Monday, August 11, 2014

Bri & Ben's chill-but-gorgeous LA wedding

Because you know I love a good follow-up............... How could I not feature Bri & Ben's wedding, featuring THAT MARA HOFFMAN DRESS in the wild?

Also, this is just the kind of wedding that makes me love weddings. (Though it brings back those old why-did-I-grow-out-my-bangs-for-my-wedding?! regrets.)


Here are a few words from Bri:

When Ben and I planned our wedding we really wanted to be kind of chill and laid back about it. That's easy for him, but not as easy for me since I struggle with a need to always be in control. But we focused really hard on remembering that it was just like our small house parties, only huge. 

We consulted each other on our wedding attire (no secrecy here -- he's my most influential fashion adviser), and relaxed on nitpicking the wedding party attire. I asked the bridesmaids to wear bright colors as if they were flowers in the spring garden and they totally nailed it. The groomsmen wore springy suits and colorful plaid ties to fit with the theme.

Writing vows was so much harder than I expected! It's not that I have trouble expressing my feelings for Ben, but that it was a public declaration. It was really hard deciding what all those friends and family should hear or would want to hear. In the end we coordinated our vows by agreeing on a general length and rhythm and they turned out lovely. Even now friends and family continue to bring up how much they were moved by our very personal vows, and it feels like the best compliment you can get on your wedding.

Ben sings in The Silver Lake Chorus and plays fiddle and mandolin, and has also played music in his hometown of Charleston, SC. We both have a lot of musically talented friends, and several of them provided the sweet sounds - a personalized processional song was performed for us by the songwriter, an a capella female trio (friends we met through the chorus) sang "The Book of Love" mid-ceremony, and two of Ben's friends and former bandmates from Charleston performed a first dance version of "The Luckiest." My sister Genevieve and another friend co-DJ'd the after-dinner dance party.

The projects I decided to labor over were ones that I truly enjoyed putting together. My tin can succulent centerpieces were my pride and joy (and took forever), and designing my own invitations was really fun (and cheap!). 

The scariest moment of the day happened to Genevieve who was my maid of honor. I asked her to hold onto my vows until the moment I would read them. During the ceremony, she realized she didn't have them with her. Panicked, she quietly left the ceremony to frantically search the bridal suite. She didn't find them, and came back certain that everything was about to implode with her failure. When it came time to read them... I pulled them out from the inside of my palm, and she was of course completely relieved. (Before the ceremony began, I was feeling overwhelmed and wanted to reflect for 5 minutes. She didn't realize that I had taken the vows back to look them over alone in my bridal suite. Then when it was time to go, I tucked them into the bouquet and carried them out with me.) Little did I know what a scare I gave to her -- Ha! We laugh about it now, but I still have pangs of guilt for putting her through that.

The best part of the day was taking a moment alone with Ben after the ceremony where we breathed a sigh of relief and drank some champagne before heading out for photos and reception. We just looked at each other like "We just did it! We just got married!" We took some terrible selfies and posted them to instagram. Finally I got to stop worrying about everything.

The wedding was just a party, and yet so much more. I never wanted to be a "bride" in the pinterest sense, but looking back, I was and it was fucking fun.

Photos by the lovelies of Rad & In Love (as always, there are lots more over on their blog)


  1. that. last. shot.

    also the second to last one.

    also THE YAY FLAGS!!!!!!!!

  2. loving them!!!!!!!!

  3. the dress is a win! I hadn't realized the hand-drawn scribbley-ness of it from model pics. Looks so great.

  4. So much lovely. Congrats, y'all!

  5. I know this dress never would have worked with my boobage, and it was sold out for so long anyway I couldn't have worn it for my wedding, but this is still my favorite dress of all time and I will always feel a bit sad that it didn't work out. But the bride looks freaking amazing in it!! Their wedding looks like an awesome time too.

  6. Thank you so much for putting up photos from our wedding! Such an honor. I've been a huge fan of ESB (and all the helpful commenters) since my sister Genevieve's wedding was posted here so many years ago. (It was labeled "cool as hell wedding"... apparently an idiot about inserting links)