Sydnie Schoenberg had always dreamed of her wedding day, but she tried to be realistic about the timing because her longtime boyfriend, Sahar Rosenblum, was in the middle of medical school. Surely a proposal wouldn’t happen until after his graduation, she assumed. Little did she know, Sahar had already started planning. “After experiencing how much she supported me through every single moment, I knew I wanted to propose,” Sahar confides. He also knew he wanted to go about it the traditional way, and called Sydnie’s father to tell him he had something important to discuss. At dinner, the hopeful groom asked for his blessing. “We spent the rest of the night celebrating together while he introduced me to several of his friends at the restaurant, telling everyone that I had just asked permission to marry his daughter!” he reveals.

With that box checked off, Sahar started organizing the perfect proposal: something his future bride would always remember. First, he planned a vacation and asked Sydnie if she could take the evening prior to their departure off from work. A reasonable request, until she was invited on a trip for her job. “I told him it wouldn’t interfere with our trip but that I wouldn’t be able to take that day before off,” Sydnie notes. Sahar seemed more bothered by this fact than she expected; however, the next day, her boss told her not to go on the trip after all. “I later found out that my dad had called my boss to tell her about Sahar’s plans and she agreed to play along,” she divulges. Though it all seemed a little suspicious, the soon-to-be bride tried not to get her hopes up. She had made it clear to her beloved that it was important for her family to be there for a proposal, and her parents and sisters seemed busy for the weekend when she called. “Little did I know that everyone was staying in a hotel down the street!” Sydnie exclaims.

The day before their vacation, Sahar took his sweetheart to a romantic Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, where the couple sat in a private garden. As soon as Sydnie saw how the space was set up, she knew what was about to happen. “I was shaking through the whole proposal,” she admits. After she said “yes,” both of their families came in to surprise the newly engaged pair and enjoy an evening of celebration. Sydnie and Sahar then went off to the Caribbean to enjoy a week of bliss. “When I came back from our trip, everyone at my company knew about the engagement!” the bride laughs.

Back when they had only known each other for a few weeks, strangers assumed Sydnie and Sahar had been together for years. Now it was time for the couple to plan the celebration of a love that came so naturally to them. Though they currently live in Los Angeles, both the bride and groom originally hail from the Bay Area. As a result, they strongly considered marrying in San Francisco or Napa; however, the logistics of Sahar’s school schedule meant a May wedding in Southern California was the best choice. Luckily, with the help of her mother, Sydnie found the perfect venue – an estate vineyard in Malibu artfully reminiscent of Napa.

The bride quickly found that there are a plethora of details involved in organizing one’s nuptials, so she enlisted the help of Sterling Engagements to make her dream a reality and Maya Myers Photography to capture the beauty of day on camera. “There were a few times when my planner definitely had to help streamline my vision,” Sydnie shares. Together they developed a neutral color palette featuring green, champagne, and blush in order to embrace the natural beauty of the venue. The ceremony took place on a helipad overlooking the Santa Monica Mountains, providing stunning views and little need for decoration. The design elements, however, made for a large impact. “I loved my florist – she made the most beautiful chuppah that complemented everything,” gushes the bride.

Although Sydnie felt the floral structure made a striking focal point, there was a time when the bride and groom might not have had one. Though she was raised in the Jewish culture, and Sahar’s family is from Israel, neither of them considers themselves particularly religious. At first they planned to have a secular vow exchange officiated by a friend, but came to realize “the Jewish ceremony was more than just religion – it was about embracing our families and their cultures,” muses the bride. For the reception, there was one tradition the newlyweds intended to forgo. The duo planned to cut the horah for the sake of time, but “my friends were not okay with that,” laughs the groom. “Instead, they took an empty chair and proceeded to hoist me on top for a solid minute. As soon as they put me down, they did the same with Sydnie, who had a glass of Champagne in her hand!”

The impromptu horah is indicative of the fun-filled atmosphere the couple desired at their reception. “Everywhere I looked, there were people I loved – it was so great to turn to anyone and start spontaneously dancing!” Sahar remembers. While the partying may have been festive, the décor was sophisticated. “I wanted to showcase this romantic, effortless elegance with my flowers,” shares the bride. She desired the centerpieces to convey a refined rustic look; verdant foliage and ivory blossoms flowed from stone vases. “Everything looked like it belonged and had been there for ages,” gushes Sydnie.

After five hours of eating, drinking, and dancing with their loved ones, the newlyweds retired to their hotel. “We immediately got into bathrobes and ordered room service, Champagne, and a movie,” confides the bride. “We were exhausted but so happy to be together and finally married!”