Rosewolff Studio downtown los angeles california wedding of emily and matt
If you’ve followed us for any amount of time, you likely saw my best friends surprise proposal earlier last year (CLICK HERE if you didn’t). And upon reading that you’ll have learned she’s a much better writer than I am. Aside from saying how much I love this couple and what a true honor it was to capture my best friend’s (since I was 17) wedding, I will, once again, leave the story telling to the well-versed, hilarious, and stunning bride in this beautiful Rosewolff Studio wedding: Emily. We love you both dearly and I can’t thank you enough for letting me be your photographer/honorary bridesmaid.
How did the two of you meet?
“I (Emily) joined Match.com in March of 2018, with hesitancy and rather extensive encouragement from both my sister and my best friend, the latter of whom took our engagement pictures and also shot our wedding. Let me paint the picture for you. My first date on Match was with this guy who was financially affluent and had an expensive luxury car–which is all fine–until you post multiple pictures of said vehicle on social media with the caption “#blessed”. It’s cool if you’re fortunate and all, but I will never support the notion that owning a Mercedes makes you a candidate for an ordained consecration from an almighty higher power. I just can’t do it. Even more determined to be my true self whilst braving the jungle that is online dating, I decided to filter my dialogue a little less. Weed ’em out, you know?
The second date–when he told me he lived in Beverly Hills, I replied [verbatim] with “I literally only ever drive to Beverly Hills to see my therapist.” Which is true, mind you. Moving right along to date #3…
In the meantime, Matt was working 10-12 hour days, 6-7 days a week at the new Rams stadium in Inglewood. He had been considering the whole online dating thing and decided to test the waters when he saw a commercial for a free 5-day trial on match.com. Lucky for me, his first [and only] Match date was me–March 31, 2018.”
Tell us about your first date!
“We went to Golden Mean (I think it’s now called something hokey like Viva Vegan), a cute little plant-based cafe in Santa Monica. We were both extremely hungry (something that certainly hasn’t changed). We got burgers to-go and walked down the street to a picnic area that overlooked the beach. Our conversation was filled with typical introductory Q&A. I’m highly introverted and probably speak a little less frequently than most. Matt–and this is one of the things I love about him–is not that way. At all. I remember sitting on the wood bench, eating my burger and thinking “Damn, this kid can talk”. In a very endearing, curious type of way, of course.
We finished our food and walked down the 3rd street promenade, grabbing a matcha latte from Starbucks and continuing conversation. I think we ended up walking and talking for like 2 hours or more. Conversely, I think Matt was genuinely impressed that I ate the entire burger I had ordered for lunch. And if I’m being honest, I was also a little impressed myself. Regardless, I do know that we both felt like we’d somehow just met someone we’d known for years.”
How did you guys choose to have your wedding at Rosewolff Studios?
“We were on a budget for sure, and with pretty much any venue in Los Angeles, if you mention “wedding”, it’s a minimum of like $8,000. MINIMUM. I started researching just basic event spaces for rent and found RoseWolff, which was downtown and two minutes from our apartment. It was a lofty/industrial large space with beautiful natural lighting and two distinct areas for both the ceremony and reception. We had a lot of guests coming from out of town and I didn’t want anyone to have to drive all over LA trying to find a second, separate reception location following our ceremony. I also loved that it was a completely blank slate. There was no associated catering/decor/DJ/etc. so I knew I would be able to make the space look exactly how I wanted it. We went to look at it and I could envision everything, so we went with it!”
What was the most fun part of wedding planning for you?
“You hear about how stressful wedding planning is, so I kind of kept waiting for it to get burdensome or boring, but I freaking loved it. All. Of. It. I loved it! Honestly, I think it was more painstaking for Matt to relinquish TV time with me so that I could craft. There are some things at my very core that just excite my soul: organizing conceptual ideas or projects, creating stuff with my hands, coming up with gifts/special things for other people, spending time with just myself, and pretty much anything associated with colorful shit. So I guess I had unknowingly been waiting my whole life to plan a badass giant party for everybody we hold dear to us. I could go on forever about this so I’ll just create some bullet points here. Things I enjoyed: • Researching vendors and spaces to find the best fit for us. There are so many cool spots in LA! • Working with our budget…which sounds insane, I know. We had an exceptionally low budget for a Southern California event, so it was like solving a puzzle trying to decide what I could make myself and what we could afford to splurge on. • Making everything!…paper chargers; paper lanterns; designing menus/ceremony programs/invitations; our giant 14’ x 14’ paper flower ceremony backdrop; paper leaf/greenery garlands for the backs of all the chairs. We bought all our flowers wholesale from the downtown LA Flower Market/Flower Moxie, and my closest fam/friends made all the flower pieces ourselves (dining centerpieces, bouquets, etc.). They turned out beautifully! • Having the opportunity to make practically everything special. On our first date, we had burgers, so we also served burgers at the wedding. I found an adorable hamburger wax seal that I used to make all the place cards. I also had a metal stamping kit, so I hand-stamped metal tags and made wine charms for all our guests. I also made clutches, personalized champagne glasses, and monogrammed robes for my bridesmaids and our moms which was so much fun to give them as we were getting ready. • I went full type A and made a diagram of everything we had to set up – dining tables, the bar, our guestbook table, the cake and cake table, the layout of the reception room (allseated.com is a seriously amazing free event/space planner that lets you create event spaces *to scale*. I am waiting for them to start charging users because it’s so amazingly thorough, easy to use, and customizable). This allowed me to not only make sure everything was set up how I had planned, but it took all the pressure off of me the day of trying to delegate and setup 1,000 things at once. And it also allowed me to easily incorporate family and friends that wanted to help setup while maintaining our vision and design. This was especially important to me because I worked so hard to make this event about more than just us. I wanted family and close friends to become part of our setup process and enjoy spending time with everyone (especially out-of-town guests who we rarely see) instead of being one of those nutso brides who’s so preoccupied with everything else she blows the whole day without ever truly just being present. That was one of my biggest fears leading up to the day, I think…missing all the important stuff because I was giving all my energy to the stupid stuff. • So much for these brief bullet points.”
