This blog post is a long one - but it covers every inch of our wedding day, I swear!
Not trying to toot my own horn or anything - genuinely - but I really struggled to find "moody," dark toned wedding inspo online that wasn't full on Halloween goth wedding. I think our wedding style is pretty unique. This is exactly why I wanted to do a full, comprehensive blog post with plenty of details from our big day - so that hopefully the next "edgy" "moody" bride can use this post as inspiration.
The ladies all got ready in the Presidential Suite at the Omni Hotel. I can't thank my bridesmaids enough, especially my Maid and Matron of Honor, for really setting an amazing tone in our bridal suite while getting ready. We had girly, old school music blaring (a playlist packed with early 200o's hits) and an overall fun and relaxed vibe. For food, I made sure to order breakfast from The Omni (BIG tip - feed your bridal party) and we popped bottles of my fave wine (Peju) along with champagne!
I'm personally not a fan of the typical bridesmaids robes (to each their own!), so I opted to gift my girls monogrammed pajama sets instead (and a matching white bridal set for myself).
When it comes to my own bridal details - you can read all about my dress here. For shoes, I loved the soft metallic gold shade of these Valentino Rockstuds (and the low heel!). My bridal clutch is from Island to East Side and my perfume was the new Tiffany & Co. fragrance, Tiffany & Love. To hang my dress, I found this beautiful personalized hanger that matched our wedding flowers and our ketubah art (which you'll see later in this post).
KB and I exchanged gifts the morning of before our first look - one of the girls delivered me a little blue box with a gorgeous, delicate necklace inside. YA DID GOOD, KB. Ya did good.
All the boys spent their morning getting ready across the street from the Omni at our venue, the Julia Morgan Ballroom. ALL the tuxes (both groomsmen and groom!) were from Generation Tux. I loved that KB chose a more stand out tux from the rest of his bridal party (more on their outfits later). KB went with a stunning deep blue color, accessorized with blue velvet Ferragamo loafers he's very proud of (lol) and a Tiffany blue pocket square (an ode to our rings).
During the getting ready process, my gift to KB was delivered! He's been talking about getting a hamsa tattoo for a while, but I figured a necklace is a bit lower of a commitment. I also had a hunch he'd gift me Tiffany's, but found the perfect KB "Tiffany" gift ever - the Nike Tiffany dunks.
We met up around noon for our first look at the Omni - so fun! We then walked across the street to the Julia Morgan for some photos with our bridal party.
I'm definitely biased - but I'm pretty sure we had the greatest bridal party of all time.
I had seven bridesmaids and seriously wanted nothing more than to have them feel beautiful themselves on my wedding day. I really hope they did! When it came to wedding colors, I felt strongly about a neutral, moodier palette of black and white. All the girls chose their own dresses - the only requirement was "long" and "black."
Also, seriously, if you're a bride reading right now: let your bridesmaids choose their own nail colors, shoes, etc. Legit going through my photos - these details are not noticeable and it's way more important your girls are in shoes they are comfortable with (and don't have to spend extra cash on).
All of the groomsmen were in snappy tuxes rented from Generation Tux. KB hand picked all the groomsmen outfits - it was insanely easy on their website. Also shout out to the customer service, because even when a best man had a bit of a fit issue the week of - they were on it and had it fixed quickly.
Also two of the groomsmen were my younger brothers I am dying on the inside they looked so cute and grown up, MY BABIES.
I am deist (I am spiritual, believe in a higher power, but not necessarily "organized" religion) and KB is Jewish (culturally more so than religiously). I have a ton of respect for KB's deep cultural roots, so we chose to have a Jewish ceremony (and Russian style wedding reception - more to come).
My favorite part about Jewish weddings is the ketubah signing. The ketubah is essentially the Jewish marriage contract and is often signed more intimately, with a small ceremony prior to the (bigger) more traditional ceremony. We chose to include immediate family (parents, siblings, and grandparents) along with bridal party in our ketubah ceremony. We also chose to say our personal vows during the ketubah ceremony instead of during the more traditional "public" ceremony.
As we were signing the ketubah and marriage license, guests were welcomed into the ballroom with a champagne pass (Julia Morgan has a historic, art deco feel so I loved the Gatsby style of the champagne tower). Our florist, Ida Blooms, did an amazing job creating a romantic, warm, intimate feeling throughout the space with plenty of greenery, bud vases, and candles. All the other decor I sourced from various Etsy shops (our guest book, custom signs, card box, ketubah, neon "KB" sign, etc).
