Emily Goldstein and Justin Strauss were instantly a perfect match six years ago – at least according to several online dating apps. Though the two exchanged numbers and texted, nothing romantic officially happened until four years later when mutual friends encouraged them to go on a date. “When he finally called me for the first time, his name and number were still in my phone,” exclaims Emily. “He was hiding in my back pocket the whole time!”
Their connection was undeniable, and the couple was engaged nine months later when Justin proposed at the restaurant where they had their first date. Since Emily is a talented jewelry designer, Justin meticulously searched for the right stone. “The diamond came from a cutter in Europe who specializes in antique cushion-cut stones,” he reveals. “When I saw it for the first time, it gave me that same feeling I had when I met Emily for the first time – she was perfect!”
When it came time for wedding planning, the bride worked closely with her mom, as well as her planner, famed event consultant Mindy Weiss. “Mindy and her team brought our vision to life and truly exceeded every expectation with their attention to details!” describes Emily. “Justin was supportive throughout the entire process, and his biggest concern was that I have my dream day.”
Coincidentally, Justin helped jumpstart the design process for the celebration. Being in the textile industry, it all began from a piece of fabric he was working with for a project. “I noticed a scrap of the most gorgeous sage green velvet in his work bag. I loved the idea of highlighting a color that was festive for fall, but also unique,” shares Emily. “We wound up using the fabric consistently – beginning with the invitation suite [custom designed by Lehr and Black] and then as the tablecloths on our reception tables.”
Electing to get married close to home, the couple wanted a venue that felt secluded and romantic as though you had ventured far outside of Los Angeles and its bustling atmosphere. “It’s a dream venue,” confirms the bride, who opted for the ceremony to take place near the site’s swan lake. The décor was arranged to complement the naturally lush setting, such as the stunning chuppah comprised of blooms in hues of cream, sage, lavender, and apricot. “Considering it was a black-tie affair, we thought black chairs juxtaposed against the feminine florals would be a striking touch!” illustrates Emily of the unexpected element.
The bride wore a sophisticated gown of French Chantilly lace with a sweetheart neckline and jacket overlay that she removed after the ceremony. The lace pattern on her dress continued along the exquisite train. She was a vision of femininity as she started down the aisle on the arm of her brother to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” performed live by former American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart. “My younger brother, Ryan, and I are extremely close. I wanted to honor him in some way and thought it would be special to have him walk me halfway down the aisle to my parents,” Emily expresses. “I had never seen this done before, and it was a very special moment I will cherish forever!”
After the heartfelt service, the newlyweds and their 225 guests made their way over to a tented area. “I wanted our reception to feel like an intimate dinner party at home with our closest family and friends,” tells Emily. “Mindy and her team had the amazing idea to design the front of our tent to look like the entrance of our home. One of my favorite details was our doormat with my new last name!”
The interior of the space was exquisite, displaying elements that complemented the luxe green velvet. Place settings showcased fine china with green leaf details and chic circular customized menu cards, accompanied by gleaming crystal glassware and gilt flatware. “From our hand-painted fabric panels that canopied from the ceiling, to monogrammed napkins with our intertwined initials, down to the masquerade masks at the after-party, as an ode to our wedding being the weekend of Halloween – everywhere you looked, there were thoughtful details!” says the groom of the big day.
Emily agrees, “It definitely was my dream day!” She encourages other brides and grooms: “Lose your phone, and be 100% present. Enjoy the memorable moments like all of the love and excitement in the room, the guests that traveled near and far to celebrate, and seeing all of the hard work and special details come to life!”