Fall is a lovely time to get married in Los Angeles. The hot summer gives way to mild and inviting autumn afternoons. The leaves on the trees turn shades of auburn and gold; the Santa Ana winds warm the starry night skies. There’s a vibrance to the city; an electricity that inspires. It’s a rather lovely time of year.
As a catering manager on staff at a boutique hotel just outside Los Angeles, I planned weddings. Lots of weddings. Each weekend, the hotel’s ballrooms filled with people, music and dancing. Though the couples, colors, flowers and dresses always varied, the venues stayed the same. I watched as the photographers shot their newlywed clients week after week in the same locations: the rose arbor, the lakefront gazebo, the marble fireplace. To me, they were like quintessential prom photo backdrops: same backdrop, different people. I wondered, how many couples display wedding photos on their walls that look nearly identical to so many others’? I desired to design more unique, personalized events, so I left the hotel, (and the cookie-cutter weddings), a successful backyard wedding is exponentially more gratifyingand went to work for myself.
I find one of the greatest challenges I encounter is planning events hosted at private homes. Managing logistics, imagining the scene, finding ideal rentals, rearranging furniture in my head, envisioning decor. It’s like a game to me, a brain-teaser. Such events generally require more work than planning for traditional, designated event spaces, but a successful backyard wedding is exponentially more gratifying than an inside-the-box event.
And so, as the fall again approaches Los Angeles, I am reminded of an event I planned last autumn: An intimate backyard wedding atop a hill in Echo Park.The green gardens of the Craftsman home juxtaposed with views of the sleek downtown skyline created a lush, green gardens of the Craftsman home juxtaposed with views of the sleek downtown skyline created a lush, yet urban settingyet urban setting. Hand-painted signs, mismatched vintage trays, and colored glass vases filled with fragrant wildflowers set the tone for the wedding: relaxed, yet elegant. It was an ideal setting for a charming couple; personal and inviting, a truly enchanting evening.