The first time Stephanie Wissner and Chris Mintle met, Chris only had eyes for one person: Kelly – Stephanie’s college dorm neighbor. Chris and Kelly had been high school classmates. So when Kelly told Stephanie she was going to meet up with “a guy from high school,” Stephanie agreed to tag along. After that gathering, Stephanie and “the guy” developed their own friendship that subsequently turned into romance.
Eight years later, after moving across the country to attend business school, Chris realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Stephanie. He soon learned that he wasn’t the only one who thought it was time to propose. When Chris called Stephanie’s father to ask if he could stop by his house to discuss something (and keep it a secret from Stephanie), his future father-in-law instantly responded, “You have my permission!” “Note, I didn’t ask for permission [to marry Stephanie] over the phone; rather, he knew what I was talking about!” Chris laughs. While taking a sunset stroll with Stephanie along the Santa Monica Pier, Chris suggested they ride the Ferris wheel. At the top of the ride, overlooking the ocean, he asked for her hand in marriage.
Though newly engaged, Stephanie’s desire to get married at a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills began 11 years earlier. While scouting locations for her Sweet 16 birthday party, Stephanie and her mother visited the sophisticated, romantic property. “We looked at each other and agreed that it should be my wedding venue,” she remembers. With the site selected, Stephanie proceeded to curate a Pinterest board of décor ideas in shades of champagne, ivory, and blush, which her wedding planner used to bring her vision to life.
Guests gathered for cocktails in a courtyard draped with pale pink fabric and surrounded by lush greenery; then, they took their seats in a private garden for the evening ceremony. An aisle runner was lined with ivory rose petals, as well as clusters of pillar candles housed in cylindrical glass vases. Each grouping was accented with a glass bowl suspended from an arched hook filled with cream roses and topped with a bouquet of additional blooms. A chuppah constructed of white fabric, gathered in four corners with arrangements of blush and vanilla roses, stood upon a raised stone platform.
As the sun began to set, bridesmaids clad in strapless satin gowns and carrying nosegays of pink and pearl peonies and roses walked down the aisle, accompanied by dapper groomsmen in tuxedos. Stephanie was the epitome of a classic bride in an A-line gown featuring removable cap sleeves and a skirt with floral embroidery. The traditional Jewish service included songs from Fiddler on the Roof and personalized vows that incorporated the couple’s favorite qualities about each other as well as promises for the future. “I’m a crier, so I was worried about reading vows out loud,” Stephanie admits. “We emailed [our feelings] to the rabbi separately, who then paraphrased our writings during the ceremony. I loved hearing what Chris had written about me.”
Guests moved to a wedding ballroom for the reception, which continued Stephanie’s desire for a neutral and blush palette, as well as the groom’s request that the décor not be “too girly.”
Trumpet vases filled with roses, peonies, and orchids in shades of pink and crème brûlée comprised tall centerpieces. Clusters of roses and peonies, and pillar candles that rested on glass candlesticks, surrounded the base of each vessel. The short arrangement consisted of a smaller floral design encircled by tea lights displayed in gold votives.
The live band that provided the entertainment for the evening left Chris “honestly speechless,” thanks to their impressive repertoire of classic and modern songs (including a performance of Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” sung in Korean!). Stephanie shared a heartfelt dance with her mother, and for the last dance of the night, all of the guests formed a circle around the newlyweds while the band played “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. “It was incredible to see so many people from different stages of our lives celebrating this occasion with us,” reflects the groom. A five-tiered wedding cake – which was round to represent Chris and Stephanie’s marriage continuing forever – beautifully summed up a day focused on the their enduring love.