Tell us about your first look! Having done one, would you do it again?
“Yes. I loved it. Matt loved it. We loved the pictures we were able to take prior to the wedding when our clothes and makeup were pristine. Since the whole day of our wedding was a major group effort, Matt was in and out of our dressing room while setting up at the venue. He saw my makeup and hair as it was being done, so it wasn’t like he was pass-out astonished when he first saw me in my dress. But it was still a big reveal and he was still surprised and excited. It was special. I think a first look is a more intimate and memorable experience in comparison to waiting until the ceremony. We got time with each other that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’d do it again 100 percent. I actually also really liked that he was in and out of the makeup/hair party and we were able to keep updating each other. We were all just enjoying the day and being with one another.”
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day?
“Ahh, I don’t know! Everything! Getting ready to walk down the aisle with my dad and trying to hold it together as we got closer to my husband. Standing up at the altar trying to squeeze Matt’s wedding band over his fat knuckles (we got it re-sized after the honeymoon and all phalanges are still intact). Cutting and eating the most rad, awesome, delicious cake I’d ever laid eyes on. My sister’s speech.
Oh wait, here’s a moment. I was unable to help with wedding setup past about 10am, as hair and makeup occupied a lot of time. My family and friends set up everything. My cousin Nicole and her husband Dave came at 7am in the morning with us and were there until probably about 3 busting their ASSES. They set up our WHOLE wedding, no joke. I’m still trying to figure out how to express my full gratitude to them. My aunts/uncles/cousins/close friends…everybody came and helped. Taylor/best friend/photographer/owner of this website transformed into a BOSS and captured every last detail, and every last goddamn craft I’d created over the past year. I was bummed out because I missed so much of the small details and the things I created on the day of our wedding. But then I got our wedding pictures and I got to see everything I didn’t see on our wedding day, and more. Which—if you truly think about it—is a genuine privilege and the most extraordinary gift anyone could have given us.
As her bff, it was with utter joy/fascination that I watched her transform into a superhuman and do all the things that desperately needed done that I didn’t even KNOW needed done. She coordinated everything and everybody and every moment and I don’t know how anything would have ever happened—in even a remotely organized fashion—without her there. Like, I think she burnt over 2,000 calories dashing around, running the show, and corralling drunk and excited family members into a single photo frame (that’s the caloric equivalent of over TWO large chocolate milkshakes at Chic-Fil-A!). And somehow also making all of us look like movie stars. This whole time, this whole weekend, her two year-old was sick (like legit sick, guys) and I didn’t even know about it! Extra time she should have spent with him and her family, she spent with me and Matt capturing our wedding day. Whatever she charges for her work, she deserves twice that. I’m also struggling to find a way to extend our gratitude to both Mike and Taylor for everything they did for us. I don’t know that there are words or gifts to meet that equivalent. If that wasn’t a tangent, I don’t know what is.
However, I say all this to describe part of that day I will never forget. I was in the makeup room for a few hours before the wedding, and I was finally able to take a quick peek at the venue before getting dressed. Everything was beautiful. Just stunning. Everything I’d pictured in my head for the last year was laid out before me in all its jewel-toned, rose gold glory. Even more overwhelming was that everything somehow got set up, by our friends and family who could have been relaxing and enjoying LA. I admittedly teared up some. All these people—practically everyone we love most in the world—came to do this for us, to enjoy this with us, on the biggest day of our lives. And that, to me, was a sacred and unforgettable moment.”
What are you most looking forward to in marriage?
“I don’t know! I never expected that anything would significantly change. Am I a terrible person? The continual and unending process of strengthening our team of two? Put simply, I guess I’m looking forward to just enjoying more of life with my person. Although now that these questions are really making me think, I suppose there is something indiscernibly solidifying about being married. Our apartment is the same, we are the same, our day-to-day lives are the same, but there is a difference that I can’t quite adequately describe. We plan for forever now. Every argument, every burger, every date night. He is my family. There is a sort of omniscient understanding now, that whatever we’re doing, it won’t be the last time we do it together. There’s no more concept or mindset where my subconscious operates, considers, or forms expectations, based on just myself. I’m attached to him and he’s attached to me. I chose my team. And I chose knowing that whatever loss we face, whatever adventures we undertake, we will get through it together. Even if we don’t think we can. I guess that’s a hell of a thing to look forward to after all. HOWEVER, I also really like being able to refer to Matt as my husband and I also love wearing my diamond wedding band and vainly looking at it at least 65 times a day.”
If you could pick one word to describe your wedding ceremony, what would it be and why?
“Authentic. We wanted to keep it real—our ceremony and everything else about our wedding. I didn’t want to go stand in front of a bunch of people and listen to a string of pre-selected, typical wedding jargon that was more robotic than it was meaningful. It just wasn’t us. I wrote the ceremony, and Matt and I both selected the readings together. My cousin Nicole read a poem about dinosaurs being in love, for Christ sake. But it was us. The words were meaningful and sincere, and often simple. And when they were read, I felt them and they resonated with me. And I know Matt felt the same way. I think we captured what love is to us and how we express love—to ourselves and to others. Also—Matt’s cousin officiated our wedding and if you’ve ever met Tyler, you almost immediately feel his genuine and grounded nature. We were over the moon excited when he agreed to marry us. I think he was also essential in maintaining the laid-back, yet classy atmosphere. He did an amazing job!”
What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding now?
“Live in the moment. If you’re going to read any part of this blog post that I’ve managed to turn into a novel, it is to be present throughout your wedding day. I went to a wedding a few years ago that was beautiful. Everyone had a great time, the couple spent a lot of money, the venue was stunning, the food and drinks were delicious. The couple looked amazing. Everything looked like it went perfectly. Which is why I was shocked a couple weeks later when the bride didn’t even want to talk about the wedding because she was so bitter about how poorly everything went. What?! What wedding were YOU at?? I think there was a myriad of reasons that elicited this attitude of hers.
I think the wedding was more of what her mother wanted–not what the bride truly wanted. But I think 99% of her disappointment came from one thing–she wasn’t focusing on the real things, the things that truly matter in a marriage, and in life. I think she chose to see decor that wasn’t quite perfect; people that didn’t give her a hug when she thought they should have; a couple of bridesmaids that were a few minutes late to breakfast the morning of the wedding; all the shit that doesn’t really matter once the day arrives. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last. But man I’m glad it happened because I learned so much about what I DIDN’T want my wedding day to look like!
I’m also beyond thankful for the many people who reinforced the fact that the day goes by in a heartbeat. I’ve found myself a couple weeks later, re-living our wedding day in my head and wishing we could do it again just one more time. Not to change anything–but to live through it all over again. It was the best day of my life. I’ve never felt more beautiful, more present, or more sure and excited about my love for someone. And I felt so..rich. I had everything around me that I could ever want. I was literally engulfed by people I cherish most; both myself and others were feeling more regal than we ever knew was possible, surrounded by so much meaningful and beautiful décor (and burgers!); and in close proximity to the most beautiful cake I’d ever seen in my life. Seriously, I cannot tell you how happy that cake made me. I honestly don’t think I would have enjoyed everything as intensely as I did if I had not gone in with the mindset of purposely absorbing each moment.
I took a deep breath and drew in everything around me when my dad took my arm and we prepared to walk down the aisle. I was there. And nowhere else. Matt and I stood still in time when we exchanged vows, making the biggest promise I’d ever made in my whole life. Afterwards, we were both in sheer bliss. It was (along with the day he proposed to me) one of the only times I felt high on happiness, like literally light-headed. At the reception, we made a point to talk to people and tried to say hi to most, but we didn’t make that our mission. When the food came, we sat down and ate. I had fries, guys. Fries. And my husband right next to me. What else is there?
Someone advised me to not feel obligated to greet and thank every single person for coming. I’m so glad I took that advice. You’ll be doing that all night. Another bride told me that she and her husband just got on the mic and thanked everyone for coming and said that if anyone wanted to talk to her, they could find her on the dance floor. I thought that was pretty boss. Just enjoy yourself. It goes so quickly, but if you make a conscious effort—you will have unforgettable, vivid snapshots of the best moments of your life. Also, if you’re going to spend money on anything, spend it on a photographer who will give you little pieces of that day to take with you. Spend more on someone you click with, and whose work you truly love. Now that our wedding is over, our pictures are one of the most precious things we own. Trust me, you won’t regret it.”
Rosewolff Studio Wedding Vendors Venue: Rosewolff Studio, @rosewolffstudio
Rentals: The Rental Ave. @rentalavenue
Hair: Christy Yoo, @christyyoo_artistry
Makeup: Ann Nguyen @makeupbyann.n
Florals: self-arranged, purchased through @flowermoxie
Tailoring: Nayantara Banerjee, @williamsburgseamster & Mercal Sweiss, @focusonthebride
Food: Veggie Grill, @veggiegrill; & In-N-Out @innout
Cake: Helena Wirth Cakes, @helenawirthcakes
Dress: Monique Lhuillier/preowned, @moniquelhuillierbride / @stillwhite
Suits: Friar Tux, @friartux