A gorgeous spring day in Los Angeles was the perfect backdrop for this punchy, colorful, and totally authentic celebration. Karen and Masato brought their shared graphic eye to wedding planning and the results. From the newspaper wedding announcement to the hand-painted ceremony backdrop, this celebration was a true team effort.



What inspired you while you were planning your wedding?  We were inspired by our own experiences as wedding guests. We wanted to have an enjoyable and comfortable environment for our guests, and make them feel like they were part of our celebration. It was an intimate party with only 65 guests, which gave us the opportunity to celebrate with the most important people in our lives.”


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


“As professional graphic designers, we are extremely conscientious about how the details work as a whole. As a result, we designed and created almost all of the details ourselves. To kick off the wedding, we designed a custom newspaper wedding announcement along with a responsive website to host all the wedding information. For the wedding day, we painted an eight foot striped canvas backdrop, created hand-lettered signs, painted flowers pots, and crafted our favors.”



Did you include any special traditions in your wedding?  Karen was raised in a traditional Chinese family, and to honor her heritage, we hosted an intimate tea ceremony on the morning of our wedding. During the tea ceremony, we gave sweet tea to the elders of both our families as a thank you for all their love and care. In return, they gave us their blessings and wedding gifts.


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink
Photography by www.hannaharista.com Photography by www.hannaharista.com
Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


After the traditional tea ceremony, Karen slipped into her structural Vera Wang wedding gown, while Masato swapped his red bow tie for a mint green tie.


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


The Ceremony

“We’re not sailors, but the tradition of ‘tying the knot’ symbolized our relationship beautifully. The fisherman’s’ knot represents the strong bond of friendship, love, and passion we share, just as we share our lives and our work. Plus, having the knot framed at home will always bring back wonderful memories of our wedding day.”


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


Your ceremony in three words.  Cozy, secluded, modular.

How did you organize your ceremony?  Instead of traditional ceremony seating, we preferred for our guests to stand around us, with no designation of a bride or groom’s side.

What was your ceremony music?  Karen was accompanied down the aisle by her father, a hummingbird, and butterflies to “The Winner is” by Mychael Danna and DeVotchKa. Masato decided to use The Final Countdown by Europe as our recessional–it was a perfect expression of his sense of humor!



Who officiated your ceremony?  We asked our long time friend Dan, from our college years, to officiate. He has been through so much with us as we have grown as individuals and as a couple. He understood our chemistry and our attitude towards the ceremony, and kept it light-hearted, casual, and friendly.

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  Since neither of us are particularly religious, we took a light-hearted and fun approach to our ceremony. We didn’t include long ceremony readings or vows, because we wanted our actions to speak for themselves.


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Tying the knot was the best part of our ceremony. It was interactive, intimate, and slightly comical as the guests enjoyed our messy knot tying skill. Overall, the ceremony was very true to us and who we are as a couple.


Photography by www.hannaharista.com Photography by www.hannaharista.com
Photography by www.hannaharista.com


The Reception

“Our reception had a cozy, laid-back, house party vibe. Since it was such an intimate celebration, it was important to us to introduce our friends from different parts of our lives, and we encouraged mingling by not assigning seating. Our guests spent the afternoon enjoy each other’s company (and the perfect spring weather) in the outdoor garden.”


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink
Photography by www.hannaharista.com Photography by www.hannaharista.com


Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Elysian LA is a hidden gem in a conveniently central location. The modern, industrial indoor space, lush green garden and all the vibrant, playful furniture made Elysian LA our dream venue for an afternoon spring wedding.

How did your wedding venue influence your celebration?  Everything was dictated by the look and feel of the venue itself. We didn’t have to do much decorating since the venue was already gorgeous and we wanted to maintain its simplicity. Using a flexible color palette based on the existing furniture at Elysian LA, it was easy to create a cohesive aesthetic.


Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink
Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink Hannah Arista | Snippet & Ink


What was your first dance song?  We’re not big dancers, so instead we spent time enjoying our guests’ company. We felt it was important to fill our day with things we like and people we enjoy hanging out with, rather than the things we were supposed to have.

What was your wedding menu?  Food was a big priority for us, and David from Elysian LA provided a fantastic variety of food for our afternoon tea-time buffet. The menu included open-faced sandwiches, quiche and fresh spring salads.



What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  In addition to the two-layer organic vegan chocolate cake baked by our friend and professional baker, Divina, we also served brownie bites, raspberry thumbprint and pistachio shortbread cookies. Karen created the geometric cake topper using modeling clay.

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  It was amazing to see everything we’d planned come to life, since we’d spent so much time and energy crafting our wedding. When we realized that our photographer had captured all of those moments for us, we were absolutely thrilled.


Photography: Hannah Arista Photography / Venue, Rentals, Catering: Elysian LA in Los Angeles, California / Event Planning: Kayla from Elysian / Event Design, Stationery, Calligraphy: Epic Layers, The Happening Studio / Floral Design: The Plum Dahlia / Dress: Vera Wang / Shoes: Gianni Bini / Hair Piece: H&M / Suit, Shoes: Hugo Boss / Tie: Ferragamo / Cake: Luz Divina  / Valet: Jeffrey Valet / Bartening: Bar One Catering
  • Colorful Los Angeles Wedding at Elysian LA by Hannah Arista

    5 March 2015
  • 3 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    Meet some of the wonderful vendors who help to support this blog. Without them, there would be no Snippet & Ink! Some of them are longtime sponsors, and others are new, and they’re all wonderful. It’s our hope that you’ll discover just what you were looking for.

