The William Aiken House Wedding – Kristen & Robert
Kristen and Robert met on June 11th, 2016 at a “White Party” being held in Hermosa Beach, California. It was just another typical Saturday night at the beach in SoCal. Kristen says that she had big plans to stay in and watch a movie when a friend of hers called and said to throw on her favourite white outfit for a party down the street. She hesitated but has a hard time saying no to a theme party so she got ready and was there in half an hour. Little did she know she would meet the love of her life that night! From across the room, there he stood, with a group of his friends all dressed in white. They made eye contact and with a little help from her girlfriend, met each other and ended up spending the rest of the night talking. “We knew that night that “this was different” and that our lives would never be the same after. It truly was love at first sight.”
About 5 months later, on December 17, Robert asked Kristen to marry him in the MOST amazing way ever. “I still get chills thinking about it.” It was the night of his company Christmas party and he had asked her to meet him at his house a little early so that they could exchange presents as she was leaving the day after to spend the holidays with her family in South Carolina. Whenever she arrived at his house, he told her he had all the gifts in his car and to hop in as they were on our way to a surprise he had for her. “I had no idea what was going on but did as I was told,” says Kristen. About an hour later, they pulled up at the Beverly Hills hotel and as they parked he said “Merry Christmas!” He knew that this was somewhere she had always dreamed of staying and it was right around the corner from the location of his company Christmas party so it made perfect sense to her. Minutes later, they were listening to Frank Sinatra, drinking champagne and eating chocolate covered strawberries in the most beautiful hotel room she had ever seen. They took their time getting ready and right before it was time to go, Robert asked her if she wanted to have a drink with him in the Polo Lounge prior to leaving. As they walked in, someone proceeded to escort them to the terrace where she was then led to a table in the corner covered in red roses, baby pictures of both of them, a card with her name on it and lit candles. “It was like a scene out of a movie.” They ordered a glass of wine and he asked her to read the card. About two months prior, she had given him a card whenever he brought her to Oregon for the first time with “100 things I love about you” written inside. He had decided to return the favour and write 100 things he loved about her. The very last card read “100: I want to marry you!” Kristen burst into tears looked up at him and he had the most exceptional ring she had ever seen with a huge smile on his face. They spent the rest of the night celebrating and daydreaming about the beautiful future that they would create together.
When it came to wedding inspiration, Kristen and Robert really wanted to combine the feel of three places into their wedding day – Los Angeles, South Carolina, and Oregon. They wanted to make sure that God was at the centre of the ceremony. Kristen carefully selected several verses she wanted to be highlighted to reflect the love they share.
“The venue is already SO beautiful I really went with the less is more approach. I wanted to highlight what was already there. Floral was where I concentrated most and lighting was also very important. We got married underneath the most gorgeous chandelier and had two other hanging from our tent where the reception was. Encased candles were lit and hung from the tree that is a staple on the property and could not have been more romantic for the time of day or year.”
“I spent a lot of time getting inspired by different florals and based most of my theme around the silver dollar eucalyptus which had me at hello. Branch Studio Design captured exactly what I had in mind combining the lush greens to represent Oregon, the romance and charm to represent Charleston and the wildflower look to capture the Southern California vibe. I would say the decor highlight of the entire day was the pergola where we were married under. It had these gorgeous cascading flower arrangements down each side as well as a chandelier hanging right above us. It could not have been more romantic or perfect. The centrepieces were in tall gold vases that complimented the gold dinnerware that I chose. They were elegant yet bold.”
“My favourite part of the wedding was =walking down the aisle to my favourite song to my now husband. I walked to “Holocene” by Bon Iver and while a bit untraditional, it truly captures the love that Robert and I share. I remember the day I knew I would walk to it after agonizing what song to select. I was sitting in the kitchen and Robert was in the living room. I played the song and he started to weep because of what it meant to him – it brought him right back to the day we met. I would also have to say those last moments before walking down the aisle. I had about 15 minutes to myself and I was able to peer through the upstairs window of the house that was located on the venue looking over the ceremony. My Dad came in about 5 minutes before we were supposed to walk and prayed with me. It was precious and a moment I will always cherish. We also wrote our own vows which were incredibly important to us both. It was a very special and emotional process for us both. Robert actually got an applause after his!”
“Robert’s tux was custom made at Trunk Club in Los Angeles. He knew from day one he wanted a navy blue tuxedo with a black lapel. It fit him like a glove and he looks forward to being able to wear it again one day. To make it even more special, my 18-month-old nephew had on a matching tuxedo my sister found for him! The story of my wedding dress is a little bit more involved. I have always taken a major interest in fashion and so when it came to the most important dress I will ever wear, I knew I had to nail it. I wanted it to be timeless and beautiful yet unexpected. Comfort was a huge deal to me as I knew I would be spending a lot of time on the dance floor. I had a vision, being that my wedding was taking place outdoors in December, that I would have a high neck, sleeves and an open back. I live in Los Angeles so I was sure I could find plenty of options showcasing exactly what I wanted. Turns out, you really don’t know until you know. I probably tried on 65 dresses with a high neck and sleeves to only be more and more disappointed with the way they looked on my body. I genuinely tried to make it work but at the end of the day, you have to wear what flatters YOU – not what looks best in the magazine or online. I remember the day I found my dress … I had found a gown online that I adored (of course it had sleeves) and a boutique in Beverly Hills that carried it. I got the first appointment they had available and anxiously awaited to try on the dress I was sure was the “one.” I didn’t even get it all the way one before the consultant said “no way.” It looked awful on me. I felt so defeated and was quite simply exhausted from trying on white dresses. My consultant asked that since I had driven all the way there to try and take a look around to see if there was anything else that caught my eye. I grabbed a few so the trip wasn’t a total loss and proceeded to try them on. And then, it happened. The moment I had been waiting for: I had found the dress of my dreams. It was literally the opposite of what I had thought I would wear, but it was perfect. I chose Maria Elena jewels to compliment the dress and an Erica Koesler veil that hit at the exact perfect spot on the back of my dress. I wore the coolest shoes I have ever seen (all white feathers) and chose to keep my hair very simple – down with some light curls. I felt exceptional on my wedding day and never more comfortable.”
“The most anticipated moment was also the most special. Walking toward Robert to join him in marriage is by far the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. To have all of our loved ones witness us exchange vows and promise to love each other forever and ever will go down as the happiest moment of my life so far.”
Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography // Venue: The William Aiken House // Event Designer: Samantha Anderson Events // Cake Designer: DeClare Cakes // Floral Designer: Branch Design Studio // DJ: DJ Rehab // Dress Desiger: Hayley Paige // Shoes: Something Bleu Shoes // Tuxedo & Mens Attire: Custom Trunk Club & Hugo Boss // Groomsman Attire: The Groomsman Suit // Calligrapher: Coucou Calligraphy // Transportation: Low Country Valet & Shuttle Co. // Bridesmaid Dresses: Watters Bridal Inc // Veils & Headpieces: Erica Koesler Wedding Accessories // Ring Designer: Cartier // Officiant: Beach Church // Makeup Artist: Elysium Salon // Hair Stylist: SALON EDGE // Jewellery: Maria Elena Headpieces & Accessories // Cinema & Video: Siegal Films // Caterer: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group // Lighting: Innovative Event Services // Equipment Rentals: Event Works // Linens & Coverings: Nuage Designs // Dress Store: JLM Boutique // Dance Instructor: Living Tango