My maximal and colorful wedding
10 years together, 3 years engaged, and 2 weddings later! We are finally officially married and it feels so good. One of the top comments about our wedding has been “Didn’t I see you get married on Trixie Motel?”, Yes for those wondering we had our TV Trixie Motel wedding and we loved it. But because of Covid we couldn’t have any family or friends there, so the plan was always to do an actual big wedding after :) We feel so lucky we got two weddings and both were so special and meaningful. Hopefully this is the last one though! But honestly I’m so down to do another wedding LOL.
With our first wedding venue being pretty hard to beat, the gorgeous motel we designed on TV, we knew we had to find a place that felt just as special. The Madonna Inn is not only an iconic kitschy maximalist paradise, but also served as some of our inspiration behind Trixie Motel. After taking a trip there last fall and trying the famous pink champagne cake, we knew it would be the perfect place! Plus an area driving distance from LA where most of our guests live that we can also all stay at and make a whole weekend of it.
More than anything we wanted our wedding to feel like us. I’m not a big fan of anything traditional or expected and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. Naturally I had to design my own dress, from the print to the silhouette! I had never done such a dressy design with such delicate fabrics and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I originally was going for more of a fuchsia with the color but because of the printing process and darker lining it gave more of a Viva Magenta vibe, the PANTONE of the year! Which I honestly loved as a long time designer and total PANTONE girly. But I brought back the pink with bold accessories including an underskirt I hand dyed, a gorgeous veil made by one of my bridesmaids Serena, and dramatic gloves. Watch the full design process HERE. Phillip also got to design his custom suit! Grooms often don’t get to shine as much on their wedding day and we wanted to make sure he had something special too. We brought the floral motif and colors of my dress print into the embroidery. It really turned out to be such a pretty pairing!
The room I wanted to stay in “The Love Nest”, was booked our entire wedding weekend so we booked it the Thursday before the wedding and decided to do all our bride and groom photos the Friday before the wedding. My sister is a wedding photographer and I shot her wedding years ago so we had always planned on doing a photo trade :) So she was there early with my family and so down to get the photos done before the wedding. The last thing we wanted to do was add stress the day of and I can’t tell you what a relief it was to know we already had epic photos I loved finished. Phillip and I got fully wedding day ready together (because why not?!) and shot some amazing photos in the Love Nest and around the Madonna Inn. The backdrop options are truly endless! I also love the sweet photos of us getting ready together, so special.
Some of the important factors I was looking for in our wedding was for it to be easy for me to plan since my schedule is so busy and also to keep on a fairly tight budget (for a wedding that is lol). Your wedding needs and wants are a super personal choice, and for us we couldn’t rationalize spending so much of our hard earned money on a single day. I’ve always been very savings oriented and am extremely careful and thoughtful on how I spend money. Our goal was to keep the wedding under 20k, but did end up getting closer to 30k after some unexpected expenses (ugh) and after we got the bar tab back, whoops lol. But we did extend the festivities from Friday-Sunday with a welcome cocktail hour and then a pool party, so we got a lot more out of it than one day. But if your friends don’t drink as much as ours and you stick to the one day, the cost of the venue and catering were around 10k for 85 guests including food and setup (not drink). Honestly a great deal for an incredible venue and the Madonna team handles so much for you. With the Madonna Inn backdrop we knew the aesthetic was already going to be our maximal and colorful style so I wasn’t too worried about decor. The stage and spiral staircase for the ceremony were already such a vibe, and I was able to link up with the Madonna Inn decor and social media gal (shout out to Amanda!) to help with the backdrop using a heart arch a previous guest left and some of their seasonal faux florals. I also used extra fabric from my wedding dress design to drape down the stairs! For florals we ordered 4 flower boxes from Farm Girl Flowers delivered right to the hotel. I was getting 5-figure quotes for what I originally was looking for and as much as I wanted that, we decided budget wise the way that made the most sense for us was to do it ourselves! The 4 flower boxes are less than 1k and was plenty of florals for 12 table toppers, my bouquet, and a ton of flowers in bud vases around the venue and incorporated into other areas. My mom, aunt, sister, bestie, and I made the arrangements in our hotel room the day before and it ended up being so fun and I love how they turned out. Then I got some eclectic table accessories from Minted and Amazon along with some gorgeous mix and match runners from Sweetgrass Home. Luckily Madonna Inn already sets up all the tables with pink table cloths and their signature colorful goblets, so we were able to just easily put our decor on top. The garden room matched the flowers and decor items so well it felt seamless! I even saved on doing hair and makeup by learning and doing it myself. Not only did I love the final look, but I got to learn so much about hair and makeup along the way prepping before the wedding. I feel like we were able to accomplish an aesthetic wedding I’m so proud of and also on a budget!
And the most important part of the whole thing? We wanted to have FUN with our friends! It was a whole 3 day party with all our closest people. We ditched every tradition we didn’t like and kept all the ones we wanted. We only invited immediate family and close friends we see on a regular basis because we wanted the wedding to be about us having the best time possible, not saying hi to people we don’t know very well for hours haha. Our wedding weekend was everything we wanted and nothing we didn’t. And I hope all couples have the freedom to have their perfect wedding too, whatever that looks like!
Also special shout out to our amazing wedding videographer Griffin Dunn and live painter Isabel Emrich! Both of them reached out to me on socials and wanted to gift us their incredible talents on their wedding day :)