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Real Wedding | Janni + Travis

Tell us a little about yourselves!

My husband Travis and I met in Helsinki, Finland. He was visiting with a good Finnish friend, who lived in San Diego and whom he'd met through his college friends. This was his second time experiencing summer time in Helsinki, and we met at the airport when he was on his way back home and I was on my way home from a work trip in Stockholm. We kept in touch and casual chats turned into calls. It was time to figure out what's going on, so a few months later, I visited Travis in Los Angeles. The trip marked the beginning of 2 years of long distance between Helsinki and Newport Beach. To our luck, I worked in advertising and eventually was able to transfer to the LA office where I now work as a Creative Director. When I moved, Travis, who works in finance, joined me in Los Angeles and started commuting to Orange County. In his words, if I was willing to move across the Atlantic, the least he could do is commute 40 minutes to work.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

Our wedding was at a private family estate in Santa Barbara near Hope Ranch. The venue reminded me of Spain and the white hacienda style house is covered in greenery that you could find in a winery, paired with palm trees. We chose to do our reception on the side of the house that matched my vision of a moody and intimate ceremony, had our cocktail hour in the house garden and reception overlooking the ocean. First and foremost, we chose Santa Barbara and the venue as they both house some of our most precious memories together.

How many guests did you have?

Around 90 guests.

Tell us about your outfits.

I didn't know exactly what I wanted when I started trying on dresses. But I quickly realized I wanted to find dresses that reflected my personal style. The more out there the designs were, the more I noticed the dresses were wearing me, and not the other way around. My getting ready outfit ended up being a vintage lace dress I trifted from a little market seller near Abbot Kinney. I spotted it on the hanger, tried it all in a little tent fitting room, and instantly knew I had found something special. I didn't want to wear anything trendy. Feathers, silk pajamas, things that I'd look back as a direct reflection of the time rather than something timeless. The dress I found was sheer from top to bottom. It had a deep v neck and little ribbons in the front that I could tie. I ended up wearing a white bodysuit under, with my legs showing through the sheer white fabric. For the ceremony, I wore a strapless gown by Kyha Studios with mesh gloves, a three row fresh pearl choker necklace by Cult Gaia, and a cathedral length custom ruffle veil. I loved that the gown was a modern take on a ball gown by the Australian brand, and I was able to accessorize it to make it mine. Since my ceremony dress was so classic, I wanted to change into something a bit riskier for the reception. I couldn't find anything I liked, but knew this dress needed to have a lot of lace, show some skin and have long sleeves. I worked with a talented designer and friend, Mert Otsamo, who designed the dress from scratch bringing my dress dreams to life. We visited the fabric store together last August and fell in love with this beautiful french lace that had a touch of beading you could see when light hits the fabric. He drew a design where a satin mini dress was covered with lace. Long, oversized lace sleeves, a high neck, and lots of skin peaking through on shoulders and the bottom. One of my wishes was that I'd be able to wear parts of the dress again, and the satin mini is perfect for that. When it was time for the after party, I changed once more, spontaneously, and wore a long satin dress that was draped off the shoulders by Meshki. I'm so glad I did it, as the after party was all about dancing, hugs and spilled cocktails.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

We wanted our wedding to feel timeless, yet unique. Over time, I started describing the feel as "modern Mediterranean" and noticed the wedding was starting to look like the perfect blend of romantic Europe and coastal Santa Barbara. A reflection of us, in a way. As a creative director, I approached the wedding like any creative project. Endlessly digging through inspiration, and finding ways to combine and bring ideas to life in a way that hasn't been done before. I would save references and screenshots in folders, and then give those thoughts-starter to inspire new ideas. As an example, I wanted our menus to be clean and simple in design, but then decided to print them on white linen fabric. Something I haven't really seen anyone do.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

It was important for me to incorporate a piece of my culture into the wedding. In Finland, there’s a tradition at weddings where the groomsmen steal the bride and the groom will have to complete a hard (or simply entertaining task) to get her back. I never ever thought I’d want to include this tradition, but somehow the wedding needed some Finnish influencer and this ended up being that.

Instead of having Travis sing Karaoke in front of everyone, he had to read two love poems by Eino Leino in Finnish. In my head this sounded like a romantic idea, in practice… well, I’m glad I didn’t hear any of it. I was busy having cocktails with the groomsmen and changing into my reception dress.

Any tips for couples getting married?

Stay true to who you are as a couple as much as possible and try to see beyond trends and even traditions that don’t reflect you. Don’t be afraid to tell your vendors exactly what you like to fuel their creativity. Remember that not everything that looks expensive needs to be, if you are willing to be creative.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

I adored many of my vendors, but I developed a special bond with my photographer Monique Bianca. I wanted photos to be moody, editorial and classic. I wanted non-cringey love captured on film and digital. I couldn't have asked a better creative partner to capture our day. The photos are timeless art before anything.

Photographer : Monique Bianca @moniquebiancaphoto | Videographer : Dreamwood Pro | Ceremony + Reception Location : Private Estate Santa Barbara. | Celebrant : Rish Mitra | Entertainment : Gavin Roy + Radio Prophets @radioprophets | Planner : Shauna Timmons from Santa Barbara Elopement @santabarbaraelopement | Rentals : The Tent Merchant @thetentmerchant | Flora : Wild West Florals @wildwestflorals | Makeup : Aly Barr Makeup @alybarrmakeup | Hair : Annette Davenport Beauty @annettedavenportbeauty | Catering + Beverages : Omni Catering @omnicateringsb | Cake : Crushcakes + Cafe @crushcakescafe | Guestbook : Artifact Uprising @artifactuprising | Wedding Dress : Kyha Studios @kyhastudios (from En Blanc LA @enblanc_la) | Reception Dress : Mert Otsamo @mertotsamoofficial | Getting Ready Outfit : Thrifted from a market near Abbot Kinney | Engagement + Wedding Rings : Custom Design from Happy Jewelers @happyjewelers | Shoes : Jimmy Choo @jimmychoo | Choker : Cult Gaia @cultgaia | Ruffle Veil: Custom by Etsy Seller Amelii Dress | Wedding Party Attire : Reformation @reformation, Shona Joy @shonajoy, Revelry @revelry, Meshki @meshki ,Boohoo @boohoo and The Black Tux @theblacktux


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