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Haute spots to cool stuff ~ a fashionable focus on all things weddings.

Spotlight | Anniversary Photo Shoot

A Lifetime of Love and Happiness Made Possible by a Phone Call

So often the defining moments in our lives — those moments that rewrite our story, that alter our path for better or worse — are preceded by smaller, seemingly insignificant moments. For Bita Milanian, a 20-something telecom executive from Los Angeles, the path to the love of her life, her dream wedding, and a marriage for the ages, began with a random phone call, one sunny afternoon in June 1998.

The amiable, elderly woman on the other end of the line was a friend and former colleague of Bita’s mother. Though at one time Bita shared a cordial relationship with Helene, it had been years since the two women had been in contact. As odd as it was to hear from Helene after so many years, odder still was the nature of her call. Helene cut to the chase, and asked Bita if she was dating anyone, to which Bita replied a hesitant no. Well Bita was in luck, because Helene had recently become acquainted with a man through his business whom she felt was a perfect match for Bita. His name – Behrooz “Bruce” Ghavami and like Bita, an Iranian-American. Not surprisingly, Bita was unconvinced. How could a woman she had not seen or heard from in years have any sense of who Bita was, much less what she was looking for in a partner? Anxious but not eager, Bita awaited his call.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town in Brentwood, Bruce was even less eager. Unlike most Iranians who expatriated in the mid-1980s in the aftermath of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Bruce had come to the United States in the mid-1970s. For more than two decades, Bruce had called Southern California home and had little interaction with the Iranian community in the region and therefore had never dated a woman of Iranian origin. But Helene was determined and reminded Bruce daily to make the call; and 10 days later, Bita finally received a phone call from Bruce, and the skeptical duo agreed to meet for coffee.

As Bita circled the block looking for parking, she caught a glimpse of a man sitting in the patio of the rendezvous spot, Starbucks in Brentwood, reading a book. Assuming he was her date, she resigned herself to an awkward evening ahead. At that very moment, Bita was suddenly struck by the sight of a different man, driving by in a sporty convertible, classic good looks, with an undeniable presence. In that brief moment, he took her breath away. Why couldn’t he be her date, she thought. But as quickly as the car came to view, it disappeared down the road, now a speck in her rearview.

One more go around the block, and Bita finally found parking. Bracing herself, she headed for the Starbucks. Crossing the street, she saw him again. It was the man she had passed on the street earlier, the one who took her breath away. He was standing outside of the coffee shop, seemingly waiting for someone. Her slow disbelief finally yielded to the realization that he was in fact waiting for her. He was Bruce. Given his looks, sporty car, and meticulous style of dress, she couldn’t help but feel cautious about his personality. But before long, he had disarmed her of her assumptions, and she had returned the favor. That night, they had sushi for dinner, and by dessert, she knew she was falling in love.

During their courtship, Bruce introduced Bita to his teenage son Blake and the two hit it off from the get-go. After about a year of dating, Bruce and Bita became engaged on December 31, 1999, and on September 29, 2001, amidst of 18 days post-9/11 tragedy, they were married in a traditional Iranian wedding at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, a venue selected by Bruce’s late mother who adored the color pink.

Bita and Bruce opted for an intimate ceremony to be able to spend quality time with each and every guest at their wedding. The celebration, like their first date, was a magical event, permeated with a storybook vibe. But what was to come next for Bita and Bruce was the true fairytale: fifteen years of building a loving and happy life together, one that included Blake, and now his beautiful wife Mariellen, who together have given them the gift of grandparenthood with their beloved son named Hudson.

In celebration of their 15th wedding anniversary, Bita and Bruce commemorated the very special occasion with a photo shoot. In reaching this milestone, the couple couldn’t help but be tremendously grateful for their many blessings, and thankful to a woman named Helene, without whom the photo shoot, and the 18 years that preceded it, would never have been possible.

Sina Bahrami via CeremonyMagazine.com Sina Bahrami via CeremonyMagazine.com
Sina Bahrami via CeremonyMagazine.com Sina Bahrami via CeremonyMagazine.com
Sina Bahrami via CeremonyMagazine.com Art With Light Photography via CeremonyMagazine.com  Art With Light Photography via CeremonyMagazine.com

Anniversary Shoot
Photography | Sina Bahrami
Venue | The Agency
Floral Design | The Empty Vase
Makeup | FouFou
Diamond Jewelry | Jeffreys Beverly Hills

Wedding
Photography | Art with Light Photography
Venue | The Beverly Hills Hotel
Floral Design | Effusive Flowers
Hair & Makeup | Haydeh Kashani
Sofreh Aghd Design | Bita Milanian

Ceremony Magazine San Diego 2015 | Spa Day at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Spa Day at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
By Jennifer J. Petrini

Treat your bridesmaids to the ultimate gift – a day of pampering and relaxation at The Spa at The Inn. Newly open, The Spa’s inspiration is drawn from native restorative remedies and infuses locally sourced elements to bring out your natural beauty and vitality, which is so important leading up to the big day.

