Real Wedding | Annie & Josh

G-L-A-M-O-U-R.  That’s the word that sums up Annie and Josh’s stunning wedding.  Annie’s dress and vintage look is jaw dropping (and fashionable, and confident, and amazing…) and the entire night looks like something from a movie set. Just when I think I’m done looking at the pictures, I have to check them out one more time…..

Annie  & Josh | November 28, 2009 | The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

How he proposed
Somehow in spite of Josh’s unusual desire and demand for sushi in Santa Monica, I didn’t see it coming!  We packed up for a day at the beach and drove from our West Hollywood apartment out toward the ocean.  Once in Santa Monica, we enjoyed a delicious lunch and then headed to the beach.  After a sun filled nap, we took a leisurely walked along the water.  Suddenly Josh said “Turn Around” and just when I thought he was going to knock me into the water… I turned to see him down on one knee!  Josh’s beautiful proposal was genuine, heart felt, loving, and perfect.  And so was the ring!

The ceremony
Simple, short, christian ceremony in the Red Lacquer Ballroom (which was then turned for the reception).  10 attendants on either side – men in Mens Warehouse black, bisque, and ivory tuxes.  Women in black & toffee Alvina Valenta dresses w/ black birdcage veils w/ostrich feathers worked into their 30s-40s vintage hairdos.  No aisle runner or other decor for ceremony.  Girls entered to Bittersweet Symphony, me to Here comes the bride.  Performed w/ whole bridal party on riser.  2 readers – 1 from bible, 1 from Sex & The City.  Exit to bridal march.

Real Wedding | Annie & Josh

The reception
Warm & vibrant with burgundy tablecloths, gold napkins, and all candlelight centerpieces.  No flowers.  220 people, split on either side of the dance floor, with 1 HUGE oval table for the head table and the band opposite.  The band, The Don Cagen Orchestra, introduced the wedding party and we went into our first dance – Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Followed by a dance set.  Several dance sets throughout dinner kept people on the dance floor ALL night.  Father/Daughter Dance – “Landslide”, Mother/Son Dance – “My Wish”, Dedication/Thank you to Bride’s Mother – “Slipping through my fingers.”  Party rocked till midnight with MOST people staying the whole time.  After-party continued in Bride & Grooms suite where 40-50 people partied to 3am.

Real Wedding | Annie  & Josh

The moment Annie will never forget
My mom regularly commented on the bride’s mother getting none of the thanks and doing much of the work.  So, my band learned “Slipping through my fingers” by Abba (one of my moms favorite bands).  It’s a song about a little girl growing up.  They played it during dinner and dedicated it to her.  I went and took her to the dance floor to dance with her.  Halfway through my other bridesmaids escorted their moms to the dance floor, and my 3 sisters joined my mom and me.  It was so special and unique and meant so much to all of us.

Real Wedding | Annie  & Josh

The wedding theme
No theme.  Just lots of candlelight and winter romance. We wanted it to be very formal and regal.

Real Wedding | Annie & Josh

The dress:
I tried on my gorgeous Kenneth Pool dress months before I was ready to actually buy when it was traveling through LA in a trunk show featuring next year’s line.  I absolutely loved it, but it was too early.  6 months later, and hundreds of dresses, all I could think about was that dress.  I caught it making another rotation through Orange County – went to try it on again, walked in and saw another girl wearing it and knew.  “I’m here to order that dress” I said.

Real Wedding | Annie  & Josh

The dress is perfect.  A ballgown – but elegant, not disney princess.  The champagne color looked great with my pale skin tone.  The neckline was flattering, the detailed beading was beautiful, and the dress was royal – actually the style is “Royalty.”  My fiance had told he I better look like a queen – and this dress made sure I met his expectations.

Her advice for other brides
Don’t WAY overshoot your budget, but DO spring for the things that you truly love and that will make your wedding personal and unique.  My big expenditures were my dress, the vintage hairstyles, and the band.  They were all completely worth it.  So many people commented on how much the wedding reflected who we are.  I got stopped on the street and asked if people could take pictures of my dress & hair.  Josh wants me to wear my hair in a vintage updo all the time now!  And the band is the reason that almost everyone stayed ALL night and danced hard.  They made the party!  All 3 were a major expense, but Josh & I both agreed afterwards they were worth it.  (I saved money on flowers, invites, and place cards)  Spend on what is important to you, save on what you can live without.

Real Wedding | Annie  & Josh

Photography: Cathy & David Photography
Annie’s Wedding Dress: Kenneth Pool by Amsale Royalty