Although sparks didn’t exactly fly between Rubina Andonian and Michael Karikomi when they first met at Pepperdine University School of Law, they began to fall in love with each other soon after. Then, one winter morning while strolling the magnificent grounds of The Huntington in San Marino, California, he proposed in the Rose Garden.
As Rubina embarked on the preparations for their nuptials, she received a piece of advice that helped keep everything in perspective: “[it’s] supposed to be fun, not stressful.” Her mother was heavily involved in the planning process. “She has an incredible eye and I trust her taste more than anyone else’s,” explains the bride. Rubina made sure to include lavender as an accent color to the neutral palette of the event.
Since Rubina felt it was important to incorporate components of her culture in the celebration, the traditional ceremony was held in an Armenian church. The creamy aisle runner was edged with a dusting of ivory petals, while bundles of white roses, hydrangeas, and orchids were suspended from pews. Blooming cherry blossom trees draped with garlands of white orchids adorned the marble altar.
Bridesmaids paraded down the aisle in lavender strapless dresses with ruching. “It was a surreal moment. I felt like I was dreaming,” says Rubina, remembering how she felt approaching her handsome groom attired in a timeless tuxedo. The bride was gorgeous in a strapless gown with a beaded bodice and pickup skirt by Monique Lhuillier. Her loose updo was crowned with a glittering headband and she carried a pearl glamelia bouquet.
For the reception at a luxury hotel, violet uplighting highlighted the floral décor that endowed the ballroom with a garden-like atmosphere. Flowering cherry blossom trees with garlands of white orchids emerged from beds of hydrangeas and roses in vanilla, lilac, and mint hues. Lush runners in the same palette, punctuated by taper candles on brass candlesticks, graced the head table. Gilt stands topped with ivory and pale purple roses, accented with amaranthus and strands of crystals, adorned round tables. “Both my husband and I were in awe [and felt] like we just walked into a fairy tale enchanted forest,” affirms Rubina.
The band, who played Armenian and Middle Eastern music, incited everyone out of their seats after the dinner service. “It was one big party with the dance floor packed from beginning to end!” asserts the bride. At one point, the band invited the newlyweds to sing with them onstage.
An ivory confection featured small blossoms sprinkled on the top two gilded layers, while a ribbon and brooch anchored the center, and petals covered the base. Ensuring guests ended the night on a sweet note, a decadent dessert table continued the bullion and alabaster tones and included cake pops, macarons, churros dipped in white chocolate, custard cups topped with edible pearls and gold beads, and miniature cakes embellished with gilded sugar bows or exquisite peonies.