The Wedding of Ilsa & Stephen
June 8th, 2013
California Yacht Club
Marina Del Rey, CA
This beautiful, summer wedding took place on the waterfront in Marina Del Rey and played host to over 120 guests from all over the world.
Ilsa and Stephen, the bride and groom, met and currently live in China. Ilsa is originally from the California Bay Area but moved to Dallas, TX for high school and then attended UCLA. Steve was born and went to school in Ohio. Needless to say, they had family and friends scattered across the United States and the world. They decided the middle ground would have to be the LA area. We searched for venues from Santa Barbara to Malibu, the greater Los Angeles area to Palm Springs. We looked at hotels, barnyards, private homes, restaurants, wineries - you name it.
It was especially challenging because Ilsa and Steve were only in the area for three days to look at all their potential venues. With a stroke of luck, the California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey fell into place.
When I first met with Ilsa, she emphasized she really was "digging the wood theme" and wanted to compliment it with light pink, light green and bold gold colors. Since the venue (a yacht club) had a natural nautical theme, we were faced with the challenge of creating the 'Garden of Eden' setting. My favorite florists, Christine and Sharon of Bespoke Florals, were up to the challenge. They created a beautiful Chuppah with branches hanging off the corners and used bamboo poles to further emphasize the "wood" theme. In addition to the wood, we really wanted to emphasize the 'gold'. Not pictured here: Bespoke Florals also accented the white ceremony chairs with gold ribbon to highlight the inside aisle.
We picked out wood vases to use for the centerpieces. They alternated in height to add depth to the reception tent. Pictured is an example of the shorter vase. The taller one can be seen in the picture of the wedding favor table.
Another way to add gold was by putting the table numbers in gold frames. Ilsa and Steve had an engagement photoshoot in China and in Venice Beach, so they had a lot of pictures they wanted to incorporate. This was an easy tie-in and a very personal, lively touch.
I think the most important thing, nowadays, is to make sure your wedding represents who you are - as individuals and as a couple.
For example, Ilsa loved pizookies (a pizza-like cookie famous in southern California) and Steve likes cheesecake. Therefore, they had a mini dessert-bar instead of a full cake. We still purchased a cake for ceremonial purposes but guests indulged on specialty desserts instead.
We also created a very personal wedding favor table. The wedding favors were tea cups from China, where the couple currently lives. To go with the teacups, they brought back various tea samples so their guests could fill a tea bag to take home. The table featured prayers for and facts about China.
(Here's the taller version of the birch centerpieces)
Here's some more highlight pictures from the wedding:
Dance floor and tables set.
To Ilsa and Steve,
Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this momentous and special day. I feel so honored and blessed to get to know you throughout your engagement and thank you for trusting me to help plan your once-in-a-lifetime wedding! You two are an inspiration to me and it truly made me happy to help out knowing how in love you both are. Finally, I feel very thankful to have gotten to know both of you. Both of you individually are incredible people with such bright futures.
- Chelsea Martell
Finally, a huge shout out to the vendors who made this possible:
Venue: California Yacht Club, Marina Del Rey
Photography: Hom Photography, Los Angeles
Ceremony Musicians: Jonathan Gibo and Goodwin Deng
DJ: Jason Chu, Los Angeles
Florist: Bespoke Florals, Los Angeles
Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Katrina