First comes love, then the marriage proposal, followed by the often intense preparations needed to create a memorable and magical wedding. One of the most pressing details is the choice of vendors who will take photographs, cater the food, provide wedding apparel for the bride and groom and supply other services on wedding day. While some couples let wedding planners select vendors, others prefer to do this themselves.
This is a tale of five weddings — and the vendors who contributed to the events’ success.
RIC & MONICA
Ric R. Roman and Monica Flores Roman met at a professionals’ networking event, eyeing each other from opposite sides of the room. Several months later the two had their second meeting at an office birthday party at Lola’s martini bar. They started discretely dating, keeping their office romance secret for more than a year as they built a successful financial practice.
One night last year, Ric told Monica they were meeting clients for dinner. But the dinner was at Lola’s and the clients were nowhere in sight. Ric read Monica a poem he wrote to express his love, then got down on one knee, pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him.
The two were married at St. Philip the Apostle Church, the site of Monica’s elementary and middle school, and held their wedding reception at Alverno High School, which Monica also attended and where she now serves on the board of directors and chairs the marketing and development committee. Monica’s father, who owns a tequila company, gave each wedding guest a bottle of extra anejo tequila decorated with the bride and groom’s logo.
Wedding Venue: St. Philip the Apostle Church
Reception Venue: Villa del Sol d’Oro, on the campus of Alverno High School
Photographer/Videographer: Sari Makki Photography
Cake: Jaime Cakes
Catering: Santa Anita Gardens Catering
Rentals: Lindbergh McPherson
Lighting: Majjak Productions
Entertainment: The D’Jay Company
Bridal Gown: ProNovias
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo
Groom Tux: Northridge Suit Outlet
Hair/Makeup: Egle Miciene
Stationery/Invitations: On Graphics Design
Transportation: VIP Limo
PATRICE & VEYNA
Patrice Cardamone Veyna and Brandon Veyna have been inseparable since they met seven years ago. Back then, Patrice, a student at Pepperdine University, and her friends stopped at Duke’s Restaurant in Malibu before heading for spring break in Palm Springs. “I had just sworn off guys,” Patrice recalls. “However, right when we walked into Duke’s there was a very handsome surfer guy at the bar laughing with his buddies and my heart and head at the same time went ‘oh no, we are in trouble.’”
The two discovered they had many things in common, such as growing up in Catholic households and attending Catholic schools. Five years later, Brandon proposed while the two attended Patrice’s family reunion at the Outer Banks, North Carolina. As they walked along the beach, Patrice saw a heart drawn in the sand. Then Brandon got down on one knee, told Patrice how much he loved her and said he wanted her to be his wife.
The two got married in August 2014 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in South Pasadena.
Wedding Venue: Holy Family Church
Reception Venue: A family friend’s home in Altadena.
Photographer/Videographer: Debra Morrison
Cake: The Walrus & Hedgehog (see Directory)
Floral: Vavé Studios (see Directory)
Entertainment and Lighting: Light Up the Night Entertainment Services (see Directory)
Bridal Gown: Panaché Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Victoria’s Secret
Groom Tux: Neda Menswear
Hair Salon: LuxeLab
Makeup Salon: Heather Pepe
Stationery/Invitations/Menus/Place Cards: Alyssa Stefek Photography
DENISE & MICHAEL
Denise Robb and Michael Vanier’s relationship proves that dating websites can work. Denise, a political science professor at Pierce College, and Michael, who teaches computer science at Caltech, met on e-Harmony and discovered they had a lot in common. In addition to being professors, they both love cats and write comedy. When Michael first told Denise he was a comedy writer, she recalls she was skeptical because “most people who said ‘I have some great jokes for you’ simply weren’t funny. Mike turned out to be hysterical.” He eventually wrote material that was well received when Denise, a professional standup comic, performed it.
Mike also took Denise to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to see what she describes as “the worst opera we had ever seen based on David Cronenberg’s horror movie ‘The Fly.’” While they were discussing the opera’s awfulness, Mike pulled out a ring, got on his knees and proposed.
The couple was married by the Rev. Tera Little at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, where they also held their wedding reception. Denise gave birth to their son Joshua a year later.
Wedding & Reception Venue: Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Photographer/Videographer: Leslie Barton
Cake: Sweet and Organic Desserts
Flowers: Mina McFarland
Catering: Doomie’s Home Cooking
Entertainment: DJ and karaoke by Johnny Stewart
Bridal Gown: One Night Affair
Hair Salon: Cheveux Salon
Makeup Salon: Veronica Lane Garcia
NINA & KRISTOPHER
Many people start training in martial arts and find a lifestyle. Nina and Kristopher Burranasombati started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and found each other.
They were both white belts the day they met and over a few years they “choked” their way to a loving relationship. In that time they both received blue belts, ran marathons, traveled together, and took part in many adventures.
After three years of dating, Kristopher pulled off the ultimate submission — he proposed to Nina during a fictitious belt promotion ceremony with the help of Professor Alberto Crane at Gracie Barra in Burbank. Kristopher got down on one knee and presented Nina with a beautiful pear- shaped ring and asked her to marry him…she excitedly responded, “Yes!” After the proposal they continued class and it was business as usual on the mats. When people ask Nina how Kristopher proposed, she usually sums it up by saying, “Proposed, slapped, bumped and rolled… True story!”
The two were married outdoors on a beautiful fall evening with lots of romantic candles.
“Married life is great,” Nina says. “A family that trains together stays together.”
Wedding & Reception Venue: The Little White House at Calamigos Equestrian Center
Photographer: Bruno Ohara
Videographer: Envision Production
Cake: Portos Bakery
Floral: My Flower Guy
Entertainment: VIP DJ Entertainment
Wedding Planner/Consultant: Peggy Kelley, Timeless Celebrations (see Directory)
Bridal Gown: Unique Vintage
Hair & Make-up: Acree Beauty
Invitations: Simply Stated Stationery
DARLENE & DAVID
When Darlene and David Caro first met nearly two years ago, it was nothing short of destiny being fulfilled.
“It felt like we’ve known each other for years,” says Darlene.
As Darlene describes it, the two met for dinner at a local restaurant, and from the moment they saw one another, they were in love.
“We danced the night away,” she recalls. “We were engrossed in nonstop conversation. … It was like we had known each other for a lifetime.”
David and Darlene were actually talking about their ideas about marriage when David popped the question.
“That’s when David reached in his pocket and pulled out this small black velvet box. He dropped to one knee and va va voom — he looked in my eyes and asked me to share the rest of his life with him while placing this big, beautiful diamond ring on my finger.”
Wedding & Reception Venue: University Club (see Directory)
Photographer/Videographer: Pablo Cruz of LaughnLove Photography
Cake: Artistic Cakes
Floral: Penelope Designs
Linens: GBS Linens
Entertainment: Ace Band
Wedding Planner/Consultant: Penelope Designs
Bridal Gown: Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaids Dresses: Macy’s
Hair Salon: Raul Velasquez
Make-up: Artistry by Valerie
Invitations: Norma Ornelas