What’s black, white and “Classic Hollywood Glam” all over? This California wedding from Diana McGregor - that’s what. Think black tie elegance in the Calabasas outdoors, sprinkled with anemone-filled bouquets by Mark’s Garden and too many chic details to count. Let the pretty party march on right here in the gallery.
From The Bride…I was completely shocked when John proposed. Not because I didn’t think we were destined to be soulmates, but because of the timing of it. He did it in front of 20 family members, right after we filled our plates with turkey and mashed potatoes and right before we were about to put the forks in our mouths on Thanksgiving. I don’t think any of us ate after that proposal. I was on the floor, making out and crying with him simultaneously.
My PR/Events company, Minx Society, is known for fabulous Hollywood parties so, I decided to take my own vision and resources and do the wedding myself. Black, White, and Gold were our colors. The theme was Classic Hollywood Glamour in a Forest setting. I wanted LA’s finest to get decked out for a secret fabulous ball in the middle of the Calabasas mountains. My vision was glam but I also wanted it to feel natural to go with an “Enchanted Gatsby” theme. That is really how my own personal style is, classic meets avant-garde chic, a mix between old and new – paying homage to the past, present, and future. And, although John and I both love to get dressed up and hit the town, we live for nature. As for key elements to the wedding, my priorities were design aesthetics, the “fun” factor (fabulous food by the best chef I know Jennifer Naylor, Hollywood’s best party photographer Rony’s Photo Booth, and of course extra delicious snacks like mini Peanut Butter Mr. & Mrs. cupcakes by Dollface Bites, salted caramel wedding cake with custom toppers of me, John, and our puppies by Whoa Nelly, endless personalize wood-fired pizzas from Cucine Bene, and hundreds of Winchell’s DONUTS!). I also really wanted everything to be personal yet inviting – I wanted guests to feel our love and also feel special too. I liked the idea of all of our 250 guests getting dressed to the nines in tuxedos and gowns but in wilderness, and I think they did too. I wanted all of the wedding party to feel like superstars so they all picked out their own black designer gowns from Rent The Runway. Our wedding flower was my favorite, the black and white anemone which Mark’s Garden took next level. I wanted John to wear something unique, because I didn’t feel it was fair that I stand out in white. I wanted my trophy husband to shine, so he opted for a midnight blue tuxedo from The Black Tux with a classic Lanvin bow tie. Music is also super important to us and we wanted to show that on our Big Day. We were able to secure our absolute favorite band Matt Pond PA, who came all the way from New York to perform a private concert for us. The front man Matt Pond even dedicated a song to me, “Wild Girl” (which suits me perfectly). We had Spirit Strings, an alternative string quartet play all of our favorite songs during the ceremony and cocktail hour and DJ Grant Shapiro spin until 2 AM (who I met during my years as a club promoter in Hollywood). The music was exactly the opposite of any wedding I had ever been to.
Let’s talk about the dress. My wedding dress that was the only missing piece to my picture perfect wedding vision. First issue was our personal wedding timeline – we got engaged in late November and wanted to have it as soon as there was enough sun outside so instantly picked the month April. Little did I know that wedding dresses are custom and take upwards of 6 months to get made. I found myself going to the best bridal shops in town only to get turned away because I couldn’t get it in time. I knew that I wanted a cathedral lace veil that made a statement, so I opted for a custom 6 foot long veil made by my favorite local seamstress Asal Tailoring & Alterations. I’d have to say the dress was the hardest part about planning this wedding – the dress. So, I put it off. Months passed. Until days before the wedding, Thursday morning to be exact, I went to Lili Bridals in Tarzana with my parents. Lo and behold was this stunning, equal parts beautiful and sexy illusion back, body con, lace gown by Watters. It was really important for me to feel like myself on my wedding day, I like to show skin and feel sexy, and I didn’t want to wear some huge gown. The staff at Lili Bridals are like magical wizards and were able to alter the sample dress within 24 hours. I picked the dress up Saturday morning, the day of the wedding and it’s like it was made for me and went perfect with my veil. This is 100% truth!
