Autumn brings along with it a time of change. The temperatures get a bit cooler, the leaves turn color, and the birds begin preparing for migration. Of course, all of these work together to create a beautiful atmosphere for a fall wedding. With that in mind, our impassioned group of Southern California vendors came together to collaborate on a fall-inspired styled wedding.
Inspiration struck when visiting a hidden venue in the foothills of Orange County. This spectacular resort and zoological gardens, Rancho Las Lomas, is nestled under an umbrella of oak and sycamore trees, a wonderful wooded wonderland which immediately set us on the trajectory for a truly enchanting love story. Disney’s recent trend of turning animated classics into live-action movies has led today’s brides to finding themselves enthralled by those grand romances once again, and so we arrived at “Storybook Love” as our theme to create and capture.
Just like turning the pages of your favorite fairytale, our hope was to bring a fairytale romance to life in these photographs. Highlighting the best of nature’s own natural vegetation was our chosen color palette of plums, fuchsias, navy, and earth tones found amongst our florals painting the bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony site, as well as the welcome table. The arrangements consisted of anemones, calla lilies, spray roses, straw flowers, and seeded eucalyptus, all mesmerizing the soul and looking reminiscent of a bouquet hand-picked from some enchanted forest by the love-struck prince.
When trying to style a ceremony site set deep inside a thicket of dense trees and colorful foliage, an interesting challenge presented itself. How could we prevent the florals from blending in with the landscape? To solve this dilemma, we utilized contrasting colors, fresh hardy blooms, and unusual vases and containers. We thus adorned the walkway with rosebushes planted firmly in clear vases. And to create a sense of natural ground under our feet, especially since the venue boasted an ornate and colorful tile floor, we covered the area with a golden flecked aisle runner. Mother nature naturally provided the main backdrop at the altar, so we designed a reverse arch using vases as pillars strategically placed on either side of the couple. We filled these with floating moss and topped them with a luscious array of blooms and greens, all of which kept the enchantment alive.
The welcome table serves as a prelude to the wedding, the guests’ first impression of a couple’s journey through romance. So to create the fairytale look, we incorporated ethereal calligraphy for all the signage. For a unique touch to the welcome sign, we added fresh leaves for a subtle contrast to the gold framing, which brought together a look of enchantment and elegance. Applying the floral palette to the signage in watercolor created the look of a vintage fairytale book. Providing an array of treats to as a perfect thank-you favor for the guests added to the woodland feel when placed on log slabs surrounding the cake.
And then came wardrobe. The bridal gown had to reflect the dreams of the young maiden imagining her wedding day, her transition from princess to queen. Enter the ivory beaded gown which added a warming touch to the autumnal tones outside, interacting with the landscape rather than contrasting against it. When evening began to rise, our bride paired it with a breathless crop fur jacket, an ode to the wooded grounds. Meanwhile, her maid-of-honor was sweetly suited in our floral palette hues with an overskirt. She, too, donned a fur covering that brought airiness to her wardrobe in early dusk.
Now, while the decision to include a flower girl is not always an easy one, the reason we love the littlest of pixies is that they are wildly unpredictable, capturing everyone’s hearts–including the ones behind the lenses. And since there is no rule (spoken or unspoken) that they must match the bride in color or style, we opted to put this little miss in a blush-toned frock, accessorized with an oversized headband with netting. As for the groom and his junior groomsman (or shall we call them prince and squire?), they were both royally dressed in navy suits, tying wonderfully into the wedding colors. To stay warm, the groom bundled up in a dapper peacoat, while the junior groomsman donned a wool scarf.
When it came to hair and makeup, we wanted to ensure continuity between the theme, the colors, and the venue itself. Autumn moves ever closer to lingering gray tones, especially as sunlight begins to disappear. With that in mind, our makeup artist aimed for theatrical eyes and trending soft lips. The purple eyeshadow on the bride consistently played off her bouquet as well as the groom’s boutonnière. Likewise, her hairstyle complemented her gown, which called for a dramatic undo with whimsical curls. Sticking with the couture look, the maid-of-honor’s side-updo was simple, but with subtle braiding woven right into side bun, which completely captivated the sleek and elegant essence of her unique dress.
With the bride, groom, maid-of-honor, and junior groomsman all portraying the theme so well, we accented our editorial shoot with some fashion looks. Since each couple is unique in their style, it’s important to find a way to capture moments that they will cherish forever. With this in mind, we scoured Rancho Las Lomas for locations that might be unusable in spring or summer, finding a dry riverbed rarely utilized by photographers. We also waited for the sun to start setting to change up the lighting, while our models put on the beautiful coats, jackets, and scarves to add another dimension to the photography, all of which was complemented by videography that tapped into the ethereal nature of the theme with the use of lens flares, focus play, beautiful tones, and soft accompaniment.
At the end of the day, we walked away with a truly enchanting autumn wedding, hoping to inspire and help couples starting to–or in the midst of–planning their storybook wedding. So please check out the highlight video as well as the vendor list below!
Photography & Styling Arpit Mehta
Florals & Styling The Dizzy Daisy
Videography Paper Bird Weddings
Venue Rancho Las Lomas
Men’s Wardrobe Friar Tux (Navy Verona Suit by Savvi Black Label)
Bridalwear Ferndale’s Bridal
Women’s Wardrobe Bella Bridesmaids
Outerwear Saks Fifth Avenue
Rentals Sweet Pea Vintage Rentals
Makeup Breluxe Beauty
Hair Stephanie Gardner Styles
Calligraphy Blot & Dot
Favors Lucky13 Sweets & Treats