Hannah Hart and Ella Mielniczenko Hart's wedding was well worth the wait.
The couple first met in 2013 while working together—Ella, a marketing coordinator, was producing a film that Hannah, a digital content creator, starred in—but, since they were dating other people at the time, they were just friends, at first. Hannah asked Ella on a date in August 2016—and, as they say, "the rest is history!" In 2018, they got engaged on a private beach in Hawaii. In 2019, they went dress shopping (separately!) in New York City. And, in 2020, the pandemic happened, and they made the emotional decision to postpone their wedding by at least a year.
"We want to throw a big, fabulous, loving queer wedding for all those who never got the chance to have theirs," Hannah wrote in an essay for Brides last May. "We want glamour and gladness. And we are willing to wait for as long as it takes."
Hannah and Ella's time came on June 12, 2021, when, thanks to a pared-down guest list of 96 guests and required vaccines for all, they were finally able to say "I do." Keep reading for all the details on the couple's long-awaited wedding, as planned by Emily Gaikowski of Heartthrob Weddings and Events and photographed by Love and Wolves.
The couple says wedding planning was "seamless," at first. "Emily, our planner, totally got our vision; Hannah cried when she saw the venue for the first time; we had a blast tasting the food, picking out the décor," recalls Ella. "Everything was set to go until the pandemic hit…and then, there was an almost agonizing process of moving the date TWICE, and refining the entire wedding from 250 to about 100 people."
However, beyond postponing the date and refining their guest list, the couple was able to stick to their same venue, Holly Farm in Carmel, California, and vision: "Our theme for our wedding was California—we wanted a getaway, multi-day affair, outdoors, and an exquisite Festivus of food and drink," describes the couple.
Hannah never envisioned herself in a wedding dress and, while shopping at Kleinfeld in New York, she found her perfect wedding-day look in a white satin jumpsuit by Pronovias. She made it her own with a custom gold-and-white cape with fringe caps on the shoulder.
Ella, on the other hand, wore what she describes as the "showstopper dress" by Hayley Paige. While shopping in New York, she originally selected a different gown, but when she couldn't get this dress out of her mind "for days," Ella knew she had to switch dresses and called the salon to change her order.
"We had the ultimate ‘say yes to the dress’ shopping trip," Ella says. "Our family and friends joined, and we had separate appointments because we each wanted to be surprised by our looks when we saw each other during the ceremony."
On the big day, Ella accessorized with simple white boots from Nasty Gal, and a veil adorned with rhinestones.
"We are both from California, so we wanted to have a venue that had nature and forest vibes but also felt somehow beachy," explains the couple. (Ella grew up in Venice Beach and Hannah grew up in the Bay Area, so it was important that the venue felt like a combination of those places.) "Holly Farm is a lush oasis filled with twisting trees, orchids, and fairy lights," they continue. "We loved how it felt like we were tucked away on a vacation with the best parts of California represented."
Working with florist Eothen and a palette of burnt orange, navy, gold, dark green, the altar was set for the ceremony with candles and spiritual totems for some "earthy-pagan realness" with native California flowers dripping from up above.
Hannah’s mother walked her down the aisle as a string quartet played “Annie’s Song” by John Denver for the processional. “Here Comes the Bride” played for Ella’s entry alongside her parents.
It was magical seeing each other for the first time in front of all our friends and family.
"We opted out of a first look and decided we wanted to have the moment we saw each other during the ceremony," says the couple. "It was magical seeing each other for the first time in front of all our friends and family."
Hannah and Ella each wrote their own vows. "They were simple yet sweet and a proclamation of our love for each other," they describe.
The couple also wanted to have a community vow—a vow that guests spoke to them in unison—and took on a DIY project to make it happen with the help of some friends. "My maid of honor Maggie, best friend Becca, and beloved man-friend Alan sat around the table printing, cutting, stuffing, and wax-sealing the envelopes by hand," Hannah says. "Ella tried to help but burnt off the tip of her acrylic nail and had to go get it fixed, ha!"
To end the ceremony, the newlyweds danced down the aisle to “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens, as Hannah's epic cape blew behind them in the wind.
Because they opted against doing a first look, Hannah and Ella made time for post-ceremony portraits. The timing was perfect, as they explored the property and posed for an assortment of photos—silly, sweet, and emotional—just before golden hour.
While Hannah and Ella embraced very different wedding looks, they coordinated on their accessories, with both wearing white boots and simple gold wedding bands (Ella's came from Catbird; while Hannah's was $75 in the L.A. jewelry district).
