A Light Blue, Jane Austen-Inspired Wedding in California
Reagan and Maxwell
Maxwell E. W. Chandler played bass in his church's worship band, and kept noticing a red-headed woman in the crowd—Reagan Lauren Asia Lynn. He finally asked her out. "He drove up into my driveway on our first date and opened the car door for me, and that was that," Reagan explains. "He told me ever since he saw me walk towards the car he knew he loved me dearly and would marry me some day." The two had plenty in common—in addition to an instant connection, attending the same church, and both having two middle names—and after five years of dating, Maxwell proposed.
Ever since she was little, Reagan admired a house in her grandmother's old neighborhood in Bakersfield, California, and dreamed about one day living there. So when her family decided to move in nearby, she voiced how much she loved it to Maxwell. He then took her on a walk, stopping by the house, and he popped the question there. Just over a year later, on March 25, 2017, another milestone occurred not far away—their wedding. Reagan (a venue manager and wedding planner/stylist) and Maxwell (a high school English teacher) tied the knot at Stockdale Country Club—a spot that has significant meaning as several of the bride's relatives have been members for generations and it holds a lot of memories for her. With that beloved house sitting on its grounds, it was even more special.
Reagan set out to plan the wedding of her dreams, with one condition…that Maxwell had a say in the music. After all, with his musical background, it was only fitting. The bride also grew up playing piano, so hints of the classical music she knew were woven in. The essence of spring was celebrated on the big day, and a soft color palette, Jane Austen stories, English gardens, the 1700s, and Georgian art served as the inspiration.
An Inspired Invitation
Maxwell went to Fino's Menswear for his tuxedo and accessories—it was a one-stop shop for his ensemble. Reagan had a harder time sorting out her attire. She went to several different places in Pasadena and Los Angeles, looked all over online, and still couldn't find a dress that felt right. Then she went to The Ivory Suite, and as she was feeling discouraged, tried on just the skirts they had. "I remember seeing this skirt from afar and knowing that it looked like a perfect, ethereal cloud," she says of the Martina Liana number. "When I stepped into it, there was the most amazing silk underneath that brushed against my legs and the tulle on top was so soft as well. I knew I had to get it." So she bought the skirt with the idea of designing a top. Reagan then met with a seamstress, picked out designer fabrics and three different laces, and they got to work to create a bodice with a "soft garden effect" that was one-of-a-kind.
The Bridal Bouquet
Reagan wore ballet shoes with silk ribbons tied around her ankles. "Ballet makes you feel classic and elegant and that's how I wanted to feel on my wedding day," she says. She spent 16 years as a ballet dancer, and that shaped her world and her style. "It influenced me so much that I truly believe it's to thank for my good taste most of the time."
Fun with the Little Ones
The flower girls also wore Renz dresses (like the bridesmaids) and ballet slippers (like the bride) with blue capes sewn by the mother-of-the-bride, and the ring bearer's sported mini tuxedos that matched the men. Here, the girls wave ribbons wands made by Reagan and the boys play trumpet horns, while standing in front of a bespoke backdrop by Custom Creations inspired by old French interiors.
One Sweet Ride
A 1960s Rolls Royce picked up the bride to take her to the wedding venue, and then went and got the groom. "I dreamed of driving in an old vintage car like that for my wedding," Reagan says of the classic ride.
The First Look
The couple calmed their nerves by seeing each other before the ceremony. Maxwell loved the intimate moment and says it didn't take away from the surprise of seeing her walk down the aisle. "That moment still brought a mix of emotions out of me," he says. "I thought of the day we first met, our first date, and even thought of our future in that short amount of time of seeing her beauty grace the aisle."After the first look, the duo took more photographs in the same spot where Maxwell proposed and around the golf course.
