Real Wedding | Esther + Matt

Can a wedding celebration be elegant and sophisticated, yet relaxed and cozy at the same time? It can, and was, for Esther and Matt at their lovely California wedding and reception. From the gorgeous bridesmaids dresses (love the unique color!) to the stunningly chic reception décor this party was stylish from start to finish. But what I love the most is the way this couple made their guests feel right at home…inviting them to get “comfy & cozy” with fun favors and a laid back attitude. Enjoy!

Esther + Matt | February 19, 2011 | Pasadena, California

The ceremony

Neither of us are from Pasadena, but we loved history and culture of the city and also the fact that it’s away from the craziness of Los Angeles. It was important for us to have a church ceremony so we picked the First Congregational Church of Pasadena.  We were expecting some out-of-town guests so we wanted to make sure it was easy for our guests to get to/from the ceremony to the reception. The church was located across the street from reception, so it worked out perfectly.

The reception

We wanted to make sure it was a cozy reception where our guests were able to relax and just have fun. We skipped the traditional cake cutting and bouquet/ garter toss.  We just wanted to make sure our guests had enough to drink and eat…so we had some additional desserts and sliders and fries at the end of the night. It was perfect!

For the decor, I never considered myself a DIY type, but I wanted to have a personal connection with the planning and, as an added bonus, saved us a few pennies.  I wanted the DIY process to be enjoyable and not a cause of unnecessary stress, so I picked a few projects that I felt confident we could handle. A few examples of our DIY projects were invitation design and assembly, out-of-town guest bags, boutonnieres, the Mr. and Mrs. sign, and the printed items. We incorporated things that were used for my sister’s wedding (mason jars, burlap, and wine bottles), gorgeous succulents from my parents’ garden, and I was able to get the wine crates for free just by calling around and asking.

What Esther was looking for in a wedding dress

I never really thought about an ideal dress, but I knew what I didn’t want. I think every bride looks beautiful in a wedding dress, and I know strapless dresses are flattering, but I wanted to do something different. So I thought I would get a dress that wasn’t strapless.  My friends told me that dresses look different on, so they encouraged me to be open to different style. So, the gown I ended up purchasing wasn’t anything that I had in mind….except for the silhouette.

How Esther felt in her wedding dress

Comfortable, unique, and glamorous

Why she decided to sell her wedding dress

My husband really loved the dress so I was contemplating keeping the dress and removing the bottom to make it a short dress.  After much consideration, I realized that I didn’t want to have an amazing couture-like dress sit in a box for years hoping for future wear.  Instead, I’d love to see another bride wear this beautiful unique dress and enjoy it like we did.

Esther’s wedding dress: Carolina Herrera, 32720 / Photography: Scott Andrew Studio