June Groom-O-File: Matt and Gabe

For our June profile we decided to take a break from the brides and introduce you to a groom or two!

June Groom-o-files: Matt Seifert and Gabe Grifoni!


Wedding Date: October 19, 2013

Guest Count: 150

Ceremony Location: Grand Foyer

Dinner and Dancing: North American Mammal Hall


How did you meet?

We met at a bar in West Hollywood on a Sunday afternoon while Matt was on vacation (visiting from NY). Gabe asked him out for a coffee date and they started a 9 month long distance relationship until Matt moved to LA.


What made you choose the Natural History Museum for your wedding?

While we were looking for a venue, we came across the museum and the minute that we saw it, we couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing it would be to get married surrounded by dinosaurs! The architecture, gardens and history were a beautiful setting and our guests love being able to roam about the museum and explore.

Share some fun details about the event! What made your wedding AMAZING?


o   We used an old 1950s train suitcase for our cards


o   Topiary trees to hold the place cards


o   We had mini-pies instead of cake


o   We did a full loop around the dinosaur where we got married so we could high five both sides of the aisle after the ceremony was done.


What was your favorite moment?

Being able to get married next to a dinosaur

And the details (including but not limited to):


Caterer: TGIS (Thanks Goodness It’s Sophia) http://www.tgiscatering.com/

Table 11

Rentals: Signature Party Rentals http://www.signatureparty.com/

DJ: Raviv Ullman

No Photos

Photographer: Sloan Photographers; an amazing husband and wife couple: www.sloanphotographers.com


Dress/Suits/Shoes: Men’s Warehouse (Black by Vera Wang): www.menswearhouse.com 


Flowers: Bought from Trader Joe’s and arranged by the grooms. www.traderjoes.com



Topiaries: Party City www.partycity.com

Wedding Planner: Maryam Forutan www.delicate-details.com


Any advice for future museum wedding couples?

Enjoy the day. It really does go so fast. The best advice that we got was to step back a few times during the night and just take it in. All of these people are here to celebrate your love and your union.


Are you a past Bride or Groom and would like to be featured in our monthly Bride-O-File?

Thinking about having your next event at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles or the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits?

Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or send us an email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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May Bride-O-File: Carly Paoli

Planning a wedding can be intimidating, even for those who are experienced in event planning. There are so many details and people who need appeasing that the most important day of your life can become overwhelming rather quickly!

This new monthly in-depth profile feature will allow you to get to know a past bride or groom and find out how they coped and managed to turn a wedding at the Natural History Museum into the wedding of their dreams!

Meet our debut Bride-O-File: Carly Paoli!

bridal0081Wedding Date: October 12, 2013

Guest Count: 80

Ceremony Location: East Staircase

Dinner and Dancing: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Hall of African Mammals

Colors: Navy Blue and Lime Green

bridal0138Why did you choose the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for your Special Day?

I wanted a truly unique wedding, but I guess all brides say that right? Mike and I aren’t religious but we still wanted everything about our wedding to be about us and our love.  We saw about 7 other venues but absolutely fell in love with the museum and the dinosaurs – perfect for our geekdom, my science background and the fact that we believe in evolution/are not religious.

carly.mike0384After selecting the Hall of African Mammals for the reception with the highlight of the room being a diorama of elephants, we decided to have the whole wedding be elephant-themed.  This is also due in part to a personal nickname I gave to Mike when we first dating because he’s an animal lover (and a softie!) and told me that elephants are the only mammal besides humans who mourn when their family members die.  Ever since then, he’s been my elefante!

I_1126First look or wait until ceremony?

First look in the Natural History Museum’s Pollinator Garden (Editor’s Note: In full disclosure, I forgot to ask Carly this question, but this photo was so sweet that I couldn’t resist!)

I_0921Tell us about your ceremony!

I’ve been to a ton of weddings and never really been into the ceremony so didn’t really think too much about it when it came to my wedding.  Little did I know, it turned out to be my favorite part of the whole event. My father died in 2004 so I knew he wouldn’t be there to “give me away.”  When he passed way, it was a really rough time for my brother and I since we were so young (me at 23 and my brother at 20) so it seemed most appropriate to have my brother give me away.  He walked me down the aisle and gave me a hug and it meant so much to me!  What also were so emotional and memorable for me were our vows.  It was important to me to write our own vows in addition to doing the traditional ones.


What were some of the personal touches you added?

Luckily, my brother, who is a graphic design student, was so kind as to create a kissing elephant logo for us which we used on all the paper materials for the wedding.  details0032

Mike is a lover of music and has been singing his whole life (from BA in vocal performance to lead singer of a ska band to many roles in musical theater) so we wanted to be sure to focus on all musical aspects of the wedding!  Since Mike works at a music company, we had a lot of access to talent and used it!  One friend played guitar and ukulele (I came into “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole and we exited to “Home” by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros) for our ceremony and another friend played classical guitar at our cocktail reception.

I_0836We could not agree on a first dance song – he wanted “Mario Kart Love Song” by Sam Hart and I wanted “Grown Old With You” by Adam Sandler so we had two!  We had a fantastic DJ who played everything we wanted from Say Anything to Tim Minchin, Tegan & Sara and even Mike’s old ska band STU!


What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

The budget was definitely difficult.  Getting married in Los Angeles costs major bucks and even though we had a good amount saved we had to pinch pennies and cut things we had originally wanted.  My family pitched to help: my mom acted as the wedding day coordinator and my step dad handmade both my cupcake stand and my memory board to honor passed relatives.

details0105I cut the flower budget by not having any at the ceremony (my backdrop was the LA Rose garden so that helped) and I promised my bridesmaids they wouldn’t have to pay over $100 for their gowns which we made happen by hiring old college friends who are now fashion designers.  We also used friends to supply the ceremony and cocktail reception music.  And I found a caterer who let me supply my own alcohol so that saved a lot too!


Who else helped make this day possible?

details0110Caterer – TGIS (Thanks Goodness It’s Sophia) http://www.tgiscatering.com/

Wedding Photography – Jennifer Roper – http://jenniferroper.com/

details0050Rentals – Signature Party Rentals http://www.signatureparty.com/

DJ – Scott Norris – http://scottnorrisdj.com/

Hair & Makeup for bride – Carla Ross and assistants http://www.morethanaslash.com/

details0016Florist – Brad Austin http://www.bradaustin.com/

CropBride’s Gown – Lazaro http://www.jlmcouture.com/

Bride’s Shoes – Nine West http://www.ninewest.com/

Bride’s Necklace  – Judith Jack http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/judith-jack-double-circle-pendant-necklace/

Bride’s earrings – My grandma’s

Bridesmaid Dresses – designed and handmade by Amren Tulano http://www.amrentulano.com/index.html

Flower girl skirt – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/sassafrasgifts?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Flower girl basket – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/FallenStarCoutureInc

bridal0203Ring bearer vest – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/OliveAndVince

Origami elephants – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/bluepandemonium

Cupcakes – Susie Cakes https://www.susiecakes.com/

details0104Cake Topper – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/LuLuAmour

Placecards – Tradesy Weddings http://www.tradesy.com/weddings/wedding-decorations/lot-of-24-elephant-place-card-holders-indian-weddi-93672

Table numbers – Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/IrisPola

Suits – Men’s Warehouse http://www.menswearhouse.com/

Groomsmens’ suspenders – Hot Topic http://www.hottopic.com/hottopic/Homepage.jsp

Wedding Rings – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DG81SVI/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Groom’s tie – JC Penny http://www.jcpenney.com/

Custom Napkins – The Stationary Studio http://www.thestationerystudio.com/

All photos featured here are courtesy of Jennifer Roper



Are you a past Bride or Groom and would like to be featured in our monthly Bride-O-File?

Thinking about having your next event at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles or the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits?

Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or send us an email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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Hollywood Glamour meets Tar Pits!

Congratulations Sam and Emily!


 These two took their love of working in the film industry and turned it into one amazing wedding!


The ceremony took place on the upper terrace of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits overlooking the open-air atrium.This is a beautiful space that easily fit their 100 guests. Standing along the railing the couple took their vows as the sun set behind them over the Hollywood Hills. 


Personally, my favorite touch was the film canisters filled with flowers!


