The way Teresa Riva and Jordan Orsolini met seems like it could be part of a movie. Teresa was weeks away from moving back to her hometown of Cincinnati when she lost the keys to her Los Angeles apartment. Jordan turned out to be a neighbor and offered his help, which Teresa initially declined. “That is until my locksmith took three more hours to arrive and my Blackberry from the early 2000s was low in battery,” admits Teresa. She knocked on his door and was both relieved and surprised that Jordan had an appropriate charger for her phone. While waiting in his apartment, Jordan offered her coffee and then asked if she wanted whipped cream. “It was a simple, somewhat surface-level detail, but it signaled so much more for me – that he was a man who cared, was kind, had attention to detail, and a dash of fun,” muses Teresa.

During her remaining weeks in Los Angeles, they went on several dates. Not expecting anything serious, she didn’t tell him about her impending move until their third date. In response, he said confidently, “Trust me and let me pursue you,” and she did. They dated long distance until Teresa returned to California, where their relationship continued to blossom. 

The day after Thanksgiving, Jordan told Teresa they were going to a friend’s birthday party at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. “When we walked towards the water, I noticed that there was a table with a globe sitting on it, which felt out of place,” she explains. “Jordan was nervous and I knew that this was the moment.” Sure enough, he soon got down on one knee and pulled out a diamond ring. After she said yes, both their parents popped out from behind the bushes to celebrate. Jordan had flown his beloved’s mom in from Cincinnati and put the entire family up at the hotel, where they met for the first time.

With the help of Viva Bella Events, the couple began planning their nuptials in the bride’s hometown. “We couldn’t have done it without them, especially since we were getting married across the country,” gushes the bride. In addition to a traditional Catholic ceremony, the celebration was full of nods to Teresa’s Dominican culture. “We had a Latin band and opened the wedding with a Latin dancing tutorial and all-inclusive merengue dance,” shares the bride. “We also had a mesa de postres – or dessert table – with traditional Latin desserts like dulce de leche, tres leches, marzipan, and more in bite-sized pieces, so that people could experience a little bit of everything.” 

The reception featured a chic aesthetic of black-and-white stripes with gold accents, from the lounge furniture to the salad plates. Vibrant pink flowers added a pop of color to the tented enclosure. “I wanted the space to be warm, bright and energetic,” affirms the bride of the celebration they enjoyed from start to finish.