Katie, 33, the founder of a PR company, may not have been chopping onions and rolling dough with Nick when they worked together to open a new eatery in 2007, but she still couldn't help developing a major crush on the bartender, now 33. "I dropped hints like crazy in the hopes he'd ask me out, but he thought I was dating someone else," Katie says. He didn't find out the truth until she realized she'd spent Valentines Day alone, and asked her out immediately.
Six years later, in May 2013, the LA-based duo tied the knot at their dream venue, Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. After a personalized ceremony, they matched the venue's neoclassical architecture with a reception filled with votive candles, classic blooms and plenty of vintage details. Add a foodie-worthy menu and wine custom-blended by winemaking friends, and you've got an unforgettable city bash. See Brian Leahy's snaps of their I do's below!
Katie and Nick's was a Murphy's Law of a proposal story — everything that could have gone wrong, did &mdash ;except the whole engagement thing, of course. Nick had planned to propose in their first home together, just as they were about to move into a new place downtown, then whisk her off to a romantic dinner. The only problem? Katie, coming back from a business trip, had lost her suitcase and had absolutely no clothes! When Nick suggested dinner, Katie balked — after all, she was wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt — but he insisted. Finally, Nick just proposed right there in their now-empty apartment. They went for the celebratory dinner despite Katie's outfit, and loved every second. "I still can't bring myself to get rid of that sweatshirt!" Katie says.
Katie started with an A-line dress from Watters for the ceremony and dinner, and then changed into a glitzer Allure mermaid gown for dancing. "An A-line gown is much easier to sit in than a mermaid, which made it much easier to actually eat my dinner," she says. On her bouquet, Katie pinned a custom wax "Unity" seal of a lover's knot, designed by jewelry designer friends. (Nick's cufflinks had the same seal!)
Katie's bridesmaids all wore gray dresses from Jasmine bridal to allow their bouquets, which contained white peonies, lisianthus, Vendela, Sahara and Akito roses, white freesia, and ranunculus, to really pop.
Katie and Nick had a close mutual friend get ordained for the ceremony, and they said both traditional and self-written vows. Saying the words brides have said for years, Katie says, made it really feel like they were married, but her personalized vows to Nick are exactly what she's always wanted to say to him. The best of both worlds!
"The first time I went to Vibiana for an event, I told my friend I wanted to get married there," Katie says. Nick loved the venue, formally the original Cathedral of Los Angeles, for the same reasons she did — its central downtown location, its historical architecture, and its gorgeous gardens. Bonus: at the time they got married, the venue had no curfew, so guests could dance late into the night!
Katie and Nick mixed tall centerpieces worthy of the venue's super-high ceilings with short centerpieces in vintage vases, all with plenty of delicate glassware to catch the light and votive candles. Nick's sister, a graphic designer, designed their menus along with their invites and save the dates, and each table number was displayed in a gorgeous vintage frame.
Katie and Nick selected a seasonal, locally sourced menu and served it family-style. Guests chose between slow-roasted wild Scottish salmon and hangar steak. Their lemon and berry cake was made by close baker friends of the couple, and displayed on a vintage stand they found on Pinterest.
After their wedding, Katie and Nick took off for a mini-moon in Palm Springs, California, followed by a trip to Italy a few months later. Katie and Nick both studied in Florence in college, but had never been back to Italy since they got together. "Just like on our wedding day, it was the little surprises we encountered on our honeymoon that made the trip special," Katie says.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Vibiana || Bride's Wedding Dress: ceremony - Watters, reception - Allure Bridals || Jewelry: One World Designs || Hair and Makeup: Nicoletta Daskalakis || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jasmine Bridal || Groom and Groomsmen's Attire: DKNY ||Wedding Bands: Single Stone, Excalibur Vintage Jewelry || Florist: Ron Yamaguchi, (805) 525-9268 || Invitations & Paper Goods: JRoy Designs || Music: ceremony - The Icy Hot Club, reception - DJ Swon of Red Shoe LA || Catering: Whoa Nelly Catering || Cake: Nancy Silverton and Dahlia Narvaez || Rentals: Signature Party Rentals || Favors: Bayside Candy || Videography: Jaime Ballesteros || Photography: Brian Leahy Photography