LOVE // Kalia & Joe

Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress

Wedding Date October 13, 2017

Guests 95

Location Big Daddy’s Antiques, Culver City, CA

Photographer Martina Micko


How did you meet?

We met at a bar one night, right before dating apps really took off. We were both there with our friends, he spotted me from across the bar and decided to make a move. His opening line was “cheers” as he literally knocked his beer bottle against my vodka soda. I was so confused why any stranger would do that so, naturally, rolled my eyes and gave him a weird look. He thought my reaction was hilarious and struck up a conversation with me. He was tall, cute and clearly confident for not being deterred by my initial reaction. At the end of the night we exchanged numbers and went on our first date a week later.
We made each other laugh and liked the same indie music. It was meant to be. 

How did he put a ring on it?

He surprised me big time and devised a master plan to trick me into going to a hip hotel. On the night of our 6-year dating anniversary, he had my sister fake sick and cancel our existing plans so that he could take me to dinner instead. We hardly ever celebrate our anniversary so I didn’t think anything was suspicious. After dinner, he insisted that we head out for one more drink. I wasn’t feeling great so I tried to just go home, but he insisted.

We ended up at the Line Hotel in Koreatown in LA and proceeded to get on the elevators to the rooms. I was so confused why we would be going to a hotel room to get a drink but he made up some believable reason. When we got to the room, it was completely decorated with flowers, candles and a bottle of champagne. On the bed was a photo album of our best memories together.

I was shocked by the effort and couldn’t believe he had done all of this. I sat down to read through the album and as I got to the last page there was a message that he couldn’t wait for the next journey of our chapter. At that moment, I looked up and he was down on one knee with a ring. That’s when he finally asked me to marry him and I, of course, said YES!

Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress


We knew we wanted something unconventional, intimate and easy. I was most inspired by other unique weddings that involved interesting locations, food options and mismatched décor. I looked at lots of blogs about LA weddings and found Big Daddy’s Antiques. We were blown away by how it was industrial, urban and quirky. I loved the vibe from the mismatched chairs and eclectic furniture. It was like being in someone’s luscious and lively living room, which was perfect for us.


Urban Taco Dinner Party Chic. We’re both from LA, so tacos are pretty much our way of life. We also love hosting dinner parties for our friends. This wedding was a chance for us to hold the ultimate taco party in an amazing location surrounded by post-modern lounge vignettes and vintage items. We didn’t want it to be too formal, so loved the opportunity to mix and match the seating at our venue. That way it really was like having people in our home in an intimate setting.

Once we decided on that vibe, the rest of the pieces fell into place & gave us a day we will never forget. Wedding decisions are hard, but having our theme helped. We just had to ask ourselves, “would we have that food/drink/activity at our dinner party?” We loved every minute of our wedding – it was 100% us!


Aside from it representing our taste and style, we took a thoughtful approach to the ceremony and first dance. We had an interfaith Jewish ceremony, so we mixed in lots of different elements from our lives and faiths. My mom shared a mindful poem and we both got draped with one my grandpa’s old quilts during a traditional Jewish prayer. We also wrote our own vows which were very personal and allowed us to put our love and relationship into our own words. Our vows had some humor and touched on why we respect each other so much.

And then there was our dance! We go crazy every time “Africa” by Toto comes on so decided that was our song. It’s a mid-tempo song so we got to do some fun moves. We had the best time dancing. Again, it was unconventional and quirky, just like us.


Just a few. We had a family friend design our invitations, coasters and kattubah. We also set up our own polaroid booth with props that became our guest book. Those personal touches were really fun and meaningful but not too stressful.

Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress
Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress

Tell us about your dress? 

Disclaimer: I tried on over 30 dresses because, well, I realized that they are so much fun to try on. But, what’s important is that because I did so much research, I can honestly say that I picked the absolute right dress for me. I LOVED my dress!

I wanted something sexy but also comfortable and lacy. The nude lining gave this mysterious illusion of nakedness while the lace added a wonderful softness.  It was like no other dress I had seen and combined classic lace, with a modern silhouette and the fun of tassels. Who gets to wear tassels on their wedding day? That element added so much movement, sass and playfulness. It also fit like a glove and hugged in all the right places. And because it was so stretchy it made it easy to dance, laugh, hug and eat in – all the top tasks for a bride. It kept with our unconventional vibe and had so many wonderful accents like the low keyhole back and the soft accents on the trim. This dress was everything I wanted.


I purchased the Edie wedding dress from the Venice Showroom.
P.s. Shopping with Grace Loves Lace is an experience all on its own. The showroom is stunning and non-frilly for us less traditional brides. 


I went for the mismatched vibe to match our eclectic location. I was inspired by this Bloomingdale’s ad that showed women in different shades of autumn colors and really wanted to recreate that look. Most purchased from Revolve and Shopbop.


Groom suit was by John Varvatos; Groomsmen wore their own suits.


I was most nervous about being nervous, ironically. I worried about stressing that day and maybe missing all of it. Thankfully that did not happen and I was able to truly appreciate every moment. 

Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress


Walking down the aisle and seeing our community of close friends and family watching us with love. I loved having a small-ish wedding because I got to see and recognize each and every face. There was so much love that day and in that moment I felt it all around me. Scariest moment was the Horah (chair dance). I was up on that chair and terrified of falling. It was fun and scary, but mostly scary. I feel like there should be a training course for that.


 Partnership and promise to weather the ups and downs of life together. We acknowledge that life will be challenging but also full of joy and there is no one else we’d want to share those moments with.
We are each other’s biggest fans and champions, and support each other in our journey of becoming who we were meant to be.

Something New? My dress & shoes
Something Old? One of my braclets
Something Borrowed? Two bracelets from one of my bridesmaids
Something Blue? My nails, I got a pretty ordinate nail design that includes blue stripes
Any words of wisdom you can pass onto future brides & grooms? 
Let this day be all about you. I can’t stress this enough. With the internet and Pinterest, it is tempting to try and recreate someone else’s day. Everyone will tell you that you HAVE TO HAVE certain things like a full bar, bouquet toss, sit down dinner, guest book, etc. We didn’t listen to any of that and focused on making the day authentic to us. Try to crowd out the noise and get clear about what moments you want to create and how they represent your love. You’ll be so glad that you did!

Kalia and Joe, Kalia wears a GRACE LOVES LACE wedding dress

The Gown Grace Loves Lace  //  The Groom wore John Varvatos  //  Photographer Martina Micko   Venue Big Daddy’s Antiques  //  Florist Oldvine Florals  //  Stylist / Coordinator Sweet Emilia Jane 
Hair Dry Bar, Culver City and my sister  //  Makeup Felicia La Tour
Catering Guerrilla Tacos; Taste of Pace; Donut Friend