Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Cool Urban Jungle Los Angeles SmogShoppe Wedding

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Los Angelenos have seemed to master the cool, hip, urban wedding vibes. We’ve seen so many radical venues that feature wildly lush industrial spaces lately, and this jungle-like wedding at LA’s SmogShoppe is no exception.

Urban Jungle is a fitting theme for their meet-cute, having come together thanks for a mutual love of Steven Spielberg’s classic Jurassic Park via the ultra-modern dating site – Tinder! Hip, modern, wildly fun – this tropical California wedding was filled with several eclectic homages to their childhood loves and mutual obsessions. We can’t get over the “Hang on to your butts!” sign over the cake table – too good.

Robyn and Eric, both being writers, hired a new creative vendor we haven’t thought of before: a local poet! Their professional wordsmith wrote guests poems-on-demand as favors which guests found quite touching, and we do too!

Find all the personal details & moments below captured so candidly by the talented Let’s Frolic Together!

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Our Love Story

We met thanks to our mutual love of Jurassic Park and our mutual half-assing on Tinder. Instead of a real bio, all Robyn wrote on her profile was “Hold on to your butts” – an obscure movie quote no one seemed to recognize. Lo and behold, Eric’s first message to her was all about recognizing the quote and how much he loves Jurassic Park.

When Eric proposed, he wanted to make sure Robyn was surprised, so he did it the day AFTER their two-year anniversary. Robyn thought Eric was working late that Friday night as usual and planned to have dinner with a friend – or so she thought. In reality, the friend was in on it, and not coming to dinner at all. And Eric was not at work, but instead, waiting at home.

When Robyn came home and opened the door, she was greeted by twinkling lights and a framed sign instructing her to go up to their private roof deck. She immediately thought she had walked into someone else’s apartment and very nearly left. When she realized that couldn’t possibly be the case, she slowly went upstairs. Still oblivious, she saw that the door to the roof was left open, and got upset that Eric went to work without closing it. But then she stepped out onto the roof and saw flowers, candles and more lights with Eric standing in the center and she freaked out.

She hugged him and asked “Is this real?” After Eric proposed, our favorite Chicago-style deep dish pizza was delivered and we popped champagne to celebrate. The next morning, we went on a surprise one-night trip to San Francisco – one of our favorite cities.

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The Dress & Attire

Robyn’s lace wedding dress was designed by Jim Hjelm and later in the night, she changed into a sequined party dress from BHLDN to achieve maximum dance party success.

Eric wore a Hugo Boss suit, a French cuff Ted Baker shirt, a bow tie, cufflinks from his dad, a watch from his father-in-law and Chicago Bulls dress socks.

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The Style

We are both from Chicago but have lived in Los Angeles for years. We consider the city our home now and wanted to share a slice of our life here with family and friends. SmogShoppe’s indoor-outdoor, autobody-chic vibe felt very LA to us, and its gorgeous succulent wall and funky furniture set exactly the tone we were going for. The venue is so well decorated already that we didn’t need to add very much – it left just enough room for us to give it some fun, personal touches without the stress of having to coordinate a room full of décor. We got married in the spring, so we (Robyn) chose a color palette of blush pink, green and gold.

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The Photography

We found Jasmine of Let’s Frolic Together after falling down an internet rabbit hole of looking at other real weddings, including one she shot at our venue. We videochatted with her once and quickly realized she’s “our people”.

When we told her about our Jurassic Park meet-cute and she suggested we do engagement photos with a bunch of dinosaur sculptures in the middle of the desert, we knew we had struck gold. We wanted our wedding photos to have a candid, documentary style to them and she just nailed it. When we look back on the photos, we can still hear all the laughter in the room.

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Favorite Moments

We wanted to honor our different cultures in our wedding so the night before, we did a Chinese tea ceremony with both our families. At the end of the wedding ceremony, as is customary for Jews, Eric stepped on a glass. And in true Eric fashion, it took him at least three tries to actually break it, and when he did, our guests erupted in cheers. (In Eric’s defense, it was on a rug, which makes it much harder…claims Eric).

One of our favorite memories is sitting at the sweetheart table we almost didn’t have. It was a last minute addition to our floor plan, but it was a great one that gave us some moments alone and an unforgettable view of all of our friends and family having so much fun together.

Our other favorite memories are of the emotional and hilarious speeches given by our family and bridal party. This is what happens when some of them are professional writers.

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The Food

Huntington Catering handled our food and bar needs. They were our first and only tasting – that’s how good it was. And they exceeded our expectations on the big day. We knew we wanted the dinner to be family style since it’s our favorite way of eating with friends and family. Our guests really enjoyed getting to eat a little bit of everything.

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The Details

We wanted the wedding to feel super personal. We wrote our own vows and had a close friend who unintentionally ended up joining us on our first date (on his own first date) marry us.

We cut together home movies of us as kids that transitioned our guests from cocktail hour to dinner, which got a lot of laughs, especially the full minute of toddler Eric unsuccessfully attempting a somersault. As an homage to our childhood, we gave each guest a throwback friendship bracelet and shared our mutual love of Mario Kart on N64 by setting up a video game station where guests could play it.

Since we both love creative writing, we had a talented, local poet writing custom poems on request on her vintage typewriter. So many of our guests mentioned how touching and personal their poems were.

At the end of the reception, guests grabbed a thank you gift on the way out – a bag of our favorite snack, Chicago’s legendary Garrett’s popcorn. And of course, we hung a “Hold on to your butts” sign as a tribute to our beloved Jurassic Park (and Robyn’s Tinder profile).

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Advice to Other Couples

Let go and have fun. Don’t let the planning overwhelm you and don’t get too stressed if “Plan A” doesn’t work out perfectly. We gave everyone at our wedding a friendship bracelet with their escort cards, which turned out to be one our favorite personal touches, especially when everyone immediately put them on. But this was actually a last minute plan B, after months of unsuccessfully trying to spray paint 120 miniature dinosaurs.

Hiring a month-of planner was also a huge help. Our planner took over all the little details a month before the wedding, which really helped us relax.

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The Honeymoon

We went to Hawaii (Kauai and the Big Island) and highly recommend both. It was the perfect combination of relaxed, luxurious beach time and outdoor adventure. And with things like a helicopter tour over Waimea Canyon and seeing an active volcano in Volcano National Park, we definitely checked a couple things off our bucket lists.

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