This couple's SoCal-inspired wedding was incredibly cool.
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"Los Angeles is a city of contrasts," says Anne Sage, describing the way the SoCal town's natural beaches and forest converge with an urban sprawl of nearly 24 million people. That same juxtaposition could be applied to Anne and her husband, Ivan Juarez-Mrazek: She's an outgoing creative type who helms a bustling self-titled lifestyle blog, and he's a fact-obsessed analytical marketer.
Still, even the most opposite people can be brought together by a mean breakfast taco. In 2011, Ivan was a bachelor living in L.A., and Anne was a married editor living in San Francisco—but every month or two, Anne and other editors would meet at Ivan's house (he was a friend of one of them) to work on a joint magazine project. And sometimes, Ivan would cook breakfast. "He was this smart, funny, awesome guy who could cook," Anne says. "I asked him one time when we were all sitting around, 'How are you still single?'"
As Anne's marriage was ending, she and Ivan stayed in touch and corresponded through funny GIFs on Twitter, but it wasn't until after a lunch "date" in 2014 ("I was super- nervous, because I was like, 'Is this a date? Is this not a date?,'" says Anne) that the two became a couple. Two years later, Ivan proposed—but not before overanalyzing and missing two opportunities to pop the question—at their house, the same one Anne had often visited years before. The pair's delightful yin/yang-ness also made its way into their big-day details: Their venue, Hudson Loft, an industrial space, was peppered with pretty, soft fabrics and flowers in muted shades. Invites mixed clean lines with romantic gold leaf, and Anne's sleek, architectural gown draped and owed, thanks to its silk-crepe fabric. For other details, their vision was singular: "The most important thing for us was that we wanted it to be really fun for everyone," Anne says. "Oh, and the food had to be amazing." So they decided on Mexican—for Ivan's family heritage and because, as this pair knows well, not many people can resist a good taco.
On Friday, April 21, 2017, the duo exchanged self-penned vows in a nonreligious ceremony that was led by a close friend. It included the maid of honor and best man acting out some of the pair's entertaining text exchanges from their early days (Ivan had kept them all!). After the I do's, 107 of their nearest and dearest, all decked out in white, black, or shades of gray, gathered for signature cocktails and an authentic Mexican feast. Afterward, the duo switched up their footwear—she into Frēda Salvador boots, he into Saint Laurent sneakers—to get down on the dance floor as L.A.'s lights, from both the stars and the city's buildings, twinkled in the loft's windows.
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A Moment with Mom
Anne's mother flew out 10 days before the wedding so she could be present during what she knew would be a very busy time—it was really special for Anne. With a dress code of white, black, and shades of gray for those in attendance, Anne and her mom put together this slate-colored ensemble.
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The couple's friend Jayden Lee led the ceremony, surprising them by handing them each other's baby photos while telling them to always look for their partner's inner child. The three words Anne and Ivan used to guide their ceremony as they wrote it with Jayden were "playful, inspiring, and vulnerable."
Inspired by floral wallpaper, event designer Jesi Haack dreamed up a 3-D backdrop of roses, peonies, and greenery. Ivan walked down the aisle to "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys, Anne followed to "In My Life" by the Beatles.
Of the Alexandra Grecco silk-crepe sheath Anne wore, she says, "I wanted something streamlined and modern, with a beautiful drape."
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Following their Example
"My parents have been married 46 years, and they still hold hands and are affectionate," Ivan says. "I want to emulate the way they say 'I love you' to each other many times a day, and the way they're so good at compromise."
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Postceremony, Anne swapped her blush Lanvin kitten heels for a pair of metallic crocodile Frēda Salvador boots. "I wanted to wear a low shoe for the ceremony and fell in love with the kitten heels. Plus, I can wear them again. And then, for the reception, I just wanted something more fun. One of my favorite shoe brands makes amazing boots—so I wore those."
Ivan changed his footwear too—to a pair of sneakers by Saint Laurent. "If it were up to me, I'd own 100 pairs of shoes—and 80 of them would be sneakers" he says. "So it was an excuse to buy a really fancy pair."
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The pair spiced up the night with the El Guapo, a concoction of mezcal, yellow chartreuse, sweet bell pepper, chile de arbor, and agave lime.
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A Good, Clean Idea
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A Lofty Detail
Basket pod chairs—already at the loft—made sweet places for guests to hang during cocktail hour.
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A dreamy tablescape set the tone for the elegant dinner. Tall candlesticks and brass goblets brimming with peonies, hellebores, ranunculus, anemones, spirea, fritillaria, roses, geranium leaves, and jasmine vine dotted the centers of long farm tables.
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Nearest and Dearest
"Aren't they just the cutest couple ever?" Anne says of her maid of honor Caroline Lee and her husband, Jayden, who officiated the ceremony. Caroline ordered eight white jumpsuits to try on, and ultimately went with this one from Asos.
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"We really wanted our guests to have a fine-dining experience with Mexican flavors," Anne says of their buffet by Whoa Nelly Catering, which included carnitas, a play on street corn, and handmade tortillas.
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"The food was the biggest part of our budget by a long shot," Anne says. Included on the menu was this watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with arugula, sheep's milk feta, red onion, guajillo crema, and Pedro Jimenez vinaigrette.
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All Smiles, All Night
The pair laughed along as their dads toasted them during dinner.
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The Photo Booth
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Let them Eat Cakes
Too much cake? Not a thing! Blum's Coffee Crunch Cake, a California favorite, alternates sponge with coffee whipped cream frosting and covers the whole thing in a layer of crunch.
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A Delicious Dessert
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More Sweets to Savor
An array of cookies sweetened up the reception, including two shortbread versions: coconut lime and cinnamon. As did ice cream, in honor of the bride's 91-year-old grandpa who came down for the wedding. It's his favorite food, so four flavors of Salt & Straw ice cream were served.
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"Choosing the song for our first dance was the hardest thing," Anne says. "We have a lot of crossover taste in music, but we also have a lot of different taste in music. It got heated!" The pair settled on a just-right tune, "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies.
They shared a dance with her father and his mother to the sounds of Donovan's "Catch the Wind," played by their DJ, the Flashdance.
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Location, Hudson Loft
Event design, Jesi Haack Design
Event coordination, the Nouveau Romantics
Catering, Whoa Nelly
Flowers, JL Designs
Photography, Elizabeth Messina
Videography, Shark Pig
Stationery, Alissa Bell
Calligraphy, Nicole Miyuki
Ceremony and cocktail-hour music, Ready, Set, Go Music
Reception DJ, the Flashdance
Bride's gown, Alexandra Grecco
Bride's and groom's wedding rings, VOW by Vrai & Oro
Hair and makeup, 10.11 Makeup
Matron of honor's jumpsuit, Asos
Groom's suit, Lanvin
Photo booth, Smilebooth
Peonies, Flower Muse
Marbled place-card holders, Esselle
Escort-card soaps, Whole Foods Market
Ring box, the Mrs Box