Joanna Miriam Photographers has shared these wonderful photographs of Jennifer and Nathan’s wedding. The couple was joined by their family and friends as they recited their vows to each other beneath the gorgeous gazebo at the Heritage Museum in Orange County, California.
How did you meet?
Our meeting was a little scary and by scary I mean, we met while working at Knott’s Scary Farm. The classic “We met in a prison for the criminally insane” story. She was a prison nurse and he was an escaped inmate… a match made in heaven? But really, we met working as monsters in the maze “Lock Down”. By the end of the short haunting season we had developed a friendship that blossomed into a romance a few years later.
How long did you plan the wedding after the proposal?
A year and three months, but we had already discussed the idea of marriage and brainstormed the creative ways to handle our nuptials.
The top 3 challenges/difficulties of planning the wedding.
1. Finding a C-3po to Officiate the wedding proved impossible. (But that was a blessing in disguise, as we ended up with the BEST officiant ever!)
2. Time management of DIY projects.
3. Miscommunication with vendors. (Tip: Check up with your vendors people.)
The top 3 most fun/easiest parts of planning the wedding.
1. Having a DIY wedding was incredibly rewarding, however,they are not for everyone. Some of our most treasured marriage-memories are actually from the prepping stages. Working on projects with our friends and family, bouncing ideas (good and hilariously bad), and working through DIY-fails. Planning a wedding can be challenging as is, but the extra effort paid off, and many lessons were learned.
2. Working with some of the most caring and creative people in our lives. We have a supportive network of friends and family who were there to help us with whatever we needed. We had extra hands on projects, ears to listen to hours of wedding-talk, and extremely talented friends to help make our wedding extra special.
3. Meeting great people and vendors during the planning process that made our wedding run smoothly. We were extremely lucky with our photographer, Joanna, and the Heritage Museum’s event coordinator, Jamie. Leading up to the wedding they were both enthusiastic about the wedding and eager to help with all of my questions. When the actual day came around, we were confident that these ladies would make sure our day ran smoothly.
What fun/unique feature of your wedding made you the proudest?
We wanted the wedding to be a reflection of us, and most of all, be remembered as fun!! We are both creative people, so a standard wedding theme wouldn’t do. An “Out of this world” wedding was what we desired. We are both greatly inspired by Space. Jennifer is an artist, and draws a lot of her inspiration from Science Fiction, especially Space-Adventures like Star Wars and Steven Universe. Nathan, although a lover of Star Trek: Next Generation, is more of a follower of Aerospace and Star Talk. Doing a lot of DIY projects for our Space-themed wedding gave us an excuse to do a huge art project together combining some of our most inspirational influences. It also brought us closer to the people that helped us make it happen.
If you had it to do over, what would you change, add or do differently?
I would invest more in professionals to handle the planning the day of. I was lucky to have a support system I could count on, however, I regret not hiring a professional wedding coordinator to run things the day of the wedding. I would have also taken more time to confirm and reconfirm details with all of my vendors.
Many couples who enjoy the creative aspect of life like to take a very active role in the planning and designing of their wedding day, as in the story of Jennifer and Nathan. The couple drew from each other’s creativity to produce a day they will never forget. Jennifer used her talents to custom paint the Groom and groomsmen shoes as well as the bridesmaid dresses. Their creativity extended to their choice of transportation. “We drove Nathan’s Vintage Car, a 1949 Hudson Commodore 8. Decorated with flowers (by Kara), painted windows, space toys, and cans.”
The officiant, Adam, was, “extremely personable and went beyond our expectations. Without being asked, he created his Jedi Cosplay, and incorporated our Space-theme into our ceremony while being eloquent and funny at the same time.” The cake designer, Claudia, was “extremely professional and enthusiastic about making our Space-themed Cake. She made the cake-process extremely easy and fun. Our Space-Geode wedding cake and cupcakes were equally delicious and beautiful.” The musicians were chosen by Jennifer who had asked Catherine to perform live for the reception because of her captivating and beautiful voice. “Catherine and her band went above and beyond to learn and perform covers of some of our favorite songs.”
When it came to choosing the photographer, Joanna (Joanna Miriam Photographers) was extremely helpful from the moment they met. “She was already giving us helpful hints and tips before we hired her, and she continued to be a fountain of information whenever we needed it. Once we had our engagement session with her, we know we had made the right choice. She is incredibly friendly, professional, and intuitive when it comes to photo shoots. She is also has a lot of experience taking beautiful wedding photos. Knowing she was there was a huge relief.”
The reception was held at the Chuck Jones Center. “The beautiful lights hung above were included in the Chuck Jones Venue and the main reason we were interested in the venue in the first place. Lighting played a huge part of our reception. We wanted our reception to be accented more with lights than flowers, so most of our DIY projects incorporated lights. The lighted arch behind the sweetheart table was built and designed by Nathan and the father of the bride, Lovell B Willmore, with help from the groomsmen. The interior spaceship set behind the DJ, was designed and built by Nathan, but our friends are responsible for incorporating the color changing LED’s that made the stage a focal point. Every table had twinkly lights surrounding the handmade Star Wars themed “toy-arrium’s” made by Jennifer. Family and friends helped set up all of the reception decorations before the Ceremony. Kara, the florist, accommodated our special request for lights in the bouquets. Even the kids zone had light up toys and glow gear. But Jennifer’s favorite DIY light project was planned early on, and came together last minute. She made their grand entrance in a magical, twinkly, LIGHT-UP wedding dress. Wearing a petticoat, customized with battery operated twinkling lights, really gave our grand entrance a WOW-factor…. it also made Jennifer feel like a princess wearing Batman’s utility belt, and she loved it.”
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