Neither time nor distance was a factor in the Vako Artinian and Christine Tornatore equation. The first time he laid eyes on her, Vako knew he had found someone special.
Christine was visiting from Austin, and Vako was a hopeless romantic trying not to stare at her during a friend’s gathering. A long-distance relationship strengthened their bond and, in time, they were able to attend law school together.
“IN THE GARDEN, CHRISTINE FOUND A BEAUTIFUL SETUP DISPLAYING PICTURES, MEMENTOS, AND NOTES FROM VAKO PROMISING TO LOVE HER, PROTECT HER, AND TO ALWAYS PURSUE HER.”
After finishing law school, Vako planned an elaborate surprise proposal at a Japanese water garden near his childhood home. In the garden, Christine found a beautiful setup displaying pictures, mementos, and notes from Vako promising to love her, protect her, and to always pursue her.
With their wedding date set for less than a year away, the wedding planning process began–their first priority, being to create an unforgettable experience for their guests. Having been through so much together, the couple wanted their wedding to be a celebration of their love and commitment to each other. A talented roster of vendors also helped to make their vision a reality.
Per Armenian tradition, the wedding festivities began with the groom and his extended family gathering at the bride’s house for a pre-wedding ceremony and party. Since her family lives in Austin, Christine’s parents rented a large suite at the W Hotel in Hollywood to host the event. Vako’s family was led by a traditional Armenian trio band announcing their arrival, which also piqued the interest of other guests staying at the hotel.
The wedding ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was designed according to Christine’s taste and style–chic, simple, and sophisticated. Exquisite green and white flowers with touches of gold filled the reception area. Three different floral centerpieces were designed to give guests a sense of customization, and a custom backdrop was created for the sweetheart table. Four esteemed dignitaries from the Armenian Church were present to bless the couple, and guests were greeted by a champagne tower and Spanish guitarist during the outdoor cocktail hour.
As spacious as it was, the dance floor was constantly packed throughout the night, and one of Vako and Christine’s favorite moments was their first dance as husband and wife. “Our wedding celebration was truly representative of our immense love and devotion to each other,” says the groom.
A carefully crafted menu was served, and the happy couple received a stream of compliments even weeks after the celebration was over–especially about their ornate and extensive dessert table. “I never want to let go of the overwhelming joy and happiness we felt once everything came together, as well as all the love we felt from our guests,” Christine says.
After the wedding, the newlyweds took off for a two-week honeymoon on a secluded tropical island for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Ceremony Location: St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church, Glendale, CA; Reception Location: Taglyan Complex, Los Angeles, CA; Planner: Fancy That! Events, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Bloom Box Designs, Costa Mesa, CA; Photography: Duke Images, Pasadena, CA