From their very first meeting of the minds, Michael Beaudry was smitten with Laura Lien’s outgoing personality, as was she with his charm, and over time their creative working relationship blossomed into the type of partnership that matters most, the one that’s designed for life. On September 20, 2003, Michael proposed to Laura at the home of some dear friends, proving that mixing business with pleasure can sometimes be the perfect way to discover love, the most inspired collaboration of all.
Laura and Michael love the fall, and coupled with a fondness for Santa Barbara, they decided to hold their September wedding at a private estate in nearby Montecito. It afforded them the romantic, private and exclusive site they imagined for their ideal wedding. Thus began Laura’s full time undertaking to research and plan a personalized affair that took place exactly one year from their engagement.
Laura and Michael chose to highlight the natural beauty of the estate by infusing the warm tones of a Tuscan summer into their Renaissance theme. Romance was found in every aspect of the wedding décor, from the hurricane candles’ low light to the luxurious gold and copper silk linens, with each element creating the backdrop for a celebration that was as sumptuous as it was intimate.
The bride and groom chose wonderfully unconventional songs for their ceremony. The wedding party entered to an acoustic version of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaac and Laura was walked down the aisle by her father to U2’s “One.”
Both Laura and Michael wrote letters to each other a week before the wedding but waited until the ceremony to share them. The officiant read their moving promises aloud, and Laura and Michael were showered with white rose petals as they exited the ceremony as husband and wife to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Many of their married guests remarked afterwards that Laura and Michael’s nuptials were so poignant, they considered renewing their own vows.
Laura and Michael worked very hard to create an inviting atmosphere that resembled one of the frequent gatherings they are known for hosting at their own home. 225 guests were seated at cozy round tables and food was presented like a family style feast in keeping with their Tuscan Renaissance theme. On top of richly draped tables, antique brass candelabras alternated with low fluted urns brimming with arrangements of autumn’s finest flowers. Terra cotta, autumn dream and skyline roses, lilies, burgundy hydrangea and hypernicum berries were accented by cascading champagne grapes. Illuminated by candlelight, the tablescapes were a feast for the eyes rivaled only by the eclectic California menu the couple designed for dinner.
Laura was determined to work with a cake designer that could replicate some of her own favorites from her mother’s recipe collection. Their wedding confection was half banana cake with fresh bananas and half chocolate chip cake filled with chocolate mousse. As a surprise for Michael, she had it decorated to honor Beaudry’s signature jewelry design. Achieved with antique gold buttercream frosting accented with ivory fleur de lis filigree and scrolling, the elaborate design and thoughtful gesture impressed her new husband.
Another innovative detail incorporated into their reception was the availability of a babysitting service right at the estate. They loved the idea of having children at their wedding, but they wanted to ensure that the parents of their young guests could relax and enjoy themselves, too. It was a highly considerate solution to hire a care giving service that was close at hand so celebrating parents could check in on their children and guests of all ages could take part in the fun.
But the treats they offered their guests did not end there. Laura and Michael assembled luxurious gift boxes filled “With the things we love…” containing a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, a cigar and matches, a Voluspa candle and a six piece box of Oh! Chocolates. Each favor was sealed with a letter from Laura and Michael expressing their deep gratitude for sharing in their day.
It was only fitting that a couple whose business specializes in adding romance to other people’s special occasions would create a wedding for themselves that overflowed with warmth and elegance. From selecting the grand setting to writing their personal vows, Laura and Michael introduced their tastes and desires into every aspect of their wedding. The outcome was a collaboration between husband and wife symbolic of their relationship. Laura’s advice for other couples hoping to achieve the same? “This is your day together, an expression of your love for one another. Keep your family and friends guessing.”