REAL WEDDING

  • Photography By:

    McCune Photography

    Therese Lahlouh & Daniel Del Toro

    October 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, California

    Therese Lahlouh first met Daniel Del Toro in 2012, when she moved back to Los Angeles from NYC.

    “I started working at CAA,” she shares, “and Danny worked at the coffee shop in the building in addition to his job in post-production. He was a fixture in many of our lives, and affectionately known as the ‘hot Coffee Bean guy.’ Everyone, from the agents to the celebrities that would come in, loved him; he just has that charisma that draws people to him. He made my coffee every day for two years and always had it waiting for me at the counter. While we would occasionally go on break at the same time and chit chat, he didn’t ask me out until I left CAA in 2014.

    Our first date was in August, and we were smitten by the holidays. I loved his laid-back style, which complemented my infamously infinite energy. We went on our first trip together in March of 2015 to Austin for SXSW, but on any given weekend you can find us on the road to one of the many racetracks in California.”

    “I wanted to transport our guests for an evening of magic and fantasy.”

    The couple loves to travel the world together. Danny’s favorite city is Paris and Therese’s favorite is anywhere in Italy, but they both love the UK and Ireland. For Danny’s birthday in 2019, Therese booked a trip to the Emerald Isle which would fall on their anniversary two weeks later. She was planning a road trip that would circumnavigate all of Ireland, but it turned out that Danny was making plans of his own.

    “When we got to Galway, Danny took me into a jewelry shop and told me that his late father had a Claddagh ring as his wedding band,” Therese describes. “And he wanted me to pick one out as my engagement ring. Galway is the city where the Claddagh was first made, so it held special significance to him. I had no idea! We picked it out together which was so special, and he FaceTimed my dad later that day to ask for my hand. He proposed a few days later, on the Ring of Kerry in Com an Chiste, beneath a statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the ocean. Two ladies who happened to be driving by stopped and snapped photos of us, so we were lucky to have captured the moment. We spent that night at a tiny little B&B run by an adorable 78-year-old man also named Danny. We can’t wait to go visit him again one day soon.”

    The couple originally planned to get married in September of 2020, but the pandemic changed everything. With a new date set for October 23, 2021 – Therese’s parents’ 45th wedding anniversary and her father’s 76th birthday – the wedding ceremony was held at St. Martin de Porres in Orange County. Since Therese grew up going to that church, her parents transformed their home with florals in the wine arbor so she could get ready there and have some beautiful photo ops. It’s also a tradition in their culture to send the bride off from her father’s house, so all of Therese’s extended family gathered to help her get ready and send her off in style.

    “Because of the pandemic, having a wedding planning team was critical in helping to get everything done,” explains Therese. “With a Flair Events was so patient and supportive throughout the whole process; and having Kathryn Gillan from Vibiana handling the reception gave me so much peace of mind. We worked together on events like the Vanity Fair Oscars Party at NoMad, and I knew she would pull off a flawless reception. Inna from Butterfly Floral was the godsend – she took my vision and made it not only a reality but even better than I was able to imagine for myself.”

    “I wanted to transport our guests for an evening of magic and fantasy,” she continues, “to have them feel as though they stepped into the pages of a fantasy world where love and magic envelop you. I opted for a two-hour cocktail hour with the incredible musician Moses Lin, which gave us time to mingle with guests, take photos, and eat while we had our looks touched up. We entered with a traditional Middle Eastern Zaffa, with drummers and dancers.

    I used the Great Hall of Hogwarts as my inspiration for the layout. With only four long tables, guests would be served family-style like a medieval wedding in a castle, bringing everyone together for conversation and incredible food. Chef Neil knocked it out of the park with the 11 unique dishes they put together, all inspired by our diverse heritages (Danny is Mexican Irish and I’m Syrian Egyptian) and the Welcoming Feast. Guests were raving about the food for months after.”

    With Vibiana being such a cavernous venue, the bride wanted to “bring the ceiling down” by using greenery arches or trees to create a more intimate atmosphere. Her design team ended up installing a mix of both, which added to the fantasy vibe she envisioned. The runway is what Therese refers to as “a stroke of genius on Inna’s part,” and consisted of a black and white chessboard. It perfectly incorporated her wish to have a whimsical, “wedding at Hogwarts” vibe that was subtle enough that no one would realize.

    “We added personal touches throughout the reception venue,” Therese adds. “At the seating chart area, we had a beautiful ofrenda dedicated to Danny’s late father Arnoldo, as well as all the beloved family members we’ve lost. Inside, we had coffee bean favors as a nod to how we met, and an assortment of Harry Potter treats like Butterbeer, Chocolate Frogs, and Bertie’s Bott’s Every Flavor Beans on the dessert station to bring a little extra magic.

    Duff Goldman made our cake – he was my favorite client at CAA and a huge inspiration to me growing up. The cake was a nod to the pursuit of what we love: our Maltipoo Suki holding a checkered flag in her mouth, catching a wave on one of Danny’s surfboards.”


    WEDDING TALENT

    Location: Vibiana, Los Angeles, CA; Planner & Event Design: With a Flair Events, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Butterfly Floral & Event Design, Los Angeles, CA; Photography: McCune Photography, Southern California