While Dylan Newman was navigating through a major career change, her friend Spencer Schoeben was of huge support. “He showed me what a true gentleman looked like and just wowed me before I even realized what was happening. One night he kissed me… and then the rest is history,” she smiles. Spencer continued to romance his beloved for years to come, often treating Dylan to sophisticated dinners or visits to unique places.
“While on a date in Malibu, we pulled over before our dinner reservation to look at the stars because they were so beautiful,” illustrates Dylan. “Suddenly, Spence got down on one knee and proposed. It was intimate and so very romantic; that moment, surrounded by nature and stars, ultimately inspired the whole wedding for me.”
The couple spent the next year planning for a celebration with 250 of their loved ones. Then the pandemic hit, which forced them to maneuver, having to significantly cut their guest list down to 90 people. “Covid made things extremely complicated for our planning. It became a constant battle to navigate rules, logistics, our consistently changing budget, and the best ways to communicate with our guests,” explains the bride. “I couldn’t have gotten through the process without the unconditional love and support from my mother. Between the Sterling Engagements team, Spencer, and my family, they each helped ease the continuously surprising details.”
As far as the décor concept for the big day, Dylan knew she wanted the nuptials outdoors with an abundance of verdure. “There aren’t too many huge trees in Los Angeles that I resonate with, but when I saw the setting at Hummingbird Nest Ranch, I was sold immediately.” The couple’s wedding planner, Alexandra Rembac of Sterling Engagements, encouraged them to make their wedding their own and to celebrate all the moments they could. “Despite being in a pandemic, Alex really wanted to make sure we had the wedding we wanted and were able to take part in all of the typical customs,” describes Dylan. “Even though I’m not the most traditional person by any means, it really was fun and I am so happy we were able to do everything.”
For the wedding ceremony, X-back wooden chairs were setup on a perfectly manicured grassy area surrounded by towering trees. Short arrangements of blooms were placed at the beginning of the aisle, and a chuppah with bright white florals contrasted beautifully against the garlands of greenery interspersed into the design. A live wedding band played an array of songs selected personally by the couple. The service was heartfelt and very special, as Spencer had spent many months studying Judaism, ultimately converting. “These celebrations, steeped in hundreds of years of tradition, made me feel like, through marriage, I was becoming a part of something much bigger than myself or Dylan,” expresses the groom.
Dylan was resplendent, donning a silk-satin A-line dress paired with a floral crown to complete her elegant look. “I felt like royalty, shining all day,” the bride confides. For her bridal bouquet, Dylan desired something romantic and simple, yet textured. “I fell in love with a white and green ethereal color palette early on, and my bouquet was everything I could have asked for and more. It had white garden roses, spray roses, lisianthus blooms, green thistle, and so many unique greenery accents,” she illustrates.
“It was such an emotional time because of the uncertainty of the pandemic... to hear and feel so much love coming from our friends and family, it truly couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The wedding reception design was particularly important to the couple. Dylan and Spencer desired an upscale earthy ambience and opted for a combination of round- and rectangular-shaped tables as well as varied centerpieces to create depth and make the space as aesthetically interesting as it was beautiful. Tablescapes featured mixtures of greenery garlands, bud vases, mini clusters of bouquets, and candlelight to create a romantic vibe in the alfresco area.
Guests found their seats by way of a dark wooden wall listing names and table numbers and later enjoyed a sit-down dinner service followed by slices of a classic all-white confection adorned with floral accents. “Due to the heat, we made a last-minute adjustment to instead use white fondant to avoid melting the frosting,” says the bride. “We served a combination of crème brûlée cake and lemon berry – such a good balance and perfect for a warm summer night.”
Some of the newlyweds’ most memorable moments were the speeches as well as the dancing, as music has been central part of their relationship. “We wanted to pick music that represents us in a timeless way versus playing music that is trendy now but would feel dated looking back,” tells Spencer. His bride adds: “Even though we weren’t supposed to dance on a dance floor, we creatively found a way to make it work and had the best time doing so!”
The big day turned out better than Dylan and Spencer had anticipated, and they felt so grateful gazing around the room at all their loved ones in attendance. “It was such an emotional time because of the uncertainty of the pandemic,” the bride shares, “to hear and feel so much love coming from our friends and family, it truly couldn’t have come at a better time.”
There isn’t a single thing either bride or groom would change about their wedding. If anything, Spencer says maybe they should have chosen a smaller, more intimate affair from the beginning. “Sometimes less is more,” he emphasizes. While Dylan urges other couples not to take things personally while planning: “Ride the wave and trust there’s always a solution. Time flies, so be happy and enjoy the process!”