Excitement was the primary emotion that fueled the wedding plans of Lorraine Jaramillo and Erik Salazar – so much so that the bride had to reign in her natural tendencies. “I tend to be indecisive, so I knew I had to focus during the planning or I’d end up with a mish-mash of everything I like,” explains Lorraine. After exploring several ideas, the bride was set on an elegant, old-world style with a strong European influence. “We visited Paris a few years ago and fell in love with the architecture and sophistication of the city,” she says. With additional style inspiration courtesy of Coco Chanel (“the epitome of class and elegance,” asserts Lorraine), the couple began piecing together the elements of their wedding with the valued input of the mother of the bride.
The historical San Gabriel Mission was an obvious choice for the couple’s Catholic ceremony as it was the bride’s alma mater. “I was always in awe of its amazing beauty and charm when I attended mass there during high school,” explains Lorraine. The high ceilings, elaborate architecture, and dramatic religious displays lent a distinguished ambiance to the intimate nuptials. Passing through the massive doors of the sanctuary, Lorraine cascaded down the aisle on the arm of her grandfather to the musical stylings of a talented live duo. An antique sapphire ring owned by her late maternal grandmother reflected the sparkly medallions embroidered on the bride’s ivory tulle gown. Bridesmaids dressed in tea-length dresses of black satin trimmed in lace carried sweet nosegays of pink garden roses. “When I was growing up, my grandmother had rose gardens and I would help her tend them every year,” explains the bride of her floral choice for the bouquets and boutonnieres. “It is a fond memory.” Lorraine and Erik took their vows before 90 emotional guests, and during the seated portions of the mass, sat on an ivory iron bench that the bride had purchased especially for the wedding. “I plan to put it in our backyard,” shares Lorraine, “and hope that one day I can sit with our grandchildren on that bench and retell our story.”
As already evidenced by the bride’s choice in jewelry and flowers, an important element of the ceremony was honoring loved ones that had already passed. “We have both lost several family members in recent years,” Lorraine imparts, “and it was important for us to find subtle ways to tastefully remember them without bringing an overwhelming sense of sadness to the wedding.” A memorial frame, white candle, and rosary were placed near the guest sign-in book, and programs for the ceremony featured the names of loved ones along with meaningful quotes.
Inside the reception, a mixture of ivory, ebony, and bullion details were used to create a magnificent decorative backdrop for the evening festivities. The historic building where the celebration took place was built in the 1920s and its interior was beautifully designed. Striking crimson walls and luxurious velvet drapes framed ornate mirrors with gilded embellishments. Twinkling lights were draped across wooden beams where large pomanders of ivory roses dangled prettily. Round tables covered in delicate overlays displayed impressive centerpieces alternating between towering gold candelabras paired with tapered candles and flanked by two smaller floral arrangements, or sweet cherub statues holding groupings of roses and hydrangeas above their gilded shoulders. Collections of gold votives were also set on each table to create a glowing radiance within the room.
Since Erik considers himself a “foodie,” he took great care in helping his bride select the menu for the evening. Guests dined on a choice of rib-eye steak, lobster ravioli, or tender chicken breast before enjoying a variety of delightful treats served for dessert. The real indulgence, however, was the elaborate wedding cake: The three-tiered confection alternated between layers of red velvet crumb with cream cheese frosting and Cuban cake with custard filling. The music for the evening was also of great importance to the groom, so he had worked in advance with the couple’s DJs to create the perfect song list that would be fun and appropriate for all.
Before everyone hit the dance floor for the remainder of the night, the best man offered a toast to his cousin the groom. “His speech was very meaningful and touching,” says Erik. “We were very close growing up, but guys don’t always have heartfelt conversations about those things, so his words meant a lot.”
The couple stole a moment together to take it all in before joining their guests on the dance floor. “[The evening] felt magical and wonderful, and everyone was having such a great time,” says Lorraine. “It was so perfect to see people from different stages of our lives all in the same room together having a blast!” Everyone was having such an amazing time, in fact, that the couple had to extend the reception. Twice. “I wish we could do it again!” confirms the bride. “It was all a dream come true.”