There’s nothing unusual about the fact the Katharine Slavin and Marc Gordon met on a blind date. What is remarkable is how long it took for them to get there. Three years after a friend suggested a set-up, Katharine and Marc finally met. For them, however, it didn’t feel like they missed a beat. “We felt as though we had known each other for years,” says the couple. Before long they were taking a trip to Laguna Beach to celebrate their eight-month anniversary together…or so Katharine thought. It was there, while sipping champagne on their hotel balcony that Marc surprised Katharine with a heartfelt proposal. “I laughed, screamed and cried all at the same time,” says Katharine.
The framework for their wedding was inspired by a simple and personal desire. Marc, who had grown up around lush, sprawling gardens in South Africa, and Katharine both treasured the effervescence of a garden and thought it would be the warmest setting in which to exchange their vows. The gorgeous surroundings they discovered at the Polo Garden at the Beverly Hills Hotel exceeded their expectations, and they set a date for daytime summer affair to take advantage of the garden’s finest season.
Since their wedding began in the late morning, Katharine and Marc chose to do something very clever for their cocktail hour. Instead of serving their guests traditional hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony, they offered mimosas, fresh juices and a selection of brunch items, such as smoked salmon with caviar and cheese blintzes, before their ceremony began. After brunch, guests gathered for the ceremony to find miniature parasols and fans placed on each chair to help keep them cool during the service. When Katharine reached the end of the aisle lined with hydrangea and roses, the couple took in the gravity of the moment by locking eyes just before her father lifted her veil and gave Marc her hand.
During short breaks in what seemed like non-stop dancing, guests marveled at the unusual table centerpieces. In place of traditional floral arrangements, each table was decorated with a custom designed cake surrounded by rose petals. The confections were works of art made into different shapes such as a champagne bottle resting in a bucket, a photo album of the bride and groom and a basket of colorful flowers, to name a few. When Katharine and Marc cut their cake, guests at each table did the same, and everyone was encouraged to go from table to table sampling the various flavors. They were wonderful conversation starters, bringing many different groups of people together in a beautiful way.
One of Katharine’s favorite childhood memories was of her father singing to her before she went to sleep at night. As a complete surprise to everyone at the party, Katharine’s dad had worked with the band to prepare a special performance for his daughter. With only the soft sound of the piano in the background, he serenaded her with a touching rendition of “More I Cannot Wish You” from the musical Guys and Dolls. As Katharine recalls, “There was not a dry eye in the room. It was the most beautiful gift that I had ever received from my father.”
Katharine and Marc wanted their wedding to be a testament to the true love they discovered in one another after a lifelong search. “We know how lucky we were to find each other. Celebrating the love we share between us was a theme throughout the day.” As a couple who loves to entertain and welcome people into their home, as well as into their hearts, their wedding, with all of its personal touches, also reflected this graciousness. “Marc and I are all about our friends and family. Our home is a place where people stop by all the time and have dinner. Our wedding was the same in that everyone felt at home and comfortable.”