Go Inside the Couple Behind Studio DIY's Colorful California Wedding
Kelly and Jeff
"Pink is my favorite color, and the venue was already dripping with fuchsia bougainvillea," says Kelly Lanza of her day's signature hue. "Shades of pink seemed such a perfect fit—we just had to go for it." Her groom, photographer Jeff Mindell, agreed. "He's not afraid to embrace the pink," she says. And go for it they did, with corals, salmons, peaches, and berry tones on eye-catching display during their garden-chic wedding on November 15, 2014, at a sprawling estate in Palm Springs called La Chureya. There were the bubblegum-pink maracas that guests shook during the couple's walk back up the aisle, the plastic flamingos that served as a whimsical escort-card display, the balloons bobbing in the swimming pool, and the abundance of garden roses, ranunculus, and peonies that dotted reception tables.
At the center of all this pink playfulness: Los Angeles duo Kelly and Jeff, high school sweethearts with a penchant for cheeky humor and showstopping gestures. Kelly, who runs the lifestyle blog Studio DIY, says that from the start, they knew they wanted their day to be fun with a capital F. Cue the mariachi band that led guests on a parade from the ceremony to the cocktails, and the family-style platters of taco fixings passed around the reception. Even the vows, recited in front of 100 guests in a nondenominational service, contained good-natured goofiness. Take this sample line from Jeff's promises: "I love you because you own the crazy. I don't know many people who would full-on break-dance in the cereal aisle at Trader Joe's."
After the ceremony, they owned the crazy together. Kelly slipped into a lace jumpsuit and coral sandals for the day's pièce de résistance: a five-minute choreographed routine to a customized mash-up of the couple's favorite hip-hop and pop songs that started out slow and exploded into a sequence of high-energy moves. "We practiced for weeks and didn't tell anyone," says Jeff. "Our guests were standing on their chairs, freaking out." Kelly, who kept shimmying even when her jumpsuit popped open in the back, says, "I don't think we've ever had more fun!"
A California Welcome
All of the pair's guests stayed at a nearby boutique hotel and the couple personally delivered welcome bags to each person. "It ensured that we said hello to everyone and had a chance to thank them for coming to celebrate with us," Jeff says.
Sunglasses, a custom map, a guide to the weekend with some photos from their engagement session, postcards made with Jeff's photos of Palm Springs, ban.do koozies, trail mix, citrus fruit, and Edoughble cookie dough were included in the tote, which was printed with their hashtag.
A Pink Stationery Suite
Flowers and flamingos marked the invites, which were calligraphed by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete and then flat-printed.
Balloons in the Pool
"We wanted to fill the pool with a pop of color and balloons seemed like the most fitting way to do so," Kelly notes. The floating décor also played a nod to the bride's fascination with balloons. "I love them because of the happiness and nostalgia tied to them," she notes. "They make everyone smile." Another nod to the inflatables was more subtle—the bridal party walked down the aisle to "Married Life" from the movie Up, and the bride followed to "Carl Goes Up" from the same soundtrack.
The Bride's Colored Dress
Kelly ordered (and returned) dozens of skirts for her four bridesmaids until she nailed down the shades that looked best together. The winners were skirts in shades of pink from ASOS, paired with ivory J.Crew blouses and pink feather brooches by Ban.do. All of the girls carried bouquets created by Holly Heider Chapple of Hope Flower Farm, made of peonies, poppies, ranunculus, garden roses, and lots of greenery.
"Since my favorite color stole the show, I thought it would be a fun touch to have blue shoes, since that's Jeff's favorite color," the bride says of her cobalt Kate Spade wedges.
Not loving the idea of a plain black tie, Jeff opted to outfit his groomsmen in bold floral-patterned skinny ties from Asos instead.
Shake It Up
At the ceremony, each attendee received a set of maracas; attached was a tag with instructions to "shake this before you shake that!"
Jeff 's uncle officiated the vows, held beneath a canopy of ranunculus, bougainvillea, and a swath of gauzy fabric.
A maze of gloriously kitschy lawn ornaments held calligraphed seating assignments.
The Place Settings
Wooden cutting boards, personalized with each guest's name, served as chargers, place cards, and favors.
An Oversized Menu
After eating appetizers inspired by the groom's Armenian heritage, everyone migrated to dinner. Calligrapher Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete penned the 10-foot square canvas menu, using interior house paint and large acrylic paintbrushes. It served as a statement piece for the reception. The family-style build-your-own taco party was perfect for sharing and befitting of a couple whose relationship started over a shared plate of mozzarella sticks back in their high school days.
Taking the Cake
Whenever Kelly and Jeff get away to Palm Springs they always pick up a slice of cake from their favorite bakery to eat at midnight once back at their hotel. They upheld that tradition at their reception, but with a twist: there were seven cakes total, in five different flavors, and they shared them with everyone. A pair of paper flamingos topped one of the petite wedding cakes.
A Choreographed First Dance
The lovebirds choreographed their own dance to a mix of songs by Michael Jackson, Pharrell, and Chris Brown, and threw in a track from the movie Sister Act 2.
A Vintage Car
Another surprise in the groom's favorite color? The getaway car. During their planning, Jeff was always pointing out wedding photos that had vintage cars in them, so Kelly surprised him with one for portraits, and the same sweet ride drove them from the reception to their hotel at the end of the night.
Find out what happened after the honeymoon! Kelly and Jeff take us inside their first year of marriage!
Location, La Chureya
Event design and production, and stationery, Bash Please
Catering, Miho Catering Co.
Flowers, Holly Heider Chapple of Hope Flower Farm
Photography, Katie Stoops Photography
Videography, Dewberry Cinema
Calligraphy, A Fabulous Fete
Cakes, Over the Rainbow Cupcakes & Desserts
Ceremony and cocktails music, Mariachi Serenata
Reception music, Gary Ames of The Flashdance DJs
Rentals, Classic Party Rentals; The Hostess Haven; La Tavola Fine Linen; Minted and Vintage
Bride's gown, Chaviano Couture from Love and Lace Bridal Salon
Bride's shoes and earrings, Kate Spade
Wedding rings, Yanina and Co.
Hair and makeup, 1011 Makeup & Hair
Bridesmaids' attire: J.Crew blouses; ASOS skirts; Ban.do feather brooches
Flower-girl dresses, Hucklebones
Groom's tuxedo, Sandro
Groom's accessories, Hugh & Crye shirt; Zara shoes
Groomsmen's ties, ASOS
Getaway car, Classic Car Rental Connection
Balloons, Geronimo Balloons
Bartending, Barçon Cocktail Co.
Cake topper, Bhldn
Illustrated wedding map, Kate Wong
Photo booth, Smilebooth
Pink and gold mini bowls, CB2
Welcome bag, Zazzle
Welcome booklet and ceremony program, Minted