This Couple's Color Block-Themed Wedding Generated No Floral Waste
Janelle Wylie met Stephen Thomson while serving tables at The Cheesecake Factory in early 2008. The two became friends, often spending time with their co-workers after a shift, but they lost touch when they both stopped working at the restaurant. In 2012, the duo reconnected when Janelle commented on a photo Stephen posted on Instagram of a bike ride at the beach. "Seems fitting we got married just a few miles from where he took that picture!" Janelle tells us.
In February 2019, Stephen planned a proposal during a camping trip in Los Osos, California. The two went on a morning walk along the California coast and when they came across a picturesque spot overlooking the ocean, he asked Janelle to marry him with a vintage rose gold solitaire ring from the 1890s. Janelle had been eyeing that exact ring eight months earlier, but was disappointed when she realized it must have been sold to another buyer. "In my mind, it was the one that got away," Janelle says. "Little did I know he was the one who bought it!" Janelle responded to his proposal with, "That's cool!" at first, snapping back into the moment to give him an official "yes." The couple went back to their campsite and embraced the lack of cell service to soak in their engagement in private.
For their big day, the couple invited 150 guests to Huntington Bay Club in Huntington Beach, California, to attend their "retro beach rainbow" themed wedding on November 2, 2019. As a professional event florist, Janelle took on most of the design details herself, but she and Stephen worked with the team from Stylish Details Events to help them keep track of all the details.
The Colorful Invites
The bride wanted to use color blocking for the invitation suite to incorporate some of the shades seen throughout the day, including dusty blue, olive green, pale yellow, rose pink, and rust orange. The set included a vellum overlay of a wallpaper print from one of the couple's favorite spots in their city. "The Green parrot is a symbol of Santa Ana, the city we live in and grew deeper in love, so we really wanted to have that element representing us," Janelle says.
Sleeves and Buttons
Janelle knew that her silk Lena Medoyeff wedding dress, with long sleeves and back button detailing, was the right one the moment she put it on. "It was super obvious," she says. "I've never put on anything so comfortable and perfectly made for me in my whole life!" She finished her look with various vintage pieces of jewelry and rainbow Charlotte and Stone sandals that matched the color palette of the wedding.
Stephen wanted a retro look for the wedding day, so he had a custom brown suit made by Grooms Grotto. His grandmother couldn't make it to the wedding, and according to Janelle, "a poppy is the quintessential symbol of her vibe," so she found a vintage poppy brooch to gift Stephen before the ceremony. He wore the brooch instead of a traditional boutonnière. Thankfully, though, his grandmother was able to take part in the celebration, even from afar; she FaceTimed the newlyweds after the ceremony.
Ahead of the service, Janelle and Stephen shared their first look at their venue, Huntington Bay Club. "It was so wonderful to connect and just have a moment to really focus in on us," the bride says. "We laughed, we cried, and hugged. After, I was on cloud nine—and so ready to marry him."
Hats All Around
The groom wore a plaid flat cap and Janelle donned a brimmed hat from Eliurpi, a hat designer she met on a trip to Spain the previous Summer. She tied a translucent silk ribbon to the hat to mimic a trailing veil.
The wedding party was given a color scheme—predicated on the event's overall palette, inspired by Janelle's collection of textiles—and asked to select the shade they felt best in. "The process was fun!" Janelle says. "They all picked silk accents in ribbons, scarves, and hankies from my collection in their matching colors. It was a monochromatic dream."
Each bridesmaid held a bouquet of three floral varietals (or less!) in their corresponding color.
Children took part in Janelle and Stephen's wedding party, too; they wore custom silk outfits by French designer Christina Sfez, using hand-dyed silk from Tono + Co. "It's the first of its kind," Janelle says, of her company's wearable textiles. "I was super thrilled to see this project in reality." The kids also waved ribbon wands that matched their outfits as they walked down the aisle.
Both the bride and the groom love being barefoot on the beach, so it was only natural for them to tie the knot in that setting. Wooden chairs were set up in the sand with the harbor as the backdrop.
As for the décor? Janelle went foraging for flowers and foliage about six months before the wedding and dried them for the event. For the ceremony, she used grasses in mixed heights—some were buried in the sand—for a natural design. Ultimately, all of the service's natural decorations were 100% reusable.
Janelle created flower packets with a thank-you card for each guest; the pouches were placed on each chair so that guests could toss petals after the duo was pronounced husband and wife.
During the ceremony, the wedding party made their way down the aisle to Bon Iver's "Stacks;" Janelle was escorted to the altar by her father to Rhye's "Open." The bride and groom exchanged vows they wrote for each other against a backdrop of a crescent-shaped grass structure and the boat-filled harbor. "Everyone commented on how transparent and full of love it was—there wasn't a dry eye to be found," the bride recalls.
The couple recessed back up the aisle to "Harvest Moon" by Poolside. Guests tossed flower petals on the happy couple as they walked straight into married life.
Stephen and Janelle enlisted help from mixologist friends to make two custom drinks. "This was a great part of wedding planning," Janelle says. "Both of our signature cocktails totally represented us." In addition to their personalized offerings, they served beer, wine, and Champagne during the cocktail hour. Attendees snacked on passed appetizers like coconut shrimp and tomato basil arancini.
Find Your Hue
Janelle was set on finding a way for guests to find their table by color instead of by number, so the couple enlisted their groomsmen to bring her color-blocked seating chart to life. "A few days in the garage, some plywood, glue and paint, and we created a super unique seating chart color installation," she explains.
Dinner and dancing took place on the venue's outdoor terrace, overlooking the harbor. Long tables were set up for a family-style meal.
Each long table was topped with an extra-wide hand-dyed silk runner in a different shade, like olive, sky, rust, and honey. Guests found their names on the seating chart installation and grabbed a seat at the table that corresponded to their assigned color.
In lieu of numbers, each table was named after its colorful décor.
The Planted Centerpieces
For centerpieces, the bride used hand-made ceramic planters, gifted by one of her bridesmaids, to plant (reusable!) rooted flowers, including violets, violas, and a few fresh blooms with foraged grasses and dried flowers.
Janelle aimed to generate absolutely no floral waste during this part of the wedding, so she made sure the centerpieces were re-used and made potpourri from her bouquet post-event. "This was an important detail for me, as I've thrown a lot of flowers away at weddings in my 10 years of being a florist. I wanted our wedding to create as little trash as possible," the bride says.
Complementary Place Settings
In addition to the main centerpieces, smaller arrangements, composed entirely of dried florals placed in bud vases, dotted the tables. Each spot was marked with silver cutlery, a white linen napkin, and a printed menu in the color that corresponded to the rest of the table's decorations.
The couple printed monochromatic dinner menus highlighting the various food stations, including a taco and a polenta bar and Stephen's aunt's famous cookies. "She made over 1,000 for our wedding, all hand-made!" Janelle says. The couple shared their first dance to "Post Cards from Italy" by Beirut. They later took a four-day mini-moon to Sedona and plan to take a longer trip later this year.
Photography, Sposto Photography
Venue, Huntington Bay Club
Event Coordination, Stylish Details Events
Event Design and Flowers, Lavenders Flowers
Wedding Party Flowers, Kate Holt Creative
Videography, Andrea David
Bride's Gown, Lena Medoyeff
Bride's Hat, Eliurpi
Bride's Shoes, Charlotte and Stone
Hair and Makeup, 1011 Makeup
Groom's Attire, Groom's Grotto
Catering, 24 Carrots Catering
Photo Booth, All Star Photo Booth