Stephanie and Eugene Wen wanted an intimate gathering for their Southern California nuptials. They envisioned a cozy, relaxed celebration overlooking the ocean, surrounded by friends. "The most important thing," Stephanie tells, "was creating that feeling of our friends and family sitting down to an intimate dinner with loved ones." The couple discovered the perfect venue in Rancho Del Cielo - aptly named "Ranch in the Sky" - a private estate in Malibu. The estate describes itself as "an old California cottage, in a garden filled with roses, lavender, and jasmine, and a meadow rolling toward the ocean." The golden walls of the cottage made the perfect backdrop for Stephanie's colorful decor, a vision well executed by her planner and designer, Kristeen of Kristeen LaBrot Events. Photographer Erik Clausen captured the couple's sublime celebration.
The day was soaked in sunshine, infusing and saturating the colorful decor and florals with the liveliness of summer. The eco-friendly couple wanted "as much nature and as little waste as possible." Simple bistro lights adorned the festivities as the sun dipped below the horizon. Party-goers wrapped in blankets and enjoyed a festive hot chocolate bar as the air chilled.
Stephanie has us roaring with laughter as she describes the dance party that followed: "My dad had the DJ play the Horah (spontaneous decision on his part), and my husband and I suddenly found ourselves being lifted in chairs and participating in this Jewish wedding custom. Neither of us have any Jewish heritage."
Another incredible anecdote from the wedding arises. Shopping for the perfect dress, Stephanie ventured to the showroom of Reem Acra, whose eponymous line of wedding gowns has become one of the foremost in the industry. The dress Stephanie would wear to her wedding was the first gown she tried. "I fell instantly in love with it," she says. By some stroke of fate, the designer happened to stop in as Stephanie emerged in the dress. She fitted the bride and gave her personal stamp of approval. Stephanie recalls, "It was the dream experience."