The modern engagement is often followed by scores of spectacular preparations, leaving the exhausted bride and groom dizzy in the tide of excitement and ceremonies. But ask Beatriz Robles and Devin Kramer what it was like to experience their wedding ceremony and reception and they will recall more than just happiness in a blur. In fact, they were able to sit still and enjoy their festivities, in thanks to a traditional, centered, (and blessed!) wedding plan.

Beatriz and Devin met at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Santa Monica on St. Patrick’s Day 2000, after the bartender accidentally dropped Devin’s drink on the bar, making for a humorous conversation starter with Beatriz. They spent the evening talking and dancing. The highlight of the night was when Devin dropped Beatriz and himself to the dance floor during a very uncoordinated “dip”– and there began their story! In March 2003, he proposed to Beatriz during an evening stroll in the snow at Whistler Village in Whistler, British Columbia.

The couple began the planning of their traditional Catholic wedding, coordinated around a church ceremony and outdoor reception. The afternoon ceremony was held at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church in Covina, California, incorporating parents, siblings, and their proud daughter, along with the Catholic traditions of flowers to the Virgin Mary and the Unity Candle.

The wedding party and guests then traveled 41 miles to the private residence of the couple’s good friend in Beverly Hills. The beautiful home and its garden patio overlooking West Los Angeles provided a once-in-a-lifetime location, as well as exceeding the expectations of the bride and groom.

Rich jewel-toned colors marked the beginning of the new season. The bridal bouquet was made with three dozen red “black magic” roses, and the bridesmaids’ bouquets and flower girl basket consisted of vivid tones: red “black magic” roses, purple lisianthus, orange and burgundy dahlias, and blue hydrangeas. The altar flowers, cake flowers, and centerpieces extended the color theme with vibrant sunflowers.

In lieu of wedding favors, paper scrolls were placed at every place-setting, informing the guests that the couple made a donation to the John Wayne Cancer Institute in loving memory of their father/father-in-law, who suffered from cancer and passed away early last year. It was a loving gesture, and a way to include the beloved parent they so dearly wished could have been with them on the special day.

Devin and Beatriz agree that the one feature of the wedding that was the most unique was simply that everything went so smoothly! From vendors, photographers, and servers, to the perfect weather and everyone’s safe commute from Covina to Beverly Hills, they recognize their good fortune. The key detail to this day was that they listened to other couples’ warnings about how time would fly by before they could enjoy their own wedding, so the pair made every effort to stop at several points throughout the day. They sat down and enjoyed dinner, spent a lot of time on the dance floor with their guests, and they even spent a few hours after all of the guests left, snacking on leftover cake and coffee and talking with the best man and gracious reception host…then off to the wedding night hotel and a honeymoon in Fiji.