Huron Substation Wedding: Ben and Beth

January 12, 2010

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Before I dive in, I’m so excited that this wedding is featured on the fabulous Blog 100 Layer Cake today! 

Ben and Beth contacted me a few months ago regarding their November 7 Huron Substation Wedding and hired me to help design and plan their unique wedding. The historic Huron Substation was built in 1906 to house equipment that converted high-voltage electricity supplied by the Edison company to the L.A. Railway “Yellow Cars” that provided urban transportation for years.

Today, the Huron Substation is a private residence owned by Meike Kopp and rented out for filming, special events, and a limited number of weddings per year. Ben and Beth were lucky to be in that limited number for 2009!

Ben, a British Astronomer, and Beth, a Psychiatrist did not want the big white poufy wedding, but more of a stylish urban wedding that reflected them. Instead of a long white dress, Beth wore a killer couture Lanvin cocktail dress, and in homage to Ben’s homeland, British chef Alex Webber of Alex Catering created an authentic menu of Scotch Eggs, Welsh Rarebit, Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Poached Salmon with Hollondaise, etc. Yum!

When the wedding invitations went out,  Beth and Ben requested that guests send them their favorite recipe, whether it be for food, drink, or life, and a cookbook was created and given to the guests as favors. I even snagged my own copy of the cookbook and tried out the pizza dough recipe the other day. What a great memory for everyone that attended the wedding!

For decor, Beth trusted my opinion that none other than the insanely talented Holly Vesecky of Holly Flora design the flowers for the wedding. Beth gave me the freedom to play around a bit, and so I created paper table runners for the wooden tables using some ribbon and Martha Stewart’s awesome paper punches. I love those things. I instructed Beth to go crazy purchasing candles and pointed her in the direction of Luna Bazaar. She took my advice and the place glowed with candle light. I love candle light against raw brick walls. So pretty! My favorite part of the decor were the hanging oil lantern globes from the balcony. They twinkled like stars and I told Ben that was a tribute to him because he builds the huge telescopes that see to the end of the universe.

As guests arrived they were greeted with Pimm’s Cups for a pre-ceremony cocktail. The ceremony was set up in the round, took place in the courtyard, and was officiated by Peri, a good friend of Ben and Beth.  One of their friend’s Gary played the guitar and sang for the processional, and Beth’s brother Kirk sang and played for the recessional. It was intimate and touching.
Huron Substation Wedding
The 80 adult guests loved the casual and relaxed vibe of the evening, and the 10 or so kids that attended had a game room upstairs complete with nannies and toys. Dinner was a delicious hit and DJ Patrick Belton from Dubgypsy Entertainment kicked off the party. A white leather couch upstairs was set up as a photobooth area and the guests had a great time playing with the basket of props.

The wedding cakes were a mixture of family recipes and even a traditional English Bride’s cake that Beth made herself. The cake calls for fruit steeped in Rum and Beth started steeping the fruit not too long after Ben proposed to her.
Huron Substation wedding night
The evening was laid back, stylish, meaningful, and fun. Everything could not have happened without the support of the following vendors:

Design and Coordination – Amber Events
Floral & Decor – Holly Flora
Photography – Carolyn Troadec for Troadec Photography
Site Management – J Loop Haro of Tact Event Management   (and A Trouser Tale fame!)
Catering – Alex Catering 
Bar Service – CFR Mixology
Music – Dubgypsy Entertainment
Makeup – Kellie Jo Grandy

Beth had quite an adventure from Los Angeles to Paris to put her ensemble together, so I asked her to share:

“Well, here’s the story of what I wore. There is no particular reason I wore dark blue. I just knew I’d rather have a lovely dress that made me feel special — and I could not imagine feeling that way in a big white dress. I found the Lanvin at Kirna Zabete  a boutique I absolutely adore. Our Paris trip in August allowed me to find several other things. I hunted ceaselessly for shoes. The dress was difficult — it needed some slightly chunky shoes but I had to soften it, make the look romantic, for the wedding. After days of hunting, the YSL shoes finally appeared and they were the perfect mix of edgy and substantial while being strappy and sexy and alluring. I was also looking a wrap of some sort — since it would be November — but having little luck. It occurred to me that I could probably get one made from a piece of fabric. When I went to the YSL store on Place St Sulpice in Paris for the shoes, I asked if there was a fabric store nearby. Yes indeed: around the corner was apparently the textile store for many of the designers on St Sulpice and after much hunting in the basement (speaking Spanish, because the shop owner didn’t speak any English) we found the sequins. I didn’t know what I’d do with it until I went to Camille de Pedrini in Pasadena. She has an amazing collection of dresses, bridal gowns, jewelry and other accessories. (Camille de Pedrini is next to my very favorite shop in LA, Rue de Mimo). Camille basically styled the outfit: we put the dress and the shoes on and tried various necklaces and bracelets (she has a lot of vintage jewelry) and then fell in love with the pink fabric/rhinestone necklace. That settled it. We styled the wrap and she sent me to a tailor she knows in Glendale who constructed it. It was wonderful to leave on all night — so perfect — and caught the light, etc. So Camille not only provided the accessories but helped me pull it together with that great asymmetric necklace that complemented the dress just perfectly.”

At this risk of this being the longest blog post ever, you can also read Beth’s newlywed perspective HERE.

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