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Real Wedding | Jessica + Ari

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We both grew up in California, but met through friends while living in New York City in 2016. We were seeing each other for a short stint in 2016 and then lost touch for several years. We ran into each other in 2019 in Washington Square Park — the timing couldn’t have been more perfect and the rest is history. We currently live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

We both have a deep love for music, NYC Pizza, fashion, and reality TV.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

California was a natural choice given most of our family is there and that was where we grew up. We had many guests traveling from New York, Florida, Ohio, etc. The location was perfect, and a big plus that it was easy to get to from LAX.

We really wanted an Estate style venue versus the typical winery or barn vibe in California. We went through a thorough search and once we found Hummingbird Nest Ranch, we fell in love as soon as we stepped on the property. It was such a magical and grand setting with an unreal backdrop that spoke for itself. It gave us the power to lean into the venue’s beauty, but it also created the perfect setting for our wedding/theme. It felt like a movie set all day.

How many guests did you have?

180 guests.

Tell us about your outfits.

I wanted a gown that fit our vintage theme, and I always knew I wanted to be dripping in lace on my big day. My personal closet is full of vintage finds- I wanted something that felt classic and had a timeless vintage flair but also incorporated my own touch. My dress was a Galia Lahav LA exclusive. I worked with their team across alterations and also came up with the idea for a custom neckpiece + sleeves. The neckpiece idea came from hours of scrolling through dresses on Pinterest. As soon as I saw the concept, I wanted to make it my own. I felt so beautiful.

My reception dress was a Valentino piece from the late 90’s/ early 2000’s that I found at the Manhattan Vintage Show in NYC. I wanted the red dress to play into our red/white theme, but also to be unique and create a ‘surprise’ for our guests. Everyone was blown away by the reveal which was so much fun! I paired the dress with a red lip, red veil, red gloves, and red shoes. Leaning into the monochromatic red look was so much fun and a true expression of my personal style. 

Ari had two looks for the night! His tuxedo was custom Alton Lane, he went with the classic notched style jacket. For the reception, he changed into an off-white shawl collar dinner jacket. Having both of us step away at the same time to do an outfit change gave us a second to really take in the evening, but also do another fun entrance!

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

We wanted the day to feel very ‘us’ and not like any wedding we had seen before. The idea was for it to feel like an immersive event where you are transported to a different place and time. We wanted to make it a deeply unique experience for us and our guests. Every detail had to be on point and drive the vision through! 

We also wanted a venue that allowed us to continue the party late into the night (which isn’t the easiest to find in California with noise ordinances). We were able to dance until 2am and have more time to really enjoy being with our family and all guests.

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

The inspiration was Lana Del Rey meets Elvis and Priscilla Presley. One that made guests feel an old-school vintage vibe but set in today’s time. I wanted to be thoughtful with how I played with color throughout the evening. We welcomed guests at the ceremony by keeping all of the signage, floral, and everything they saw a classic black and white. Then once they stepped into the reception — mic drop — our red focal points came to life. The red was a vintage nod while the white accents and furniture helped keep the look simultaneously modern. I thrifted around 50 crystal vessels to hold maraschino cherries in (such a critical part of the look), we even opted to drive away in a classic 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider. The getaway car ended up back in The Rassler Speakeasy where our guests sipped Espresso Martinis and Carajillos surrounded by velvet red lounge furniture and the most gorgeous rose bar. We spent the evening dancing to our favorite 70’s hits from the Bee Gees to ABBA!

I worked closely with Janelle at Elle Creative Studio to work across all visual aspects, from custom menus, to bar signage, matches and beyond. I drew inspiration from classic New York and LA restaurants and cocktail lounges. I think that was the element that really pulled everything together. 

Floral was also super important to me, we partnered with Haley and Erin of Lucid Juliet. They are brilliant and highly unique in what they do. I worked with them closely on concepts, the idea was to have several statement flowers, like anthuriums, orchids, and roses and to have it be more minimal so their beauty could shine. What was incredible was that Haley and Erin also tied in their own unique style... all floral from the ceremony to reception was beyond my wildest dreams.

