Rustic, elegant fall mountain wedding with interfaith Jewish ceremony
Kayla and Robin had a rustic and elegant wedding among the mountains of Southern California, with an interfaith ceremony highlighting Jewish traditions. Equally Wed published Kayla and Robin’s engagement photos as well and you can see them here. Watch their wedding video here.
How did you meet and fall in love?
In true millennial fashion, we met on a dating app called Hinge. What was really surprising, though, was that we lived 99 miles apart and both overlooked the app’s automatic setting of a 100-mile search radius. Robin certainly had no intention of driving more than 10 miles in LA traffic to meet someone for a first date! But when we started talking, we knew that we had to meet in person despite the distance. We met halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, at Dave N Busters in Irvine, where our love story began over several games of arcade basketball.
Tell us the proposal story. Who proposed to who, or did you both propose?
Robin proposed to me (Kayla) in the most perfect, intimate way. On a Friday after work, I drove to Los Angeles to spend the weekend with Robin. That evening, she read me a beautiful love letter that ended with her asking me to become her fianceé. I was honestly surprised that Robin beat me to the punch because I was planning to propose to her on the SAME weekend. We had a fun photoshoot scheduled for the next day (the perks of dating a photog), and unbeknownst to Robin, I was planning to propose during the shoot. This plan quickly dissolved.
While Robin was grabbing celebratory champagne and cake from the kitchen, I made a spur of the moment decision to counter-propose, then and there. When she came around the corner with the cute custom rainbow cake that said “I love you, fianceé,” I was down on one knee with her engagement ring, ready to propose. She was stunned. And yes, we both really did plan to propose on the same weekend. I still can’t believe it!
Did your wedding have a theme? Tell us about the inspiration behind your day (the decor, the location, the color scheme, any cultural or religious traditions).
Our wedding theme was rustic elegant. The inspiration for the venue location and general vibe of the wedding came from our third date, which we spent at Malibu Wines. While enjoying the mountain views in Malibu, we both agreed that we would like to get married in a similar location in Southern California. We found a wedding venue that embodied this perfectly, with outdoor locations for both the wedding ceremony and reception (with gorgeous mountain views, to boot!). We tried to make every detail of our wedding day intentional and reflective of our love story. Writing our own vows for the ceremony was an integral part of this.
Much of our decor was handmade by Robin, including a beautiful minimalistic copper pipe chuppah and custom wood signage. We honored both of our religious upbringings throughout the day but had more of a Jewish and spiritual ceremony. Before the ceremony, we held a traditional Jewish Ketubah signing and we, of course, crushed glass and danced the hora! We added a touch of Japan by toasting with shots of whiskey we brought home to the states, honoring our overseas tour. To top it off, an interfaith same-sex couple, who we admire dearly, officiated our wedding—they were the perfect duo for the job and made the ceremony personal and deeply meaningful for us.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Plan your wedding day how you want it. After all, it’s your day and your love will be celebrated no matter what. Think about what’s important to you (who is involved in the ceremony, your vows, how you want to remember the day, etc.) People are there to witness your love story and it is a big deal that LGBTQ+ couples can get married, so really think about how you want your special day to be. People will notice the details and hard work you put into your wedding day!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Our first look. After the initial excitement and element of surprise, I think we both felt calm and relieved to be together. I know that Robin is my person because I feel at ease in her presence. I felt this more than ever on our wedding day, as much of the anticipation and nervousness melted away once I saw her. Even when we read our vows to each other in front of our family and friends, I felt like it was just the two of us.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Treat us like you would any couple! We are humans in love.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Thankfully, we didn’t face any challenges that were strictly due to us being a same-sex couple. We got married in California, a very liberal state, and even our guests that were brought up religious were genuinely happy for us and that was a very nice feeling.
Photographer: Beautiful Day Photography
Videographer: Light Up Videos
Venue, Catering, Coordination: Wedgewood Weddings the Retreat
Hair: Miranda Torres
Makeup: Alexandra Juarez
Music: JC Entertainment
Flowers: Lisa Tungka-Feinstein
Rentals: Rickety Swank
Cake: Cucamonga Cakery Co.
Wedding Dress: Studio GIA HƯNG
Program Design: Adina Minkowitz Silberman
Rehearsal Dinner: Luna Modern Mexican Kitchen
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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