Exactly one year after a mutual friend set them up on a blind date, Michele Pinheiro and Jeff Thomas decided to spend the rest of their lives together. While on vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico, for Michele’s birthday as well as their one-year anniversary, Jeff surprised his beloved with an extra-special gift while enjoying dinner on the sand: a sparkling diamond engagement ring. “It just felt so right,” he muses. 

With just eight months to plan their nuptials, the pair looked to Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events to design and organize every detail of their ceremony and reception. “I feel so lucky and grateful to have chosen Tessa as our planner as she made our day very special and magical,” affirms the bride. The groom confirms the decision made their big day even more memorable. “Hire a true professional wedding planner because it makes all the difference,” he suggests to other couples. Though they looked at a number of venues throughout California, the moment they found a luxurious villa in Malibu, their decision was simple. “You feel like you’re in Tuscany and the view is amazing,” shares the bride of the expansive vineyard estate. With their dream site booked, Michele and Jeff excitedly awaited their fête. 

Prior to the soirée, the couple’s 120 guests received a sophisticated ivory invitation box featuring a custom monogram and gilt script, which set the tone for the décor to come. When the day finally arrived, friends and family found their seats atop modern bullion-hued chairs with pearl cushions by Chameleon Chair Collection that surrounded an exquisite ceremony structure on a helipad offering jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the gorgeous vineyard, Santa Monica Mountains, and Pacific Ocean. “It was just spectacular and stunning,” says the groom of the venue. “It made the whole event come together.” 

The bride, who carried a bouquet of snowy roses, was a vision in a form-fitting beaded long-sleeve gown with a plunging neckline, illusion details, and an open back. She met her dashing groom beneath a circular structure adorned with lush drapery and vanilla-hued hydrangeas, roses, and orchids, which also lined the aisle. Just as Michele and Jeff said “I do” and officially became husband and wife, a gospel choir performed joyous melodies in celebration of their union. 

Attendees mingled poolside and took in the picturesque vistas before finding their seating assignments for the alfresco dinner service by way of acrylic drink stirrers displayed in flutes of chilled Champagne. Desiring “beautiful and timeless” décor, the bride and her team elected a classic color palette of white and gold to complement the natural beauty of the Tuscan villa. Round tables showcasing gilt-and-ivory linens were decorated with lavish floral arrangements of white phalaenopsis orchids, roses, and hydrangeas, and the couple’s elegant lace-covered sweetheart table featured the same creamy blooms in a cascading design that fell gracefully to the stone floor. 

Following the open-air reception, revelers moved inside for dessert and dancing. In addition to a delectable five-layer wedding confection, friends and family enjoyed a selection of sweet treats created with the color scheme of the celebration in mind. An ‘80s cover band kept the party going until midnight. “If everyone loves the food and the entertainment, it’s always a good time!” confirms the groom. 

When asked if they would do anything differently, Michele only wishes she’d worn a second dress since her long-sleeved ensemble made dancing at the reception quite warm, while Jeff affirms that he wouldn’t change a thing. “It really was an amazing day,” he smiles.