While a professional bike race may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the best places to find romance, it was the perfect spot for Jessica and Stratton. She was there supporting the BMC Racing Team, he was there as a self-described über fan. She wore sweet Nike hi-tops, he wore a dorky cycling cap. "It was love at first sight," says Jessica. "It was pretty much impossible for us to not fall in love." What followed was six months of international courtship, with Jessica in Vancouver and Stratton in Santa Monica. They agreed to see each other every 14 days, and they kept their promise for six months straight—then Jessica moved south and they were together at last.
Early on in their relationship, they'd spent an afternoon on the beach. Stratton spat a piece of gum into the sand and, when Jessica berated him for littering, he responded that he was planting a gumtree. In July of 2012, the two returned to the same beach, where a gumtree had "sprouted" from the same spot. Pieces of gum had grown from the tree's limbs, holding notes and memories from different chapters of Stratton and Jessica's relationship. The final note held a very important question, with Stratton down on one knee. "Luckily, I said yes," laughs Jessica.
The couple envisioned a unique indoor-outdoor wedding with a handcrafted vibe, and SmogShoppe was everything they'd sought, and more. On September 6th, 2013, Stratton and Jessica exchanged vows in front of a vertical garden, then danced the night away in their signature hi-top sneakers.
For the ceremony, Jessica kept her shoes feminine with a pair of petal-topped Badgley Mischka pumps. "They were my something blue," she says. She kept her hair loose in soft waves, matching the wedding's laid-back vibe.
Stratton, in a light gray Zara suit, teared up when he saw his bride, wearing a Wtoo gown, for the first time.
Stratton and Jessica perfectly coordinated their fancy footwear. The groom matched the teal laces of his wingtip oxfords to the bride's pumps, then for dancing they both changed into colorful kicks.
Jessica carried a bouquet of air plants, a soft purple protea, and bleached peacock feathers. Stratton's boutonniere featured a tiny air plant and a peach ranunculus. "They were textured, modern, and natural," says the bride. The groomsmen's boutonnieres swapped the air plants for succulents, which matched the bridesmaids' bouquets. Roses and ranunculus buds added soft color to the succulents' light green.
"I wanted something stunning yet simple, formal yet comfortable, and sexy yet understated," Jessica says of her wedding dress. "I needed to be able to dance, and I knew this dress was it the minute I put it on!" Her Wtoo gown featured a strapless neckline draped in English net, an empire waist, and hand-beaded lace at the neckline and hem.
The bride tucked back her hair with a crystal grape cluster comb from Twigs & Honey. "It was a bridal shower gift from my sister, and my something new," Jessica says.
Jessica and Stratton loved the 1980s vibe of SmogShoppe, and embraced the cool blues and greens of the décor.
During the ceremony, Jessica's best friend did a reading of the Apache Blessing.
SmogShoppe's vertical garden, featuring lush succulents and ferns growing up the side of the building, provided a dramatic organic backdrop for the couple's vows.
Dahlias, ranunculus, roses, succulents, and air plants were used to add color and texture to the tables. "We had candles in mercury glass everywhere, providing soft lighting," says Jessica. The bright pink and orange flowers gave the room a playful vibe.
"Of course we had a hashtag," says Jessica. She and Stratton encouraged guests to tweet and Instagram throughout the night.
The couple set out sparklers for their farewell later in the evening. Custom matchbooks featured a bicycle motif, a nod to the day the pair met.
A simple two-tiered cake, frosted in textured vanilla buttercream, featured layers of toasted coconut and vanilla cake, and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Fresh flowers were the perfect finishing touch.
The favors were jars of gumballs, an homage to Stratton's gumtree proposal. Jessica was thrilled to have her Nikes on-hand when the dancing really got underway. "Stratton and his best friend stole the mic from the DJ and sang a live rendition of 'Bohemian Rhapsody,'" she remembers. "It was unexpected, unplanned, and AMAZING!"
The couple honeymooned in a bungalow in the jungle of Yalapa, Mexico. "Being married has been so fun. We laugh every day," says Jessica. And that's her advice for couples as they plan their wedding, too. "Don't take everything too seriously, and have fun!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: SmogShoppe || Day-of Coordinator: Brooke Avishay of Orange Blossom Special Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Wtoo, from Lovely Bride || Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Nike || Jewelry: Twigs & Honey || Hair: Kristen Anthony of Hush Hush Hair Salon || Makeup: Devon Grisham || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Free People || Groom & Groomsmen's Suits: Zara || Wedding Bands: Bride - Kamofie, Groom - Konzuk Shop || Florist: The Little Branch || Invitations & Paper Goods: Minted || Music: Active Child, Jarrett Spiegel of Scratch Weddings || Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop || Guest Book: August Press || Photography: Chloe Moore Photography