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Melinda and Brendan: A Wanderlust Wedding at LA's SmogShoppe

Melinda and Brendan’s wedding was anything but traditional. Even how they met was unconventional, given that most straight couples don’t meet in gay bars. Melinda thought she was being a good wing woman, when she noticed a guy who kept looking her way. That guy was Brendan, and they have been together ever since. After an elopement in New York, time abroad in Saudi Arabia and plenty of voyages in between, Melinda and Brendan decided it was time to have a wedding to celebrate with their friends and family from around the world—and bring everyone together for one epic night. Naturally, the wanderlust couple decided on a travel theme—but they chose to represent their amazing travels with interesting details, such as a globe that served as a guestbook, a banner strung with small maps and photos from their adventures, and gold-painted animals that represented all the places Melinda and Brendan have been. The pink and lavender color palette was inspired by Melinda’s mother’s carnival glass, and ultimately, each unique décor item told its own story.

The big hit of the wedding: the golden DIY animal figurine centerpieces. “Guests started snatching them,” says Melinda. “Brendan’s mother is from Africa, so she took the African animals. Our friend from Texas quickly grabbed the armadillo, our friends from Australia took the kangaroo. They were something that everyone could relate to.”

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