Benjamin Gordon had one goal when he went to the Bloom’s Fourth of July party: getting a date with Shayla Bloom. His best friend Dustin had recently reconnected with Shayla, a friend from high school, and Ben had developed a crush. Naturally, Ben leapt at the chance to attend her parents’ event – to which Dustin had been invited. “My mom says that when Ben walked into the party, it was like he had blinders on and only one objective… me!” laughs Shayla. They ended up hitting it off, and Ben asked her on their first official date the next morning.
Almost two years later, Ben picked up the engagement ring that his beloved had helped select. “Ultimately, I just wanted to get her something she would be proud of and happy with,” he muses. Once the ring was in his possession, he couldn’t wait to pop the question. With the help of Shayla’s best friend Paige, a planner at Geller Events, he secured a Sunday-night reservation at a trendy sushi restaurant in Malibu. Telling his sweetheart that he was taking her to dinner, but wanted to have a picnic on the beach first, Shayla tried not to get her hopes up about a proposal. “I had to keep telling myself, ‘This isn’t a proposal, just let your boyfriend plan a romantic evening without there being strings attached,’” she confides. To her surprise, it actually was a proposal.
Both the bride and groom are from Los Angeles, so they knew they wanted to host a local wedding. After taking her mom and Paige to look at venues, Shayla decided on a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills. Ben admits that outside of the cake and food tastings, he wasn’t particularly interested in the planning process. “My motto was ‘whatever Shay wants is good with me,’” he affirms. The exception was the ketubah, which was designed by a family friend of both the Blooms and the Gordons. “It was custom made to depict very important parts of our relationship, as well as some underlying details that were personally important, such as celebrating my late father and brother with two butterflies,” explains the groom.
“I wanted the wedding to feel very elegant, romantic, contemporary, and chic all at the same time,” the bride shares. This was accomplished with an abundance of white flowers – including roses, hydrangeas, peonies, calla lilies, and baby’s breath. The extravagant chuppah had lush florals winding around Lucite columns and a ceiling of calla lilies. In addition to the father of the bride’s tallit showcased in the ceremony structure, there was one kiddush cup from each family included in the service, with the rabbi pouring wine from one to the other to show the unity of the two families. Not everything was about tradition; after being pronounced husband and wife, a cannon showered the guests with personalized confetti. “It was an incredible moment and just pure joy,” Ben gushes.
The jubilance continued into the reception ballroom, as did the aesthetic established in the ceremony. Lucite vases held full arrangements of baby’s breath aloft, while additional vessels displayed bunches of calla lilies arranged at an angle. Smaller centerpieces were accented with candles, giving the room a warm ambience. The cake, made by the same bakery that provided the confection for the parents of the bride’s wedding 30 years prior, featured four different flavors with fluffy peonies lining each tier.
Following her first dance with her new husband, Shayla and her dad danced to “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion, which was also the song used for the father-daughter dance at her bat mitzvah. Music led to many memorable moments throughout the evening, including the brother and sister of the bride singing a duet, which ended up going viral online. The groom was pulled on stage by the band to dance to one of his favorite songs, “Pony” by Ginuwine. “[It was] pretty much my Magic Mike moment,” Ben laughs.
The newlyweds agree that they wouldn’t change a moment of their special day. Reflects the groom, “It was such a beautiful experience, and I am so fortunate to have experienced it.”