A epic party wedding at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills California
Four years ago, Sydney Kaplan and Nathan Thompson were introduced at a mutual friend’s house party in Malibu. “We ended up talking the whole time we first met,” says Sydney, who happened to be at the party with a date of her own. “When I was single again, I really wanted to go out with Nate.”
Three months later, the opportunity presented itself with a large group date. Nate had no idea Sydney was available, but a friend insisted he needed to go. After reconnecting, things moved quickly, and Nate and Sydney moved in together within a month’s time. A year later, the two actually split up temporarily; but their whirlwind romance was far from over, as they got back together six months later and were engaged two months after that.
The proposal took place in Hawaii, where the staff at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea headed down to a special location that had been set up for the occasion. “I hadn’t seen it yet, so I didn’t know what to expect,” says Nate. “It looked like a reception for two people who just eloped, and Sydney thought someone else was getting married. I had cameras set up and a drone to take videos and pictures. Once we got down to the spot, I proposed. We ended up eating dinner there, and then all our family showed up.” It was the perfect ending to a family collaboration, as Nate picked out the stone for Sydney’s engagement ring with her father, while her mother helped with the setting.
The bride and groom-to-be set their wedding date for exactly one year after their engagement. Since Nate is a professional hockey player from Alaska, the guest list included nearly 400 people, with many flying in from out of town. Sydney and her mother enjoyed every aspect of wedding planning, and the team from International Event Company streamlined the whole process. “I don’t think I had one day of stress,” Sydney reflects. “I was so happy to get married and they made it wonderful. I think the only time I was nervous was walking down the aisle, but my dad was holding onto me.”
Before the ceremony, the bride and groom were both given sentimental tokens for their big day. “My mom gave me the first bracelet my dad ever gave her,” Sydney shares. “The night before that, my dad’s sister gave me the ring my nana had worn every single day. My nana passed away before the wedding, so wearing something of hers was very special to me.
My dad also gave Nate his kippah to wear during our ceremony, assisted in creating an unforgettable setup. “We usually go on a family trip with Sydney’s parents and sister,” Nate describes. “As part of the proposal, I flew my mom in, too. Sydney had no idea she was there, and I told Sydney that we were all going to do our own thing for dinner that night.”
Sydney’s sisters were also in on the secret, discreetly attempting to dress her in white, while she was trying to wear an all-black outfit. Under the guise of having their photo taken before their reservation was ready, the couple which he had worn when he married my mom.”
Guests gathered for a lavish celebration at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, filled with everything from stunning ice bars, to a giant candy station, to a custom cigar roller during the reception. One of the evening’s highlights was when the mother of the bride organized a showstopping flash mob of performers who danced to Burt Bacharach’s “I Say a Little Prayer.”
“The late-night food was one of my favorite things,” adds the groom. “It was breakfast burritos, grilled cheese, pizza—the perfect stuff to eat late-night. People were picking off trays while on the dance floor.” It was such an epic party that the bride didn’t even realize she was dancing with wedding crashers at one point, and the festivities continued until 3 a.m.
Nate’s hockey season started shortly after the wedding, so the newlyweds have yet to go on an official honeymoon. They’re planning to take a trip next summer to Italy or Africa but remain open to other possibilities.
Location: Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA; Planner: International Event Company, Beverly Hills, CA Photography: Curtis Dahl Photography