Fran and Lynnea had a celebration, of love, their American and Venezuelan cultures and pride. They danced, had an epic La Hora Loca and partied, well into the night.
You lived on the east coast but planned a California wedding. How was that?
F: The majority of the planning, talking to vendors, the event planner from the venue, decorations were mostly handled by Lynnea’s mom Lori.
We fly out to California to start wedding venue searching after the engagement. After three venues, we decided to go see one more that day before going back out the next day. The moment we walked in, Lynnea and I locked eyes, and we knew it was the one. You feel like you are in Hawaii with all the Palm trees and waterfalls around it. It’s a beautiful botanical garden with two gorgeous venues but at the same time very different.
Did you go about any DIY projects to bring your wedding to life?
F & L: Did we ever!
The week of the wedding was filled with several finishing touches and DIY projects. We created 18 Hula hoops with ribbon draping down the centers with matted photos of us with our friends and families cascading down them. Also, we made all of the floral arrangements, including all families corsages, boutonnieres, and the two bridal bouquets. We created the seating chart and Bridal party bouquets incorporating the hula hoops once again and completed the centerpieces. Lastly, my older sister took at least 100 wine corks and hot glued them together to create a beautiful L&F.
How was wedding dress searching?
L: I went into the dress search, knowing exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted a tight dress to show off my curves as well as a low dramatic back. I tried on at least ten dresses and went back to “my dress” after each and every one. After trying on the same dress in California and DC, I knew my search was over. I also found rose gold stilettos that were covered in rhinestones for myself. All of our bridesmaids and Fran’s Tio & Tia gave me a set of beautiful gold pearl earrings.
F: Although most who know me would never expect that I would wear a dress, I knew I wanted to wear one for the ceremony. I had a hard time finding something I truly love and left California stressed and ready to call it quits. On a random day off, Lynnea and I decided to “go look and see what we could find”. Unlike my first experience, I did enjoy dress shopping and had found the perfect dress by the end of the day. For the reception I wanted to make sure I could get down! I had a burgundy suede blazer with black silk lining made to go along with my custom straight-legged slacks and rose gold Vans.
Tell us about your Californian wedding day.
F & L: The Sun was shining, and the sky was a faint shade of crystal blue. The venue glistened with its natural beauty, and the love in the air was almost suffocating. Everywhere you turned you could see smiles or hear laughter and for those quick 24 hours, nothing else in the world mattered.
As cliche as it may sound it was a day we will never forget! No, a week we will never forget. Everything from the double bachelorette party in Las Vegas to the afterparty at the Temecula Resort & Casino, all of our expectations were completely blown. The day of the wedding was everything we had planned, and although I’m sure there were things that didn’t go according, we didn’t even notice.
What were some of your favorite moments – the one’s you’ll never forget.
F & L: Although it is hard to narrow them down, some of the most memorable moments of our amazing day were:
- Our first look. As soon as Fran heard my heels on the marble bridge, she completely broke down, which only continued when she turned and saw my dress for the first time ever.
- Fran’s friends and family’s reactions when they saw her walk down the aisle in a dress!
- La Hora Loca and doing the limbo!
- All of our families speeches were amazing; from the more emotional speeches from Frans twin sisters to the more comical speeches from Lynnea’s siblings. Lynnea’s sister literally played a montage on the large projector of Lynnea’s napping photos, which were collected and delivered by Fran over the last year!
- The fact that so many people traveled from different parts of the country and world to celebrate LOVE!
- We had a Venezuelan tradition called La Hora Loca. We had all the lights in the outside tent for the last hour dimmed down and passed out props, costumes, glow wands, mini rainbow flags, and more. The music varied from salsa to merengue, rumba to bachata, and had everyone on the dance floor. To see people from all over the world coming together was both inspiring and overwhelming in the best way possible.
Did you have a stand out vendor?
F & L: Our Photographer! Chrissy Gilmartin is the most amazing wedding professional we have ever interacted with, and Lynnea is licensed in wedding and event coordination!
To better explain how amazing Chrissy is, she is now part of the Larson-Ponte Family and will be a huge part of our lives forever.
After flying her to DC for our engagement session and having her and her family join us at our rehearsal dinner, we can say that she will touch your heart by the end of your time with her.
Photography by Chrissy Gilmartin