key email correspondence between Seth and I through the years, from the first date, through engagement, through wedding planning. We also had a ceremony of “parent vows” where we invited our families to join us and where we affirmed our commitments to love and care for one another, including our parents, as family.
The Reception The cocktail hour and reception were held on the various terraces, which surround the Adamson House, a historic beach house in Malibu. During the cocktails, guests could tour the house itself. Then guests were led around the house to the star lawn where large dark wood farm tables were set with towering candles in silver holders and boxes of flowers overflowing with David Austen roses, succulents, and natural wild flowers inspired by the beach environment. Fellini lights twinkled over the setting. I slyly excused myself to change into a short reception dress. Once the bridal party and bride and groom were announced, and all guests’ attention were on the dance floor, Seth and I surprised everyone with a choreographed dance to Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes”, which the band then transitioned into Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” when our bridal party joined us in the dance on the dance floor to an astounding finish. This really got the crowd excited and they rushed to join us all on the dance floor for a few songs before dinner, which was a scrumptious farm-to-table Latin-inspired buffet featuring locally sourced vegetables, a quesadilla bar, and options to satisfy omnivores, vegans, and gluten-free friends alike. Our friends and family exude love and energy, and the dancing continued to our incredible 10-piece band until the full moon rose over the sparkling water. Our entire event was personal and full of optimism and merriment.
Johanna’s Dress Search I knew I wanted a mermaid or trumpet profile, with a bodice and waist that was fitted so it did not overwhelm my petite frame. I also knew I wanted somewhat of a dramatic flair through the train because I love the way that profile appears in photographs. I wanted something that was classic and exhibited some structure and expert design, but was not too detailed or frou-frou. It still had to feel natural for an elegant evening in a beautiful outdoor natural California setting. It also had to be easy to move in and not too heavy.
How Johanna Felt in Her Wedding Dress Glamorous, Airy, Beautiful.
Why Johanna Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress My memories have been made and captured in my exquisite photography, thanks to my amazing photographer, Yvette Roman. For me, that day can never be recreated for myself. I hope some other bride who is my size will enjoy the dress – and the care that my seamstress took to tailor it perfectly – and have as magical a day as I did, while wearing it. It’s just too gorgeous for someone not to wear it again.