Stephanie Fishman suspected a proposal was in the works, she just didn’t know exactly when boyfriend Scott Kaufman was planning on popping the question. However, woman’s intuition told her when the big moment was imminent. “I remember getting dressed and thinking to myself, ‘I’m getting engaged tonight!’” she recalls of the special evening. Happily, her instincts were correct, and shortly after accepting a heartfelt proposal at a romantic restaurant, her wedding planning began.
A venue that was meaningful as well as breathtakingly scenic was a priority for the couple, and a luxury resort in Southern California fit the bill perfectly. “Scott felt connected to the resort since he and his late father had golfed there together,” says Stephanie. “Scott’s dad even got a hole-in-one on the well-known course.” Another must was an utterly timeless ambiance. “One of the first things I told our wedding planner was ‘no trends,’” explains the bride. “I wanted a sophisticated style that I could forever look back upon and think was perfect.”
The evening began with a welcoming cocktail hour that was held on a sprawling patio where guests enjoyed an abundance of tray-passed appetizers and a spicy signature cocktail called a Michelada (a particular favorite of the bride and groom). Once the sun set, the wedding ceremony commenced on a beautiful lawn that overlooked the blue waters of the Pacific. “I felt very connected to the location,” admits Scott. “The ocean and a golf course together pretty much sums up happiness to me.”
The grand gazebo on the property served as the couple’s chuppah. A halo of snowy roses encircled the dome, while ivory drapes billowed below in the breeze. Complementary flowers arranged atop alabaster stands ran the length of the aisle, and delicate petals were sprinkled upon the lawn. Eight attendants wearing short dresses of pewter silk organza preceded the bride down the aisle. Each carried an all-white bouquet comprised of a single variety of flower that differed from maid to maid. Seven groomsmen sporting sharp gray suits paired with black ties rounded out the bridal party along with two angelic flowers girls.
A vision of elegance in a lace illusion sheath, Stephanie carried a bouquet of peonies wrapped in an ivory grosgrain ribbon. Scott, who sported a black tuxedo with a tie that matched the bridesmaids’ attire, imprinted the event with his personal touch by personally selecting unique and memorable compositions. “I worked hard on finding the right ceremony music,” says the groom. “We walked down the aisle to Led Zeppelin, U2, and the Beatles.”
In keeping with a theme of lasting elegance, a table draped in crisp, blanched linen displayed glass vases of flowers amidst tidy rows of escort cards, each of which was weighted with a pair of smooth stones. The reception room featured a mix of square and round tables clothed in crinkled gunmetal fabric. Classic ivory floral arrangements highlighted with vivid greenery were gathered in low vases and set aglow by mirrored surfaces that reflected accompanying candlelight. Each place setting boasted a silver charger plate, dinner menu, and a single white flower.
In a unique twist on the traditional plated dinner service, entrées were presented family style on large platters. Wait staff assisted guests in serving and passing cuisine such as braised boneless short ribs and grilled salmon. The wedding cake featured layers of peanut butter-chocolate, lemon curd, and strawberry shortcake. Passed desserts were later offered to nourish partygoers as they danced the night away.
During the evening, the bride improvised a speech that she dedicated to her beloved husband. “It was so heartfelt and funny,” says the groom, who references the moment as one of his favorite memories of the celebration. “She really connected with all the emotions we were feeling.”
Perfectly pleased with her wedding, Stephanie reveals that she never lost sight of the true meaning of day, and advises future brides to keep everything in perspective. “Remember that planning a wedding means planning a life together, so don’t get too inundated with the details,” she suggests. “In the end, it is the relationship that matters most.”