One night, David Gezalian received a call from a friend asking him to attend a birthday party, to which he was not invited. “Normally, I would not entertain the idea of going somewhere I am not invited; however, something felt different this night,” smiles David, who noticed Katherine Ani Taglyan immediately upon entry.
“I had helped plan the birthday party and therefore knew all the guests, except one,” confirms Ani. “Next thing I know, he comes up to me with a warm, genuine smile and introduces himself. He then surprised me and ordered me my favorite cocktail without knowing what it was, and we talked for hours, as if we had known each other for years.” David adds: “I knew from that moment on, I had to take her out and get to know her better… The rest is history!”
Three dates later, they exchanged “I love you,” David admits he knew Ani was The One after one month, and six months after they first met at the birthday party, they were engaged. With Covid affecting events around the world and especially in Los Angeles, the betrothed were forced to postpone their wedding three times.
Not wanting to delay any further, they became husband and wife in an intimate ceremony, and one year later, they invited 300 loved ones to join them for the ultimate first-anniversary party and wedding celebration. “Most important to me was the people we were surrounded by that evening,” shares the groom. “Sure, we could have invited many more guests; however, what made it special was the smaller guest list of close friends and immediate family.”
As the bride has known where she would get married for the past 15 years, she was so excited to finally make her dreams a reality. The Grand Ballroom of her family’s venue, which features a 5,000-square-foot circular stained-glass ceiling and exquisite teardrop crystal chandeliers, provided the perfect setting for the magical day designed by Eddie Zaratsian of Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design.
“Given that my family has worked with him for over 20 years, I knew how much I could trust Eddie and gave him full autonomy to design the wedding personalized to me,” expresses Ani, who guided him only with her vision for “a lot of greenery and some pastel tones.”
“I knew how much I could trust Eddie [Zaratsian] and gave him full autonomy to design the wedding personalized to me.”
When friends and family arrived to the banquet hall, they enjoyed a joyous cocktail hour complete with an ice sculpture presenting a Dom Pérignon station. Seating assignments were discovered by way of a gold mirrored seating chart before guests filed into the ballroom reception space that was decorated with trees around the perimeter to bring the outside in.
Tables featured modern gilt bases or forest-green velvet linens, and towering centerpieces showcased billowing blooms – in apricot, blush, lavender, and pistachio – adorning urns atop acrylic stands, risers with sculptural floral details, or romantic candelabra. “Clouds” of verdure and cascading pastel florals were suspended above guest tables and the dance floor featuring a reflective vine motif to wow not only attendees, but the couple as well. “My husband and I were both in awe,” affirms Ani.
Customary at Armenian weddings, Ani and David made their grand entrance into the hall as the crowd stood, sparklers were ignited, and the band sang and danced behind the newlyweds as they joined their families on the dance floor – one of the couple’s most memorable moments. “This made the night even more magical,” remembers the bride, who looked like a princess in a stunning off-the-shoulder sparkling ball gown. “The entire ballroom was filled with love and happiness… Our guests didn’t stop dancing and celebrating our love the entire night.”
In addition to a popular DJ, the bride and groom hired musicians to add even more energy to the revelry. “I would describe it as Ibiza meets family reunion,” describes David of the wedding entertainment. “It was very impressive how our DJ, along with our percussionists, managed to get everyone on the dance floor from the beginning of the party to the end. At one point, my wife’s 93-year-old grandmother got up to dance!”
Though they experienced some adversity along the way due to unforeseen circumstances, their wedding day was absolutely worth the wait. “We had the most perfect wedding,” muses the bride, encouraging other couples to acknowledge that certain things are out of their control and to be focused on what truly matters. “Knowing that I was marrying the love of my life, my best friend, and that planning a wedding is only the beginning of a new and amazing chapter in our lives made the process that much more enjoyable… Remember, everyone is there to celebrate your love for one another.”
This real wedding was originally published in the Winter 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.
To order a copy of the Winter 2023 issue, visit our library of Inside Weddings back issues available for purchase.