Many couples meet via online dating sites, and having tried it a few times in the past, Kelly Chinarian wasn’t sure what to expect. But while on their first date, Kelly realized Matthew Cohen was different. “We laughed and smiled all night,” Kelly shares. “My face hurt!” 

A couple of years later, the two were on a mini road trip from their home base in Orange County, California, to downtown San Diego. Matt was prepared to propose while on the short vacation and had carefully packed the gorgeous diamond engagement ring. “I was so excited that on the drive there, I nearly proposed to her while sitting in traffic,” he confesses. Wisely, he waited until they had reached the romantic setting of their hotel, and amidst the sweeping views of the city skyline, he asked Kelly to be his wife. 

The joyous couple approached wedding planning with an upbeat attitude and a readiness to compromise. “Everything is negotiable,” suggests Kelly. Since they had become engaged in San Diego, they opted for the same sunny setting. “We wanted a modern, city wedding,” describes the bride of their décor scheme that included clean lines and muted hues. 

Forgoing a traditional bridal party, Kelly and Matt settled on their ideal attendants – two best men and two men of honor – who were close friends and siblings. The bride, escorted by her father, looked resplendent in a strapless, fitted Vera Wang gown with a sparkling band at the waist. Her long dark locks were loosely curled and a crystal headpiece and veil complemented the sophisticated ensemble. She carried a lush bouquet of cream roses and lilac peonies.  

As attendees filed in, they were handed humorously written programs to help follow along with any practices of which they were not familiar. “Our programs were funny and sarcastic and reflected us,” laughs Kelly. The rooftop vow exchange – officiated by Kelly’s best friend – took place against a backdrop of bright green ivy, dotted with pink blooms. “When reciting my vows, I could barely keep it together,” admits the bride. “I was so emotional!” Upon the conclusion of the ceremony, Matt, who is Jewish, participated in the long-standing custom of breaking the glass, and finally kissed his beautiful bride. 

Reception tables incorporated classic lilac linens and lovely centerpieces brimmed with flowers in pale plum and antique rose, along with mercury-glass vessels and sparkling silver elements. Customized menus, tucked into eggplant-toned silk napkins, were also set at each place setting. The sweetheart table showcased a sequined purple tablecloth and grey chiavari chairs. 

Loved ones feasted on beef filet paired with scallops and herb-crusted salmon and, for dessert, sliced into delectable pieces of wedding cake. The five-tiered confection was artfully iced in a pale violet color and adorned with sugar flowers and silver glitter. Alternating layers of vanilla and chocolate cake with vanilla cream and chocolate mousse were exactly what guests needed to energize for a night of dancing beneath the stars. Plus, the couple had prepared to keep attendees fueled into the late hours. “We supplied our favorites – Sprinkles cupcakes, cookies, and ice cream,” adds Kelly of the tasty treats. 

The merriment continued as guests participated in the hora and a customary Armenian dance (Kelly’s paternal family is Armenian). As the couple looked around, they knew they couldn’t have dreamed of a more fulfilling day. “We tried to be thoughtful of our family and friends in each decision we made,” reveals the couple, who also planned for a firework-show excursion for guests the next day aboard the USS Midway. “Everyone had a wonderful time!”