Beach Wedding Ceremony + Luxe Ballroom Reception in Santa Monica

Carrie Berenstein and Aaron Berger

Photographed by: Jay Lawrence Goldman PhotographyLocation: Santa Monica, California, United States

After their first date, Carrie Berenstein knew Aaron Berger was The One for her. “I went home after that dinner, called my best friend, and told her that I was going to marry him,” remembers the bride. Ten months later, Aaron asked Carrie to accompany him to Cannes in the South of France, where he attends a yearly television conference. “I agreed without hesitation,” she confirms. “It was our first big trip together, and I was excited to experience Europe with him.” 

After the conference ended, the couple planned to spend several days in Paris. Carrie suspected a potential engagement, as it was Aaron’s first time in the city and he always shared that he was saving Paris for someone special. During a quick stop in London for Aaron to meet with a couple of playwrights, the couple joined together for a romantic Michelin-starred dinner. “I was a little surprised… This was a quick layover and clearly this was a reservation which Aaron had put some time and thought into,” admits Carrie. “The thought briefly crossed my mind, Is tonight the night?” As they returned back to their room, the couple went out to the balcony to admire the beautiful view of London, it was there that Aaron got down on one knee. “I was so shocked, I forgot to say yes or even look at the ring!” says the bride. 

Wanting their nuptials to feel iconic and sophisticated, Carrie and Aaron knew they wanted a wedding by the beach and worked closely with the talented team at SITK Catering & Events to create their dream celebration. With the help of the talented stationers at Lehr and Black, 150 guests received clean and classic, black-and-white invitations to join the couple in celebration. Holding a traditional Jewish ceremony, it was important for the pair to uphold cultural traditions. Though most of the day was classic, they incorporated personal elements by way of a custom monogram and the juxtaposition of the décor. “Our wedding was the very yin-yang that embodied our own relationship,” illustrates the bride. “Formal without being stuffy; the feeling was grand yet intimate.”

A classic color palette of whites and creams were accented with muted tones of blush throughout the décor and florals of the fête. Carrie donned an exquisite blush gown of tulle and clutched a bouquet of all-white peonies. “They smelled incredible!” she shares. Being that Aaron brought Carrie an orchid on their first date, it was important to the couple that they incorporate this special flower in their wedding. Therefore, lush arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and orchids decorated the space, and grand white cherry blossoms that continued into the reception created a wow-factor for the celebration. 

As friends and family moved indoors for the reception that honored the couple’s timeless and chic taste, they were wowed with similar blooms showcased during the Jewish ceremony. The stunning space featured a large white dance floor displaying the couple’s monogram and was decorated beautifully with elegant centerpieces of roses, hydrangeas, and grand cherry blossoms, all in creamy tones. A live band performed in front of a spectacular wall of greenery displaying the couple’s monogram.

When looking back at their most memorable moments, Aaron shares that his took place during the very last dance of the wedding. “It was a moment that was completely about the two of us. It was well-captured in one of our most loved pictures from our wedding. When you look at the photo, you can feel the moment; we are not really alone, but we feel alone,” he muses. “Time is frozen for those few minutes, dancing to a song neither of us recognizes but suddenly we love.” 

As the night came to a close and the couple was left with only memories and the beautiful photos captured by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography, Carrie and Aaron looked back on the celebration and love everything about their special day.