The wedding of Janni and Travis was imbued with pure aesthetics, tenderness, and lightness. The timeless look of the bride, snow-white floristry, coastal tablescape, and an after-party under garlands. We asked Janni about the details of the wedding planning as well as her love story with Travis.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
My husband Travis and I met in Helsinki, Finland. He was visiting with a good Finnish friend, who lived in San Diego and whom he'd met through his college friends. This was his second time experiencing summertime in Helsinki, and we met at the airport when he was on his way back home and I was on my way home from a work trip in Stockholm. We kept in touch and casual chats turned into calls. It was time to figure out what was going on, so a few months later, I visited Travis in Los Angeles. The trip marked the beginning of 2 years of the long distance between Helsinki and Newport Beach. To our luck, I worked in advertising and eventually was able to transfer to the LA office where I now work as a Creative Director. When I moved, Travis, who works in finance, joined me in Los Angeles and started commuting to Orange County. In his words, if I was willing to move across the Atlantic, the least he could do is commute 40 minutes to work.
What was the concept behind your wedding and how did you find your inspiration?
We wanted our wedding to feel timeless, yet unique. Over time, I started describing the feeling as "modern Mediterranean" and noticed the wedding was starting to look like the perfect blend of romantic Europe and coastal Santa Barbara. A reflection of us, in a way. As a creative director, I approach the wedding like any creative project. Endlessly digging through inspiration, and finding ways to combine and bring ideas to life in a way that hasn't been done before. I would save references and screenshots in folders, and then give that thoughts-starter to inspire new ideas. As an example, I wanted our menus to be clean and simple in design but then decided to print them on white linen fabric. Something I haven't really seen anyone do.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Our wedding was at a private family estate in Santa Barbara near Hope Ranch. The venue reminded me of Spain and the white hacienda-style house is covered in greenery that you could find in a winery, paired with palm trees. We chose to do our reception on the side of the house which matched my vision of a moody and intimate ceremony and had our cocktail hour in the house garden and reception overlooking the ocean. First and foremost, we chose Santa Barbara and the venue as they both house some of our most precious memories together.
How many guests did you have?
We ended up having around 90 guests, with my side traveling from Finland and other countries in Europe.
Tell us about your outfits.
I didn't know exactly what I wanted when I started trying on dresses. But I quickly realized I wanted to find dresses that reflected my personal style. The more out there the designs were, the more I noticed the dresses were wearing me, and not the other way around. My getting-ready outfit ended up being a vintage lace dress I lifted from a little market seller near Abbot Kinney. I spotted it on the hanger, tried it all in a little tent fitting room, and instantly knew I had found something special. I didn't want to wear anything trendy. Feathers, silk pajamas, things that I'd look back as a direct reflection of the time rather than something timeless. The dress I found was sheer from top to bottom. It had a deep v-neck and little ribbons in the front that I could tie. I ended up wearing a white bodysuit, with my legs showing through the sheer white fabric.
For the ceremony, I wore a strapless gown by Kyha Studios with mesh gloves, a three-row fresh pearl choker necklace by Cult Gaia, and a cathedral-length custom ruffle veil. I loved that the gown was a modern take on a ball gown by the Australian brand, and I was able to accessorize it to make it mine. Since my ceremony dress was so classic, I wanted to change it into something a bit riskier for the reception. I couldn't find anything I liked but knew this dress needed to have a lot of lace, show some skin and have long sleeves. I worked with a talented designer and friend, Mert Otsamo, who designed the dress from scratch bringing my dress dreams to life. We visited the fabric store together last August and fell in love with this beautiful french lace that had a touch of beading you could see when light hits the fabric. He drew a design where a satin mini dress was covered with lace. Long, oversized lace sleeves, a high neck, and lots of skin peeking through on the shoulders and the bottom. One of my wishes was that I'd be able to wear parts of the dress again, and the satin mini is perfect for that. When it was time for the after party, I changed once more, spontaneously, and wore a long satin dress that was draped off the shoulders by Meshki. I'm so glad I did it, as the after-party was all about dancing, hugs, and spilled cocktails.
What was your first dance song?
We danced our first dance to At Last by Etta James.
What flowers did you choose for the bride's bouquet and why?
I had a very clear vision of my bouquet. I wanted it to be white, but anything but basic. I envisioned a bouquet that wasn't classically round, but more spread to the sides. I wanted it to be airy and romantic, with flowers that vary in size and texture. With Wild West Florals, we mixed ranunculus, gomphrena, gypsophila (baby's breath), German statice, and lisianthus.
What was your wedding cake like? And where did you order it?
I ordered the cake from Crushcakes Cafe in Santa Barbara. I had my mind set on a sage green cake with white flowers for the longest time but ended up changing my mind at the last minute. The wedding cake was a lemon drop cake with luscious lemon cake, sweet lemon frosting, and fresh lemon zest. We went for a 3-tiered white cake and worked with Wild West Florals to add a mix of pressed flowers on the cake, in shades of white and green.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
I adored many of my vendors, but I developed a special bond with my photographer @monique Bianca photo. I wanted photos to be moody, editorial, and classic. I wanted non-cringe love captured on film and digital. I couldn't have asked for a better creative partner to capture our day. The photos are timeless art before anything.
Wedding dress @kyhastudios @enblanc_la
Reception dress @mertotsamoofficial @mertotsamo
Bride’s jewelry @mejuri @cultgaia
Bride’s shoes @jimmychoo
Groom’s suit @theblacktux
Film lab @richardphotolab
Assistant photographers @nateluskphotography @miryammarlenyphoto