THE FLORIST/EVENT STYLIST
Carissa Jones Jowett, JL Designs, Los Angeles, CA
"Our décor decisions started with finding a location. We wanted a beachfront spot so that my fiancé's family from Missouri could experience our favorite part of living in California. We also wanted a venue that none of our local guests would be familiar with. But finding a unique oceanfront location proved to be a lot more difficult than we'd thought! After looking for months, I ended up working on a wedding held at a private home in Malibu, and I knew I'd found the spot.
"Because the rental fee took a large chunk out of our budget, I knew I had to scale back on the décor. I was okay with that, though, because I wanted to let the ocean views and the natural beauty of the venue shine through—I didn't want the decorations to overshadow them.
"Because there are so many styles that I love as a designer, I really had to reign myself in. For example, I love Hollywood glam and vintage 'Anthropologie-type' looks, but neither would work for the kind of wedding we were having. So I'd find myself counting on my husband, who has a very sleek, modern style, to keep me in check. He's an architect, and that influenced the design a lot. We decided to go for a clean, 'mono-botanical' look with a mostly white color scheme, since I thought that would be a nice juxtaposition to the lush grounds and blue ocean surrounding us.
"I used phalaenopsis orchids even though they're expensive, because just a couple of stems in a vase is enough to make a strong, dramatic statement. Also, we were having a cocktail-style reception instead of a formal sit-down dinner, so there was no need for big centerpieces.
"In addition to drawing inspiration from the architecture world, I pulled ideas from travel, interior design, and food magazines. In one design issue I saw photos of white coral used as décor, which I thought was a great way to incorporate a 'beach' look without going the seashell-and-starfish route. We arranged coral in tall glass vases along the aisle and around the reception area, and incorporated small pieces onto our cake."
Photos: Jasmine Star