When a wedding industry pro gets married, you know it’s going to be one helluva party. And that’s exactly what happened last August, when San Diego-based wedding photographer Dawn Parker married her police-officer beau Tommy Charles. The couple chose 440 Seaton, an industrial warehouse in Los Angeles’ Arts District, as the site for their nuptials, and added decorations to help “bring the outdoors in,” with loads of lush greenery, wood surfaces, antlers, and globe lights.
Bride and groom: Dawn Parker & Tommy Charles
Occupations: Wedding photographer (bride); police officer (groom)
Based in: San Diego, CA
Wedding date: August 22, 2015
Wedding venue: 440 Seaton, Los Angeles
Number of guests: 190
Minted wedding invitation: “Modern Botanicals” by Natalie Nakai
Wedding gown: Anna Campbell
Wedding Coordinator: Jen Krueger Design
Florist: Flowers by Hilary
Cake: Susie Cakes
Photographer: Lauren Scotti Photographer
How did you and Tommy meet?
Through mutual friends at a game night.
Tell us about the proposal!
Tommy took me to Balboa Park in San Diego and proposed in front of the botanical gardens. All of our family members were hiding and watching from a bridge across the reflecting pool.
What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
It was amazing. I found my Anna Campbell dress at The Dress Theory in San Diego. It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love!
Click through for more from Dawn and Tommy’s celebration…
How did you hear about Minted?
I’ve had wedding clients who have used Minted and I loved their invitations. I went back and forth but loved the simplicity of the design we chose.
How did the invitation (“Modern Botanicals” by Natalie Nakai) tie in to the wedding’s overall look?
Our wedding was romantic but modern and industrial, and I felt the invitation was a romantic design executed in a more modern style. We also opted for a custom burnt orange color.
Did you DIY any of the wedding decorations?
Yes, almost everything! I wrote all the calligraphy, including the signage, table numbers, and place cards. I made the confetti bags and cut all the confetti inside, I cut the cloth napkins from fabric I found, cut the wood stumps for the table number displays, made our macrame backdrop, our photo booth backdrop, our photo wall, and wood-burned our initials into all the wooden forks.
What were some of your favorite wedding-day details?
I loved the confetti we had at each guest’s seat for them to throw as we walked back up the aisle. And I loved the antlers we had on the sweetheart table, the wood elements, and the overgrown floral and greenery.
What was on the dinner menu?
Did you incorporate any special traditions?
We surprised my parents and played their first dance song as a tribute to them.
What were some of your fondest memories from the day?
Walking back up the aisle and getting showered in confetti, taking couples portraits with our photographer on the rooftop of the venue, dancing, and running through the sparkler exit.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Any advice for brides who are starting to plan their wedding?
Prioritize your budget and invest in the things that really matter to you (for me it was the venue and photographer). There are other areas where you can save money (like tacos for $6 per person!). Don’t stress yourself out too much, everything WILL come together and at the end of the day, you’ll be married and that’s all that really matters!
More Minted Real Weddings:
• Angela & Brian in Aspen, CO
• Whitney & Kadmiel in Chicago
• Emily & David in Annapolis, MD
• Kelly & Andrew in San Clemente, CA
• Diane & Kaelem in Toronto
• Megan & Leo at Carondelet House, Los Angeles
• Leah & Mike at Los Poblanos, Albuquerque, NM
• Grace & Michael at Reif Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
• Julia & Deric at Escala, Seattle
• Shelby & Douglas at Castle Hill, Keswick, VA