I chose my parents home because I have always felt like it’s a kingdom of love. My parents met and fell in love as next door neighbors when they were only 17 years old and all they ever wanted to do was make their own family and home where love ruled everything. We dubbed their home Winchell Manor ever since I was little and it was always such a special place where everyone was welcome. It was the place where I spent my childhood, dreaming about having my own fairy-tale romance and my future Prince Charming. Also, my parents are party animals and we wanted to take full advantage of our big day – no rules, no capacity, no curfew, etc.
The ceremony was absolutely gorgeous and better then my dreams! Todd Krumpe from Classic Party Rentals really understood my vision and made it come alive. We covered the basketball court with grass and I picked out those amazing X vineyard chairs, and what made it was the stunning natural flower arbor by Mark’s Garden. I went through so many options of building an arch out of wood to renting an iron chuppah, but I really wanted something romantic and natural and Mark’s Garden was able to bring my vision to life. It was also really important to me to surprise John with something special and personal. He’s an incredible cyclist and by some chance, I stumbled upon a wrought-iron bicycle at Home Goods one day and had Mark’s Garden jazz it up with beautiful flowers. It had a gold marquee arrow directing guests to where the ceremony was about to begin. Guests were treated to arrival portrait photos in which Rony’s Photo Booth took a red carpet-esque photo of them in front of a hedge backdrop and then given our signature welcome drink Prosecco with Blackberries and a black and white straw (black and white and gold everything!). Other unique elements we featured were our children/puppies Sadie Jane and Parker being in the wedding and music by Spirit Strings, an alternative string quartet. As for emotions…I knew I was going to have some tears, but I didn’t envision the full blown sob fest I had as I was walking down the aisle hand in hand with my dad. I have never cried so hard of happiness. I had my vows all perfectly written out and I couldn’t even read them, so I did away with the paper and just spoke from the heart. I felt so perfect in that moment when I said I do, I didn’t mean to, but I said it before the officiant had a chance to finish.
The reception was out of this world special. During the planning process, I saw a photo of one of those vintage sail-cloth tents and I knew we needed to have it. Throughout the space we added hedging to further the nature aesthetic and Mark’s Garden decked out the space in the most divine florals. I wanted to have special focal design elements throughout: from the light treatment on the hedges that lit up behind the stage to the arbors covered in willowy forlas to the DIY gold marquee signs and bottles. I did quite a bit of DIY projects with my husband leading up to the wedding, which also made it feel really special. 1) Gold Wine Bottles – All of our friends collected wine bottles for several months and we spray painted them gold and showcased them with votives on a gold back bar to light up the lounge. 2) Gold Marquee Letter – I found these fantastic battery operated marquee letters from Michael’s and spray painted them gold glitter and used them for the DONUT, COFFEE, and PIZZA bars. Guests were blown away! I’m a foodie so my number 1 priority was the food. Malibu Chef Jennifer Naylor absolutely killed it with the most incredible food – we spent the most time perfecting the menu and it truly showed. It was the best food I have ever had even though most people say they forget to eat on their wedding day. The most memorable moment was when my dad gave John and I a speech. I have never heard a man utter more beautiful words. He was sobbing the entire time and so was the entire room. I feel like guests really had fun at our wedding and somehow John and I developed some magical dance moves that seem to progress throughout the night – never have I ever been dipped that low!
Photography: Diana McGregor | Floral Design: Mark's Garden | Wedding Gown: Watters - Cinzia Gown | Cake: Whoa Nelly! Catering | Cupcakes: Doll Face Bites | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent The Runway | Catering: Jennifer Naylor Catering And Special Events | Make Up: Jessica Scantlin | Hair: MTV Host- Ana Paz | DJ: DJ Grant Shapiro | Venue: Private Residence | Bridal Dress Boutique: Lili Bridals | Bride's Bedroom Furniture: Z Gallerie | Bride's Rob: Stone Cold Fox | Cake Topper: Wow Mini Me | Concert: Matt Pond PA | Coordination And Planning: Tealight Events | Custom Veil : Asal | Design And Planning: Bride's Company Minx Society | Donuts: Winchell's Donuts | Gold Stacking Bangles: Cartier | Groom Tux: The Black Tux | Hosted By: Jennifer Starrett Winchell & Rhett Winchell | Paper: Just Invite Me | Party Reception Dress: For Love And Lemons | Photography - Assistance: Stephanie Ponce | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Second Photographer: Valentina Glidden | Wedding Decor: Jennifer Laskey