“It all started with a swipe!” says Melody Shamouelian, describing how she and David Cohenrad first met. “David and I matched on JSwipe in September of 2017, and instantly connected soon after he sent me a message with a simple, ‘Hey Mel!’ Little did I know, I was the first match on his very first day on the dating app after a close friend of his convinced him to sign up.
After a week of texting and several phone calls later, we finally met for the first time and the first thing I noticed was the same sweet smile I saw in his photos. He picked me up for our first date at one of my favorite sushi spots in LA (already a good sign) where we bonded over sake, scary movies, and funny stories of mutual friends.
“ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT THE WEDDING WE FIRST DREAMED OF, IT SUDDENLY BECAME MORE.”
The date went so well, that we ended up catching a 9 p.m. movie at The Grove after dinner. Later on, David revealed that when he first saw me, something in his gut told him I was ‘the one’ and he was so confident, that he completely deleted his dating app only after the first few dates.”
About a year and a half later, David surprised Melody with a romantic helicopter ride across the city, where he proposed on a stunning mountaintop overlooking Malibu. Later that evening, he planned another surprise as he gathered their closest friends and families for a private dinner to toast and celebrate the engagement.
“As soon as we got engaged, we quickly dived into wedding planning,” Melody recalls. “Our wedding planning process initially felt like a piece of cake, especially when your best friend since kindergarten happens to be an amazing wedding planner. Leora from Best Bride was there for us every step of the way. We were set to get married at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for May 24th, 2020, with over 400 guests invited.
We chose all of our vendors, had a beautiful design in place, our palette chosen, floral samples and sketches, rentals picked out and all that a bride could ever dream of for her wedding day. It was going to be one lavish, elegant, and grand wedding. We were so shocked at how easy it was for us to plan our big day. But when Covid-19 hit, everything changed.”
Slowly, the couple had to accept the difficult fact that their 400-person wedding at a luxury hotel was going to be cancelled due to the pandemic. As many couples have proven, however, love cannot be cancelled. Leora immediately stepped in and helped to transform Melody’s grandmother’s 1930s home in Beverly Hills into the most romantic and rustic outdoor wedding within a matter of two weeks. And it was even more spectacular than the bride and groom could have imagined.
“From the dreamiest florals, our enchanting chuppah, driving in a vintage car, and cutting into our whimsical cake, our wedding day felt like magic,” Melody shares. “Although it was not the wedding we first dreamed of, it suddenly became more.
We were surrounded by our best friends, closest family members, (even some intrigued neighbors) and somehow, that’s all we really needed. And yes, we even had a first dance to John Legend’s song, “You & I” right in the middle of a street intersection, surrounded by all our loved ones. As for our honeymoon, we were set to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Maui this summer, but instead, we are hoping to go within the next few months when the world of travel slowly starts to reopen.”
Location: Private Residence Beverly Hills, CA; Planning & Event Design: Best Bride Beverly Hills, CA; Floral Design: Butterfly Florals Los Angeles, CA; Dress: Rita Vinieris; Bridal Salon: Lovella Bridal; Cinematography: Kamera Production