I am so happy to introduce you to our July profile of Ashley Colleen Vallandingham and Alex Choate Vejnoska (ACV2)!
Wedding Date: April 5, 2014
Guest Count: 160
Ceremony Location: North American Mammal Hall
Cocktails: Grand Foyer
Dinner and Dancing: African Mammal Hall
How did you meet?
We met the old fashioned way: on the internet. Alex posted a photo of his dog which happened to look exactly like my dog. I told him so, and the rest is recent history.
What made you choose the Natural History Museum for your wedding?
Truth be told, I had the venue picked out before the husband. :-) The first time I went to the NHM back in 2007, I stood in front of the dueling t-rex / triceratops and said (mentally) “If the day comes, I’m gonna get married here.”
Share some fun details about the event! What made your wedding AMAZING?
Where to start?! We had an amazing planner, Kaci Mallat of XOXO Weddings, (xoxowed.com)who made the planning process down right enjoyable and, come the big day, made sure we worried over nothing. So we were luckily set up for success.
We wanted our wedding to speak to our personalities. Alex is huge into Legos, so we made the escort “cards” out of Lego mini-figs that we customized to look like each guest (or as close as we could get em). This was a pretty big hit.
Since we’re both into video games, so we used that as inspiration for the grand entrance into the reception. Each wedding party couple entered to a different classic video game song with props. It ended up being super fun; just the right amounts of silliness and nostalgia.
I’d like to think the ceremony itself was personalized as well. We wrote our own vows (which we both made it through without sobbing, surprisingly), opted for a wine box ceremony and kept it poignant and a little science-y with readings from the one and only Carl Sagan. We also brought in couches for the wedding party to sit on/around in hopes it’d give the whole thing a less stuffy feel.
What was your favorite moment?
My favorite moment was definitely the giant t-rex rampaging through our guests. Mr Hunter Rex, as I believe that’s his name, came roaring out of the elevator immediately after the guests exited the ceremony. Not a single phone stayed in a pocket.
And the details(including but not limited to):
- Caterer: Savor This Moment (www.savourthismoment.com) Marlene was a joy to work with. Her food is delicious.
- Rentals: Hollywood Event Rentals (www.hollywoodeventrentals.com) did the lighting. Orchid Party Rentals (orchidpartyrentals.com) did stage and all other rentals.
- DJ/Music: Lee of Hey Mr. DJ. Cannot recommend this dude highly enough. Music was a big concern for us. We needed someone who understood the danceable indie vibe we were going for. Lee nailed it. (Info@HeyMisterDJ.com)
- Photography: Roger of EP Love.(eplove.info) I’m not the most comfortable photo subject. So, going into it, I had a genuine concern 90% the photos would come out with me looking like I was mid-sneeze. My fears were completely put to rest. Roger and his assistant made me feel totally at ease. Not to mention the photos being beautiful and all.
- Videography (and Photo Booth): Adam of Best Booth Plus LA. Where else can you get an amazing wedding video, a photo booth and a guest book made out of said photo booth pictures?
- Flowers: Bernie of Creative Floral Design. (www.creativefloraldesigns.com) I was planning to do the centerpieces (with the sand and painted succulents and whatnot) myself, but Bernie’s prices were so amazing it felt ridiculous doing it ourselves.
- Favors: In addition to the Lego escort cards, each guest was given a “Hangover Preparedness Kit” full of necessities such as Pringles, granola bars, a disposable toothbrush, Alka-Seltzer, water, etc.
- Dress: Custom made by Dawn at Atelier. (atelierbydawn.blog.com) I tried on not a single dress. I knew exactly what I wanted and, through the beauty of Yelp, found a pro dressmaker who blew me away.
- Shoes: My and my bridesmaids’ shoes all came from ModCloth: the only place I know to find Galaxy print heals. (www.modcloth.com)
- Suit: Ted Baker. I asked Alex if there was anything he wanted to say about his suit. He said “It had lapels.” I’ll add that it looked really good. (www.tedbaker.com)
- Hair: Jen Shedrock. To any bride (or person in general) who is looking for a slightly out-of-the-box color or style, Jen is the girl to see. (www.facebook.com/public/Jen-Shedrock-Beauty)
- Makeup: Angela Tam. I ended up trying out a couple different make up artists. I needed to find someone who understood when I said “dramatic cat eye” I meant just that. Finally I found Angela. She knew what I meant and knew what she was doing. (www.angelatam.com)
Any advice for future museum wedding couples?
It was really helpful to work with vendors that had experience with NHM events. Getting married in a museum came with it’s own set of concerns, and, even though the NHM staff was wonderfully helpful, having people on staff who knew the ins and outs was pretty clutch in the planning process.
Anything else you want to share?
I think that about covers it! Thanks so much!
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