This intimate 5-room retreat is set amongst the enchanting Rancho Santa Fe property and offers seasonal and signature services that will detoxify, invigorate and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. Indulge in an Herbal Manicure & Pedicure, Lavender Sugar Scrub, Starlet Facial, or for the ultimate state of relaxation, The Sweetest Thing. This collective experience begins with a gentle hand and foot massage with honey-infused oil, while tired eyes are soothed with heated herbal tea bags and a cool-stone eye massage, followed by a hypnotic facial cleanse complete with a neck, shoulder and scalp massage. What could be more satisfying?

Grab your guy and make it a before-or-after wedding getaway for the two of you and take advantage of the couple’s suite with a private outdoor courtyard, which includes a shower and tub. He’ll love The Rancher Facial, intended for manly skin that will restore and renew the face and includes a scalp and shoulder massage for added pleasure.

Jennifer Dery Photography via CeremonyBlog.com
For a complete list of treatments, visit theinnatrsf.com. The Spa at The Inn is open from 9:30am-7pm Friday-Saturday and from 10am-5pm Sunday-Thursday. For appointments, call 858.381.8255.

Photography | Jennifer Dery Photography

 

 

 

 

Ceremony Magazine Los Angeles 2015 | Fleurish

Fleurish: Where You are the Fleurist!

Let your creativity FLEURISH at LA’s first dedicated design-it-yourself flower company, “Where you are the Fleurist!”

Founder and owner Amy Marella is a veteran in the industry, as she started her floral design business, The Hidden Garden, 15 years ago. “Not a day goes by where I don’t meet someone who wishes they could ‘work at a flower shop’ or ‘be a floral designer.’ Fleurish is my dream come true and I am so excited to bring the wonderful world of flowers to your fingertips…literally.”

Image Courtesy of Fleurish via CeremonyBlog.com

With a collection of stylish and seasonal Fleurkits to choose from, all of which include every element needed to create and arrange a gorgeous centerpiece, guests can choose to DIY it at home or reserve a seat at the Flower Bar at the inspired sunlight filled studio in the heart of Brentwood. With 20 workstations each boasting an iFleur tutorial, which will guide you step-by-step on display tablets, all the complexities of the flower design process are seamlessly removed to make your experience Fleurish!

Image Courtesy of Fleurish via CeremonyBlog.com  Image Courtesy of Fleurish via CeremonyBlog.com

Offering an array of classes and workshops for all skill sets, Fleurish is also available for private parties. What a fabulous place to host a bridal shower or girls-night-out to prep for the big day with an interactive and beautiful gift to take home. And complimentary floral cocktails are included!

Image Courtesy of Fleurish via CeremonyBlog.com

Image Courtesy of Fleurish via CeremonyBlog.com

Fleurish is located at 11906 San Vicente Blvd in Los Angeles. For more details or to book your seat at the flower bar or a bridal shower event, call 310.575.8775 or visit youfleurish.com

Images Courtesy of Fleurish

Grand Opening | VENUE by Three Petals

VENUE by Three Petals via CeremonyBlog.com

You are invited to the Grand Opening of VENUE by Three Petals on Friday, April 24th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The night will be filled with cocktails, food stations, glamour, and entertainment! At the VENUE, individualism is celebrated. Just like every couple, corporate VP or coordinator is different, every event should be unique and custom-tailored to taste. The 11,000-square-foot space, located in convenient Huntington Beach, serves as a blank canvas for your imagination. Please register online. The VENUE by Three Petals is located 18582 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. Dress is cocktail attire. #VenueGrandOpening

Image courtesy of Three Petals.

Grand Opening | VENUE by Three Petals

VENUE by Three Petals via CeremonyBlog.com

You are invited to the Grand Opening of VENUE by Three Petals on Friday, April 24th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. The night will be filled with cocktails, food stations, glamour, and entertainment! At the VENUE, individualism is celebrated. Just like every couple, corporate VP or coordinator is different, every event should be unique and custom-tailored to taste. The 11,000-square-foot space, located in convenient Huntington Beach, serves as a blank canvas for your imagination. Please register online. The VENUE by Three Petals is located 18582 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, CA 92648. Dress is cocktail attire. #VenueGrandOpening

Image courtesy of Three Petals.