Lily Chen and Aaron Greenberg’s love story began with what they refer to as “two mutual, fortuitous likes” on the Hinge dating app. On their first date, the two hit it off under the holiday lights at The Grove, and bonded over their love of hiking, travel, and shared family values.
“Despite our initial spark, our relationship was slow to start because of our busy schedules,” Lily shares. “I had just finished medical school and was in my first year of residency, and Aaron frequently traveled for work. Weeks passed before our second date, but in the new year we picked up right where we had left off.”
“One beautiful, sunny afternoon, Aaron and I neared the lookout of the Los Leones trail,” Lily describes.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the couple found themselves “speeding ahead” while the rest of the world came to a halt. They began spending much more time together, ending each day with sunset walks along Santa Monica beach. Lily admired Aaron’s determination and even-keeled nature when, just as many others experienced in 2020, the portfolio of investments he managed fell in value.
Aaron admired Lily’s courage as she served in the COVID-19 ICU during the early days of the pandemic. Even in those dark times, she never lost her vibrancy, cheerfulness, or love of life. Every sunset the couple shared brought them closer together and earned themselves the nickname, “Lockdown Lovers” – a term coined by Aaron’s father.
The year flew by, with Lily and Aaron signing their first lease. They also explored new hobbies such as tennis and tango dancing, completed a 16-mile hike in Glacier National Park, spent a heatless night glamping in Yellowstone, and experienced a nasty jellyfish in Mayakoba.
“One beautiful, sunny afternoon, Aaron and I neared the lookout of the Los Leones trail,” Lily describes. “As we walked towards our special tree where we used to sit and watch the sunset, I heard something jingle in Aaron's pocket. Before this point, I had a feeling that Aaron was going to propose; but once I heard the jingle I knew for sure. The ring had fallen loose inside its box and jingled all the way to the top. Not wanting to ruin the moment, the two of us stifled our laughter and acted like nothing was awry. Underneath our special tree at the top of our favorite hike, Aaron kneeled on one knee and proposed.”
With a Santa Monica beach wedding in mind, the couple chose to host their wedding at Shutters on the Beach – a 5-star beachfront property that is the epitome of relaxed luxury. The bride and groom exchanged vows on the hotel’s upper deck, with 36 of their closest friends and family gathered together for an intimate wedding celebration.
“The reception commenced with a champagne tower toast in front of a sweeping canopy of lights, which reflected off the glasses and my sequined, modern qi pao (Chinese dress),” says the bride. “Behind us stood two long tables set with effortlessly elegant ikebana-style floral arrangements and tiered candles. We ended the night with our guests gathered around us, hoisting us up in chairs as we danced the Jewish Hora.”
Location: Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA; Photography: Betsy Newman, Los Angeles, CA