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Not too long ago, weddings were simple affairs. Vows, cake, the Electric Slide and a drunken uncle. Done.
Nowadays, not so much. When I was planning my wedding a couple of years ago, I was in awe of the creativity out there—photos on popular wedding blogs looked as though they were plucked straight out of an Anthropologie catalog. So many vintage details! Chalkboards, weathered globes, antique typewriters, old mailboxes—I wondered how brides even found these whimsical treasures. Do they all just happen to have hoarder grandparents who kept amazing loot?
Possibly. Though there's an alternative: Found Vintage Rentals (www.vintage-rentals.com). For those who want a stylish event with a vintage feel, owner Jeni Maus does the dirty work for you, scouring flea markets, thrift shops and antique shows across the world for one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and décor items. Her airy, 13,000-square-foot warehouse in downtown Fullerton is stocked with everything from button-tufted vintage couches for a cocktail lounge to distressed doors that can be displayed in a woodsy setting (don't overthink it—it just works). Clients marvel at the selection of charming accessories—steel clocks, vintage suitcases, old gumball machines, colorful bicycles, classic books and quirky wooden letters, all ready to be borrowed and fawned over.
"For a long time, weddings were somewhat sterile," says Maus, who has been collecting vintage goods for 15 years. "There weren't a lot of options out there. It was like, 'These three chairs are what you can get for your ceremony.' But now, brides really want to incorporate their personalities into their wedding day. We help them create a really relaxed, rustic and comfortable environment."
Maus started Found in 2010 after she had displayed vintage décor in her photography studio, and a wedding planner suggested she rent out the pieces to brides. Since then, she has outfitted weddings and other events throughout Southern California in such places as sandy beaches, farmhouses, industrial venues and cozy back yards. One of her latest events was a Princess Bride-inspired wedding photo shoot, complete with a farm-table setup in the middle of a forest. Maus hunts for new inventory every day, making sure her collection stays fresh and exciting. "I'm always looking for statement pieces," she says. "And anything with chippy paint."
Found delivers and sets up the pieces on the big day so couples can sit back and watch their vintage vision come to life. And focus on other important things. Like getting married.
This column appeared in print as "Instagram-Perfect Weddings."