Melanie & Michel | Real Weddings
Inspired by the Los Angeles sunset, Melanie and Michel exchanged vows during an intimate, golden-hour ceremony, surrounded by their friends and family.
Melanie, tell us about the location.
We had a guerrilla wedding—meaning, we didn’t have any permits! We rented a big, yellow bus, ran atop a hill and just prayed for the best. We picked Bee Canyon Park in Grenada Hills based on quietness of the area and two giant trees right on the hill—a palm and a pine. We chose our reception venue, The Odyssey, because our original venue canceled on us eight weeks before the wedding! It turns out they had a sister venue in the area that was even more beautiful. We like to think The Odyssey chose us.
What was the theme or inspiration for your wedding?
Our theme was “Sunset in LA.” Our color palette was an ombré of golds, to oranges, to pinks, to reds, to blues and deep purples. We had bright orange tablecloths and deep blue flowers on each table—a mixture of blue roses and assorted greenery.
We kept it small—38 was our total headcount. We didn’t take it as seriously as most couples do. We were just so pumped to have a big ol’ party to celebrate our love. I’d happily marry my husband every single day for the rest of my life.
Tell us about your favorite moment.
We actually Ubered to our wedding, which I think is quite funny. I loved holding hands in excitement with my best friend in the car on the way. I loved that our officiant (Yasmine, a member of the famously tough DJ duo Krewella) teared up when she gave the opening words at our ceremony. My husband even prepared a poem about our cat, comparing our love to her immense, total obsession with her fish meals. It was hilariously heartwarming.
How did you know your dress was the one?
Words cannot express the sheer joy felt when I arrived and saw what Candice at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Topanga had picked out for me. It’s like she’d read my mind. I’d called ahead and told her about my new fascination with Hayley Paige. Everything she pulled was exactly what I would’ve wanted to wear. The dress I chose (the Bahati) was the second one I tried on. It was classic, but totally unique with the most intricate beading design on the back and a geometric pattern throughout the skirt.
Any advice for brides-to-be?
Be prepared to laugh at the silly stuff that will go wrong. Also, take a few moments alone with your husband/wife at the ceremony or reception to just look—really look. Take mental pictures together of your day and hold those images as tightly as you can. It goes by quicker than a snap.
Where was/is the honeymoon?
We haven’t actually planned a honeymoon yet because of our work, but when we do, we have our sights set on Peru!
Photography by Jenny Smith & Co.
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