Southern California Wedding at the Villa San Juan Capistrano: Sam + Ben

Sam and Ben’s intimate California wedding was a feast for the eyes and palate, incorporating some of their dearest creative friends to participate in the wedding design process. Sam being from New York City and Ben from Los Angeles, they wanted their out of town guests to have the quintessential Southern California experience, complete with a speakeasy-style secret whiskey bar.

The Villa at San Juan Capistrano was the perfect location for their celebration. A converted Spanish Basilica, it honored the bride’s Roman Catholic faith, and their Jewish ceremony embraced Ben’s heritage. Their portraits were taken at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, an iconic landmark dating back to 1775. The wonderful ruins made for sweeping backdrop views.

From the bride: I’m a still life photographer so the place settings meant a lot to me. I had all the linens custom made, purchased from my favorite linen shop in the NYC garment district and sewn by a seamstress in LA. I chose an eclectic and vintage variety on the glassware and flatware, and had a calligrapher make the place settings. Our incredible florals were designed by Orange County based The Bloom of Time. It was my vision to keep all the flowers seasonal and locally sourced within California, in keeping with the same aesthetic as our venue’s landscape. I knew I wanted a muted color palette. It all came together with the muted blue tones of the succulents, accents of sage green and eucalyptus, with pops of peach and dusty roses. The blue tones also reference my sapphire engagement ring. Our desert table was designed by our good friend Nora Kletter.  She layered out the table and sourced the Mossier cake stands. The vintage dishes were contributed to the wedding by another dear friend, they were her grandmother’s china. Celiac runs in my family, so I wanted our entire wedding to be gluten free friendly. We decided to have a variety of cakes that were all gluten free, some paleo, and all mostly nut free. They were are all seasonal flavors made by local Los Angeles bakers. Another family friend’s contribution was our vintage typewriter, used to create a more intimate seating chart. I sourced vintage California stamps on Etsy for our wedding invitations. I wanted to curate a specific vintage look on the front of the envelope to make it feel like you were stepping back in time, like going back to the Mission. The wedding invitation design picked up the green eucalyptus tones from the Villa’s greenery, and Alexis accented it with succulents and roses. It felt both romantic and very California. Since all my friends are professional photographers too, we wanted to have a Polaroid guest book so that everyone could have fun taking pictures of each other. I had a hand-bound leather book made that we love flipping through together.

Published on Carats & Cake!

Wedding planner: Joy n’ Company | Florist: The Bloom of Time | Venue + catering: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Desserts: Sweet Laurel Bakery (naked cakes); Becka Rodgers (larger cakes); Lette Macarons | Musicians: Naples Strings | DJ + lighting: Divel Entertainment | Makeup artist: Design Visage | Gown: Essense of Australia | Bridal salon: Panache Bridal Beverly Hills | Jeweler: Tiffany’s; Cartier | Shoes: Manolo Blanik | Menswear designer: Brooks Brothers | Rentals: Archive Rentals and Signature Rentals | Calligrapher: Fawn Lettering | Invitations + paper goods: Alexis Ames | Photobooth: Capture Pod | Film Lab: Carmencita | Ceremony officiant: Rabbi Joel Simonds | Cocktail mixologist: Dan Loeser | Menu curation: Jennie Lupo | Guest book: Claire Magnolia

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