Bess + Jackson

This unique and whimsical wedding is one of my favorites from 2016! Designed to be a day party with lounges in the lawn, endless food and drinks, a flower crown station, tree men {literally men on stilts dressed as trees} and an ocean view ceremony site, this wedding was normal wedding. Bess and Jackson made the most of their time with family and guests by celebrating with them all day at Chateau De Grace. Check out all of my favorite moments and images here and full blurb on inspiration and how the couple met following the images.

Photography: Jodee Debes Photography

Venue: Chateau De Grace Estate

Planner: Stephanie Chang

Design & Florist: Celadon & Celery

Flower Cart: Seed Floral

Beauty: beGlammed

Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals + Alex Party Rentals

Tent: Town and Country Rentals

AV: Pacific Lighting Services

Bands: Dart Collective, Gjango Band

Food Truck: Wise BBQ

Bar: Cali Craft Cocktails

Rings: Brilliant Earth

Dress: Sarah Seven, Custom Gown

Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker



From the bride:

I met Jackson on a very cold winter night at a tiny bar under the Williamsburg bridge called, Bembe. I arrived with a girlfriend of mine around midnight for some salsa dancing when Jackson showed up alone. I had just taken a seat on a couch and lured him over to come sit next to me… More or less with my eyes, you know the come “fuck me” eyes. I was pretty good at that in my twenties. He sat next to me, bought me a few drinks and then when the dance party was over we ended up walking him to his favorite deli and my friend and I continued back to the city. I made sure to give him my number and like any girl who has an immediate connection with someone thought he would reach out. You know text or something. Monday passed, then Tuesday passed, and come Wednesday morning still nothing.I couldn’t believe it I thought we had a connection and since  I did not have his number I decided to be bold… And show up to his work. Yup, that’s right, I showed up to his work at Tribecca Grand in Soho. He made mention that he worked the Wednesday night shift at the bar so I called a girlfriend and told her to meet me there 30 mins after I arrive and to make it look casual.
I spent the afternoon at the gym, hit the dry bar, then headed to Tribecca Grand to swoop up the man of my dreams. When I walked in he was totally shocked and could barely speak. I asked the older gentlemen at the bar if the seat next to him was taken and Jackson asked what I wanted to drink. This turned into a 4 hour session at the bar with my girlfriend showing up and playing wingman. During the night Jackson started to text me and before I knew it he was walking me to a cab and kissing me goodbye. The following day we went on a date at Barnes and Noble that led to our first date with his parents as our chaperones that bloomed into a NY love affair. I was living in my flower shop on 28th street in the flower market at the time and he would often assist me in the shop, help with our floral classes. He is a romantic and loved the story we were making. Eventually he decided he needed to move to LA so so we endured the heartache of a  2 year LDR till I decided to leap  move across the country to start our lives together in LA.
When I moved, Jackson started planning an epic adventure for us to Australia for two weeks. We drank ourselves through the cities, got lost on the windy roads of queensland, stayed in tree top houses, and zip lined into reserves. On this epic adventure he had also planned our engagement at the tip of Australia called Cape Tribulation. He is always one for a view so when we stopped at yet another look out I thought nothing of it but when he started to recite something I thought it was shakespeare’s until I realized he was speaking about me in rhythm. It was beautiful, sexy, raw, real and by the last line he was on a knee with the most gorgeous and unique ring. We were both so emotional we could fee the jungle coming alive as it was getting dark and frogs were crossing our feet. Oh and did I mention it was April fools day so it was also funny to call home and tell our family who was questioned the timing. But that is Jackson for you a romantic with a sense of humor!
Having been in the industry for 12 years, planned and designed over 300 weddings I was not a typical bride looking to design my own wedding. So I dragged my feet hoping Jackson would eventually agree to the court house but during last summer he started to drop me out to Malibu to look at places. In the fall we came across a home that had just come on to the market as a venue and when we saw we both new the house, the property, the grounds, the different reveals would be perfect for our daytime affair.
Chateau de Grace agreed to our wedding in October for a wedding date for Dec 17th which meant we had 63 days to invite guest, plan the wedding, and get everything in order. Luckily, I have worked with every vendor in LA for years and called on a few special friends to help bring to life a daytime event. Knowing it was going to be December we knew we had to start early to capture the heat and sun so our wedding started at noon with cocktails by the lake. Guests were shuttled on to the property and when they arrived they were greeted with a pond side affair with food trucks, stilt walkers, steel drummers, quarters, flower crown stations, etc. We wanted it to feel like a fair and with every hour we moved the guests around the property for new reveals. It was important to Jackson and I to greet our guests when they arrive and spend as much time as possible with them.
At dusk we moved the group to the top of the estate overlooking the ocean and mountain top. Jackson planned every minute of this experience. His oldest childhood friend Frank married us but Jackson wrote the ceremony, and we co-wrote our vows. He also loves the steel drums so much we had a drummer play the soundtrack from his favorite movie True Romance as we all walked the down the aisle. It was really beautiful to see how he envisioned the ceremony and how it came together. Both our moms read passages, my mom read lyrics from a Bob Marley song and his mom read something from Walt Witman.
After we got married we did toasts by the pool and headed down for bbq trucks, drinks, and dancing. My friend Laura sang a few songs for us and was backed by our 10 piece band that kept us grooving through the cold night. The McCallan bar and donut station were also super popular. Our event ended at 8pm, usually the time I turn into a pumpkin. Jackson wished me back to the Malibu beach in and kept me up all night videoing me saying, ” I am married” or singing the lyrics to ” say my name say my name” when I would shout “Wife”! Ha!  Everything about out little festival wedding was so uniquely us and we celebrated it on our 7th anniversary.