Some people radiate a positive vibe, and this bride does just that. With her stunning smile and the talents of GRO Designs, we have here an absolutely beautiful wedding, and Shaun Menary captured it all. She and her groom made promises to her two children, and even presented them with rings during the ceremony, making this truly a family affair, and you can thank me later for this hefty dose of happiness.
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From The Bride… Blane and I were perfectly happy being fabulously 40 and single! We met on a blind date, set up by my best friend and his sister-in-law who are next door neighbors. For 15 years, Blane and I had been crossing paths. We were at the same parties, concerts, crawfish boils, even ran in the same marathons – but had never met! When we did finally meet, neither were interested in anything serious. I had been married and have two children, he was 44 and was the forever bachelor. Well, 11 months later, he was on one knee overlooking the bay in gorgeous Sausalito, CA.
Since our first trip as a couple was in CA, we got engaged in CA, why not have the wedding there too? Our friends graciously offered their estate for our 120 guest destination wedding. Once the location we set and the date, we immediately hired Gro Design to create an elegant Beverly Hills event, not a traditional wedding. Planning a wedding in your 40’s is much different than I remembered from my 20’s. We were both very focused on the guest experience and touches all throughout the weekend that showed our guests how grateful we are to have them in our lives.
The wedding party was comprised of a Man of Honor for me, along with my daughter as my two “bride’s maids.” He had 13 groomsmen, one of which was our 13 year old son! We wanted a personal ceremony that was full of poems, excerpts from old love letters, and personal stories, so our friend and author, Anand Giridharadas, performed the ceremony. For the wedding attire, again, traditional was not our focus. The men wore custom made grey suits by J. Hilburn. I wore a dress from Stanely Korshak.
We had all the guests stay at The W Westwood and held several welcoming events there from a cabana day to welcome cocktails and brunch. We really wanted to splurge in a few areas – the music, the flowers and the cake. I did not want one large traditional cake, so we selected five cakes all with amazing, unique flavors. The baker, Vanilla Bake Shop, a Santa Monica favorite, provided the cakes and the groom’s cakes that consisted of chocolate cookies and monogrammed M and M’s. The flowers we abundant and stunning! The head table was donned with an enormous cascade that flowed onto the dance floor. Our monogram was hanging above the band, all in peonies. We had the grand player piano playing while guests arrived, we has acoustical guitar and flute for the prelude and ceremony, a Latin jazz 4-piece play for the cocktail party, and a 10-piece band during the reception. For the after party, a top LA DJ played into the night.
Probably the best part of the entire night for us was the actual ceremony and making the promise to each other and our children. We had not told Ethan and Annabelle, but before we said our promise and our own vows, we made a promise and vows to the kids and presented them with rings. At that moment in time, it was as though there were only the four of us present. We had waited for a love neither could have imagined. We were in love with our individual lives, with our own selves individually, which made our joined love a strong and respectful relationship.
Photography: Shaun Menary Photography | Videography: Journey Lost Productions | Event Design: GRO Designs | Wedding Coordinator: GRO Designs | Florist: GRO Designs | Wedding Gown: Ramona Keveza | Bakery: Vanilla Bake Shop | Invitations: GRO Designs | Shoes: Embellish! By Cristina Marisa | Caterer: Epicurean Events | Hair And Makeup: Mariah Nicole | Transportation: GTS Charter | Venue: Private Residence | Dessert Stand Rentals: Minted & Vintage | Late Night DJ: Matt Cornwall | Linens: La Tavola | Party Rentals: JC Party Rentals