Maryse Gellad and Michael Kezian’s love story began in dental school, when they both attended undergrad at Arthur Dugoni School of Dentistry but never met. “It wasn’t until our clinicals in 2010 that we got to spend time together and get to know one another,” Maryse shares. “We started as friends; I absolutely loved spending time with Mike at the clinic. He was funny, intelligent, and very good at what he did from day one! I found myself assisting him a lot. He always had a crush on me and told his friends I was pretty.”
On November 10, 2018, the couple was on Michael’s “birthday trip” to Cabo. Unbeknownst to Maryse, Michael had made reservations at Las Ventanas for a beautiful private dinner on the beach – and thanks to his parents, Maryse was under the impression that she was the one who was going to be surprising him with a special champagne they had sent for his birthday.
“WE WERE ABLE TO MAKE OUR WEDDING DREAMS COME TRUE..."
After taking a long walk down the beach, the two came across a message tucked inside a heart glass bottle in the sand. As Maryse picked it up to read, Michael got on one knee and proposed. There was even a secret photographer standing by to capture the moment, and the entire hotel staff was in on the surprise.
Like all couples who were in the midst of their wedding planning process during the pandemic, Maryse and Michael had a daunting task at hand. From venue changes, to cutting their guest list in half, to postponing the wedding by a year, there were several unexpected obstacles that arose.
“We worked closely with our wedding planner Dee Lee who guided us every step of the way with her expertise,” says Maryse. “We were able to make our wedding dreams come true despite all the roadblocks that got thrown our way. Dee was not only our wedding planner, but also became our family. We made the best out of every vendor meeting and even went on taco lunch dates every time! Who says you can’t have fun and get things done?”
Even with all the ups and downs during their journey to the altar, Maryse and Michael’s wedding day was nothing short of magical; and thanks to Dee and their vendors, it was everything they’d hoped it would be.
“From the church doors opening, to walking down the aisle with my father, to my long cathedral veil trailing behind, both the nerves and excitement kicked in at the same time,” says the bride. “As Mike and I opted out of a first look, seeing each other for the very first time at the altar made this moment that much more special. Holding his hand and squeezing it tight gave me ease. We truly enjoyed the ceremony and the priest’s humor as well throughout. The wonderful religious ceremony at St. Gregory’s Church ended and we rushed to the reception venue for photos. When the elevator doors opened to the Glenmark Hotel’s rooftop, we were absolutely speechless. It had all come together so beautifully, and we were ready to share that with our wedding guests!”
The wedding had a “garden-glam” décor scheme, which involved the rooftop being covered with cascades of lush green and white florals by Petals LA. Cascading orchids – the bride’s favorite flower – were also used for her bouquet, with plenty of texture. To add a glamorous and sophisticated touch, silver elements were incorporated via silver linens, chargers, and chivari chairs. A monogrammed dancefloor took center stage, and there was a wedding cake showstopper in the form of a five-tiered design by Roobina’s Cakes. Guests were also given individually wrapped tooth-shaped cookies by Soen Cookie Gram as favors – a whimsical nod to how the bride and groom met.
“There were so many special moments we will never forget,” the bride reflects. “Everything seemed so surreal. We were soaking in every moment of it. We had a choreographed first dance to Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te partirò.” It included Mike lifting me in the air. We practiced it for weeks with our choreographer Emma Mesrobian, and we nailed it. Mike did a two-part mother and son dance. My dance with my father was very emotional. I hugged him while I danced. DJ Sevag knew how to read the crowd and it was a lit party all night long. We danced the night away under the stars to Arabic and Armenian music. When the night was over, no one wanted to go home. Most importantly, we were surrounded by our closest family and friends.”
The newlyweds returned to Cabo for their honeymoon – booking the same hotel they stayed at for their engagement – and filled their days with walks along the beach, plus fine dining experiences at the Waldorf Astoria and Nobu.
Planner & Event Design: Dee Lee Designs, Pasadena, CA