Realizing you’ve found the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life on Valentine’s Day, while the two of you are strolling through an art museum, sounds like a scene right out of a Hollywood movie. But that’s exactly what happened to Tom Ham when he took the woman he’d been seeing, Hannah Lyon, on a romantic date to honor the lovers' holiday. While she was observing the gallery exhibits, Tom was observing her. “Something just ‘clicked’ and it was very clear,” he says. “Hannah was The One.” His mind made up, Tom proposed marriage in the very same museum a few years later, and the two began planning their December nuptials shortly thereafter.
It was fairly uncomplicated for the duo to decide what type of event they wished to host. “We wanted to have a big, fun party and not a typical wedding,” explains the groom. The bride, who works in the bridal industry as the Operations Manager for famed designer Monique Lhuillier, agreed. “So many weddings these days are over the top and showy with no touch of the couple,” she says. “We wanted the wedding to be totally ‘us.’” They hired a talented consultant to help them hone their vision. Then the couple decided how to prioritize their big night. “We did away with the traditional stuff: sit-down dinner, the bouquet toss, the first dances,” explains the groom. “What was important to us was that we had great entertainment.”
The event was held at a historic villa located in the heart of Los Angeles. The property’s red brick walls, suspended chandeliers, and rustic furnishings contributed to the character and charm of the event. The bride did not have a color scheme or particular theme she wished to incorporate. Rather, Hannah presented her consultant with a box that contained a host of random objects she’d been collecting and asked her to come up with a way to marry them together into the décor. Perhaps the most unique of these items were the tiny gold dinosaur figurines. “Everyone asks about them and I really have no explanation except to say that I love gold and I love dinosaurs,” she smiles. As far as floral decoration was concerned, no extravagant arrangements or dramatic bouquets were allowed. Instead, simple earthy elements, such as green moss, bare branches, and wild flowers were selected to give the setting an organic ambience.
The bride wore an exquisite wedding ball gown with a drop-waist bodice comprised of Chantilly lace and a skirt that featured frayed organza and feathers. In her hands she carried a flourishing collection of blooms in ivory, blush, and baby-blue hues with ample greenery bursting through. The groom appeared dapper in a handsome navy blue suit and tie. Hannah’s younger brother, a member of the National Guard, walked her down the aisle. “He wore his dress uniform and after the wedding told me how proud he was,” she beams. “It was the most touching moment of the wedding – besides getting married, of course!”
Following the brief but sincere ceremony, the celebration immediately commenced. A fully stocked bar, along with passed appetizers that were served throughout the evening, ensured guests would spend most of their time dancing and socializing. The same electronic violinist who played modern and '90s classics during the ceremony continued to perform hits for the onset of the reception. Tom made it a personal mission to hire a DJ who could keep the momentum going until the very end, while a jovial photo booth presented attendees with another option for merriment. But the most memorable attraction was the arcade room, where guests could play a host of classic video games. “In hindsight, I wish we’d had more games,” said the groom. “They were definitely a hit with the guests.”
For dessert, in lieu of a wedding cake, the couple opted for nine different confections in a range of flavors and tastes. In keeping with the idea that more is better, the bride changed into a second stunning dress that featured an illusion neckline and was dotted from head to toe in floral appliqué.
From the video games to the dinosaurs, at first it might seem as though the evening was simply a fun jumble of unrelated components. But on the contrary, there was one single motif that weaved the night together. Truly, what unified the variety was the couple’s heartfelt appreciation for their friends and family. “The wedding wasn’t just about our love,” says the bride. “It was a celebration of our relationships with all the people we love.” The groom agrees that this is exactly what made the affair such a success. “Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of everyone there made it all worthwhile,” he says.