Jessica and Charles’ love story began with a meet-up of mutual friends at a rooftop bar in downtown Los Angeles.
“Charles and I got into a lively debate and ended up exchanging numbers,” Jessica fondly recalls. A few weeks later a serendipitous meeting at the gym would be the catalyst to their first date. With plenty of sparks between them, it wasn’t long before they were falling head-over-heels in love – exploring the city of LA together as they continued to become inseparable ever after…
Bride & Groom: Jessica & Charles
Wedding Date: May 11, 2019
Wedding Location: St. Andrews Catholic Church in Pasadena & The Ebell of Los Angeles
How did you meet? We met on a rooftop bar in downtown LA called Perch. My good friend from law school worked with Charles’ good friend from law school in DTLA and they arranged for a happy hour with friends. Charles and I got into a lively debate and ended up exchanging numbers. A few weeks later, we ran into each other at the gym. After that, we started dating and fell in love exploring and enjoying the city of LA.
Tell us about the proposal! Charles proposed to me at the historic Sunnylands Estate in Palm Springs, CA. We both love visiting (and wandering around) historical sites. Sunnylands was an interesting choice as it was the site of many International diplomatic meetings for U.S. Presidents including President Barack Obama. Charles secured tickets for a guided tour. After the tour of the Estate, there was a labyrinth garden on the Estate where Charles suggested we walk. As we walked toward the center, Charles started talking about our relationship, how much he loved me, and our future, when we got to the center of he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. Little did I know he’d also hired a local Palm Springs photographer to capture the moment. It was perfect.
Describe your wedding attire! We wanted our wedding to be classic and timeless. Charles wore a formal black-tie tuxedo from Roger Stuart Clothiers (Downtown Los Angeles) and Jessica wore an A-line Maggie Sottero wedding dress from Bella Wedding Bridal.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? It was great. I planned one day where I tried on dresses accompanied by my Mom, a few of my local bridesmaids, my sister, Charles’ sister, and my mother-in-law. We visited all the high-end bridal boutiques in Pasadena. I didn’t find the one even though it was a very nice memory. It wasn’t until the following week that I found “the dress,” while shopping with just my mom at a bridal boutique in Koreatown. Do not be afraid to go off the beaten path to find the right dress at the right price.
Wedding Party Gifts: I gave my bridesmaids robes with their names embroidered on the back, and matching earrings and necklaces for the big day. Charles gave his groomsmen cuff-links with each groomsmen’s initials engraved in them.
Gifts for Each Other: We wrote each other letters.
Ceremony Entrance Song: “Walk it Like I Talk It” by Migos
First Dance Song: “So In Love” by Curtis Mayfield
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? In addition to being timeless and classic, we wanted our wedding to have influences from both our cultures. I am Latina of Mexican heritage and Charles is African-American with ties to the Deep South. We incorporated both traditions and cultures into our ceremony, reception, music, and food. The ceremony was at St. Andrews Catholic Church and was presided over by Deacon Fausto Sanchez. During the ceremony, we participated in many cultural traditions including el Lazo, las arras, and “jumping the broom.” Jumping the broom is an African-American tradition that pays homage to enslaved Africans who could not legally get married. Our “jumping the broom” tradition was introduced by the Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Michael Davis. When planning our wedding, Charles and I made sure to share information regarding our religious and family background with Deacon Fausto. During the ceremony, he was able to perfectly weave both religious traditions together. Some of our favorite wedding date details were the jazz quartet we hired for the cocktail hour and the decorative hand-embroidered napkins my Aunt Noemi brought from Mexico. The music at our reception was also a great cultural mix incorporating both of our families’ traditions–in English and Spanish.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Our favorite wedding moment is sitting at the sweetheart table together during dinner, beautiful music playing, watching dinner being served for our family and friends and seeing everyone laughing and enjoying the night. We looked at each other, smiled and couldn’t believe we had pulled it off, everything was so beautiful and the room was full of love.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Two things: First, the budget at the beginning and keep checking in on costs. Do not spend on things that aren’t important to you and your partner. For example, we wanted an open bar and a certain food menu that was more expensive than the baseline catering package, so we skipped a dessert bar and late-night snacks. You don’t have to do everything, just do what you both want. Second, try not to sweat the small details. You can overthink minute details pretty easily in wedding planning that, in the end, make little impact. Save your energy! In the end, what matters is the person you love and your friends and family coming together to celebrate and bear witness to your new journey!
Photographer: Kaysha Weiner
Venue: The Ebell Los Angeles
Church: St. Andrew
Coordinator: Orange Blossom Special Events
Florals: Blossom Floral
Hair: Lindsay Hunt (a friend of the bride)
Makeup: Claudia’s Touch
Dress: Bella Wedding
Grooms Attire: Roger Stuart Clothes
Groomsmen Attire: Giovanni Testi
Videographer: Boffo Video
Cake: Takes the Cake
Catering: The Ebell Los Angeles
Music: Ahmed & Co.
DJ: DJ Tosin
Photobooth: Amazibooth Photos