Laguna Beach was the sentimental choice for the locale of the nuptials of Christina Trujillo and Basil Ayoub. "I had always known I wanted to get married there," says Christina of the beautiful spot where she had vacationed as a child. “Once the Montage opened we would go there for brunches and dinners, and the main lawn and view were exactly what I envisioned for my big day.”
Along with the never-ending support of the mother of the bride, the couple’s team of expert wedding consultants helped to bring Christina’s vision to life. "I wanted the backdrop to be a clean white palette so that the table settings, accents, and details would really pop," says the bride. Christina also wanted the floral design to play a starring role in the décor. "I wanted flowers everywhere you looked so that everything felt very lush and romantic."
An elegant and commanding floral gate wreathed in heavenly white roses, hydrangea blossoms, and abundant green leaves set the tone for the ceremony. A snowy aisle lined with floral arrangements in varying heights stretched from the double doors of the gate to an altar of columns wrapped in garlands of flowers and topped with layers of ethereal fabric.
The bride floated down this aisle in cascading layers of butterscotch tulle, her embroidered sweetheart bodice adding just the right amount of sparkle, while her bouquet composed of sweet cream hydrangeas, pale lilac roses, and deep purple calla lilies added a subtle blush of color. "Seeing Christina in her dress for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of the day," Basil recalls. The couple had been granted special permission from the church to have their Christian Orthodox ceremony out of doors, and their family priest from San Francisco traveled to Laguna Beach to perform the ceremony. "It was very traditional with the chanting, crowns, and blessings, but in a very non-traditional setting,” Christina affirms.
Contemporary white chairs and round tables cloaked in crisp fabric beckoned guests for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles following the ceremony. Seven different mini-appetizers were served, including tuna tartar, macaroni and cheese, margherita pizza, and baby frankfurters in puff pastry. Lilac- and lavender-hued flowers immersed in clear, water-filled cylinders and arranged neatly on tall tables added a modern feel and a pop of color to the all-white landscape. A mariachi band played festive music, effectively incorporating the bride's Mexican and Spanish heritage into the cocktail hour. Christina's grandfather, formerly a member of a mariachi band himself, sang “La Mano de Dios” (“The Hand of God”) to the wedding couple, a song that has special meaning to the Trujillo family. "He also sang it to my parents on their wedding day,” Christina shares.
Après cocktails, guests made their way into the ballroom of the Montage, where they were met with another stunning vision in white. Soft lilac lighting cast a serene glow over a snowy carpet overlay, floating fabric-draped walls, and mirror-topped tables. Chameleon chairs were adorned with “Chloe” stretch-knit toppers, cushions, and skirts for a look that was tailored as well as textured. Centerpieces were fashioned from gleaming transparent vases topped with white, pink, and purple roses, as well as mounds of hydrangea blossoms and a profusion of orchids. "They were spectacular," remembers the bride of the flowers. Dangling from the remarkable arrangements by ribbon were tiny glass votives encircled with roses. The dance floor was threaded to the floral theme through projections of roses that accented the names of the bride and groom.
White linens were topped with studded crystal plates, each presenting a menu of the four courses to follow, beginning with an appetizer of crab cake with arugula. A second course of spinach salad followed, and the main course featured a dual entrée of halibut and filet mignon accompanied by vegetables and potatoes. A dessert course of molten chocolate cake and warm apple pie provided a sweet finish to the meal, but the pièce de résistance was a six-foot-tall wedding cake at the head of the ballroom. A sea of lilac, pink, and scarlet roses accented with hydrangeas surrounded the base of the multi-tiered confection. Each subsequent layer was ringed by a row of flowers in a different hue from the last. Three different flavors composed the cake, each tier providing a different combination, and the entire masterpiece was highlighted by three-foot-high candleholders casting a dreamy glow.
The bride's sister, the owner of a popular Beverly Hills boutique purveying fashion and candy, furnished a colorful candy buffet, a huge hit with guests. Clear vases were filled with nostalgic sweets, and guests could fill individual bags as take-home favors. In-N-Out burgers and fries were served as a nighttime snack, rounding out the offerings and adding the perfect California flair to the proceedings.
While Christina was most overwhelmed by the floral arrangements, Basil was floored by the music, which encompassed the cultures of both the bride and groom. Guests were treated to the stylings of a Spanish guitarist during dinner as well as to traditional Arabic music (a nod to the groom's culture) so all could celebrate the merging of the families. "The music had to be the most unique aspect of our wedding," says Basil. Though stunning florals and meaningful music were definitely highlights, the couple agrees that being surrounded by family and friends was the best part of the day. "Even though our wedding was near where we reside, it was a destination wedding for most of our guests,” says Basil. “We were honored that so many people traveled from near and far to celebrate with us." Enjoying every single moment of the planning as well as the actual wedding is the one piece of advice the pair most strongly asserts. "It all goes by so fast!" Christina declares. "Everyone that had gone through this experience before me gave me this same advice, and it is so true. Planning your wedding is one of the best times of your life, and you should really cherish each and every minute. We love looking back and remembering it all!"