Friends, I am so thrilled to be sharing this Ruby Street wedding with you today – finally – after what seems like forever! Diann & Jon are so special to me, and this wedding was just…perfect! I could gush about it for days, but instead, I’m gonna let Diann tell you all about her wedding, in her own words!
How They Met
“Jon and I met the old-fashioned way — at a dive bar (Ye Rustic Inn in Los Feliz) on Halloween weekend 2013. It’s your classic “girl dressed as blue fairy meets boy dressed as panda” story.”
On Wedding Planning
“It took us forever to find a venue that felt like us. I am so grateful to Renee for suggesting and visiting what feels like 20 different venues with us, ranging from high-end restaurants in Century City and Santa Monica to complete blank-slate lofts in downtown LA. I’m even more thankful that she insisted we tour the Ruby Street, which turned out to be everything we were looking for — a venue with character, good indoor/outdoor flow, and a convenient location.
Ruby Street’s owners, Zach and Lourdes, have amazing design sense and have done a beautiful job restoring the venue in a way that feels distinctive and stylish while still providing enough flexibility to allow you to make the place your own. It’s also a relative bargain as a venue because (really beautiful) tables, chairs, lounge furniture and bar furniture are included in the venue rental price — otherwise, those rental costs start adding up fast!
All the Details
“Jon and I love silly comic strips (and I love all the silly faces Jon makes!) so we asked Courtney of Cecile’s Paper Co to draw cartoon versions of ourselves for the invitation, cake topper, and wedding program.
Tables were named after some of the places we’ve traveled to and loved, including our mothers’ hometown (our moms both come from Taichung, the second largest city in Taiwan) and the location where Jon proposed (Kangaroo Island, Australia).
Our favorite bar is Tiki Ti in Los Feliz and we wanted to pay homage to them by serving tiki drinks at cocktail hour. After much searching, I stumbled upon Dan and Marie at The Whaling Club, who love tiki cocktails even more than we do. They put together a delicious AND visually stunning drink menu that our guests loved. Dan and his team also mix a mean classic cocktail and are masters at balancing flavors.
Cocktail hour eats were meant to represent “A Taste of LA” — we wanted to share some of the amazing diversity of LA food culture with our guests, so we served Japanese fried chicken bites, mini short rib tacos, arancini, mini lobster rolls and more.
Our favorite local ice cream place is Carmela — all their flavors are so intense and pure. We brought in an ice cream cart towards the end of the night and it was a huge hit — even though we served way too much food at cocktail hour and at dinner, our guests still ate ALL the ice cream.”
Advice for those who are currently planning a wedding
“1. Pick vendors whose work you love, but also whose personalities you love. When we met Linda (photographer), Felisa (florals), Courtney (paper goods), Jennie and TJ and Mai (catering/desserts), Dan and Marie (cocktails) and others we immediately connected with them. It felt like meeting new (talented, stylish) friends.
2. Your planner can vastly simplify the process and reduce your workload/stress level. After just a few conversations with Jon and me, Renee had figured out our “vibe” as a couple, and for every component of the wedding she came to us with a shortlist of 2-3 people she thought we would appreciate, enjoy working with, who were also available on our wedding date and whose pricing fit our budget. And she primarily recommended people she had worked with before who had proven to be super professional, trustworthy, responsive and as detail-oriented as my Type-A heart could wish for. Our decisions ended up being as simple as “We really loved Linda! Let’s use her for photography.” with no worries and no time spent researching reliability, cost or availability.
3. Trust your team. Once you’ve picked them, listen to them. I know nothing about the art and science of keeping people on a dance floor all night long but our DJ, Lee, definitely does. We went with his (super detailed) recommendations on lighting and sound and people couldn’t tear themselves away!
4. If possible, pick vendors who specialize in the things that will make your wedding your own. Examples: Dan and Marie at the Whaling Club are the masters of tiki drinks, and Jennie/TJ/Mai at Hungry Bear specialize in creative, fresh, farmers’ market-driven cuisine with wide-ranging Asian influences, which ended up being the perfect balance, food-wise, between what Jon loves and what I love.
5. Challenge your team (occasionally and within reason). I wanted to serve dinner family-style because I wanted people to be able to try all the dishes we had selected, and as a result I landed on the idea of elevating our floral arrangements to leave room for platters of food on the table. Fun idea, not so easy to execute. But Felisa ultimately came up with a stunning design that let me have all the flowers I wanted while leaving space for our guests to talk to each other and pass food around :)”
“We wanted our guests to have an amazing time — to be fed well, drink tasty drinks, dance and listen to great music, and to feel loved and taken care of. I think it’s important to keep that thought in mind — it helps drive decisions at the end, like choosing to rent sail shades and chair cushions to keep everyone comfortable instead of spending money on fancier dishware that very few people will ultimately really look at.
The biggest takeaway for other brides and grooms: Find a wedding planner who you really click with, who you can trust, and then JUST TRUST THEM. Renee saved us from so much stress and hours of research, the wedding went flawlessly thanks to her planning and execution, and I spent the whole day feeling pampered, loved, incredibly hydrated* and able to focus on the magic of marrying the man I love, surrounded by all the people we love — rather than the blur of details that go into making an awesome party.”
*Renee, and I imagine all the best planners, will NOT let you forget to drink water and embarrassingly faint or get light-headed or otherwise feel in any way uncomfortable on your wedding day.
Check out more from Diann & Jon’s amazing wedding day on Aisle Perfect!
Diann & Jon, your Ruby Street wedding was one for the books! I adored every extremely well-thought-out detail of your wedding. It truly was a unique expression of both of you – as a couple and as individuals! Let’s do it again, yes? 😉 JK. Love you both!
Wedding Planning: Moxie Bright Events Venue: The Ruby Street Photography: Linda Abbott Photography Florals: Of the Flowers Catering: Hungry Bear Catering Bar: The Whaling Club Entertainment: Hey Mister DJ Officiant: JP Reynolds Rentals: La Pinata Party Rentals Linens: La Tavola Linen Cake & Desserts: Petit Sweets Ice Cream: Carmela Ice Cream Invitations & Day-of Stationery: Cecile’s Paper Co. Beauty: Beauty by Wendy Gown: Aria Los Angeles Tux: The Black Tux
May 30, 2018