“We met in 2010 in the same place every other person post-2010 meets: on the internet!” Nellie Ekmekjian reveals about her first encounter with Jared Levy. “The crazy thing, though, is that when we first spoke on the phone, we found out that we lived on the same street in Los Angeles, in the same building, on the same floor… Talk about convenient!” Seven years later, Jared proposed. “He worked with the hotel to find the perfect outdoor proposal spot, hired a guitarist to play my favorite song, ‘Open Arms’ by Journey, and proposed outside at sunset,” remembers the bride.

Given their busy schedules, the couple planned their Malibu soirée alongside esteemed wedding planner Susan Dunne in just eight months. “Hire a coordinator if it’s in your budget! It will save you from all kinds of stress!” the bride confides. More than 100 friends and loved ones gathered together to celebrate the special occasion. In honor of their cultural roots, the pair wanted to incorporate traditional customs throughout the wedding. “I’m Armenian and Jared is Jewish, so we wanted to have a nice blend of both of our cultures,” the bride explains. “Jared stepped on the glass to end the ceremony, which is also an Armenian tradition; we danced the horah; and my favorite Armenian songs were played during the party.”

Along with their desired customs, it was equally important for the lovebirds to choose the perfect venue. “We wanted to go somewhere with a rustic, outdoor vibe that was close [enough] to family and friends, and would let us dance relatively late into the night!” the bride tells. The ambience they desired was incorporated by way of the setting as well as their natural floral décor and color palette. “The floral arrangements included eucalyptus, other greenery, and a variety of flowers, including roses,” Nellie details. “Colors included green, white, peach, and blush pink.” After the newlyweds shared their first dance to “Open Arms” – the same song that played as they became engaged – attendees flooded the dance floor and continued the revelry for the rest of the night.

Like many newlyweds, Nellie agrees that her wedding day swiftly passed. “I think we would have spent a little more time to take in what was actually going on, because it does really fly by so fast,” she shares, urging other couples to cherish every moment.