diy wedding

Same Sex Samoan Wedding in Utah

Adessa + Keki Soaia’s Same Sex Samoan Utah Wedding at Noah’s Event Center - South Jordan, Utah

September 2, 2016

lesbian wedding

About three to five years ago there was a surge in our friends getting married left and right. It just so happen to be at the beginning of our wedding planning career. While we knew we would always be our mutual friends bridesmaids we did not know however that one day we would be doing double duty and acting as bridesmaids AND wedding coordinator! That’s right yours truly planned, coordinated, and even set up our friend Keki’s wedding back in 2016. Not to mention, she lived in Utah while we were in California!

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wedding planners as bridesmaids

Pictured here, both members of the Rock n’ Willow team rushing down the aisle to gather friends and family for the portrait session during cocktail hour


Getting ready

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getting ready
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Adessa and Keki kept up with certain wedding traditions including not seeing each other before the big day. They got ready separately and saw each other again moments before saying “I do”.

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bridal bouquet

The couple contributed many DIY elements to their decor. The only fresh flowers were Adessa’s bouquet and Keki’s boutonnière. The bridesmaids and bridesmen were adorned with paper flowers.

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bridesmaids paper bouquet

Ceremony

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Keki’s nephews and best men serenaded the ceremony space with a live performance, our friend Wendy officiated the ceremony, and the coupled sealed their vows with a sand unity ceremony and a kiss of course!

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I do
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just married

Couples Portraits

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couples portraits

During the couples portrait session Adessa changed her shoes into matching ones with Keki and a fun rainbow print sock as a nod to their celebration being a same sex wedding.

lesbian wedding

Wedding Party

wedding party
wedding party

With a large wedding party filled with friends from childhood and high school and family members anything could happen during the friends and family portrait session! These are the pictures that made it and were PG-13 :)

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bridesmaids

Reception details

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Adessa and Keki had so much family and friends pour themselves into their wedding. We even gifted them our centerpieces from our wedding two years prior! The couple spray painted them to match their colors and touched them up with some gems.

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popcorn station

We were also kind enough to gift our besties with a popcorn station. Since we drove to Utah we filled up our car with all the yummy necessities. (Minus that beer captured here at the end of the table! How did that get there?)

diy popcorn table
popcorn station
popcorn station

Sadly, both of Keki’s parents passed away before her wedding so we encouraged her to have a memorial for them displayed at the wedding. Adessa surprised her bride with a priceless gift.

memory table

Reception fun

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true love

The Soaia’s rejoiced in their wedding celebration with a grand entrance and first dance. The formal wedding reception was soon turned into a circle around Adessa as she performed the Samoan traditional Taualuga.

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samoan wedding

cake, cake, cake!

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Another nod to Keki’s Samoan culture was shown off in their cake. A gorgeous tribal print was painted across the bright turquoise cake with fresh local flowers.

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cake cutting
cake cutting
cake cutting

The End.

couples portraits

Although planing a wedding from another state can prove its challenges and being a part of a wedding while also working the wedding can be a bit rough, we absolutely adore our friends and did not mind at all. We are so pleased to announce that since their wedding three years ago Adessa and Keki have welcomed the birth of their son Lian and have purchased their dream home. We are so proud of them and would do it all again in a heartbeat!!


Vintage D.I.Y. Wedding in Southern California

Annie + Israel Navarro's Vintage D.I.Y. Wedding at St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and El Dorado Park Golf Course 08.15.2015


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Before the blush pink and succulent trend started to be number one on Pinterest there was Annie and Israel Navarro and their futuristic wedding ideas! Their wedding took place on the hottest day of the summer during a heat wave at St Margaret Mary Alacoque Church in Lomita, Ca with the reception at El Dorado Park Golf Course in Long Beach, Ca.


Annie opted out of getting ready at the venue or hotel. Instead she got ready in the comfort of her home surrounded by her Mother and Sisters. That made the process much more small and intimate.

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Once Annie was ready she was off to the church!

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Annie and Israel stayed true to their religious routes and had a gorgeous Catholic church ceremony in the heart of the South Bay! 

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At St Margaret Mary's there was a perfect stone backdrop to snap a few pictures on the way to the reception venue. 

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While the ceremony was underway we were at the reception venue across town. As the guests traveled from Lomita to Long Beach we were setting up all the D.I.Y. aspects Annie and her family created. Israel's Mom hand made each and every chair bow, and did we mention there was about 240 guests? Wow! 

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Annie was ahead of her time with her wedding vision. Dressing the tables in blush linen from Stephanie’s Linens was not the only future trend she was setting. She also inluded succulents as favors and a ton of vintage decor.

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Guests were welcomed into the cocktail hour with a live performance by the Downbeat LA group AMFM and accompanied by DJ Rage for the reception.  Then it was time for their epic grand entrance into the first dance.

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Dinner was catered by the on site restaureant at the venue but their gorgeous wedding cake was provided by Great Dane Bakery. Annie surprised her new husband with a groom's cake from Sophie's Sweet Shop with his favorite football team, USC. The couple had a recent dog pass away which they paid tribute to on their cake with a dog figurine by Sophie's Sweet Shop too. 

Dog figurine by  Sophie's Sweet Shop

Dog figurine by Sophie's Sweet Shop

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After cake and dinner was digested it was time to start the festivities! The couple started with dancing with parents then the bouquet toss and a very unique garter toss. The bride did not feel comfortable with the traditional garter toss so they warpped the garter around a football and the groom tossed it to his eligible bachelors. It turned out to be a really fun idea we still recommend to all our couples! 

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The cultural money dance typically starts off the dancing portion in the Hispanic community. With over 200 Latinos ready to party they were eager to give the Couple money with wishes for their prosperity. 

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dollardanceatwedding

Adding more D.I.Y. elements, Annie used props form her bridal shower and made her own Photo Booth area.

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We love how their photographer Erica Adams snuck the couple away from the reception to capture some sunset photos.

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It’s been three years since Annie and Israel’s special day and they have since welcomed the birth of their daughter Jayla. The Navarro wedding will always hold a special place in our heart not only because of all the firsts we experienced, but because of the warmth both sides of the family expressed towards us. Annie even assisted Rock n’ Willow Events for a short time prior to her pregnancy! We miss you dearly and wish you and Israel nothing but the best!!


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Vendor Team: // Coordination: Rock n’ Willow Events // Venue: Ceremony- St Margaret Mary Alacoque Catholic Church + Reception: El Dorado Park Golf Course // Photographer: Erica Adams Photography // Videographer: Wedding Video Pro // DJ: DJ Rage // Band: Downbeat LA // Linen: Stephanie’s Linen // Furniture: Striking Elegance // Cake: Great Dane Baking Co // Groom’s Cake: Sophie’s Sweet Shop // Flowers: Lily’s Flowers DTLA