For This Couple, Family + Friends Were the Focus of the Big Day
July 16, 2016
California
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For this gorgeous Bride and her handsome Groom, their vision for a wedding was a personal, intimate affair that was all about our love, and giving close friends and family a fantastic weekend. With a special emphasis on honoring his deceased parents and her Jewish heritage, Hunter & Company brought this day together perfectly. See it all from Anne Ciotola and Light The Moment in The Vault!
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From The Bride...Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. I lived by those words, but it wasn't until I fell in love with my husband that I realized that the person I decided to be with (aka the man I was destined to marry) would also play a big role in shaping me.

I was introduced to Greg by a mutual friend a few days after I relocated to San Francisco for work, and we just clicked. People say that when it's right it's easy, and it was always just so easy with Greg. I was quick to fall in love with him, for his charismatic charm, impeccable manners, big heart, twinkling blue eyes, but most of all for his unflappable integrity and sense of morality. I have never met a better man, and I knew I was going to marry him when I realized that I became the best version of myself when I was with him.

In early September, he got down on one knee in a beautiful garden in France's Rhone region, and neither of us wanted to wait until summertime to tie the knot. We happened to spend a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe for a charity event benefiting Make-A-Wish just after our engagement, and we realized it was a perfect winter wedding venue. Greg is from Melbourne and I grew up between the super warm climates of LA and Tel Aviv, so we were both enchanted by the idea of a snow-covered wedding.

We had the same goals in mind for our wedding-we both wanted a personal and intimate affair that was all about our love, while giving our close friends and family a fantastic weekend. We also wanted to honor Greg's deceased parents, as well as my Jewish heritage.

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping At Last played as Greg walked down the aisle, and my parents walked me down the aisle to the instrumental tune of I'm Kissing You by Des'ree. Charms with photos of Greg's parents hung from my bouquet, and memorial candles inscribed with their names and birth dates flickered in front of us as we stood under the gorgeous and elaborate floral chuppah (Jewish wedding arch). The weekend was everything we wanted it to be and more.

I read an article about weddings many years ago, and I never forgot the writer's advice. She wrote that while a wedding should be about the couple, it was not for the couple; rather, it was for the couple's friends and family. I happily embraced the notion, and kept it always at the forefront of my mind throughout that magical weekend, even though it meant skipping dinner at our reception (I don't think I would have been able to eat anyway!), and never sitting down again after the first course was served.

Based on my experience, I would very humbly offer the following advice to future brides:

(i) Your guests have invested huge amounts of time, effort and expense to be at your wedding (this is particularly true for destination weddings)- do your best to find a few minutes to have an individual chat with each guest, and thank them personally for being there.

(ii) Everyone loves a good photo booth!

(iii) Get a fantastic photographer-I think I found the best with Anne Ciotola.

(iv) Take private dance lessons. Knowing how to move together will always come in handy, and we so cherished that bonding time. We were at our busiest in the weeks leading up to the wedding what with our respective full-time jobs, wedding planning, and acting as pseudo travel agents, but also desperately in need of quality time together. Those weekly lessons forced us to stop the world and enabled us to focus only on each other. Bonus points for getting to do that while locked in an intimate embrace.