Thanks to the lens of Michael Segal Photography, we’re about to whisk you away to the rocky shores of Malibu to witness one very special day. Cue the perfectly planned wedding of Sarah and Phil. For their special day proves to not only be crazy elegant, but seriously sentimental too. ByDesign Films captured every happy tear below and we invite you to watch it all unfold in THE VAULT!
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From The Bride and Groom…Sarah and Phil first met three years ago while watching mutual friends in a band play at a local venue over a few cocktails. He got her number, and actually called instead of texting. She then knew he wasn’t like most other guys, he was a gentleman. A couple years later, Philip proposed to Sarah on the iconic Santa Monica Pier, which is the city where they first met and lived together.
It was a tough decision for them on where to get married, Philip being from Northern California, and Sarah from Ohio. But they decided to get married in Santa Monica, so they could show all of their family and friends the life they were creating together in Southern California. Neither of them had ever thought about what their wedding day would look like. At first thought, wedding planning would be easy for them as they are both fairly simple and easy-going people and ultimately just wanted to celebrate with family and friends. But as the venue search started, they both learned they were a lot more particular than they thought, as they started to build their “dream wedding” together.
They had the ceremony at St Monica’s Catholic Church, which is where the bride and groom are members. It was important for them that they get married in the church and there was no better place than St. Monica, as it has such a welcoming atmosphere, amazing cantors and musicians, and is breathtakingly beautiful.
The moment the doors opened, the bride was just a silhouette, as the light flowed into the church behind her, and she slowly walked down the aisle with her father Frank by her side and Jacobs song reverberating off the arching church ceilings. The bride was absolutely stunning, and the groom said that it felt like someone snuck up and punched him directly in the stomach taking his breath away. They exchanged vows as Philip put his grandmother’s ring on Sarah’s finger.
After the ceremony, they transported their guests from Santa Monica into the gorgeous mountains of Malibu via the Pacific Coast Highway. With a nice ocean view, they popped mini bottles of Korbel champagne, and started celebrating on the way to the venue. As the guests arrived, the gates opened and they continued up the scenic windy road to approach Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards.
Malibu Rocky Oaks is a privately owned Tuscan inspired villa, sitting atop the highest point around, surrounded by gorgeous vineyards and a view of the ocean off in the distance. Besides the amazing view, they wanted to avoid the banquet hall patterned carpets and drapes, and Malibu Rocky Oaks was exactly that. They searched all of LA and couldn’t find a place that had more of an amazing view.
When it came to the catering they both are admitted foodies, especially living in LA, so they wanted the food to be incredible. They wanted the freedom to choose their own chef and meal, as they are not particularly fond of “wedding food”. So this venue allowed them to create exactly the type of celebration they wanted, rather than having just a cookie cutter wedding. It was definitely a lot more work for them, and their coordinator, but at the end of the day, they made it exactly what they wanted.
Cocktails and appetizers were served on the side balcony with a seamless view across all of Malibu, while a contemporary violinist played in the background. An old farm dinner bell was rung and everyone took their seat along two long rustic wooden tables and a “farm to table” family-style dinner was served.
At the tail end of dinner the bride and groom quickly snuck away to capture a few extra photos during the golden hour. They are somewhat an adventurous couple so they climbed up a cliff just to get a killer shot. They stood up there looking like they were on top of the world. The first dance, by request of the groom, was to have the first dance on the helipad during sunset which had never been done before, and so they added an additional dance floor. They prepared for several weeks searching for the right song and learned their special choreographed dance.
As the sun started to set behind the hills of Malibu and into the ocean, they walked out onto the dance floor hand in hand as their their shadows reflected onto the wooden dance floor. Once the music started, she circled him caressing his shoulders then spinning out and pulling her back in, then they began the elegant movements of the foxtrot, gliding around the dance floor to Temper Trap’s powerful song Sweet Disposition.
After the father-and-bride and mother-and-groom dance, their guests then joined them out on the helipad and rocked out to few songs to initiate the party as the night began. All of this was perfectly created by their wedding coordinator Letizia Silvestri, and perfectly captured by Michael Segal.
Photography: Michael Segal Photography | Cinematography: ByDesign Films | Event Planning: Letizia Silvestri | Floral Design: Tick Tock Florist | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Raffi's Pastry | Ceremony Venue: St. Monica Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: LA Roots Catering | DJ: Jeff With Vox DJ | Groom's Attire: JCrew | Ceremony Music: Chris Woods | Groom's Shoes: To Boot New York | Photo Booth: Lumee Studios | Rentals: A Rental Connection