It’s one thing to agree on a blind date, but it’s quite another when the encounter has been so built up that you’re afraid you’ll fall short of expectations. Such was Amy Goldware’s concern when her best friend finally convinced her to go on a date with co-worker P.J. Brownrigg because she was certain it was a match made in heaven. Luckily, the flattering reputations that preceded Amy and P.J. were all true, and a lovely lunch between strangers developed into a resplendent relationship between soulmates.
On July 21, 2003, during a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, another more elaborate plan was hatched. P.J., carrying a “curiously heavy backpack” along the trail, suggested Amy take in the view from the lookout point, and while her attention was diverted, he removed a paver stone etched with the words “Will you marry me?” from his pack and buried it in the ground. He asked Amy to uncover the stone, dropped to one knee with ring in hand and before she could even finish unearthing the entire sentence, Amy answered “Yes!” with sand on her hands and tears in her eyes.
Amy and P.J. had definite ideas about how they wanted their wedding to look, but more importantly, how they wanted it to feel. With the guidance of dear friend and event designer, Scott Corridan, and their florist Joel at Flowerloft, the intimate and whimsical affair at Il Cielo restaurant took shape, or, shall we say, flight. Dragonflies and butterflies, two of Amy’s favorite motifs, accented every aspect of their celebration, hovering above intense centerpieces and landing atop Amy’s shoes.
The couple chose Il Cielo in Beverly Hills because it felt to them like their own private Italian home. They loved the idea of having their ceremony and reception in the same location and that they could easily adapt the setting to accommodate their unique ideas about décor. Each table during the reception alternated with hot pink and vivid orange linens topped with green glass hurricane vases and bowls. Tall cylinder candles filled the vases and the bowls were bursting with a brilliant palette of flowers humming with artificial butterflies and dragonflies. The montage centerpieces were accentuated by smaller votive candles spread around the tables interspersed with various sized moss covered spheres.
P.J. supported Amy in the important decision to invite the Rabbi from her hometown to marry them. She felt that no one officiating their ceremony could possibly know her or the importance of this day better than he could. Preceded by her bridesmaids carrying vibrant bouquets of butterflies, dragonflies and bumblebees (with the exception of Scott, who was also one of her “bridesmaids”!), Amy walked down the aisle to meet P.J. wearing her ideal elegant gown and sandals decorated with rhinestone encrusted dragonflies. P.J. and Amy became husband and wife under the twinkling lights of Il Cielo surrounded by 95 of their closest family members and friends.
Amidst all the inspiring color and delectable Italian fare, Amy and P.J.’s most sentimental moment came during her father’s toast. Known as an eloquent speaker who always commands the passing of the Kleenex, Amy’s father spoke from the heart and summed up exactly how he and her mother felt about the couple’s newly found happiness. In other words, “he didn’t disappoint” and she and P.J. were eternally touched by his kindness.
It was clear to all in attendance that a typical white wedding would never have honored the vitality and charm of Amy and P.J.’s relationship. From his mountaintop proposal to her affection for critters, this was a couple whose memorable wedding was a perfect expression of their well-suited union. The same could be said for their unique honeymoon, which took them on an exotic tour throughout Thailand and Vietnam. For years to come, Amy and P.J. will be reminded of their special day by the smallest encounters in their life, seeing a bright orange flower, hearing their first dance song and catching a glimpse of the playful dragonfly pattern on their newly acquired china.