When Ali Saleh set out to work out at a nearby gym, he didn’t anticipate noticing a woman so striking that he was immediately smitten. “I don’t know how to dance, but I saw Andrea [Espada] standing outside a Zumba class, and I knew I had to talk to her,” he confides. The interaction was amazing despite language barriers. “I could not speak any English, and Ali didn’t speak any Spanish, so we communicated through Google translator,” explains Andrea of their first meeting.
The couple lived and worked together for two years, starting their YouTube vlogging series The Royalty Family. “During that time, I saw what an incredible woman and mother she is, and I just knew that she was the one for me,” Ali reveals. The proposal took place in Cali, Colombia, where Andrea is originally from, with her entire family, including her son, Ferran, present. “I went parachuting and was the last to land,” illustrates Andrea. “Ali was waiting for me on bended knee with my beautiful ring.”
After the romantic proposal, the couple began planning their big day and realized they didn’t know where to start, so they hired professional event designer and planner Charley Izabella King of Bluebell Events. “Charley made the experience much smoother and calmer than I ever expected,” Andrea points out.
The couple knew they wanted to get married somewhere dreamy, surrounded by nature and water. Upon discovering a ranch in Malibu replete with all the magical elements they sought out of their wedding venue, the bride began to decide on the details of their bohemian-chic décor concept. “My groom trusted me to plan the wedding with Charley; however, he was heavily involved when it came to the music choices,” shares the bride.
A gorgeous circular structure adorned with pampas grass and florals in muted hues was the pièce de résistance. Guests took their seats on Ghost chairs as bridesmaids wearing one-shoulder gowns in a pretty shade of pale seafoam green processed down the aisle. Groomsmen wore sleek tan suits, while Ali elected to wear a dapper blush-toned ensemble.
At last, the bride made her grand entrance to the sweet melodies of a pianist/songstress. Andrea wore a long-sleeve lace gown with a deep V-neck bodice and a jeweled draped back. She was remarkably stunning, making her groom feel emotional as she made her way to join him for the vow exchange. She held a boho-inspired bridal bouquet comprised of pampas grass, ranunculus blossoms, roses, and eucalyptus leaves.
“Charley [Izabella King of Bluebell Events] made the experience much smoother and calmer than I ever expected.”
“We wanted the ceremony to be short, funny, and to make our guests laugh and cry,” tells Andrea. “Our sons, Ferran and Milan, were a very important part of the service, as well.” Two mini llamas wearing bride and groom attire also witnessed the nuptials and were a whimsical treat for onlookers. At the conclusion of the heartfelt ceremony, the newlyweds took delight making their exit amidst a blanket of petals launched from a confetti cannon.
Mirrored serpentine tables showcased exquisite tablescapes that included centerpieces of fresh roses complemented with assortments of candles down the length of each table. Each place setting featured either a sage green or pink dinner plate placed atop bohemian-fringe place mats accented by matching vintage glassware. To add further flair, suspended from the trees overhead were elegant pampas grass “clouds” intermingled with twinkling fairy lights.
After enjoying a delicious sit-down dinner service, loved ones enjoyed slices of the dazzling wedding cake displayed on a swing hanging from a large tree. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect to re-energize partygoers! Earlier in the evening, friends and family danced along with belly dancers and a drummer to honor Ali’s Lebanese culture, and then it was time for Loco Hora, meaning “Crazy Hour” as a nod to Andrea’s Colombian heritage. Neon hats, glasses, and feather boas were passed to revelers.
“I love to dance and wanted to perform for my husband, so with my choreographer Brinn Nicole and my friend Montana Tucker, we performed a fun and full-on routine of salsa, bachata, merengue, and hip hop!” exclaims Andrea. Her new husband was so surprised by Andrea’s dance created just for him. “I’m a lucky guy!” Ali smiles. The couple recounts how astonished they felt watching the day unfold and how beautiful it all turned out. “It was the perfect day,” expresses Andrea.
This real wedding was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.