SmogShoppe, Los Angeles | Rustic mid-city wedding
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SmogShoppe, Los Angeles | Rustic mid-city wedding

10 April 2021 / Dan Symboll®

b--"I swear I couldn't love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow."

Leo Christopher

There’s nothing like getting married in a former smog shop to get a one’s future with their loved one up and running. Revived by the team also behind the Millwick in Downtown Los Angeles. Mid City’s Smoggshoppe helped make Nicole and Joe’s July rustic wedding one for the books.

Before the couple headed over to the former smog-check center to say their vows and celebrate with a night full of libations, high emotions and love, the bride and groom prepared for their big day in different parts of town. Over by the West Side Nicole got her dose of “something blue” as she gazed out at the rising and crashing waves from her room at Hermosa Beach’s 16 The Strand.

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Nicole’s posse composed of her mother, friends and other loved ones helped prepare her at their seaside room. Of course, the bride wasn’t the only one to get special treatment as her mother also got ready for the day. The bride’s entourage donned matching tropical robes and popped a special bottle of champagne.

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Leaves also decorated the sheer back of Nicole’s pristine short-sleeved wedding gown, bringing yet another layer of the leaf motif to the special day. The intricate design also ran alongside a sheer slit on the left leg. The tropical leaves decorating the bride-to-be’s side didn’t stay at 16 Strand as they made an appearance on the groom’s outfit. Instead of opting for the traditional black tie, Joe chose to sport a palm leaf-patterned tie. His furry friend, a white Siberian Husky, continued the theme boasting a leash and collar decorated with similar leaves.

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A charming collection of mix-and-match chairs as well as auto memorabilia, vintage signs and boxes of cigar cutters, the SmogShoppe presented a down-to-earth and humble setting for this rustic wedding. The Southern California sun illuminated the Shoppe’s wooden structures and added a dreamy, golden glow to each of the loved ones sitting in the spacious courtyard garden.

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Like DTLA’s the Millwick, Culver City’s SmogShoppe offered the couple many opportunities to make the mid-city haven their own. The couple decorated the space with succulents and golden, mylar balloons. Nicole’s bridesmaids filed down the aisle in their gowns, each a different shade of dark green, also adding to the wedding’s plant theme. The wedding ceremony and cocktail hour also featured a live musician who rang in the newlyweds. But the combined beauty of the ceremony and its location did not end as Nicole and Joe exchanged rings and kisses. Instead, the wedding ceremony was just the start of it.

The couple’s entourages joined the newlyweds for group pictures in the Shoppe’s parking lot painted gold by the setting Los Angeles sun. With the right lighting and vibrant plants, the parking was anything but.  Once frequently occupied by anxious drivers hoping to pass a smog test, the Smogshoppe’s parking lot can switch from mundane concrete to hip and urban, or sacred in a matter of seconds with the right can-do attitude.

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At the Smoggshoppe’s grand hall, drinks flowed aplenty and the love between Nicole and Joe burned bright. The newlyweds danced their way into the hall where their loved ones awaited their arrival. The hall’s long tables were adorned with succulents, candles, and personalized name cards. The drought-resistant plants, placed in copper Moscow Mule mugs, made for an easy, no-fuss, green giveaway for all guests.

The new Mr. and Mrs. shared their first dance on the spacious floor where their friends and family joined in on the fun. Those who gathered on that warm July evening even helped themselves to a decadent sundae bar, perfect for the heat.

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While the ice cream buffet was a highlight of the night, it barely compares to the couple slicing the cake. Stationed under the golden balloons reading “XOXO,” the two-tiered naked cake sported gold rings and a succulent topper, keeping in line with the rustic looks of the ceremony and its location. The evening continued with hours of dance, from Nicole’s number with her father to Joe with his mother. Nicole’s bridesmaids and friends along with Joe’s own crew joined in the fun, dancing the night away, making lasting memories with each step.

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