Archive for Otis Booth Pavilion

July Bride-O-File: ACV2

I am so happy to introduce you to our July profile of Ashley Colleen Vallandingham and Alex Choate Vejnoska (ACV2)!

Alex and Ashley wedding-136

Wedding Date: April 5, 2014

Guest Count: 160

Ceremony Location: North American Mammal Hall

Cocktails: Grand Foyer

Dinner and Dancing: African Mammal Hall

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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.

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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.”

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Share some fun details about the event! What made your wedding AMAZING?
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Where to start?! We had an amazing planner, Kaci Mallat of XOXO Weddings, ( 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.

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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.
Alex and Ashley wedding-542

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.

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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.
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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):

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  • Caterer: Savor This Moment (  Marlene was a joy to work with. Her food is delicious.

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  •  Rentals: Hollywood Event Rentals ( did the lighting. Orchid Party Rentals ( did stage and all other rentals.

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  • 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. (

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  • Photography: Roger of EP Love.( 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?

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  • Flowers: Bernie of Creative Floral Design. ( 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Dress: Custom made by Dawn at Atelier. ( 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.

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  • Shoes: My and my bridesmaids’ shoes all came from ModCloth: the only place I know to find Galaxy print heals. (

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  • 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. (

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  • 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. (

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  • 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. (

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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.

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Anything else you want to share?
I think that about covers it! Thanks so much!

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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 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 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

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 and respectively.

And a huge thank you to Ryan Williams for these AMAZING photos! Please head over to his website at 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 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 and see how we can help make your next event a memorable one!

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