After a enjoying cocktails on the western side of the terrace, guests were greeted by a costumed usher and directed into the museum’s Hancock Theater. With 3-D glasses in hand, they settled into watch Sam and Emily, along with their bridal party, star in their own film full of mystery and adventure!


Dinner took place on the west side of the museum gallery which can seat up to 250 for dinner. 


The fossils were lit in an array of blues and greens which complimented our bright yellow dire wolf wall nicely!


Table centerpieces and the photobooth continued the Hollywood theme with lanterns and costumes fashioned after all the characters in the 3-D film!



 Russell Gearhart Photographyprovided these stunning images of the event. You can see more of his work at http://www.gearhartphoto.com/ Brian Armstrong was the wedding planner who helped makes Sam and Emily’s dream wedding come true. You can contact him at williamweddings.com   


Thinking about hosting an event at the Page Museum, Hancock Park or the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles? Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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A Girl, A Guy and a Unity Volcano (Yep, you heard right!)

Sepia OBP

So in case you hadn’t heard, 2013 marks the museum’s 100th birthday and the opening of our beautiful Otis Booth Pavilion. So when Shannon and Aaron decided to hold their ceremony in the pavilion, we couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Ceremomy color

The top level of the pavilion can hold up to 160 guests for a ceremony. The wedding party made their entrance across the bridge from the garden. The ceremony held lots of personal touches including a 8ft tall enclosure for their unity volcano!


The couple made good use of the museum for their photos. After all, what’s a wedding with out a trip to the Dino Lab…

Dino Lab

… or the Ralph M Parsons Discovery Center…


… or the marsh!


And after all that waking, the bride needed a rest and we got a chance to see the sparkly T-Rex heels!


Yes, potential brides, I said sparkly t-Rex heels!

close heel


After the ceremony and cocktails guests headed into the Mr and Mrs Samuel Oschin  and Family Hall of African Mammals for an amazing dinner prepared by the folks at Contemporary Catering. Station were set up and included some tasty treats such as a grilled cheese station and Pho.


The bride and groom were seated in front of the Lowland Gorilla and the best man kept his composure while giving his speech under the watchful eye of an Okapi!

best man

Centerpiece flowers supported chalkboard signs showing the chemical compounds of some of the couple’s favorite things.


A beautiful dessert and coffee station invited the guests for some tasty treats after dinner!

cake cutting

And, of course, the dinosaur theme continued throughout the evening!


A big thank you to Laura, Megan and everyone at Rebel Belle Weddings who pulled this event together.  Seriously, these folks are amazing and I encourage you to head over to http://rebelbelleweddings.com/ and take a look at their work. Thanks again for another unique and super-fun wedding Laura!

The amazing food came from Nathaniel and Co. over at Contemporary Catering. It’s always a pleasure to work with these folks. They can be reached at 310-558-8190 or http://www.contemporarycatering.com.

Twig and Twine arranged the gorgeous floral arrangements for the ceremony and reception ad DJ Pasha was amazing as always, keeping the music going throughout the evening. they can be found at http://www.twigandtwinedesign.com and http://djpasha-ent.com/#/home respectively.

And a huge thank you to Ryan Williams for these AMAZING photos! Please head over to his website at http://www.rawtography.com/ and take a look at his work, you will be blown away!


And a huge thank you to Shannon and Aaron for choosing to spend your special day with us! I love that “unity volcano” and “sparkly T-Rex heels” are now common phrases around here!

Thinking about having your next event at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles? Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or send us an email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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Happy 100 Years NHM!

On June 8 the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County celebrated its Centennial Birthday! And what birthday is complete without a birthday party?

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

As party guests arrived, they were shuttled through our stunning new Nature Gardens in open-air tour buses and dropped off in the East Gardens for cocktails.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

Curators were stationed throughout with pieces from their collection to entice guests to stop and chat while the performance artists were on hand to entertain.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

After cocktails, guests were brought into the Foyer and Mammals Halls for dinner.  The halls were transformed into dining areas complete with hanging terrariums, giant cutouts and nature-themed centerpieces full of lush succulents.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

The meal was created and prepared by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal Restaurant.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

After dinner, guests were ushered out to the After Party in our Nature Gardens and took special reserved seats on top of the car park to watch the unveiling of the new Otis Booth Pavilion.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

Starting the evening cloaked in mystery, a show was projected right on the side of the pavilion.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

After featuring photos chronicling the history of the museum alongside with commentary and memories from trustees, celebrities, employees and other friends of the museum, the new addition was finally unveiled!

