Spring Wedding at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Allison and Clint

Photographed by: Jim Kennedy PhotographersLocation: Pasadena, California, United States

Allison Carpenter and Clint Fraser’s first conversation came on a set of stairs in London, nearly some 6,000 miles from their respective homes, when both were studying abroad as part of the same program. Clint found himself a bit disgruntled with his housing accommodations, having to share a bathroom with six others. Unlike Clint, Allison proved able to change her flat, switching to a room that, as chance would have it, placed her directly across the hall from Clint. Clint, however, seemed not to mind, as the proximity helped the two became fast friends.

Forging a close bond almost instantly, the two spent time traveling across Europe together, going from Amsterdam to Paris and Spain to Italy. In Venice, a city of such history and beauty, their romance blossomed. As Clint poignantly remembers, it took giving up his apartment, moving halfway around the world and living with strangers in new digs to meet the woman he would ultimately marry.

For his wedding proposal to Allison, Clint took her back to Venice, where their romance initially sparked into an enduring love. Following bellinis at Harry’s Bar and a wonderful lunch of their favorite dishes, gnocchi and caprese, Clint arranged for a charming gondola ride through the canals of Venice. As two musicians serenaded the two and guided the craft into Venice’s Grand Canal, Clint asked Allison for her hand in marriage, to which she gave an emphatic “Yes, yes, yes!”

The theme for the wedding was “springtime in love” and showcased lavenders, wasabi greens, and whites. The bride wore an elegant white gown while the groom wore a black and white tuxedo, coupled with a vest and tie also designed by the bridal gown designer and made of the same fabric as Allison’s dress.

The ceremony, held at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California, featured an array of tulips, roses, lilacs, and a variety of other fragrant blooms, framed by the church’s spacious, gothic architecture. A plethora of candles coated the interiors of the church with a warm glow, giving the setting an intimate, yet airy feel. Hurricanes and pillar candles with lavender rose petals, as well as tea lights and votives, decorated the various tables and walkways. Oversized floral arrangements with pillar candles, tea lights, and petals adorned the altar. The aisle itself was decorated with single pillar candelabra, each accented with a colorful, fragrant arrangement. Along the pews, ivy was draped in between the candelabra to tie all of it together. To this were added an enormous number of petals, placed on the floor along the pews, providing a floral border for the aisle.

The Rotunda Room at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was chosen as the reception site because it harked back to Italy, a place of great importance to Allison and Clint’s love for one another. The room’s grand dome and stately marble columns give way to an immense rose garden and an amazing fountain, located just outside the doors of the room. Consistent with the theme of springtime, the room was decorated with an abundance of flowers, enveloping guests in a sweet floral fragrance. Featuring lavender-colored roses, white lilies and a variety of flowers in shades of purple, the centerpieces were antique-styled tall, silver candelabra with a large central arrangement and several pillar candles. The base was adorned with more pillar candles, votives, tea lights and small, individual arrangements. These creations perfectly matched the tables’ platinum-rimmed dishes, high polish flatware, and silver, antique picture frame favors. Additional candelabra decorated with florals and ivy surrounded the room. Garland was draped from the second story handrail, and hanging tea lights lent the room still greater ambience.

In such lovely surroundings, guests dined on a formal dinner that began with appetizers of bruschetta with tomato and mozzarella, mini crab cakes and bacon-wrapped beef with blue cheese; followed by salad and an entrée of salmon with mango salsa, rosemary chicken, grilled vegetables and potatoes. Equally decadent was the wedding cake, featuring lemon cake with cream cheese and raspberry layers, frosted with a delicious buttercream. Four-tiered and placed on a silver plateau, the cake featured intricate piping done for decoration and lavender roses adorning the couple’s monogram as well as the top, bottom, and gaps between the tiers.

Following the wedding, the couple traveled to England, where, as part of their honeymoon, they held a second ceremony in Bath, at the Bath Abbey. This ceremony commemorated where the two first met. After a week in England, the blissful bride and groom journeyed to St. Lucia, spending a relaxing week at the Sandals Grand St. Lucian and toasting to all that can be discovered while studying thousands of miles from home.

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