In front of a stunning natural stone waterfall at an exquisite ranch in Malibu, California, there was a walkway with a grand chuppah, large enough to cover the whole bridal party. The structure was lush with verdure, complementing the natural beauty of the trees surrounding the 120 guests. Candles ensconced by rustic lanterns placed among ivory rose petals were added to the already lovely outdoor space. As the reverend officiated the interfaith ceremony, the bride and groom smiled widely – there were no tears for this wedding, only joy. After exchanging rings, the groom commenced in the breaking of the glass and gleefully kissed his bride.
Just over a year earlier, Andrea Gerardo and Jon Fanarof were enjoying themselves at the immensely popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The weekend happened to fall on Andrea’s birthday, providing Jon with a perfect opportunity to propose. “All of our friends were there to help us celebrate our engagement!” exclaims the bride. The couple started planning practically as soon as they got home from the music festival, hiring Charley Izabella King of Bluebell Events and recruiting the mother of the bride to help with the process. “My mom was there every step of the way. She has impeccable taste,” shares Andrea.
The bride and groom desired to hold their nuptials outdoors, but away from the public eye. The Malibu hills proved to be the perfect spot, and the ranch they selected included a room and tented area for the reception, which Andrea was delighted to fill with flowers everywhere a guest could look. “Our centerpieces were a variety of white and cream roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and orchids that cascaded down with crystal,” reveals the bride. Greenery was mixed in among the flowers to add to the enchanted feel of the day. The mirror-topped tables alternated between large centerpieces and smaller complementary arrangements. “Chandeliers were also a huge part of our wedding,” notes Andrea. “We had a huge one hanging above us during our ceremony, and also throughout the reception.”
Though it was not fully a destination wedding, the couple provided welcome bags with snacks and hangover cures for each of their attendees. “We wanted our guests to feel special,” the bride explains. Friends and family found their seats by reading their calligraphed names on an eight-foot tall mirror with an ornate frame, from Revelry Event Designs. Each place setting had a laser-cut nameplate of the guest’s first name. In addition to the options of sea bass, filet mignon, and a vegetarian entrée, there were also mini hotdogs, sliders, and French fries passed around towards the end of the reception. “Who doesn’t love a late night snack?” exclaims the bride. Revelers also enjoyed the five-tiered cake, with alternating layers covered in fresh cream peonies and garden roses. A donut bar with gourmet flavors acted both as additional dessert options and as favors, with provided personalized to-go boxes.
Though Andrea was worried about falling during the horah, she and Jon were glad to combine their separate traditions. They also took part in the bouquet and garter toss, with Jon adding some extra entertainment during the latter tradition. As he approached his bride, he danced around, even doing “the worm” as the way to get under the dress. “I think the best advice is to just have fun,” the bride reflects. Which is exactly what Andrea and Jon did throughout their wedding day.