A Wedding Ceremony at Buerge Chapel & Gardens in Pacific Palisades
I love it when a wedding includes lighting during the reception and this SoCal wedding shows that off beautifully! It really adds ambiance. I also love the table settings and floral arrangements … the pinks and greens are gorgeous! But I think my favorite FAVORITE part of this real wedding is the darling chapel Jennah and Adam were married in: Buerge Chapel and Gardens … it reminds me of a fairytale setting. Enjoy!
I met Arielle Doneson in school at the University of Michigan. Back then, we were both studying opera. As our paths took different directions, I followed her then budding, now widely successful, photography career. Her photos are stunning and I believe that she has applied her sense of musical artistry to her photography. Each photo has the perfect composition: a sense for her subject(s), lighting, romance, and intimacy. Arielle was the first vendor that I hired and the most important.
Adam and I were married at Buerge Chapel in the Pacific Palisades. I stumbled across this tucked away chapel several years ago and told everyone that I wanted to marry Adam there. I was right! Adam bragged about my persistence in his wedding toast — do you see why? :)
We chose to have our reception at Adam’s Dad’s house since he has an incredible view of the canyons of the Palisades. Felix Lighting transformed the home with their intimate and romantic lighting. They spent hours hanging the lights from the tree to the house, forming a canopy of loveliness over the dance floor. Also, backyard weddings are the best because there are no rules. We had free reign to do as we pleased and party into the wee hours of the night. Helpful tip: If you’re having a backyard wedding, invite the neighbors for cake and cocktails so that they don’t get angry about the noise.
Command Performance Catering provided the food and service for our reception. I worked closely with Trevor Fitzpatrick, and he was the most accommodating and wonderful liaison for my catering needs. We worked to handcraft a menu inspired by the flavors of California cuisine. We had a fantastic charcuterie spread, shrimp shooters, quesadilla, fig and goat cheese tarts. stuffed mushrooms, and an assortment of bruschetta for the cocktail hour. For dinner, our guests were treated to a delicious braised short rib, grilled salmon, carrot souffle and vegetables. Everyone loved the food and the attentive wait staff. Many thanks to Trevor and his team!
My florist was Jean-Paul Dugan-Oka of White Gate Design Studios. Whoever I chose to be my florist would have had a difficult task because I was providing more than 35 crystal vessels of all different shapes and sizes for my centerpieces, in addition to all of the traditional bouquets and wedding accoutrements. It was kismet that I met Jean-Paul and that he was willing to take on the challenge of my floral vision. He was calm, thorough, professional, and detail-oriented–a bride’s dream! On the day of the wedding, the flowers took my breath away. Each centerpiece was more beautiful than the next. Inside the chapel, the flowers and candles were so artfully positioned. The quality of his flowers was impeccable and many of the blooms lasted for nearly a week. I am so grateful to Jean-Paul and his team for making my wedding so beautiful.
I hired Mishel Brownlee Make-up Artist based on a recommendation by a family member. I have never looked so beautiful and I owe that entirely to her efforts. She was professional, timely, always easy to contact, and she was the perfect companion in the hours before my wedding. She used the best professional products and was a true perfectionist. She also made my Mom look extremely glamorous and beautiful. I am very grateful to her.
Jennah: When Adam and I read the text of our Ketubah to one another, I knew that I was making the best and most important promise of my life. I meant every word and knew that I would spend the rest of my life honoring the promises that we made to each other.
Adam: It might have been the moment my bride entered the doors of the chapel with a radiant beauty unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She wore a smile so confident and full of emotion it instantly brought tears to my eyes. But that wasn’t the best moment. The best moment was when I took her hands in mine and looked into her sparkling eyes. Her lips quivered and it seemed she would would break down into tears of joy at any moment. This was the moment my life changed forever and merged completely with hers. Best of all, this moment lasted throughout the ceremony and remains suspended in my thoughts every time I look at my beautiful wife.
The best advice that I can give is the best advice that I received from our Cantor, Nathan Lam: “No one will remember the color of the napkin or the side dish that accompanied the meal. Everyone will remember the love that you two share and the vows that you make to each other. Make your ceremony personal and something you will always cherish.”
Ceremony Venue: Buerge Chapel
Lighting: Felix Lighting
Photographer: Arielle Doneson Photography
Floral Design: White Gate Design Studio
Stationery: Rebecca Peters
Wedding Cake: Jamaica’s Cakes
Catering: Command Performance Catering
Bride’s Dress: Trudy’s Brides
Linen Rentals: A Rental Connection
Reception Music: Golden State Klezmer
Beauty: Mishel Brownlee