A MAGICAL COUNTRY CLUB WEDDING PLANNED BY INTERNATIONAL EVENT COMPANY
Emily and Don Aynesazan’s love story is the epitome of the “Boy Next Door.” The couple met 10 years ago when Don’s family moved directly across the street from Emily and her family. Upon their arrival on the block, they hosted a house-warming party and invited all the other families on the block to become acquainted.
“I was 13 years old while Don was 16,” Emily shares. “Given the age gap at a young age, there wasn’t much of a first impression. Fast forward seven years. Covid made us spend an increased amount of time at home. Fresh out of a toxic relationship, a new relationship was the last thing on my mind.
“Instead of holding my parents’ hands for my entire life until this point, I was holding Don’s.”
However, we naturally gravitated towards each other because of the Covid lockdowns as we casually began talking and hanging out. Since most restaurants and activities were closed, Don asked me if I wanted to go on a drive-thru Starbucks run. When I got that text, I felt all giddy and got butterflies. After hanging out for the first time, the rest was history.”
A Laguna Beach Engagement
For Emily, the proposal couldn’t have been more of a surprise. Her parents’ birthdays are a couple days apart, so they planned a weekend birthday getaway in Laguna Beach for the immediate family. Little did she know, Don was secretly planning a beautiful Laguna Beach engagement, which was set to take place at the tail end of the trip.
“A night before he proposed,” Emily says, “my dad announced that we would be doing a final family dinner at the Montage Laguna Beach before returning home. The ‘family dinner’ was a ploy for Don to purpose. It gave everyone a reason to dress up without giving me an idea that I was about to get proposed to.
We drove in separate cars because Don made up excuses delaying our exit and giving our families and event coordinator ample time to situate at the Montage’s lawn overlooking the ocean. Once we got to Montage hotel, we started making our way to the restaurant where we were met with who we thought to be employees of the hotel. It was the event coordinators who were guiding us to the lawn where Don proposed.”
The lawn was perfectly set for their engagement with rose petals on the ground, the couple’s favorite love quotes on display, gorgeous floral arrangements, and a “Marry Me” sign.
International Event Company
Emily and Don’s journey to the altar involved working with one of Southern California’s most prestigious and beloved teams of planners – International Event Company.
“The wedding planning process was an incredible experience as planners Jonathan Reeves and Jennifer Newmark from International Event Company made sure all our dreams come true,” Emily states. “We took part in countless meetings with florists for the perfect arrangements, lighting companies for a specific vision of the dance floor, DJ and band, all orchestrated by the incredible planners ensuring our vision came to life and every stage of the wedding itself transitioned smoothly.”
A Jewish Ceremony and a Surprise Song
When the wedding day arrived, the groom kicked things off in style by getting ready with his groomsmen in the Sinatra Suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The bride started her day at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, getting her hair and makeup done with her mother and bridesmaids.
“All I could think about was finally being able to see Don,” she recalls. “We didn’t talk or see each other for a week before our wedding. Finally, it was time to go to the venue – Hillcrest Country Club. After a few individual photos it was finally time for our first look. I was taken up in a golf cart to the 13th hole of the course.
As we were going up the hill, I saw Don standing and waiting for me to walk to him and tap his shoulder to turn around. After I tapped him, he turned around and we hugged, then began to cry. After this point it really began to feel real. We took pictures and then I had my first look with my dad, which was also very emotional.”
“After we took family pictures,” she continues, “I went inside to get touched up and get ready for a traditional Jewish ceremony for women called the ‘Bedekin.’ My mom and mother-in-law both took my hands and walked me to the bench where I sat with both beside me and all my women behind me. During the Bedekin, both my father and father-in-law came and gave me blessings. At the very end of the ceremony, Don came up to check and make sure that it’s me before he puts my veil over my face.”
To set the stage for the ceremony, a background was designed that Emily refers to as “a floral dream come true.” Seeing the chuppah was one of the most emotional parts of the day for the bride, and she walked down the aisle hand-in-hand with her mom and dad. When they reached the halfway point, Don came to meet them, hugging and kissing Emily’s parents before taking her hand.
“It was truly a special moment because now, instead of holding my parents’ hands for my entire life until this point, I was holding Don’s,” the bride reflects. “I was crying, excited, and in disbelief that this was real. He turned to me and said, ‘Are you ready?’ We walked down and stood under our gorgeous Chuppah. He broke the glass and we were married!”
Dancing during the reception was another dream come true for the happy couple – especially Emily. There were twinkle lights hanging above the entire dance floor, and their first dance was to the song, “The Vow.”
“Little did Don know I worked with my singing coaches to re-produce the song and I was the one who was singing our first song,” she says. “When we started dancing I told Don ‘listen.’ Don was in complete disbelief when he realized that it was me singing.
Especially, because there had been so many instances where I had to record the song without him knowing. That moment reflected the ambiance and general theme of our wedding. Magical. The décor, the flower arrangements, the white dance floor with our initials etched in gold. Everything reminded both of us of a royal wedding.”
The newlyweds haven’t gone on their honeymoon yet, but they dream of visiting a resort in the Maldives and staying in an overwater bungalow.
Planner: International Event Company, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Butterfly Floral, Los Angeles, CA; Rentals: Palace Party Rentals, Town and Country Event Rentals; Linen: Luxe Linen; Caterer: Pat’s; Cake: Delice Bakery; Lighting: The Lighter Side; Entertainment: Eli’s Band, DJ Yoav; Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier; Hair & Makeup: Bernard Ichkan; Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford; Cinematography: Vidicam; Photography: John Solano