The Bride's Entrance
The bride entered on the arm of her father, to the sound of "Dawn" by Dario Marianelli, off the 2005 soundtrack to Pride & Prejudice. "Walking down the aisle was such a surreal moment," she says. "I remember looking at a few members of the audience at first, and then thought, 'Where is my groom?' I was living a dream and didn't want it to end. I finally made eye contact with Maxwell and I felt so much calmer and started to cry."
The traditional ceremony took place on the lawn, with the bride and groom standing in front of an arch covered in trailing flowers and greenery. The ceremony concluded with the newlyweds walking up the aisle to "Till There Was You" by the Beatles—a song they had sung and danced to so many times.
The bride's mother hand-squeezed the signature drink of the day, lemonade with lemon thyme from her garden as a garnish, which has been the bride's favorite drink since she was a child. It was served with foil-stamped cocktail napkins. Cocktail hour took place in front of the reception tent, just a short walk from the ceremony. Since the couple love live music, they booked a jazz band to play.
Everyone ventured into a tent for the reception, where tables were set with white linens, soft blue runners, and white chairs. "I wanted the tables to feel as if they were placed in a French garden," Reagan says. Taupe taper and pillar candles created a warmth and contrast, and centerpieces were made by Poppy Design Co. using mostly white and ivory flowers, with assorted greenery.
The Place Settings
Modern gold flatware balanced the soft, feminine plates, which were topped embroidered napkins from the Ark, tied with silk ribbon. Dinner began with a mixed green salad with caramelized walnuts, berries, gorgonzola cheese, and Chardonnay dressing. An eight-hour braised short rib followed, with sides of locally-grown russet potatoes and organic carrots.
A Table for Two
The newlyweds dined at a sweetheart table, with fabric hand-painted by the bride and her bridesmaid hung behind them.
Lighting It Up
Reagan bought the three chandeliers that hung in the tent and spent hours putting them together with help from her parents. "There was a lot of love poured into those things," she says.Below, the couple's monogram was projected onto the white dance floor.
The First Dance
The Beach Boys are one of Reagan and Maxwell's favorite bands, so they chose one of their song "Then I Kissed Her" to play during their first dance. "We saw Brian Wilson together at the Hollywood Bowl during one of my favorite dates with Reagan, and this song really spoke to both of our styles being meshed into one," Maxwell explains.
After that, Reagan and her dad took a spin to Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E" and Maxwell swayed with his mother to "In My Life" by the Beatles. "My entire family is obsessed with the Beatles and John Lennon's lyrics in this song really reflect the love you have for all of the people in your life," he says. "This was a great message to my wife, our families, and our friends. My mom was crying the whole song. Tears of joy, of course."
Along with those classic songs, jazz, tunes from the 1950s and 1960s, classical pieces, and French music played.
Though they met for the first time at the wedding, the flower girls had a blast and danced together during the reception.
A Classic Touch
Reagan always wanted a Champagne tower, so the coupes were stacked and they poured the bubbly from the top.
The Wedding Cake
A chocolate cake with vanilla frosting made by GhilaDolci Bakery was enrobed in white fondant and adorned with piped icing inspired by French architecture and filigree.As a surprise to the waffle-loving groom, the breakfast staple was served as a late-night snack. With his and hers options, there was one with fried chicken and another with lavender and berries, respectively.
Photography, Mariel Hannah
Location and catering, Stockdale Country Club
Event planning, Bleu d'Or
Day-of coordination, Fairy Godmother
Flowers, Poppy Design Co.
Videography, Kavin Lindgren Films
Officiant, Brent Van Elswyk of River Lakes Community Church
Stationery and calligraphy, Kelsey Malie Calligraphy
Additional stationery, Matinae Design Studio
Calligraphy on mirror, BNB Calligraphy
Cake, GhilaDolci Bakery
Hair and bridesmaids' makeup, Alivia Daniels
Makeup, Jana Maes
Bridesmaids' dresses and flower girls' dresses, Renz
Menswear, Fino's Menswear
Lighting, Freestyle Events
Transportation, Classy Chassis Rentals
Custom blue backdrop, Custom Creations