The fairy-tale wedding of Rachel Huang and Michael Wei began with a fairy-tale proposal in Paris. “Michael pretended to set up an early-morning walk and breakfast, which happened to involve walking past the Louvre,” remembers Rachel. He guided her to a quiet spot that had been romantically decorated with roses, with a photographer nearby to take photos of the moment she said yes.
Though they both knew the “feel” they were going for when it came time to plan their nuptials, it was initially difficult for Rachel and Michael to put their vision of a classic and elegant aesthetic combined with a fun LA vibe into words. Thankfully, their wedding planner guided them in organizing the details of the day and put together a “stellar team” to make it happen, shares the bride.
Since they have friends all over the world, the pair selected a gorgeous beachfront hotel in Santa Monica, California, for the festivities. “We wanted our guests, family, and ourselves to enjoy the wedding weekend as much as possible, like a mini vacation, through the accessibility, convenience, and vibrant culture of Los Angeles,” notes the groom of their decision to choose a hotel that allowed for all events to take place in one location, provide accommodations for out-of-town guests, and offer a picturesque site right on the beach.
“We wanted our guests, family, and ourselves to enjoy the wedding weekend as much as possible, like a mini vacation, through the accessibility, convenience, and vibrant culture of Los Angeles.”
Guests gathered inside a beautiful ballroom for the ceremony, which was decorated with romantic candelabra, acrylic details, and stunning floral arches in vibrant tones of hot pink, purple, and blush. Since Rachel and Michael love enjoying wine together – and their wedding favor was a beautiful handmade glass wine stopper – they chose to include a wine-box unity ritual in their ceremony in which they sealed a bottle of wine from one of their favorite vineyards in Napa, selecting a vintage from the same year they met. “We thought the ritual was very personal to us,” smiles the bride of the addition.
While the ballroom was transformed for the reception, loved ones enjoyed cocktail hour on the patio just outside the ballroom facing the Pacific Ocean, which allowed guests who had traveled from all across the globe to enjoy a lovely Los Angeles beach sunset with a cocktail in hand.
Soon, it was time to move inside and find their seats at elegant tablescapes decorated with lively arrangements. “The beautiful and colorful centerpieces had big roses of different colors,” describes the bride. “We loved it after seeing the sample centerpiece, and the visualization of the florals at the wedding really came alive.”
During the final move of their first dance to “Dandelions” by Ruth B, sparklers went off as the new Mr. and Mrs. held each other close. “Our eyes locked, and we both felt the realness of it all – the elation, the joy, the anticipation of our future together… combined with relief we didn’t trip and could start drinking,” laughs Rachel. The bride changed into a sleek second dress for the dancing portion of the evening, which included a mini EDM set complete with multicolor LED wands “for the guests to get their dance on,” she smiles.
“We were so grateful to share this day with all of our family and our friends,” confirms Michael, adding their advice for other couples preparing to celebrate their nuptials: “The night goes by fast, so savor every moment with your guests… and don’t forget to eat!”
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