A Fun and Moody Wedding in Long Beach, California
Lori and John
There was a moment during her wedding when the bride thought she might be having too much fun. "I was doing this booty-shaking move from a Kanye West video, and I thought, 'I hope my grandparents aren't watching,'" says Lori "LoLo" Klag, laughing. "But I know how right John and I are for each other because when I finished, he gave me the biggest high-five."
It may have been an unconventional move, but this wasn't exactly a by-the-books affair. "By the time we got engaged, we'd been to so many weddings," says John Klag. "We wanted to create something different, something that was pure us." For this couple—she's an interior designer for Homegirl Studio; he's the branch manager for a logistics company—that meant an occasion that combined tradition with irreverence, and high glamour with hip-hop.
Planned with the help of event designer Rebecca Simms of Wylie West Creative, the celebration took place in Long Beach, where LoLo and John met in college and dated for nearly two years before moving together to New Orleans in May 2016. October 14, 2016, started on a sentimental note, with a Catholic ceremony officiated by the same priest who had married LoLo's parents and siblings over the years. "Father Gary has been a part of our family forever and is super-down-to-earth," says LoLo. "He even cracked a few jokes during our ceremony."
From there, the 180 guests made their way to the Ebell Club Long Beach, a Spanish Revival–style venue for the reception, where they sipped Champagne, dug into short ribs, and plucked donuts from a handmade pegboard. Black-and-gold décor set a glamorous backdrop, while potted palms and slightly wild floral arrangements added a romantic Southern California vibe. The couple's shared passion for '90s hip-hop was also woven through the event, from cocktail napkins emblazoned with rap quotes to a playlist that inspired what John calls "an epic dance party."
It was a raucous evening, but the groom's favorite moment of the night was a quieter one: his first dance with LoLo, to the Otis Redding version of "You Send Me." "It was dead silent, and you could feel all the love and warmth in the room," he says. "You couldn't have written a more beautiful scene."
The Welcome Swag
The Wedding Party
A Special Accessory
"John and I were happy we did the counseling that comes along with Catholic wedding prep," LoLo says. Their late afternoon service at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church included a traditional processional, complete with four flower girls.
A Welcome Sign
The Seating Chart
A seating chart made out of old records and hip-hop lyrics greeted guests at the reception.
The Reception Setting
"I didn't want a generic ballroom for the reception," says Lori. With its Spanish architecture and tiled floors, the club brought plenty of character to the proceedings.
The Dinner Reception
Black-and-gold settings were offset by down-to-earth details like agate accents, shibori-dyed napkins, berries, and garden roses. "I'm not the girliest girl—I wear a lot of black—so I wanted the mood to be dark, mysterious, and romantic," says the bride.
The Place Setting
The dinner menu—aka, "dancing fuel" —juxtaposed rich dishes like short ribs and chicken roulade with plenty of vegetables. Lori and event designer Rebecca Simms shibori-dyed 200 napkins themselves—for almost 15 hours. "I seriously underestimated how long it would take!" says Lori.
"Funky romance" was the order of the day, says florist Theresa Anderson, of Petals and Pop in Huntington Beach. She delivered, with richly textured, cascading arrangements featuring garden roses, strawflowers, lugustrum berries, and ferns.
A Sweet Touch
A piece of black rock candy placed on each glass echoed the agate used elsewhere on the tables, and added a sense of whimsy.
Donuts for Days
The main dessert event: 200 donuts, hung from a plywood pegboard LoLo's father crafted and drove up from his home in San Diego. "He was super-proud of it," she says.
Time to Dance
The reception was held in a former philanthropic clubhouse built in 1924; the couple loved it for its old-world interior and massive dance floor.
Ceremony location, St. Bartholomew Catholic Church
Reception location, Ebell: the Ebell Club Long Beach
Event design, stationery, and welcome baskets, Wylie West Creative
Event planning, the Love Riot
Catering, Très L.A.
Flowers, Petals and Pop
Photography, Steve Cowell Photography
Cake, Creative Cakery
Doughnuts, Randy's Donuts
Music, Eusebio Akasa
Rentals, Signature Party Rentals
Bride's capelet, Bhldn
Hair, Monique Budriunas-Wenzel
Makeup, Judith Hsieh
Matron-of-honor's dress, Adrianna Papell
Groom's suit, Ralph Lauren
Best man's attire, Statement suit and shirt, from Al Weiss Men's Clothing (213-748-2022)
Ring-bearer attire, Men's Wearhouse
Custom koozie design, Little Spot Design/Emily Brock