This SoCal Wedding Shoot Infused with French-Inspired Elements is Très Chic
My journey of inspiration for this shoot began years ago during my first trip to France. I was overcome by the design, cuisine, and culture of the French people. From the toile fabric to the perfect, buttery croissant, I loved all things French.
I grew up in Ohio, and moved to Los Angeles in 2008. I was a desert plant novice, but found an affection of native plant life as I explored my new city. Walking through neighborhoods and driving over canyons, I was completely floored by these new, vibrant plants at every turn.
For this styled shoot, I decided to incorporate two of my favorite themes: gorgeous French inspiration in a distinctly Southern California setting. I specifically chose The South Coast Botanic Garden in Palos Verdes, California for its plethora of plants native to California. I was delightfully surprised to find some plants native to France, as well, including Cypress trees and a field of lavender.
The bright, bold colors of the shoot were also inspired by both France and Southern California. I chose the blue and pink color palette as an ode to both places: traditional French blue with pops of cheerful pink. Bougainvillea is my absolute favorite plant native to California, so making sure that was incorporated throughout the design was a priority.
We began shooting early in the morning; for those of you not familiar with the weather in Southern California in June, the mornings near the ocean are gloomy with an overcast. We call it “June gloom.” It created a somewhat magical feeling for the ceremony, and the sunshine came out as our shoot progressed.
We had four major design elements for the shoot: the ceremony, table scape, furniture vignette, and dessert bar. The ceremony design incorporates some traditional French design elements, including eucalyptus garland and blue pots, while also focusing on Southern California elements. We added succulents in all of the floral arrangements and put the bright pink bougainvillea as a focal point at the front of the aisle. There is a touch of California boho chic with our vintage rug and our bride’s hair accessory from Hushed Commotion.
The table scape incorporates our French elements through the eclectic blue and white mix-matched china provided by Dish Wish, toile accent pillows, and furniture provided by Sweet Salvage Vintage Rentals. We again incorporated succulents and pops of bright pink throughout the florals and stationery designs.
We couldn’t be happier with our amazing dessert display. The croquembouche is always the center stage at a French wedding, so we knew that was a must to be included. The pastries were provided by Republique, one of LA’s top restaurants. We particularly loved how the pastries were beautiful in an imperfect, homey style. Lastly, our cake from The Butter End Cakery incorporates hand-painted French blue toile design. Our bride and groom, Adele and Beau, are cutting into the cherry pistachio tart from Republique—diverting from the traditional cake cutting.
A project we had for the day was our tiny topiary covered in succulents instead of the boxwood. The furniture vignette includes more incredible furniture from Sweet Salvage Vintage Rentals. We particularly love the bright indigo blue velvet sofa adorned with a cashmere throw from Chan Luu. Our signature drink for the shoot was a combination of Dom Perignon and Chambord. Nothing says luxury France more than that!
We added a sprig of rosemary to garnish; another ingredient quintessential to France. Ice cubes made with tiny succulents and bougainvillea line the Dom Perignon bottle to keep it chilled. We also had some pashminas in case it got colder in the evening, and included a sign stating “pour quand il fait froid,” meaning “for when it’s cold” in French. Our advice for anyone wanting a similar look is to not shy away from bold colors and make sure to have an eye for the little details. Those make all the difference.
Our models, Amy and Ben, are a real couple that just got engaged! They met while attending Cornell University together, and made the trek to Los Angeles when they graduated. I wanted to mention this, as you can definitely see their chemistry in the photos.
Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden
Planning/Design: Golden Poppy Events
Wardrobe Styling: Samantha Schwartz
Photography: Molly and Co
Florals: Wisteria Lane
Stationary: Hadley Designs
Furniture Rentals: Sweet Salvage Rentals
Dish Rentals: Dish Wish
Cake: The Butter End
Croquembouche: Kellie Kay
Models: Amy Horwath and Ben Cheetham
Bride’s Dress: Atelier by Dawn
Bride’s Reception Dress: Mod Cloth
Tux/Suit: The Black Tux
Accessories: Hushed Commotion
Jewelry: Margaret Rowe
Rings: Justine Liddy Fine Jewelry
Hair and Makeup: Michael Vincent Academy
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