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Valerie & Ryan's Elegant LA Loft Wedding

Posted on 13 Sep, 2016
Valerie & Ryan's Elegant LA Loft Wedding

How did you meet your (now) husband? I met Ryan while I was technically on a date with his friend (now, our friend)! It was pretty clear on this date that his friend wasn’t really interested in me romantically, but we had a lot in common, even some mutual acquaintances. So, as the date was winding down, he invited me out to dinner with those folks and I thought to myself, “oh, well, at least dinner will be fun!” So I met back up with them later in the evening. They had asked their other friend (who turned out to be Ryan) who lived down the street to join. We really hit it off hanging out that night, and Ryan asked me for my number! It sounds kind of scandalous that I met Ryan while on a date with his friend, but it’s true, and I’m really glad Ryan siezed the opportunity!

How long have you been together? Since the fall of 2011, so about 4 ½ years 

Do you have a proposal story? Ryan is a film editor, and had been secretly collecting all of these videos and photos on his phone and camera of little moments together. He made a short film for me, which he showed me as a surprise one night after we went out for this fabulous dinner. I was in my pajamas! I thought to myself “this is the sweetest, most sincere, most loving thing anyone has ever done for me.” And before I knew what was happening, he took out a ring and asked me to marry him. YES.

The Wedding
What was your wedding date? Are you ready for a wild story? ….so we were originally supposed to be married on October 3, 2015. About a week before our wedding, Ryan fell very ill and was admitted to the hospital. After the doctors ran some tests, they told us he had viral meningitis, caused by West Nile Virus! Needless to say, he wasn’t going to be walking down the aisle that Saturday, muchless walking anywhere. We had to postpone our wedding, and notify all of our guests to cancel their travel plans. Our awesome wedding coordinator Chelsea, from Lucky Day Events Co., sprang into action and was a huge help. Ryan was discharged from the hospital the night of our original wedding date. All of that from one little mosquito bite here in Los Angeles. We were just glad it wasn’t worse and that he was able to make a full recovery. The kindness and understanding from our family, friends, colleagues, vendors, and everyone really helped us get through the difficult time. We are so fortunate he is healthy and so glad to finally be married!

Our “Wedding 2.0” was held on March 12, 2016 surrounded by our amazing family and friends.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where? Hudson Loft, Downtown Los Angeles    

What made you choose there? We both lived 2 blocks away from each other when we met, on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. We both really bonded over our mutual love for DTLA and taking adventures around the neighborhood together. One thing we found so charming about exploring the old buildings was how weeds and plants would grow out of the cracks of building facades, their roots disappearing down into the walls and crevices. When we discovered the Hudson Loft (used mostly for photoshoots and events) it felt perfect for us.

How did you find it? We were a little jaded looking at traditional wedding venues in the LA area, so started looking instead at raw event spaces.
How was the weather on the day? It was partly cloudy then totally sunny! Perfect light streaming through the industrial windows of the venue and gorgeous weather for the after-party on the rooftop of the building.
What made you decide to get married on this particular date? As I mentioned before, we had to reschedule our wedding, and this was the first available date that all of the vendors could make! 

The Wedding Details

Theme? We wanted the venue to be the star of the show. The real hero was our florist, Inessa Nichols of Inessa Nichols Design. She totally “got it” when we described the idea of recreating those moments of errant, persistent plants growing from the tinyest crack in a wall or building side in the industrial areas of Downtown LA, and carried that through to the assymetrical ceremony arch and hanging greenery for the reception, as well as the vines that sprung up all along the columns and walls throughout.

The greenery and vines were a main color emphasis, as well as high-contrast white flowers with black centers, offset with rust colored leaves. Bridesmaids wore varying hues of dark blue, which I thought would be beautiful in the light of the venue, and not as formal as black. Little details here and there were white or gold, like balloons with greenery hanging from them. 

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? The surrounding neighborhood.

Were any aspects of your wedding D.I.Y? If so What? I purposefully minimized DIY, and decorations in general. To be cost-conscious, I found a few decorations on sale from various wedding websites, like some gold paper fans. I bought “papel picado,” traditional Mexican wedding banners, from Olvera Street in Downtown LA to decorate our home for the rehearsal dinner the night before. I made little signs for the guest book and gift table on my home printer with white wood frames I found in a clearance bin. I designed the table cards myself, and had them printed by a low-cost online print shop, writing in the guests’ names myself. The reception table seating assignment display I also created myself on some old vintage windows given to me by some friends who had just been married and had used them for the same purpose. Using fonts from the Save the Date cards I designed myself, I printed out guest names, taped them to the back of the windows, and traced over them with paint pins on the other side of the window glass. I made a conscious decision to only take on what I knew I could execute, and not stress myself out over DIY projects. I think it worked out just fine! Huge kudos to our florist who really brought the space to life with her creativity and skill. 

