Featured Wedding Real Weddings

Real Weddings: Aileen & Alejandro | Los Angeles River & Garden Center, CA

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{Featured in Vol. 22}

Photographer:  Tikko Weddings

Event Venue: Los Angeles River & Garden Center//Event Planner: Skybox Event Productions//Florals: Oliva Guevara Floral//Music {Ceremony and Reception}: DJ Rawn//Cakes & Sweets: J’s Sweet Treats//Caterer/Rentals: Melrose Catering//Makeup & Hair Artist: Chiali Meng Artistry//Invitations and Paper: Wedding Paper Divas (Save the Date), Vistaprint (Invitations)//Videographer: BoxHeart Weddings//Submitted via Two Bright Lights



Our vision was simple: We wanted our wedding to truly reflect who we are. I really love creative DIY and rustic crafts. Alejandro is really interested in simple, clean, geometric designs. Our first decision was easy- the color scheme. We chose a palette of Grays, Yellows, and Navy because this trio was playful, bright, and clean. We partnered a lot of block lettering and geometric shapes, like Venn diagrams, with floral touches, like paper succulents, to give our wedding a good mix between masculine and feminine elements. Our wedding was also in a beautiful hidden garden that already offered so many natural colors and landscapes so we just added some DIY touches to accentuate the beauty of the venue. Together we handcrafted so many paper items like giant paper flowers & paper Mache letters to give the venue our own personal touch.

By far my favorite wedding detail was our table place cards. We printed photos of us with each of our guests and hand-wrote a short note on each of the 200+ photos to remind our guests that they were an important part of our day. Since our wedding was somewhat large, we knew we would not be able to spend much quality time with each guest so this was our way making sure they knew how much we appreciated them. Since we had to find pictures with each of our guests, it gave us a chance to remember the wonderful memories we have made with them throughout the years. Half way through the note writing, we felt we may have taken on too much, but the thought of them reliving the memory stored in those photos motivated us to see it through to the end. Although finding photos and writing heartfelt notes was very labor intensive, we both agreed the sentiment was well worth all the effort!

My second favorite detail was the giant paper flowers because who wouldn’t love giant paper flowers, but also because it was such a collaborative effort between Alejandro, one of my best friends and me! We found this idea through a blog and thought it would be great for accenting some blank wall space we had at our venue. These flowers were self-standing and ranged from 3 feet to 6 feet tall! They had a cement base to keep them standing, molded stucco corner covered with green tissue paper for stems and a flower made with yellow & white tissue paper cut in an assortment of sizes. These flowers were a hit throughout the reception and they even made their way to the dance floor! They definitely made for great photo ops too!

I loved the fact that we got married on our actual 9-year anniversary! Alejandro and I met during our first year of college. We lived in the same freshman dorm at UC Irvine in Southern California. We were dear friends for a few years and started dating right before we graduated in 2006. Our amazing friend and wedding coordinator, Ngoc Nguyen Lay, of SkyBox Event Productions, was actually our resident adviser in the dorm we met in back in 2002! We both have such a long history of friendship and love and we wanted our wedding to be a complete reflection of that!

Another fun fact about our wedding is that in lieu of a Maid of Honor, I chose to have a MAN of Honor. I decided that I couldn’t walk down the aisle without my closest cousin by my side so we incorporated him into the Bridal Party! As a result, I realized that since we had a man in the bridal party, there would be no use in stressing over matching dresses for the bridesmaids because he would make matching very difficult since he would be in a suit! So, we took a leap of faith and let our bridesmaids choose their own dresses! We gave our bridesmaids a few simple requests to assist them during their search: the color (Navy) and the length (cocktail). This worked out perfectly! Everyone was able to wear a dress that they selected, loved, felt comfortable in, and could potentially wear again. My Man of Honor wore a Navy suit to match the bridesmaids and differentiate himself from the groomsmen (they wore gray suits) and the groom (he wore a black tux)! The outcome of our Bridal Party’s look was better than I had ever imagined. It all worked out seamlessly!


The most memorable part of our day was when we exchanged our personal vows. We decided early on that we would write our own vows and worked hard to express how we felt about each other. We were both very excited to hear what we wrote to each other. It was definitely a very emotional moment to exchange our feelings in front of all our friends and family. We both could not hold back our tears! When we received our photographs from our photographer, it was very heartwarming (and also quite amusing) to see our guests in tears during the ceremony as well!

As a lover of all things that involve crafts, I quickly learned that it was very easy to get carried away with so many ideas that come from every direction. Blogs, wedding websites, and weddings I’ve attended all contributed to so many potential projects! After overwhelming myself with too many ideas, I came to learn that my fiancé was the best adviser when it came to narrowing down what projects to take on. It was great to sit down and honestly discuss the vision, ideas and perspectives that were truly important to both of us. We evaluated our timeline and together chose projects that were realistic. I believe when you are both invested in the projects you undertake, you have so much more fun executing them. The wedding preparation & crafting were great ways for us to learn to work as a team, compromise, make memories, and have fun!

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