Bride Talk: Lauren and Matt’s Santa Monica Wedding

bride talk
Lauren and her fiancé Matt.

We are SO excited for bride Lauren’s upcoming wedding. Not only because she’s getting married in one of our fave local wedding venues (the Annenberg Community Beach House), but that she found it using our site. How awesome is that? This couple sounds like their wedding planning is right on track, and the fact that they’re learning from this entire process is a win-win. Get more details from bride Lauren on her wedding planning experience so far, below!

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Name: Lauren

Occupation: Regional Director of Client Services at a healthcare software company

Wedding City: Santa Monica, CA

How long do you have to plan your wedding? 9 months

How many weeks/months until the big day? 4 months left!

Have you had any major hurdles planning the wedding, or has anything been easier than expected?
Matt has been very involved in the wedding process. He even created a project management board on Trello to track all the progress we’ve done. We used tips from sites like Woman Getting Married and even Pinterest. Having a deeply-involved groom has made the planning process run so smoothly. I feel like it’s great practice for marriage. We’ve learned to compromise and communicate on big and little things for our big day!

What’s one thing you’ve totally splurged on and why?
We splurged on our wedding photographer. Living in Los Angeles, we had a long list of photographers at our disposal, but we fell in love with Cody Raisig’s work. He is a professional photographer based in New York. Matt has admired his work for years, and it took just minutes for me to fall in love with his portfolio.

What about saved on?
Surprisingly, I saved big bucks on my wedding dress. Again, living in LA, there are bridal shops galore. On a visit to Matt’s hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, my future mother-in-law and I visited an off-the-rack/sample wedding dress store and I fell madly head over heals in love with the 7th dress I tried on. It is made by Pronovias, and I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it in California. I saved nearly $1100 from the original price.

What made you pick your wedding venue?
No joke, Woman Getting Married. After reading the review on this website, we just HAD to check out Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica (EDITOR’S NOTE: Yay!!). The venue met all of our expectations down to location and food options. The fact that we could get married beach-side sealed the deal for us.

Have you taken on any DIY projects? If so, tell us about them!
A good friend of ours gifted us our chuppah (traditional canopy beneath which Jewish marriage ceremonies are performed). While we are not Jewish, we were just so delighted to inherit our friend’s DIY wedding piece. He collected large, study tree branches from Fryman Canyon, our local trails, to construct the canopy. We plan to adorn it with flowers and ivory linen.

What are you most nervous about or looking forward to?
I am looking most forward to reciting our vows in front of our loved ones. I cannot wait to celebrate our love with our friends and families in attendance. First runner up: our first look. I’m so excited to see my future husband before any one of our guests get to! <3

Did you create a wedding planning timeline for yourself or just tackle things as they came up?
We created a wedding timeline. Matt manages the project management board and we both check off items on our list as we complete it.

Lauren and Matt's Wedding To-Do List

Done and Done:

  • Sent Save the Dates
  • Confirmed venue
  • Catering
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Decided on first dance songs
  • Booked photographer
  • Took engagement photos

In Progress:

  • Finalizing our DJ
  • Writing our vows
  • Writing our ceremony
  • Purchasing party favors

Not Yet Started:

  • Seating cards
  • Deciding on dessert
  • Hotel block
  • Designing our wedding invitations
  • Purchasing Matt’s suit

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