Danielle Field would have never believed that one day she would marry her summer crush. At 17, Danielle was Gary Marella’s assistant at Interscope Records, the label co-founded by her father. In her words, she developed “the kind of crush that gives you butterflies whenever someone mentions his name.” But, it went unrequited, and at the end of the summer, Danielle went back to high school, seemingly never to see Gary again — that is, until one fateful night, almost a decade later, when a more grown-up Danielle reluctantly joined some friends at a nearby club. There, in the crowd, was Gary. They hit it off right away, and a few days later, it appeared that the duo had entered into a lasting romance. Says Danielle of their fated reunion, “I always wonder what would have happened had I not gone out that night.”
The bride and groom decided that after years of waiting for one another, they could certainly take their time in planning the perfect wedding. With the support of their families and expert guidance of coordinators Alyson Fox and Diane Levine and floral designer Amy Child Marella (also the groom’s sister-in-law), Danielle and Gary spent a good portion of their 20-month engagement considering the details. At first, the idea was to hold the event at her father’s home, but that scenario raised a number of planning challenges. Then, the couple contemplated a beach wedding in Hawaii, but asking friends and family to travel all that way seemed impractical. Finally, they decided to have the wedding at The Beverly Hills Hotel because it offered the perfect combination of L.A. glamour and romantic escapism they wanted. (And it was a spot so special, the couple would be thrilled to return to it again and again to celebrate future anniversaries.)
Once the location was settled, all efforts were put toward creating unforgettable ambience. From enchanted garden-like flowers to edgy music, every element of Danielle and Gary’s wedding reflected their personal vision. To set a magical stage, the areas for the ceremony, reception and the walkway that joined them were draped from floor to ceiling in diaphanous buttercream fabric and adorned with a multitude of trees, garlands of magnolia leaves and flowers in neutral shades of champagne and sage green. Danielle, holding a crystal-studded bouquet of stephanotis, was overcome when seeing Gary for the first time as she made her way down the canopied aisle on her father’s arm.
Inside the ballroom, arrangements of white and cream roses, belles of Ireland, fragrant lilac, orchids and viburnum were displayed in various shapes and heights: short and wide for the rectangular tables and tall with hanging votives for the circular ones. Each chair was outfitted in a sage green lace cover sprinkled with champagne beading. At each place setting sat a monogrammed bag of playing chips, a hint at the fun and games that awaited the 250 guests. After the couple’s first dance, a casino was revealed in the back part of the ballroom, complete with blackjack, craps and roulette tables. Prizes, like a day at the spa, were given to the top three winners at the end of the night.
For those who were more interested in cutting a rug, the dance floor was the place to be with music provided by a rocking band and Adam Goldstein, otherwise well known as DJ AM. This meant a little something for everyone, from Frank Sinatra standards to the hip-hop and the ’80s favorites Danielle and Gary grew up hearing. “Our wedding was somewhat traditional, but incredibly laid-back and more like a big party, which we wanted,” explains Danielle. And when it was time to cut the cake, Danielle changed from her traditional gown into a flirty, fringy dress in a gold tone that matched the décor. The five-tiered cake had layers in a similar soft shade of gold with sugar flowers and leaves that alternated with lighter layers decorated in a lace design piped in dark green. The filling, however, was made of contrasting red velvet cake, the color of which was meant to symbolize their love…and the power of wishful thinking. In love and life, asserts Danielle, “Dreams really do come true.”