Love immediately took hold when mutual friends introduced Ezra Clark and Sheryl Aguiling at a Hollywood club one serendipitous night. “I was drawn to Sheryl’s beauty,” confides the groom, “but it was our instant connection and ease that made me want to propose only a few weeks into our relationship.” And the music didn’t hurt.
“We bonded over how we loved the work of the deejay who was providing the music the night we met,” recounts Sheryl. And so, after a surprise proposal in the couple’s home, Sheryl and Ezra’s first mission in planning was to secure the services of the same professional – a friend of the groom – to entertain at their wedding… and as luck would have it, he too said yes.
The couple’s next step was securing a venue, a choice that proved to be natural as well. “I have always loved visiting Santa Barbara,” says the bride, “and would often stay at Bacara with my mom and sister for our girls’ weekends away.” The stunning grounds, romantic ambiance, and laidback luxury of the beachfront resort won Sheryl over before she was engaged. “The first time I stayed there years ago, I knew that I wanted to get married there someday,” she reveals. The distance to Santa Barbara – a few-hours drive from the pair’s home in Los Angeles – felt far enough to evoke the feel of a destination wedding without being prohibitive for the couple and their guests.
A white palette was Sheryl’s desire for the outdoor ceremony, a heavenly complement to the vivid blue sky, spellbinding ocean views, and manicured grounds that provided the backdrop for the vow exchange. Vanilla flower petals were casually strewn, creating a natural runner on the emerald lawn between rows of mahogany seating. Meringue fabric composed a four-pillar canopy, each panel tied back with a triple row of champagne roses. Votive candles housed in hurricane holders dangled from shepherd’s hooks along the aisle.
Guests were elegantly clad in black-tie attire, a detail that was of great importance to the groom. “I wanted the pictures to transcend time and never age,” he explains. Prior to the ceremony, guests of the female persuasion received gifts of white pashminas to ward off the chill of the brisk ocean breeze.
To take advantage of the light, the couple opted to take photographs prior to the ceremony, a decision that resulted in the most memorable moment for the groom. “I dashed down flights of stairs to find Sheryl waiting in anticipation in a stunning garden with her back to me,” shares Ezra, who embraced his beautiful bride as she turned toward him for the reveal. “It was an exciting moment to see her in her dress, waiting to show me a part of what she had worked so hard to create.”
The song “Marry Me” by Train preceded the start of the service. “To this day, hearing the song brings us back to our wedding day,” says Sheryl. The bride was resplendent in a re-embroidered gown of ivory lace featuring a modified trumpet skirt and an artfully scooped back. Her hair was parted down the center and swept into a classic chignon. A diaphanous floor-length veil with floral-embroidered edges danced in the breeze. As she made her way down the aisle on the arm of her father, she carried a lush bouquet of roses dotted with starry stephanotis blossoms.
A friend officiated the nuptials, which combined traditional elements with the couple’s playful personalities. “Ezra and I cried and laughed from the beginning to the end of the ceremony,” recalls Sheryl. A candle-lighting ritual was conducted, representing the union between the pair’s respective families. As a nod to Sheryl’s Filipino heritage, a veil-and-rope ceremony was performed, symbolizing the unity between the bride and groom.
Guests enjoyed a seated dinner on an interior patio following the nuptials. Reception tables were named after Hollywood nightclubs frequented by the couple during their courtship. Hues of pink and blush helped create a vintage feel. Champagne linens embroidered with golden threads draped the tabletops, and glittering tulle enveloped chiavari chairs. Lace-wrapped glass boxes filled with flowers in pale shades of pink, peach, and crème brûlée created a lovely garden vibe.
Each place setting featured a menu wrapped in a white linen napkin and topped with an apricot tea rose accented with a crystal bead. Hurricane glasses wrapped in gauzy embroidered fabric housed flickering candles. White fairy lights twinkled above tables, and alluring chandeliers cascaded with beads. An amber curtain provided a glowing backdrop. “Everything was perfect,” the groom muses.
A multi-tiered wedding cake that was simple and elegant featured a twist that was unique: Names, places, and memories that were special to the couple were piped graffiti-style in icing! The confection was topped with amber tea roses and sat atop a golden base. Of course, it was the music and dancing in the rotunda – which was bedecked in pinks and blacks to evoke a dreamy nightclub feel – that really made the evening magical. “We will be forever grateful to our friend for taking the time to support us by contributing the music,” says the groom.
When asked if there is anything they would change about their day, a resounding “no” is the pair’s response. “It was the most amazing day of our lives,” says Ezra. “It was a celebration of life, our families, our friends, and our future.”