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? 
Jennifer / Matron of Honor / Sister of Bride / Atlanta, GA
Lindsey / Friend / Seattle, WA
Helen / Friend / London
Gretchen / Friend / Los Angeles
Alison / Friend / Lincoln City, OR
Heaton / Friend / Atlanta, GA (could not make it out for Wedding 2.0 due to family obligations)

Groomsmen – who/relationship? 
Justin / Best Man / Brother of Groom / Fort Collins, CO
Dave / Friend / Los Angeles
Jay / Friend / Los Angeles
Nick / Friend / Los Angeles
Ben / Friend / Loveland, CO
Huey / Friend / Mead, CO

Flower girls/Page boys – who/relationship? 
N/A, but there was a really cute baby named George at the wedding, son of Groomsman Dave and his wife Elizabeth

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)
What made you decide to come into Karen Willis Holmes? We happened to visit the Hudson Loft for the first time the very same day there as a Karen Willis Holmes editorial photoshoot there. I saw the model walk by in a KWH gown and fell in love! I contacted Hudson Loft a week later, got the contact information, and the rest is history. We even hired the photographer you all had there that day, Gregory Ross, and his wife Erin!

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? No, and at that point had really not enjoyed the gown-shopping process here in Los Angeles. 
How many gowns did you try? Definitely over 15 before I was able to try on the KWH gowns. You were so kind to ship samples to Love & Lace Bridal Salon for me to try different styles.
Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Love & Lace Bridal Salon
What did you especially like about your gown? The modern fit of the Alexandra, the detailed beading and sequin work, and quality. It was a work of art. It wasn’t too girly or frilly, but was still strikingly pretty. It just felt like my style. I would say it is perfect for a bride like me who wanted to be a bit more modern and stylish, but also timeless and elegant. I wanted to feel like a bride on my wedding day, but wasn’t into the whole princess thing or sexy thing. 

Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? They were encouraged to find their own gowns, dark blue or navy, with interesting detail and textures.

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? They were allowed to wear their own suits as long as they were grey.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? I wore two of my favorite bracelets, both brass, and my friend Helen’s family heirloom pearl bracelet to qualify for “something old” and “something borrowed.”

Where did you get your shoes from? They were Badgley Mischka

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? 
No veil, but I wore a gold Jennifer Behr headpiece “Laurel Leaf Bandeaux’


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Don’t let the intricacy of the planning process get you stressed out. Take it one task at a time, and don’t overthink everything. At one point I decided to just dive in, revel in this amazing time, and roll with it, embrace it! I realized that making all of these little decisions was and should be super fun! When else in your life do you get to decide what wine to serve with an amazing meal prepared with great skill and pride for all of your closest friends and family? We definitely had fun with it. 

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Start early! And don’t buy the first one that feels good. It will still be there. Try on all different styles, even ones you are certain are not ‘you.’ I have to admit that some of the dresses I tried on looked super weird on the rack, but amazingly flattering when on your body. Lean on your gal pal you take with you for advice and honesty, and let the dress shop professional guide you toward different styles if you aren’t sure what you want. Get a dress that flatters your figure and that you feel comfortable in, not one that will require a lot of tweaking and customization down the road.

Something Old? My mom gave me a handkerchief which was embroidered by my paternal great-grandmother, who gave it to my grandmother on her wedding day. My grandmother then gave it to my mom on her wedding day.

Something New? The DRESS.

Something Borrowed? Pearl bracelet from my bridesmaid, Helen.

Something Blue? Pedicure color choice took care of this one.


Florist - Inessa Nichols Design - she’s a design genius! Recommended by photographer, Gregory Ross.

Photographer - Gregory Ross - we saw him at work when we first visited the venue (Hudson Loft) before booking it. He happened to be shooting an editorial for Karen Willis Holmes that day in the venue! The fine folks at the Hudson Loft gave me the contact info for KWH, because the gown I saw that day was so beautiful. KWH actually put me in touch with Gregory. He and his wife Erin were a tremendous help, and we went with many of his recommendations for other vendors. On top of all of that, he and Erin were such an absolute pleasure to work with, and came through with gorgeous photographs of our big day. Exceeded our expectations.

Videographer - N/A

Music - Our friend, DJ Travis, who is a radio DJ on local NPR affiliate KCRW in Los Angeles

First Dance - Heroes by David Bowie

MC - Our officiant and MC was one of Ryan’s best friends, Mark, one of the smartest, funniest, and most caring people we know

Stationery - Invitations: WeddingPaperDivas.com / Save the Dates: designed at home and printed online

Menu - Forage Catering. Our food was so fantastic. We wanted to give our friends and family, who were traveling to LA from all over, a taste of the fresh, organic and perfect California produce and cuisine. We couldn’t have chosen better. Forage is a lovely little restaurant serving healthy, organic food in the Silver Lake neighborhood near where we live. When we found out they did catering, it was a no-brainer. 

Cake - Forage made us a delicious chocolate cake with cream frosting. We also served ice cream sandwiches by our favorite local ice cream maker, Coolhaus, famous for their architecturally-themed ice cream selections.

Hair - Christina Gonzalez from Román Salon

Make up - Italia Pierfederici

Wedding Bands - 
Bride: vintage 30s from Claude Morady Estate Jewelery in Beverly Hills
Groom: Downtown LA jewelry district shop

Other – Classic cocktails by The Whaling Club