Gabrielle and Jeffrey's love story first began at a house party during college. While enjoying each others company over some casual conversation a magnetic vibe between them was evident. After that initial meeting their connection continued to grow, and the more they learned about each other the deeper in love they fell. It wouldn't be long before Jeffrey began to realize he had found the one, and so began planning their perfect proposal, leading them down the path to happily ever after...
Read all about Gabrielle & Jeffrey's love story, proposal, and experiences in their "Broadway takes Hollywood" wedding in California.
Bride & Groom: Gabrielle & Jeffrey
Occupations: Vice President/Head of Communications at Barnard College and Graduate Adjunct Professor at New York University & Asset Manager/Senior Associate, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Wedding date: 9/9/18
Wedding location: Marriot Marina Del Rey, CA
How did you meet? It was a usual college Saturday, which meant a simple house party. Gabrielle at the time was 21 years old and finishing her last year of graduate school, and Jeffrey, was a year younger completing his bachelors.
Customarily as Gabrielle is never shy, she began to hit on Jeffrey by saying, “You’re so cute, but you’re a baby….I’m finishing my masters and you’re a junior in college.” Jeffrey’s response, was, “Girl, I’m 36, you didn’t know?” This was the first time he made her laugh, and she knew she wanted more.
Over the course of several years, they fell in love over common interests such as the great Los Angeles Lakers & Kobe Bryant, mutual love for California, sunshine, and a beach, as well as common values of family, growth, prosperity and most importantly God. This was a theme at their wedding, which featured signature LA and NY drinks, as well as live gospel vocal and dance performances.
If you know Jeff, you’ll know whenever he’s asked about Gabby, his initial response is, “She hit on me.” In return she’ll say, “I’m so glad I did!”
Tell us about the proposal. It was simple and sweet, exactly what Gabrielle wanted. After a long day of work, Jeffrey picked Gabrielle up and she was welcomed to their home with a delicious candlelight dinner. Their home is very special to them, as they became young Westchester, New York homeowners in their 20s. It was intimate and perfect.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? I actually had a hard, very hard time finding my wedding dress ... I wanted a couture very sexy wedding gown and was having trouble finding them in my size to even try on. Every store that I went to did not have sizes bigger than a bridal 8. I at the time was a size 10 in regular clothing, but a bridal 14.
The only reason why I got the gown that I did was because as I was crying in Bridal Reflections in NYC, the store manager cut the zipper open on a dress that I was looking at so that I could try on the gown. I’m forever grateful for her, as I loved my dress, and my husband did too.
The guys went to a local Westchester, New York shop for their suit’s which is called Suit Man Men’s Clothing store and I loved their dark blue three piece suits with blush pink ties. It looked great with the girl’s blush pink dresses.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes! Our wedding was a show, and the invite is attached, which looks like a ticket to a Broadway show. The theme of the wedding was “Broadway Takes Hollywood.”
Our wedding was inspired by our hometowns of New York (Jeffrey) and Los Angeles (Gabrielle). We tried our best to incorporate our styles, and personality into the wedding. Our “Broadway takes Hollywood,” ceremony opened with a live praise dance, gospel performances, as well as R&B performances. We both truly love music and the performing arts and we wanted to put on a show for our guests, especially, because the bulk of our guests traveled from out of state, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Washington, D.C, etc., across the country to Los Angeles.
Though, we had an open bar, we still had unique and fun signature drinks (photo attached), which each paying homage to our personalities and hometowns, and we must say the guests truly loved the signature drinks – biggest hit of the night.
Instead of a traditional guest book, we had two wood pieces – one of the state of California and the other of the state of New York. That was a hit as well and we’re planning to hang that up in our home.
Also, our ice sculpture design is based on a popular NY tourist attraction, a statue in Midtown, Manhattan, that reads “LOVE.” And just as tourist come to the LOVE station in NYC, our wedding guests took photos with the ice sculpture at the wedding bringing their NYC flavor to LA.
We also had very detailed lighting with our NY to LA branding and matching the LOVE design as well. One of our favorite touches included the great lighting designs, that were visible inside and outside the reception.
Wedding party gifts: Bridesmaids and Groomsmen received engraved gifts. The girls received Return to Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. necklaces with their names engraved, as well as robes and jewelry to wear on the day of the wedding. There were 10 bridesmaids so many gifts were given and received. The groomsmen received flasks engraved with their last names.
Gifts for each other: Our honeymoon was our gift to each other. We went to one of our favorite countries – Mexico, and toured Cabo San Lucas, a new destination for us.
Ceremony entrance song: 2Pac Featuring Dr. Dre – "California Love"
First dance song: We danced to 3 songs, first Eric Benet ft. Tamia “Spend My Life with You,” then Color Me Badd “I Wanna Sex You Up,” and lastly Drake “In My feelings,” which was really cool, because we had everyone join us on the dance floor for our last song – we got the party started immediately.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Our favorite part of the wedding was the mother/son dance. Jeff’s mom surprised us all and got down! Down, down! It was definitely the highlight. In the same respect Gabrielle’s mom got down, all the way down dancing and three groomsmen had to pull her up – very fun and hilarious. 😊 Lastly, the drone captured superb photos of our ceremony on the rooftop. So glad we decided to have a drone!
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Don’t spend too much money on one day. Have a budget and stick to it, no matter what. However, there’s three things not to be cheap with – the dress, the bar and the music/DJ. Also, don’t book your honeymoon hours after your reception. We absolutely missed our flight and had to buy new expensive international tickets. For some reason we actually thought we’d stay up and go right to the airport. That did not happen of course, but great honeymoon nonetheless.
Wedding Planner: Bella Dawn Event Planning
Photo: Will Utley Photography
Video: Peter Ascalon
Graphic Designer (invites, menus, Snapchat filter, etc.): Sarah Luna Design
Bridal and Mother of the Bride Makeup: Teresa Miranda
Bridesmaid Makeup: Pure Glamour
Hair: Kevin Jackson
Lighting: The Lab
Ice Sculpture: Crystal Creations Ice Sculpturing (Anaheim, CA)
Music Producer for Wedding Ceremony: JD Lee
Vocalists for Ceremony: Doni Nicole and Marylyne Myrthil
Dancer for Ceremony: Minister Joanna Willis-Kanyali
Florist: Growers Direct- Downtown Los Angeles
Cake: Torrance Bakery
Photo booth: Capture Pod