The newlyweds also posed with their wedding party, who dressed in shades of burnt orange and navy blue. "We let our close friends and siblings choose whatever outfits they liked as long as they were the right colors—that way, people could be comfortable with what they were wearing," adds the couple.
Notably, Ella’s brother, Luka was the flower man, and Hannah's sister, Naomi was the ring bearer.
After nearly three years of planning, Hannah and Ella naturally had to grab a pic with their all-star wedding planner who was by their side through it all.
Cocktail hour followed, complete with three signature cocktails—"The Lady," "The Charles," and "The Luna," named after the couple's two cats and pup—and fun keepsake opportunities, such as Polaroid photos and wildflower seed packets for guests to take home at the end of the night.
"The hardest part of the whole thing was twofold—first, having to cancel our original date in May during the fear and height of the pandemic and not knowing if we would even get to have a wedding and then, second, having to scale down the guest list and let people know that it would be a much smaller affair," admits the couple. "It was incredibly awkward but everyone was so gracious and understood."
Inspired by the venue, which the couple says was the "easiest decision they made while planning," reception tables were dressed with ikebana-inspired arrangements of native California flowers. "Hannah wanted the florals to feel like they had sprung from the garden itself and coexisted with the lush beauty of Holly Farm," says Ella of the designs, which were placed alongside a "river" of cherries and oranges. "The thick green goblets were meant to feel like you were at the home of an eccentric antique enthusiast. We wanted the elements on the table to be eclectic and yet somehow homey."
It made the reception that much more meaningful because it had been so long since we had seen everyone.
"It was at times overwhelming but, ultimately, such a blast and very special to be able to see all of our close friends and family after the year we all had," says the couple. "Everyone was so joyous—it felt like a reunion of sorts. It made the reception that much more meaningful because it had been so long since we had seen everyone."
During dinner, Hannah and Ella sat together at a romantic sweetheart table set below a wooden canopy that overlooked the farm tables, where guests were seated nearby.
In theme with the rest of the day's décor, Ella added a colorful flower crown over her veil. Hannah, too, added florals to her hair.
"Every item of food—from the cocktail hour filet mignon bites to the orgasmic options on the dessert table (banana cream pie cups, etc.)—was special and delicious," reflects the couple of the meal, which was served family-style. Their been-there, done-that advice for couples planning? "Never serve drinks without serving food at the same time! We made sure to have cocktails, mocktails, and FOOD available at all times."
As mentioned, Hannah and Ella cut their guest list from 250 down to 100, a decision they are glad they made—pandemic or not. In fact, they have this advice for couples planning: "Only invite people who fill your cup!"
"Every single detail reflected our tastes and interests—we put a lot of thought and effort into the little things," says the couple. Some special touches: Hannah’s famous taco bake potato as a late-night treat, and Ella’s favorite spin on a Disneyland dole whip.
'"We picked the song 'Higher' by Rihanna because we both drunkenly sang it to each other during our first date," says the couple of their first dance song. "Over the course of the year, we nervously practiced dancing—looking up tutorials on YouTube, trying to waltz. We ended up having so much fun—we didn’t think about the steps and still got a couple spins and dips in there."
As DJ Christie of Heart of Gold DJs played, more significant moments followed, including Ella's dance with her father to "My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder and a special dance between Hannah's sister and her mother. "Not only did we get to reunite with our family and friends after the pandemic but Hannah’s sister Maggie and her mother were reunited after 16 years of separation," Ella says. "They danced and sang 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' to each other on the dance floor. It was a very special and emotional time for everyone."
While dancing, guests were encouraged to visit the dessert table, which was overflowing with an assortment of treats including a simple gluten-free bundt cake (chocolate on chocolate!) decorated with wildflowers.
"We knew we wanted colorful, ikebana-style florals, fresh fruit on the tables, a photobooth, dole whip as a late-night treat, a taco-baked potato as an homage to Hannah’s channel, and a banging dance party with no curfew...also, signature drinks named after our pets," says Ella of their pre-pandemic wedding vision. And, while it may have been a year later than they'd originally planned, that's exactly what Hannah and Ella got—and more.
Venue The Holly Farm
Planner Heartthrob Weddings and Events
Ella's Bridal Gown Hayley Paige
Veil JLM Couture
Hannah's Jumpsuit Pronovias
Bridal Salon Kleinfeld Bridal
Ella's Rehearsal Dinner Attire Rime Arodaky
Engagement Rings Catbird
Officiant Naha of 22 Teachings
Floral Design Eothen
Stationery & Paper Products Prim and Pixie
Catering La Creme Monterey
Cake The Holly Farm
Photography & Videography Love and Wolves