Elegant Garden-Themed Celebration at Hotel Bel-Air

Carolyn and Gregory

Photographed by: Dalal PhotographyLocation: Beverly Hills, California, United States

For quite some time, Carolyn Hunt and Gregory Trattner were just voices on the other end of the phone. As entertainment lawyers working on the same deal, they would spend countless hours emailing and talking to each other without ever meeting face to face. “I was quite curious to see what he looked like,” admits Carolyn. She finally found herself seated directly across from Greg at the deal’s closing dinner and needless to say, neither of them was disappointed. Greg asked Carolyn to be his wife in the privacy of their backyard garden, and the couple envisioned the same embrace of romance and intimacy for their wedding celebration.

Carolyn and Greg thought the Hotel Bel Air was one of the most stunning spots in all of Los Angeles, and it was also the place where Greg’s parents were married, so when they discovered that the hotel had a Saturday cancellation in June, they considered it fate. By enlisting the expertise of Cara Kleinhaut of Caravents to oversee the details of their affair, Carolyn and Greg were able to focus on the bigger picture of centering their wedding on family. They planned a whole weekend of activities like a Fox Studios back lot tour, a Mexican fiesta complete with a mariachi band and poolside party at their home with their out of town guests in mind.

Along with a feeling of familiarity, Carolyn and Greg wanted a sophisticated garden look for their wedding. The hotel’s Swan Lake area was already a thing of beauty, but by the time their floral designers finished executing their vision, several people commented that it was the best the site had ever looked. Fresh, elegant and romantic touches in a floral palette of cream, taupe and green were everywhere. Magnolia leaves paying tribute to the horse farm in Virginia where Carolyn’s mother grew up, “Magnolia Farms,” were used as the unifying detail in the décor. Two weathered urns bursting with magnolia branches, roses and hydrangea welcomed guests into the ceremony. Magnolia leaf “purses” carrying flowers marked each row and the aisle was blanketed in creamy rose petals, bordered by more magnolia leaves.

The couple was married by a long time friend of Greg’s family, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, who brought a wonderful sense of warmth to the ceremony with his personal stories about the couple. Mary, Carolyn’s sister and maid of honor, and Darren, Greg’s brother and best man, stood by their siblings’ sides as they became husband and wife. They all shared a laugh when, just after Carolyn recited her vows, Greg let out an “Oh good!” softly enough for the small group to hear.

The ballroom was an indoor garden awash in candlelight. The tables, the credenza and every other available space was treated with a collection of taper, votive and hurricane candles that cast a golden glow on the lush, handpicked centerpieces and decor. Kleinhaut organized a wonderful keepsake for the bride and groom in the form of a photo guest book. Her staff took Polaroids of their 100 guests and had each person write a special note to the bride and groom underneath their picture. When it was all compiled she placed the book in the couple’s suite along with a bottle of champagne so they could unwind with the very first of their photos on their wedding night.

Carolyn and Greg’s gathering was so warm that throughout the event, guests were comfortable delivering a few heartfelt words about the couple whenever the mood would strike them. It was a celebration of togetherness for everyone involved. “The flowers, the speeches and everything else about the wedding was planned to create an event where people could relax, have fun and just enjoy the evening,” says the couple. “As we looked at our wedding photos all we saw were smiles all around, so the evening was a huge success!”

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