Intimate Outdoor Ceremony + Alfresco Dinner Party-Style Reception

Megan and Tom
Photographed by: Cacá Santoro for Max & FriendsLocation: Los Angeles, California, United States

On the day of their wedding, Megan Hamilton and Tom Salvaggio visited The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. “I kept thinking about all the time we spent there together, surrounded by incredible art, and how it shaped who we are today individually and as a couple,” reflects Megan. Six years earlier, it’s where they first met. They both worked for the museum, but Tom’s shyness prevented him from saying much, until one day Megan asked him to lunch. At last they had a real conversation, and they discovered they had quite a bit in common. “I remember looking at my watch and realizing we’d taken an almost two-hour lunch!” exclaims the bride. “Hearing her infectious laughter made me want to laugh,” Tom reminisces. “That’s what I remember the most, along with her sense of humor.”

Though they both eventually moved on from the museum, the sweethearts remained together as a couple. While on vacation in Aspen, Colorado, the pair hiked through a wooded trail and entered a large valley surrounded by hills covered in wildflowers and a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. It was in front of this stunning vista that Tom asked Megan to marry him.

Desiring a small and simple affair, the wedding was planned over the next six months. “We love living in Los Angeles and having our wedding downtown felt really true to who we are,” she explains. “But we also wanted an intimate outdoor wedding.” When they saw Redbird, they knew it was the right choice. “It’s so lush and green and tucked away from everything – it’s truly a secret garden,” Megan illustrates. As the couple decided to give their nuptials the feel of a dinner party, rather than something more elaborate or traditional, the food and drinks were a priority. The bride confirms, “We knew Redbird would have that wow factor.”

“Being the focal point of attention is somewhat stressful for us, so we streamlined the ceremony and didn't have speeches or dances [at the reception],” says the groom. The hedge wall of the venue made for a perfect natural backdrop. Tom donned a charcoal grey suit for the occasion and Megan wore a white tea-length dress with sheer short sleeves, paired with sky blue pumps. She walked down the aisle, on the arm of her father, while “At Last” by Etta James played. The song has resonated with the sweethearts, and the bride even gifted Tom a handkerchief embroidered with the last two lyrics. Once pronounced husband and wife, they switched from classic to quirky as “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town” by Talking Heads played during the recessional. The newlyweds then snuck into a room upstairs with pizza and Champagne as a treat, giving them a moment to reflect.

The lush greenery, flowers, olive trees, and vegetable garden in the outdoor space spoke for itself, so centerpieces had a natural and organic feeling in order to not detract from the surroundings. “The floral arrangements had a real wildflower look, like they could have been freshly plucked from the garden a few feet away,” Megan describes. “They had dahlias, garden roses, ranunculuses, anemones, Banksia, fresh herbs, kale, and even some kumquats.” A mix of jazz and big band classics curated by the groom played while 50 of the couple’s nearest and dearest enjoyed a delicious family-style meal. “We wanted the atmosphere to be welcoming, intimate, and somewhat informal,” muses Tom. As the newlyweds enjoyed the alfresco evening with their loved ones underneath the glow of bistro lights, it was clear they had achieved their goal.

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