Wedding Planning

Ryan and Liz Marry in Malibu, CA

We both attended the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, and spent several months passing each other in the halls until Ryan ended up working on projects with my roommate.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story:
We both attended the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, and spent several months passing each other in the halls until Ryan ended up working on projects with my roommate. Our friendship blossomed over the next year or so, and after a few long walks, a Braves game, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, we realized something more was afoot. We conveniently fell for each other three months before we both departed Atlanta for different cities.

What was the theme | design inspiration for your wedding?
We knew we wanted a wedding that was laid back and fun, but still memorable. Once we found the perfect location, Rancho Del Cielo in Malibu, we set out to create a day that would truly reflect our personalities and everything else fell into place.

Tell us about the bridal attire:
I found the perfect strapless, A-line, floor-length dress at a charity event to benefit breast cancer research and knew it was a great match for the ocean garden setting of our wedding. My best friend and her mom made the bridesmaids’ turquoise cotton/sateen strapless sundresses. Ryan chose a casual, light summer suit and dressed his groomsmen in short sleeve white dress shirts, linen beach pants and white Chuck Taylor’s.

Favorite design element of your big day:
We loved the cheerful color palette of turquoise and red, which paired well with the ocean and garden settings, but our favorite element, was the custom popcorn box favors that doubled as escort cards.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
Surprisingly, finding an affordable wedding cake that both looked and tasted amazing proved to be difficult. After a few missteps, we decided to cut out the cake all-together and had a custom sundae bar at the reception instead. Ryan and I built each other our ‘first sundaes,’ and each guest got to make their own. It ended up being one of the best parts of the reception. Who needs cake?

What advice would you give to a couple planning their wedding?
The best thing we learned is that you don’t have to follow the traditional template in order to have a perfect wedding. When you start planning, you hear a lot about what you’re ‘supposed to do,’ but ask yourself what you want to do. It will be your unique touches that go outside the norm that will make your day memorable.

Whether in the ‘toast’, or in a ceremony reading, or just in passing, what was the best advice someone gave you at the wedding?
At our reception, an uncle said we should read our wedding vows to each other every year on our anniversary. This tradition would remind us of our perfect wedding day, and serve to renew our commitment and promise to each other with each passing year. Simple and beautiful advice that we’ll certainly follow.

What’s your most favorite part of the wedding?
The ceremony goes without saying, but seeing that our families and friends were having as good of a time as we were really made us feel like we had accomplished what we set out to create in our celebration.

Any specific reasons behind certain choices you made for your wedding? Flowers that were Mom’s favorite, or your first dance was the to the first song you ever heard together…that kind of thing?
We spent a lot of time creating custom play lists for our ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. We wanted music that we liked, but also carefully selected several favorites of friends and family members. Our guests definitely noticed, and we received numerous compliments on the music.

Tell me something about your photographer, Viera Photographics.
When we started looking for wedding photographers, Dennis and Jaime’s work definitely stood out from the rest. And once we talked to them, we knew we wanted to work with them. They’re just an incredibly fun, like-minded pair whose passion for what they do is impossible to overlook, and their dedication to their craft gave us an end result we could have never even imagined. Best of all, on a day that is naturally stressful, Jaime and Dennis kept us laughing and at ease, treating us more like friends than just clients.