“Charlie and I met in college. We had met informally through mutual friends at several parties, but our relationship really began after a late-night run-in at the library,” Chelsea Kerzner says as she reflects on her encounters with Charlie Thomas. Their love blossomed when Chelsea graduated, and after eight years of dating, Charlie was ready to propose. He took his sweetheart to dinner one evening, where he popped the question under a gazebo. “[Charlie] began telling me how much he loved me, that I’m his best friend, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me,” Chelsea muses of the special moment.

Throughout the wedding-planning process, Chelsea wanted her special day to embody the city in which she grew up. “Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I was really inspired by the palms and tropical vegetation that thrive here. The theme was Old Hollywood glam and California bungalow style,” the bride explains. Intertwining these two vibes, the couple chose a simple palette of black and white, which was offset by fresh greenery. Additionally, the bride envisioned an alfresco occasion at a location that would highlight both the theme and the city landscape. “After choosing our venue, I wanted the beautiful décor and city views from the roof to do most of the talking,” she says of the design featuring florals by Lilla Bello.

The couple hosted a nontraditional, 15-minute ceremony that was followed by a sit-down dinner for 150 guests. The décor featured uniquely designed floral arrangements that truly spoke to the bride’s desired motif. “I was really excited to include a variety of palms amongst seasonal white flowers [and] I didn’t want everything to be perfect and uniform,” Chelsea explains. “The wedding arch was asymmetrical with white florals and a variety of greenery that exploded from behind.” Though the day was absolutely beautiful, they did face one issue due to weather. Since the couple tied the knot on the hottest day of the year, air bubbles began to form on the cake; however, they were pleased with the way their wedding coordinators salvaged the design with additional blooms. “[They] made a last-minute decision to use some of the orchids from the wedding arch to cascade down the side to cover them up. The result was a gorgeous surprise!” she reveals. 

Although many couples incorporate faith and customs into their own nuptials, Chelsea believes she made the right decision to exclude those aspects from her and Charlie’s special day. “Our wedding was about us and our love for each other, not about religion or traditions,” she affirms. “We wanted it to be an authentic celebration [to mark] the beginning of the rest of our lives as one.”