Matt and Ross are law-school-sweethearts and while both work in New York, they have strong ties in California and wanted to celebrate their marriage there. The couple had this to say about their stunning WATTLES MANSION & GARDENS venue: “The venue was completely magical….old Hollywood glamour in the Hills with beautiful tiered gardens in the back and a sloping lawn in the front. The Mansion has a real sense of place and history.” We’re loving the way the couple let the backdrop of the gardens shine with an elegant all-white palette and florals from SWISSBLOOM. The day was all about family and friends and BIRDS OF A FEATHER captured all the joyful moments and beautiful scenery. Enjoy!
What made the wedding special and unique?
It felt incredibly intimate, and we were able to incorporate both family and friends into the day. We live in New York but have strong roots in California, where we met and where Matt grew up, so it was wonderful to have our loved ones from both coasts together for the weekend. Our wedding party was a combination of our sisters and our close friends from New York. Our mothers walked us down the aisle; our fathers each gave a wedding toast; our nephews were the ring bearers, and our niece read a passage from “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
The venue was completely magical. We looked at all types of venues and determined that we were more interested in a non-traditional space. The minute we saw the Wattles Mansion we knew it was perfect – old Hollywood glamour in the Hills with beautiful tiered gardens in the back and a sloping lawn in the front. The Mansion has a real sense of place and history. The only drawback is that it’s not a dedicated event space, so we needed to bring everything in – generators, every chair, table and fork, lighting, speakers etc. This is where our amazing caterer and planner, Modern Art Catering, came in. They were amazing!! They were able to coordinate all vendors, set-up, talent and production with complete grace!
Both grooms wore tuxes by Burberry, where a close friend of the grooms is an artistic director. Matt wore a blue silk dinner jacket with tuxedo pants, and Ross wore a blue wool tuxedo. Our wedding party wore all black.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
The whole day was incredibly personal, but it made it even more special to involve our families every step of the way.
One fun way we personalized the reception was with the food from Modern Art Catering: rather than a plated meal at each table, we had food stations in the gardens. We had three stations themed after three cities where we have lived together – San Francisco, Miami and New York. The San Francisco station was farm-to-table and Asian-inspired dishes (like noodles in petite Chinese take-out containers); the Miami station was Latin inspired dishes (shrimp in bamboo cones, ropa vieja), and the New York station was classic NYC (steak and potatoes).
We had been together for 13 years before getting married, but this was the first time that some of our family members and friends had met one another, so the focus of the event was on the guests. We wanted this to be a fun party first and foremost. So, upon arrival, we had cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres and a jazz band playing (the fact that it was a beautiful day in L.A. helped too).
The ceremony was short and sweet – one of our oldest and best friends officiated and gave a touching introduction (there was not a dry eye in the place). The feeling when we turned around after being married to face all our close friends and family and walk down the aisle was one we will never forget. The band played “That’s Amore” for our recessional song – such a classic!
Then, it returned to being a party. We had food stations, so it would be informal – allowing guests to mingle. Also, there was never a line to wait for food. We did have seat assignments and beautiful flowers and place settings, so it still felt like a beautiful event, but speeches were kept to a minimum, and the focus was really on the guests and making sure that they were having a good time. It was wonderful to see all of the most important friends and family members in the same place at the same time enjoying a great party.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Honestly, the entire day was so memorable. Our flower girls and ring bearers stole the show, though. Involving close friends and family members (including the kids) into the event was very special. Our ceremony took place on a landing up several stairs in a tiered garden. It is fairly easy for adults to manage the stairs, but a couple of our flower girls (in flowing white dresses) had the hardest time making it up the stairs. One of the other flower girls, who was a little bit older, helped them along. It was the most precious sight to see – and completely unplanned.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met at law school at the University of California, Hastings in San Francisco. After law school, we spent a year in Miami, while Ross was clerking and Matt was studying for the bar exam. We then moved to New York together to work for law firms in Manhattan. We had been together for years when, on the night that the U.S. Supreme Court declared that gay marriage was legal in the entire country, we decided to finally tie the knot. We got married just over 3 months later.
Photography: Birds Of A Feather // Event Production/Design & Catering: Modern Art Catering // Wedding & Event Floral Design: Ursula Kannofsky, Swissbloom // Ceremony and Reception Venue: Wattles Mansion & Gardens // Cake: Superfine Bakery // Rentals & Lighting: Line 204 // DJ, DJ Lighting, Photo Booth, PA & Audio Systems: VOX DJs // Music: Scott Cummings Music // Valet: Premiere Valet // Cappuccino/Espresso Bar: Longshot Coffee