    Custom gift giving made easy with Sweet Whistle.

    Playful wedding stationery from Smitten on Paper.

    Custom wedding monograms and embroidery from Huger Embriodery.

    Modern engagement rings from Metalicious.

    Custom letterpress stationery from Thomas Printers.

    Ethical wedding bands by Bario Neal.

    Elegant wedding invitations from Shine Wedding Invitations.

    Comedians write your maid of honor speech with Laugh Staff.

    Pocket wedding invitations from Magnet Street.

    Colorful and playful bow ties from General Knot & Co.

    Rustic wedding decor from Ven Decor.

    Classic meets modern wedding stationery from Foglio Press.

    Denver’s best sweet treat food truck The Bumblebee Truck.

    Vintage wedding invitations from Go Go Snap.

    If you are interested in becoming a sponsor on Snippet & Ink, please email us at advertise@snippetandink.com to learn more about advertising options.


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    A romantic ceremony at a Mediterranean-inspired villa followed by dinner beneath the stars – it sounds like a dream come true! Christi and Shawn thought first and foremost about their guests as they planned their wedding at Villa Del Lago in Austin, and the results are simply beautiful. Some of our favorite details include: the flower girls darling dresses, escort cards attached to dramatic gold-dipped fruit, and the single long table for dinner. Spectacular!



    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  People remember weddings that uniquely reflect the personality of the bride and groom – and that can be achieved on any budget. Focus on incorporating special details that celebrate who you are as a couple and don’t be afraid to edit out the things that are not important to telling your story. You will be glad that you put your energy and your budget towards the things that are lasting.



    “Some of my most cherished memories of the year we spent planning our wedding are the moments I spent with my mom, sister and other family members crafting special details. My mom made the flower girl dresses out of silk faille I picked up on a trip to New York, and needle pointed the ring bearer’s pillow based on the design of one of my grandmother’s tapestries. My sister spent days designing the most precious children’s table full of fun treats and a custom wedding coloring book. I love that our DIY approach allowed us time to spend together and let the whole family share in creating a meaningful celebration.”


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    The Ceremony

    “It was important to us to have a religious ceremony that reflected our relationship and our beliefs. Our ceremony was an Episcopalian service followed by a Persian blessing. We strongly embrace our heritage and culture, and knew from the onset that we wanted the ceremony to incorporate meaningful traditions.”



    Your ceremony in three words.  Intimate, casual, elegant.

    Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Shawn and I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather in Texas with a romantic, outdoor wedding. When we discovered the green garden at Villa Del Lago overlooking Lake Travis, we loved that it was intimate and elegant without being stuffy. It perfectly matched our vision for our ceremony.

    What was your favorite thing about your ceremony?  The ceremony was held at sunset, and the warm, natural light was incredibly beautiful. There is such a great energy at dusk when the day turns to night. It was the perfect way to transition the event from the ceremony to the celebration.


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    Who officiated your ceremony?  Our family minister, Reverend Wyckoff of St. Luke’s on the Lake officiated the Episcopalian ceremony, and Shawn’s family members gave the Persian blessing.

    What was your ceremony music?  The processional was a live, acoustic cover of Elvis Presley’s “Cant Help Falling in Love” sung by our close friend, Bonnie Bishop. The recessional was Natalie Cole’s “Everlasting Love.”

    What were your ceremony readings?  Our readings made our ceremony very personal and helped to express our feelings for one another. We included Song of Solomon 8:6-7, Colossians 3:12-17, John 15:9-12 and Rumi’s This Marriage Ode.


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    The Reception

    “Our reception was absolutely magical and incredibly intimate. It was a clear night, perfect for dining in the garden beneath the café lights. All 160 guests sat at the head table, and the family-style, candlelight dinner made the newly-acquainted feel like they were feasting with close friends.”


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    Persian wedding celebrations often include an ornate table or display called the “Sofreh Aghd.” Each item laid on the Sofreh, an ornamented cloth, represents a quality the couple hopes to bring into their marriage.


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink
    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    “I always wanted a small wedding, but as we drew up our guest list, we realized that small was not possible – or at least not as small as we hoped. That’s why we loved how intimate eating at one long table on the lawn felt.”


    The Nichols | Snippet & Ink The Nichols | Snippet & Ink


    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Carve out a portion of your budget for a honeymoon, even if it’s a couple days at a nearby location. The bride and groom spend so much time during the week of their wedding with friends and family that it’s nice to have the days following the celebration to share time with just each other.



    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Sour cream cake with fresh berry filling.

    First dance song: “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
    Father/daughter song: “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
    Mother/son song: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  We loved how the Spazmatics, our 80’s cover band, quickly turned the reception dinner into a serious dance party!


    Photography: The Nichols / Venue: Villa Del Lago in Austin, Texas / Event Coordination: Beth Walker, 36th Street Events / Event Design: Christina Cole Design / Officiant: Reverend Mike Wyckoff / Dress: Ines di Santo / Bride’s Accessories: Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Suit, Shirt, Jacket, Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Bank / Shoes: Ferrgamo, Cufflinks: Thomas Pink / Stationery: Dauphine Press / Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Martha / Floral Design: Kirsten M Wilson Design / Hair: Tiffany Williams / Makeup: Nisa Nicole / Rentals: Marquee / Ceremony Music: Bonnie Bishop / Reception Music: Spazmatics / Catering, Cake: Word of Mouth

    The Nichols are a Snippet & Ink Select Vendor.

  • Austin Wedding at Villa Del Lago by The Nichols

    5 March 2015
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings