the Malarkey Wedding | the Lodge at Malibou Lake | Agoura Hills, CA
This wedding left me completely in awe. From the use of color to all of the flowers & details to the insanely awesome energy throughout the day, this really was one for the books. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire time — and on the way home and throughout the next day. It was that fantastic!
I first met the bride, Laura, when she coordinated a wedding that I shot about a year and a half earlier. That’s right: the bride is a wedding planner herself! When she contacted me about photographing her own wedding, I was ecstatic. I knew that she would incorporate all kinds of unique accents, and boy did she deliver!
In picking their venue, Laura & Kevin had a top 5 list of features: an outdoor ceremony, a beautiful atmosphere, nearby accommodations for guests, a live band, and an all-inclusive package. In Laura’s words, “the venue choice was one of the most important decisions we made because it would set the tone for the wedding. We only toured a handful of venues before we found the Lodge, but we knew immediately that it was the one.” (I’d also like to add that from a photography perspective, this venue delivers on ALL counts! It is quite the gem!!)
Anyway, the overall theme of the day was based upon three words: colorful, whimsical, fun. Everything was exquisitely vibrant, both literally and figuratively. The color palette revolved around teal and purple, with highlights of light pink, coral, yellow, and rose gold. Altogether, it was like a rainbow greeting you at every corner. Totally magical!
As for the flowers, Dahlias were the main bloom and they were in every arrangement, from the bouquets to the ceremony arch to the centerpieces. Also featured were: Garden Roses, Spray Roses, Bi-color and Circus Roses, Blue Delphinium, Pink Astilbe, Peach Hypericum Berries, Purple Seafoam Statice, Hanging Amaranthus, Italian Ruscus, Thistle, and Pepperberry.
The chandeliers inside the Lodge were dripping with Wisteria and Eucalyptus vines. Rich teal table runners were strewn down the middle of all of the farmhouse tables. Colored vases and geometric terrariums were filled with varying blooms. Small gold votives completed the tablescapes and pink uplighting adorned the walls. It was the perfect combination of whimsy and elegance.
And Laura didn’t stop there. She dip-dyed the end of her veil herself, she custom-designed her invitations, and she made all of the signs from scratch. She also hand-made her hairpiece — and her mother’s and bridesmaids’ hair combs! (Fun fact: you can shop for those + other items in her Etsy store, linked below!)
The groom, Kevin, wore a striking dark blue suit with a deep teal tie and a pink-yellow rose boutonniere. His groomsmen wore black, while the bridesmaids had each picked out their own deep teal gowns. I can’t emphasize enough what a truly lovely color combination this is! Earthy, bold, and immensely pretty!
Another cool little tidbit is that Kevin’s family practices the Bahai faith, so the couple incorporated those traditions into the day. Right before the ceremony, they joined their parents in a beautifully appointed floral room at the Lodge. It was there that they recited the Bahai’s single wedding vow, “We will verily abide by the will of God.”
When it was time for the main ceremony, the couple’s dog, Otis, served as the ring bearer. Kevin’s father officiated and regaled the audience with touching anecdotes about the couple. Laura and Kevin wrote their own vows, during which they both teared up. As did everyone else — including yours truly. It’s hard to put into words how special this was; you could physically feel the love!
Afterward, the cocktail hour went into full swing and the party really started. As everyone started filing into the enchanting reception (inside the Lodge), a live band played a variety of covers and the family-style meal began. Formalities during all of this were kept to a minimum. Instead, the couple went around the room to hang out with everyone — and to get them on the dance floor!
Before long, the place was hopping and all of the guests were cutting it up. The energy was epic; everywhere you turned was brimming with laughter and merriment! It was a unicorn of a wedding, and one of the most magnificent celebrations that I’ve ever had the honor of witnessing!