It’s not uncommon for people to spend a year planning their wedding. Sometimes, especially with the help of an expert consultant, couples are able to prepare everything in a matter of months. Dominique Gonzales and Clinton Ray planned their nuptials in just three weeks. “The venue of my dreams was available on short notice,” the bride explains. “We needed to do it quickly since we were in the middle of filming our docu-web series Chachi’s World [starring her dancer sister] and the wedding was our finale!” Her decisive groom proved to be helpful, as they had to choose their vendors quickly.
Dominique and Clinton met back in 2005, as they both work in the music industry. “I remember he shook my hand and said, ‘Wow, you have strong little hands! That’s good!” she reminisces. They ended up working together on contract negotiations for Dominique’s sister, and became very close. Years later, Clinton made his intentions clear: “He took me to the Galleria in Houston, Texas, and purchased a ring, gave it to me, and said, ‘Let’s get married,’” laughs the bride.
Once the Malibu estate they desired became available, the mother of the bride flew out to assist with the last two weeks of planning. Though Dominique notes that her relationship with some of her family had become strained in the past few years, she was ecstatic to reunite with her father after being estranged for four years. Walking down the aisle with her dad was one of her most memorable moments of the big day. “It felt so natural,” she muses.
The ceremony was held on a helipad with a magnificent vista of the Santa Monica Mountains. “We wrote our own vows and gave thanks to Michael Jackson for bringing us together,” Dominique reveals. They even had the service presided by the late King of Pop’s spiritual advisor. After the bride and groom were pronounced husband and wife, their guests went to the balcony of the estate to observe the newlyweds in their first dance – to “The Lady in My Life” by Michael Jackson – in front of the lush floral arbor on the helipad.
Attendees sat at long ebony tables, an integral part of the black and gold color scheme that formed the tablescapes provided by Revelry Event Designers, while the newlyweds sat at a large, mirror-top table with crystal embellishments along the border. Both the bride’s brother and sister gave emotional toasts, leading to a group hug between the siblings before dinner. Dominique danced to Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” with her father, and songs by Michael Jackson were played throughout the evening. “I wish I would have danced more,” the bride laments. “I was so busy I only had a chance to dance a few times.”
No one would have guessed the lavish wedding was planned so quickly, as everything looked beautiful and ran smoothly – despite unexpected rain the morning of the big day. As for advice to future brides and grooms, Dominique says, “Honestly, just decide what you want to be present in that moment,” adding: “And invest in a good photographer!”