Formal Black Tie Wedding in La Jolla, California

Betty and Barry

Photographed by: Lifetime ImagesLocation: San Diego, California, United States

When Barry Tashakorian first met Betty Toroyan, it was a classic “love at first sight” moment. Barry was attracted to Betty’s personality, attitude and beauty, but chose to take a gentle approach in getting to know her. Betty, while drawn to many of Barry’s qualities, recalls that it was his charming bashfulness that stood out most. As a Territory Manager for Gucci, Betty, who was based in Los Angeles, regularly called on Barry’s business in La Jolla since it was one of her accounts. Barry’s bashfulness gradually faded as the two became friends over their business meetings. As Betty explains, “Though our romance evolved over a few years, the passion and intensity was there from day one!” Their zealous courtship culminated in a marriage proposal on-bended-knee that took place at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Barry’s fantastic gesture was made even more memorable because of the below-freezing temperature plus the fact that it was a celebration of New Year’s and Barry’s birthday!

It was crystal clear to both the bride and groom that the look and feel of the wedding would have to match the spirit of their relationship, and they would not settle for less. They knew exactly what they wanted, so they made decisions swiftly and then moved on to the next task. The couple was engaged for eleven months, but surprisingly, they really only spent three months on the actual wedding planning. As Betty advises, “The more time you have, the more time you feel you need!” Many couples may plan too early, only to second-guess all of their decisions and choices if there is too much time to wait for the wedding day to approach.

Betty and Barry were married at The Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, chosen for its unparalleled service, scenic eleven-acre setting, and the small town charm of the seaside village of La Jolla itself. This venue allowed the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception to be held in one main area, creating the feel of an extended party where one portion of the event melted into the next. The open layout lent itself to the phenomenal wonderland that literally brought the outdoors in. The room was filled with incredible custom made, ten-foot-tall trees made of birch and densely woven with exquisite white orchids. The branches sparkled with lanterns containing tea lights, for a completely magical look. Adding to the ethereal quality was the overall gold and amber glow of the room, bedecked with flickering candles, autumnal colored roses and burnt orange orchids. No one had ever seen anything like it, including the florist and even the wedding experts of the Hyatt!

The formal dinner reception was held in the hotel’s unique glass-enclosed Pavillion, next to the property’s famous lush gardens. The couple created a lounge-like atmosphere, and sat their 125 guests at tables of four, six and eight people to create an intimate, dinner-with-friends ambience. An ultra-cool cigar lounge and hip music added to the V.I.P. club vibe.

All clad in black tie, the party-goers dined on mixed greens with walnuts and glazed apples, combo entrées of filet mignon and crusted halibut, and then later enjoyed a decadent dessert table. Betty and Barry’s guests are still raving about the lavish five-tiered, four-flavor wedding cake, which was really an edible work of art. The cake layers were embellished with fondant in marbled shades of pink alternated with marbled shades of orange, with gold gilt-look scroll patterns between the vibrant hues. The scroll designs matched the ornate room décor and also reminded guests of the scroll-themed wedding invitations.

Even with so many non-traditional elements in the mix, the bride and groom are most proud of their extremely unique music. In addition to Middle Eastern music in honor of their heritage, the couple chose opera for Betty’s walk down the aisle, and hand-selected Buddha Bar tunes for the lively cocktail hour. A special treat was the performance of famous Motown vocalist Linda Griner, who got the reception off to a festive start. Barry and Betty both understand the power of music to transform an event, and they took utmost care in the timing and order of their musical repertoire. Just as with every other detail, the music was a true reflection of their personalities and style.

Betty and Barry had the unusual experience of actually eating at their own wedding as well as enjoying themselves every second. Their proud elation even continued throughout their extended honeymoon in Aruba. Now back to the “real world”, the newlyweds fondly look back upon their very favorite wedding moment: sitting down at their sweetheart table, listening to the amazing sixteen-piece orchestra, and taking in the view of the room filled with their loved ones. Barry and Betty truly felt they were in heaven!

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