• Photography By:

    Christian Oth Studio


    August 24, 2014 in Luton, England

    Marianne Lozano met Darren Franks at a charity fundraiser on Rodeo Drive. After an evening of sampling tapas and drinking Spanish wine, Darren approached Marianne as they were both leaving. A friendly hello turned into a conversation that neither wanted to end.

    “We had our first date a week later,” Marianne says. “We just enjoyed each other’s company. Things were comfortable, fun and exciting.”

    The couple, who travels together for both work and pleasure, could have gotten engaged in one of the many romantic destinations they frequent, but instead it happened on a Wednesday morning at home in Santa Monica.


    “I had returned home all sandy from beach volleyball and Darren from surfing.

    As we were getting ready for our day, he embraced me from behind and looked deeply at my reflection in the mirror and asked me to be his for the rest of our lives,” Marianne says.

    They knew they wanted to have a destination wedding, and the English countryside seemed fitting since Darren hails from England. The couple visited several historic country homes and hotels, but their favorite was Luton Hoo, a country house and estate fit for English aristocracy.

    “We fell in love with it as we drove up the tree-lined driveway toward the Georgian mansion,” Marianne says. “The property and gardens were breathtakingly picturesque.”

    Besides its stunning setting, Luton Hoo made for easy access for the couple’s guests—many of whom flew into London’s Heathrow Airport from around the world. A bonus were the long, late sunsets that the English countryside enjoys in August.

    Having taken part in more than her fair share of beautiful weddings (Marianne is a celebrated wedding photographer), the bride knew exactly what she wanted in terms of décor. Luckily Darren shared her vision of classic, traditional décor to complement the grand architecture and verdant grounds of the venue.

    The ceremony was held in the estate’s formal garden, where vibrant, lush greens provided the perfect backdrop for their chuppah. A color palette of blush and soft golds, along with lots of candles and tall brass Victorian candelabras, brought romance and intimacy to the black tie event.

    After working extensively with their planner to ensure everything was accounted for on the big day, the couple was able to truly enjoy and savor their wedding and reception. There was nothing to distract them from being in the moment, which allowed the day to move at a comfortable pace instead of flashing by.

    “We found ourselves able to be present in conversations and in once-in-a-lifetime moments. Throughout the day we had private moments with each other where we asked, ‘Are we actually experiencing this together right now?’” Marianne says.

    Since they are always on the go for their jobs, Marianne and Darren wanted something completely different for their honeymoon. They slowed down their pace with a trip to Greece, where they relaxed, sailed and took stock of their new status as husband and wife.


    Location and Caterer: Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, Luton, England; Planner: Lester Gethings Wedding Planner, London, England; Floral Design: Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design, Los Angeles, CA; Wedding Dress and Veil: R-Mine Bespoke