• Photography By:

    Duke Images

    Priyan Chandraratna and Justin Dolan

    September 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, California

    An Art Deco Fusion Wedding at The Ebell of Los Angeles with a Broadway Style Ceremony

    Los Angeles-based event producer Priyan Chandraratna and luxury travel planner Justin Dolan met in snowy Mammoth Mountain in 2015. The two quickly became an item, bonding over their mutual love for travel, music, and good food.

    In 2020, while the world was in a seemingly never-ending downward spiral, the two escaped to Sedona, Arizona, where Justin got down on one knee and proposed to Priyan at the base of the stunning red rock canyon. Two months later, Priyan proposed back to Justin while they were on vacation at The Brando in French Polynesia. As they wisely figured: “Why not have double the jewelry?!”

    “Let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart.”

    Anthems of the Heart

    When an event producer and a travel planner get married, there is a great deal of pressure to create a memorable and unique event; but they were up for the challenge. The couple decided they wanted to reimagine what a wedding ceremony for a queer couple could be.

    First, they eliminated many customs that seemed specifically gendered – no walking down an aisle, no being given away, etc. Once they honed in on the aspects of a traditional wedding they wanted to include, they focused on personalizing the day. Much of their relationship centered around their love of the arts, specifically Broadway. Therefore, they decided Broadway and musicals should be at the core of the event’s theme. In the end, they believed there was no better way to celebrate a wedding than with the epic love songs of the stage and screen. Hence the name, “Anthems of the Heart,” a lyric from the song “From Now On” featured in The Greatest Showman, was born: “Let this promise in me start like an anthem in my heart.”

    An Art Deco Inspired Wedding Design

    The entire design concept for the wedding was inspired by a family heirloom – a topaz bracelet from Priyan’s great-grandmother. The piece was crafted in the 1920s and had a unique art deco look mixed with a Sri Lankan ethnic feel. Priyan had this piece reset as a broach he wore on the wedding day, and its filigree gold design became the design foundation for the wedding. This ethnic, “elegance meets art deco glam” was exactly the look the grooms wanted to embody. Rather than the bright colors of most South Asian weddings, Priyan and Justin opted for a palette of black, gold, and some white – again for the art deco feel.

    The exception to this palette was the welcome event which had bold pops of emerald-green accents. The palette for this event came from an emerald collar that Priyan wore that evening. Justin wore a corresponding emerald and diamond heirloom done in art deco style. Justin and Priyan wore custom Sri Lankan fusion outfits designed by the grooms and done in raw emerald-green and black silk. Justin paired a traditional Sri Lankan sarong designed with a tuxedo stripe down the side with a smoking jacket and bowtie. Priyan wore an unexpected twist on a sherwani paired with a Saint Laurent clutch and Chanel boots.

    Entertainment for the evening was provided by legendary drag queen and close friend of the couple, Jonnie Reinhart, who sang a mix of jazz standards, show tunes, and pop favorites interpreted in his signature sultry voice. Guests enjoyed assorted Sri Lankan appetizers, a pasta bar, and a special ice cream sandwich bar from the grooms’ favorite ice cream shop, Cool Haus.

    A Broadway Style Wedding Ceremony

    When the wedding day arrived, the grooms traded in the traditional wedding for a Broadway style wedding ceremony. In fact, they put on an entire show.

    The main event took place on stage at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The couple carefully selected Broadway musical numbers that told a story of their relationship and the commitment they were making with this wedding. A team of talented musicians and singers brought the vision to life. Rather than walking down the aisle, the curtain rose, and the couple emerged from the back of the stage and walked towards the audience as Priyan’s oldest friend, classically trained soprano, Madyson Boyd, serenaded them with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Love Changes Everything.”

    The ceremony was a series of these songs interspersed with vows, a slideshow of their courtship, and words from their officiants (their two best friends). The grooms were joined on stage by their “best people,” Justin’s brother, Donavan, and Priyan’s sister, Sahani.

    Celebrating Love with an Art Deco Fusion Wedding at The Ebell of Los Angeles

    After the Broadway styled wedding ceremony, the guests moved from the theater to the Clubhouse side of the Ebell of Los Angeles. The Ebell was carefully selected as the venue due to its art deco design as well as its long history as a bastion for civil rights and advocacy. Guests entered the venue through a whimsical “Champagne Garden.” Servers tray passed champagne around the fountain in the Ebell Courtyard as bubbles filled the air. Guests next walked through “Little Lanka,” a room where the grooms brought a little bit of Sri Lanka to LA for an art deco fusion wedding. A 12-foot-tall skyline of Colombo featured the guest seating assignments. A gifting bazaar presented various handicrafts and souvenirs from Sri Lanka for guests to take home. And a special arrack bar served signature Sri Lankan cocktails as a tribute to Priyan’s late father, Rosh.

    Next, a traditional drummer drew guests to the Ebell’s iconic lounge, where the grooms and their families lit the ceremonial pahana or oil lamp. Guests were then seated in the ballroom beautifully transformed by Shawna Yamamoto of Enso Creative, using an unexpected mixture of painted palms, black blooms, and gilded accents. Guests danced the night away to live music from the Soultones. Bespoke drinks at the bar or “Kaju’s Kocktails” were an homage to the grooms’ adorable golden doodle. In lieu of a traditional photo booth, the couple created a highly stylized photo lounge complete with glam artists to do last-minute touch-ups. There was also a “dessert terrace” with an assortment of signature sweets, including traditional Sri Lankan wedding cake served in custom monogram boxes, a churro cart, and a nitro-ice cream bar.

    Finally, the grooms changed into custom corresponding silk brocade suits to end the night with an after-party at West Hollywood’s famed Abbey Bar and Nightclub.

    For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to the Seychelles and the Champagne region of France.


    Location & Catering: Ebell of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Planner: Alfred House; Floral Design: Shawna Yamamoto; Rentals: Bright Event Rentals; Lighting: Samson Sound and Lighting; Engagement Location: Enchantment Resort, Sedona, AZ; Groom’s Attire: Klein Epstein Parker; Hair & MUA: Bre Luxe Beauty; Entertainment: Downbeat Agency; Invitations: Social Savvy; Cinematography: Leira Productions; Photography: Duke Images, Los Angeles, CA

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