Ida Blooms also built out our aisle and chuppah. I always imagined getting married outdoors, but Russian style weddings are more often held in ballrooms, so Ida Blooms brought the greenery indoors and kept everything feeling warm, magical, and romantic. OBSESSED.
We did choose to have an unplugged ceremony, and I highly recommend it. All of our guests were so polite and respectful - no one had their phones out and just enjoyed the moment! I can't thank everyone enough for putting their phones away - we have stunning photos to share with no distracting phones in the background of the shots.
To save $$$, we chose to do a room flip. Guests exited the ballroom into the bar area while staff worked tirelessly to "flip" the room for the reception. Installing a dance floor, stage, setting up the tables, etc all in a 1.5 hour time period is no joke - this was one of the reasons we hired wedding management. About Joy Events kept all the vendors organized and on track (and also helped collect all the cards and gifts safely, managed the bridal party, managed our schedule, and just so much more).
I don't personally love the look of escort card tables, so opted for a sign guests could reference instead. For the ballroom and place settings - I look back at all these photos and am just so happy I stuck up for my vision. If we went the 100% traditional Russian wedding route, black is considered taboo and centerpieces can be (ahem) massive. I love how the black tablecloths gave the ballroom a romantic, moody feel. We also went with both high and low centerpieces - in all honesty mainly to save CASH.
KB's parents organized traditional Russian appetizers (do you spot the handle of vodka on every table? LOLZ) and Julia Morgan Ballroom served a fall soup and main dishes (chicken, beef, and veggie options). The cake was a frugal area for us - we opted for a simple two tier ceremonial cake and had both a dessert bar and Boba Guys (KB is a boba FIEND) for our guests. I also ordered KB a small groom's cake so he could have his own little special moment.
A major shout out to our beautiful soul of an MC, Regina, and her amazing band for keeping the party going until after midnight!
I designed all the details of our wedding - my aesthetic is too specific and I'm too picky to let anyone else control the mood - but we really needed wedding management, especially the month/day of. Jackie from About Joy Events drove our rehearsal and she, along with her assistant, managed the shit out of the day of. About Joy Events was in charge of our vendors, our schedule, literally everything from the big things to the small details. Ya'll - hire wedding management. Do it. We were able to just relax and proceed through our day without me having to manage it all thanks to About Joy Events.
Our bridal suite and first look were at the Omni Hotel - our home away from home at this point! The wedding itself took place at the historic Julia Morgan Ballroom. I cannot say enough good things about the staff at both of these venues. All staff was polite, organized, and on top of their game - especially at the Omni. I've truly never ever in my entire life had service like I had at the Omni.
Full disclosure - the Omni did provide us with a discount on our bridal suite in exchange for collaborative content.
You can read all about my wedding dress in this blog post.
All of the tuxes for our bridal party, fathers, and the groom himself were provided in partnership Generation Tux. All the men looked SO GOOD (if I do say so myself), but honestly I'm just so thankful that Gen Tux actually made this process easy (everything was online, we had fun ordering swatches, there were free try ons for the groom, etc). I love all the men in my life - I swear I really do - but BOY AM I THANKFUL GEN TUX MAKES ORDERING EASY lolz because it's like herding cats. LOVE YOU ALL DON'T HATE ME.
I can't sing Annie from Ida Blooms enough praises. If you're Bay Area based - highly recommend. Annie is an artist.
All the stunning photos you see here were taken by On The Times Photography. I am incredibly picky with photography (it's my life and career - hi, hello) and I'm also incredibly picky with "vibes." Weddings can be stressful and the last thing I wanted was a photographer up in my face causing more high energy stress. Caitlyn from On The Times was calm, cool, collected - and she's effing talented.
I know not every couple opts for video on their wedding day, but I really wanted to be able to remember everything. Mike from Catch The Moment Productions is a talent, but also a beautiful human - he brought a sense of calm and a sense of humor to the day!
The bridesmaids and myself - we all did our own makeup! And I think everyone looked S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G if I do say so myself. I had my hair done by Maya from Dreamcatcher Artistry.
Got Q's about our big day? Slide into the comments below.
*Blondes & Bagels uses affiliate links. Please read the disclaimer for more info.