Nestled in the base of the Santa Monica Hills, tucked away in a chic neighborhood separated from the rush and ruckus of Los Angeles, a quaint luxury hotel offered the natural setting and elegant appeal that bride, Kristin Cline and groom, Jake Wurzak were seeking in a destination-wedding venue. “We looked at a few places in Europe and California and fell in love with the Hotel Bel-Air,” explains the bride. The one-of-a-kind location provided all the must-haves on their wish list and more. “We wanted to be able to get married outside in a beautiful garden, then have dinner under the stars with our family and friends,” she elaborates. “We wanted a location that felt remote, yet still had access to amenities, restaurants, and shops nearby.”
The Florida-based couple also knew planning a wedding in the City of Angels would afford them access to some of the world’s most renowned planning experts to assist them in designing and implementing their dream affair. “LA has the best and most passionate people to work with when organizing a wedding,” says the bride.
The evening began with a welcoming cocktail hour. Guests were treated to hors d'oeuvres, libations, and the sounds of a jazz band before being ushered to a garden area for the ceremony once the sun went down. “The non-traditional timing and progression of the wedding was very important to us,” explains the groom, whose experience working in the hotel industry inspired him to play as active a role in planning and choreographing the event as the bride.
The décor of the ceremony was selected to complement the enchanting garden surroundings. The bride’s favorite flowers—hydrangeas, peonies, and table roses—were showcased in a classic color palette that blended neutral blushes, champagnes, and light pinks. To honor the different religious backgrounds of the couple, the service incorporated elements of both Christian and Jewish traditions and was officiated by both a rabbi and a reverend. A breathtaking chuppah was covered in flora, vines, and branches designed to give the illusion that the foliage was emerging naturally from the land beneath.
The bride wore a glamorous off-white gown with a fitted bodice that flared into a spectacular mermaid skirt. Her hair cascaded in soft, loose waves that effortlessly framed her face, and she carried a stunning bouquet of vanilla roses and creamy gardenias. Three bridesmaids wore floor-length gowns, each in a unique shade of pink, and carried nosegays in champagne and blush hues with a trace of green hydrangea. The groom wore a classic tuxedo with a black bow tie and crisp boutonniere. “Seeing Jake at the end of the aisle was extraordinary and so moving,” remembers the bride. Similarly, the groom sites the moment his bride revealed herself to him as one of his favorite memories of the day. Personalized vows and a passionate first kiss concluded the flawless service.
Guests next retreated to another corner of the garden where plank wood flooring and lanterns strung above transformed the space into a refined alfresco dining room. Arrangements in floral varieties that flattered those used in the ceremony ran the center of long tables, while silver candelabras and glowing candles provided a romantic touch.
Following a magnificent dinner, the couple cut their delicious wedding cake and listened to toasts presented in their honor. Aside from the traditional first dances, celebrating was intended to occur after dinner, inside the hotel. However, as it turned out, many attendees could not contain their excitement. “There was a great impromptu dance session outside under the stars during the final moments of the dinner,” recalls the groom. “People couldn’t resist starting to dance during the dinner portion because the music was so good,” confirms the bride.
But there were more surprises yet to come. A grand ballroom had been transformed to look like a hip, metropolitan nightclub complete with high-gloss black flooring, festive lighting, plush lounge areas, an oversized bar, and a prominent Hollywood DJ to spin tunes. Midnight snacks were served to ensure the party continued well into the morning hours, which, indeed, it did.
Affirming that there is not one aspect of the day they would do differently, the elated newlyweds advise future brides and grooms to stay true to their vision when planning their weddings, and to do their best to avoid getting caught up in the details. Above all, the couple feels an immense amount of gratitude to the people who generously enabled them to enjoy such a spectacular event. “Jake and I are so thankful for everyone who made the day so special,” gushes the bride. “Our families, our coordinator, the hotel staff, all of our vendors, and of course, our guests!”