Though they were introduced a few years prior by the groom’s cousin, it wasn’t until Karen Davis-Weyman and Fraser Wirth’s mutual connection urged them to sit next to each other at her birthday dinner that the couple hit it off. “We didn’t stop talking the whole night. There was already a strong chemistry between us,” explains Fraser. Agrees Karen, “By the end of the night, I knew he was the real deal. [I was sure that] the moment I started to date him, he would be my last.”
For their first date, Karen offered to help Fraser decorate his new apartment and arrived at his home with design magazines and a movie in tow, as if they’d known each other for years. Though he knew early on that Karen was The One, Fraser waited for the perfect moment to ask her parents for their blessing. He proposed to his beloved with a custom-designed engagement ring in their home before sharing the news with friends and family at an annual holiday party hosted by the bride’s family. “Our engagement day was the absolute best day of my life leading up to the wedding… I really did find my perfect match,” share Karen of the memorable occasion.
The bride selected a romantic and inviting theme for her Southern California wedding. “I wanted to be outside and have a garden element in an elegant, warm space,” she says. It didn’t take long for Karen and Fraser to find their dream venue; in fact, “it was actually the only venue we visited,” shares the bride. “[The ceremony space] immediately reminded me of my childhood backyard and the search was over.” With the help of a well-respected wedding planner, Karen’s mother, and Fraser’s family, the magical event came to fruition on a lovely, autumn evening beneath a 100-year-old oak tree.
Karen and Fraser were married in front of 220 loved ones surrounded by an enchanting garden bedecked with twinkling string lights, natural verdure, and florals in soft hues of cream, pink, and lavender. The bride, who was stunning in a satin gown featuring an organza textured skirt and crystal-embellished bolero, carried a large bouquet of creamy roses, sprigs of lavender, and thistles as she walked down the aisle to meet her groom. Fraser donned a sharp charcoal suit, while groomsmen wore suits in a similar shade with plaid bow ties. Bridesmaids were elegant in light pink gowns with differing necklines and carried nosegays of florals in shades of deep purple, lavender, and cream.
Following the ceremony, which included a collection of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions, Karen and Fraser recessed to one of their favorite songs, “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. Before joining loved ones for the reception, the couple felt it was important to partake in a yichud (a Jewish custom in which the couple spends a moment alone together as husband and wife). Meanwhile, guests enjoyed an alfresco cocktail hour complete with an elaborate charcuterie and cheese display, as well as passed hors d’oeuvres served on natural slabs made of tree trunks.
A dramatic tent featured elegant chandeliers suspended from above that cast a romantic glow on the reception space below. Guests found their seats at long wooden dining tables with lace runners or round styles draped with soft fabrics, which created the vintage-inspired look the couple desired. “I wanted the night to be very personal and reflect our style, and it absolutely did,” says the bride. Each diner’s place setting was marked with a sprig of lavender hand-tied with personalized ribbon, as well as a baguette nestled inside a velum bag printed with the evening’s menu. Low floral centerpieces decorated tables to ensure loved ones could speak freely to one another throughout the dinner service.
Fraser, who was keen on the music and entertainment of the evening, selected a live band to play a variety of tunes from the 1960s to today. “I wanted a great band that we could dance to the whole night and that our guests would find memorable,” he says. In lieu of a traditional wedding confection, which neither Karen nor Fraser favor, the couple chose to showcase a dessert table featuring everything from pie pops and blueberry cheesecake bites, to chocolate mousse and whiskey donut holes with vanilla ice cream. As an additional sweet treat, loved ones were sent home with personalized bags of kettle corn.
When faced with the stresses that stemmed from planning the biggest event of their lives, Karen and Fraser found it helpful to remember what their wedding was all about in the first place. “A lot of people stress over the details, but in the end, your guests are there for you, not the appetizers – hopefully!” laughs the groom. Says the bride, “I definitely recommend brides be flexible on the big day because you can’t control everything!” The couple agrees that they wouldn’t change a thing about their wedding celebration. Confides Karen, “It was such a magical day!”