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

The remainder of the evening was spent enjoying the brand new Nature Lab along and exploring the gardens with the sounds of a DJ spinning in the background. Treats and beverages were provided by Animal Restaurant ,The Butter End Cakery, Frosted Cupcakery, Semi Sweet Bakery, Magnolia Bakery, Smog City Brewing Co, The Brewery at Abigaile Strand , Brewing Co, Beachwood BBQ and Brewing, El Segundo Brewing, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Icelandic Glacier, Rosenthal Wines, and E&J Gallo Winery.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

The Grand Centennial Celebration was presented by JP Morgan.  Event production and design by Production Elements and their production partners Radar Creative, Classic Party Rentals, ShowPro, Delicate Productions Inc, La Petite Gardenia, and Z Valet.

NHM 100th Anniversary Gala

Are looking for a venue for a special celebration? Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or send us an email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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NHM is Turning 100!

Only one month left to go!


First up is the Grand Centennial Celebration on Saturday, June 8. We will be  serving cocktails in the new Nature Gardens and you will be treated to a preview of the new Nature Lab and Otis Booth Pavilion. Dinner looks to be an exquisite experience with a menu designed especially for this event!


The after party dessert reception will dazzle your senses with an amazing light and sound show. With the dual purpose of celebrating our 100th anniversary and unveiling the glorious new Otis Booth Pavilion, this party will be amazing! Also making his debut in his new home in the Otis Booth Pavilion is our iconic fin whale! Hosted cocktails and an array of delectable desserts will top off this most memorable evening!


Sunday June 9 is the 100 Birthday Bash!

Guests will be able to join Adam Steltzner from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a discussion about Mars Curiosity rover, they will enjoy tours of our brand new Nature Garden, and enjoy the delicious food from the ever popular food trucks. Entertainment on hand will be DJs Raul Campos, Anthony Valadez and Canyon Cody in the North American and Mr and Mrs Samuel Oschin Family Hall of African Mammals, and outdoor shows with DEVO and GZA/The Genius!

For more information on tickets for these events please visit http://www.nhm.org/site/about-our-museums/nhm-100/events Tickets are expected to sell out so make sure you check this out right away!

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Congratulations Amanda and Tom!

 Last fall our Haaga Family Rotunda was the setting for Amanda and Tom’s beautiful wedding!


As the Rotunda does not have a designated “wedding ceremony” area, couples are welcome to choose any section of the room to set up the ceremony. Amanda and Tom chose to say their vows in between two of the exhibit cases at the end of an aisle marked by  rose petals in shades of purple, blue and cream. Fabrics in similar hues cascaded from the mezzanine level to make a lovely backdrop.


As guests moved from the ceremony to cocktails and on into dinner, nothing could have prepared them for the sight of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Hall of African Mammals deck out in its finest!


Dinner tables of various shapes were enhanced with a massive array of flowers, manzanita trees and greenery provided by Romance, Etc (romance-etc.com).


Salads were pre-set by Tender Greens (www.tendergreensfood.com) prior to dinner being served so the guests would not have to wait to eat as the speeches were being delivered.


After dinner the dessert bar enticed guests with three wedding cakes from Vanilla Bake Shop ( www.vanillabakeshop.com) and snacks such as lemon and grasshopper bars and shortbread and jam treats!


Thanks to the fantastic lights brought in by A Rental Connection (arentalconnection.com), guests were able to dance the night away to the sounds of City Connection (cityconnectionent.com) under the twinkling bulbs.


A big thank you to Kim White at Two’s a Party (twosaparty.com) for all her hard work into making this a spectacular event! Also thank you to Lauren Avila for allowing us to use these amazing photos! To see more of her work please visit www.laurenavila.com.


Thinking about having your next event at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles? Give us a call at 213-763-3221 or send us an email at specialevents@nhm.org and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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