Any tips for couples getting married?

My biggest tip is to take a risk creatively at your wedding if you are open to the challenge and make sure you have the perfect team to bring it to life!

It is a lot of work and a little scary to ‘take a step outside of the box’ when it comes to working on creative ideas for your wedding, but it is so worth the time and effort. I spent countless hours refining my vision and to have a true creative expression on this day was one of the coolest things I have ever done.

I have a background in Creative Recruiting where I look at creative portfolios in my day job. After working with countless Creative Directors throughout my career, this was the first time I had the opportunity to be the Creative Director of my own project. I was very diligent through the vendor selection process, and I feel so lucky to have worked with all these gems! Having a team behind me that deeply supported and also brought more ideas to my vision made it come to life in the best way.

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

I very highly recommend all of the vendors we worked with, they all came together as a true ‘Dream Team’! We feel so blessed to have partnered with all of these extremely talented individuals who are masters of their craft. 

With a Flair Events: Our Planners Cynthia and Evelyn of With a Flair Events went absolutely above and beyond. They are incredibly talented at what they do, and they partnered with us in such a way that they have become friends we will be in touch with forever! They are deeply professional, organized, proactive, caring.. the list could go on and on. They made our day smooth and executed with every thoughtful intention.

Jenna Powers: Jenna and David’s photography skills are mind-blowing! They have such beautiful, sentimental work in digital + film photography. They created imagery for us that encapsulated and drove through our vision and they were such a joy and calming presence throughout our entire day. We loved the entire collection of photos, and they captured so many natural, sweet moments. The photos they took for us are timeless and will live a lifetime. 

Oil and Wine: The video talent of Priscilla at Oil and Wine Films is unmatched! It is highly evident that she puts deep care into the videos she creates and truly loves the work she does for clients. Her skills across digital and film (Super8) have blown us away. She captured such special moments and took every aspect of what was important to us into action. She made videos from our day that we absolutely adore and could watch a million times over.

Lucid Juliet: I had been following Haley + Erin of Lucid Juliet on Instagram for years and it was honestly a dream come true to work with them on floral. They nailed the vision down to every little detail, while also bringing a freshness, signature touches, and particular perspective to the floral they created. On the day of the wedding, one of the biggest compliments we got was around floral design. They have a unique style that I am obsessed with now and forever.

Elle Creative Studio: Janelle of Elle Creative Studio is such a wonderful designer and creative that custom made all the signage for our Wedding. She made the experience extremely collaborative and was very open to taking on all ideas I had. She went above and beyond to create every asset, we truly loved all of the custom fonts and illustrations- I plan on framing them to keep forever! She has such an impressive range in her capabilities.

Photographer: Jenna Powers  @jennapowersphoto | Planning: With a Flair Events @withaflairevents | Flora: Lucid Juliet @lucidjuliet | Videographer: Oil and Wine @oilandwinefilms | Ceremony + Reception Location: Hummingbird Nest Ranch @hummingbirdnestevents | Hire: Premiere Party Rentals @premiere_rents, MTB Event Rentals @mtb_event_rentals + Chuppah Studio @chuppahstudio | HMUA: Noelle Malkasian @noellemalkasian | Catering + Beverages: Tres LA @treslacatering | Cake: Butter Cake Shoppe @buttercakeshoppe | Stationery: Elle Creative Studio  @ellecreativestudio | Invitations: Creative Works Designs @creativeworksdesigns | Entertainment: Second Song @secondsong_official | Ceremony Gown: Galia Lahav @galialahav | Reception Dress: Vintage Valentino @maisonvalentino | Ari’s Wedding Tuxedo + Reception Jacket: Alton Lane @altonlane  | Engagement & Wedding Rings: Michael F & Co @michaelfandco | Shoes: Jimmy Choo @jimmychoo | Other Jewellery: Vintage via Etsy and numerous vintage shops in NYC + LA | Wedding Party Attire: Black satin dresses & tuxedos


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