Timeless garden chic wedding in California celebrates couples “Google Love Story” with special performances, cultural details, and luscious backdrops.
Covid couldn’t stop these two! After postponing their original wedding date, Okwus and Darian were committed to celebrating their union with family and friends in the safest way.
Since they both work at Google, they created a wedding hashtag, #AGoogleLoveStory, and set the scene for their picturesque nuptials against a luscious backdrop of the Palos Verdes Estates botanical gardens in California.
“We really wanted our wedding to feel like an experience not only for ourselves but for our guests as well.” And their neon signage, hero photo wall, and epic floral pillars are just a few unique details that added to their wedding experience.
Keep reading below for more on their timeless garden chic wedding (Featured in our Fall/Winter 2021 magazine!).
- Couple: Okwudili Ubogagu & Darian Epherson
- Occupations: They are both recruiters at Google
- Wedding date: May 30th, 2021
- Wedding location: South Coast Botanical Garden – Palos Verdes Estates, CA
- What gifts did y0u give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen: We paid for our bridesmaids dresses from Birdy Grey & groomsmen’s suits from The Black Tux and that was their gift.
- Gifts for one another: Our gift was being able to have the wedding of our dreams after it being postponed.
- Favorite item on menu: Petit Filet Medallion Steak & Gulf Shrimp
- Ceremony entrance song: “International Players Anthem” by UGK
- First dance song: “Always & Forever” by Luther Vandross
- Advice for brides: Don’t hold back and do what makes you happy – get the photographer you want, get the flowers you want because this day is only going to happen one time!
How they met…
They met at work (at Google!).
Okwus popped the question while vacationing with friends in Cabo! However, events leading up to the proposal that day almost ruined his plans.
The morning Okwus planned on proposing, Darian and a group of her friends went swimming in the ocean. An hour later she returned to shore with a huge jelly fish sting on the back of her leg! Luckily, with a bit of vinegar, Darian’s symptoms quelled. Okwus was relieved, but still incredibly nervous for the night to come! To calm down, he played a 50 minute set by the pool.
Later that night, Okwus and Darian headed to the #1 restaurant in Cabo: “El Farrion.” And as a self-proclaimed foodie herself, Darian was super excited!
Darian recalls, “When we got to the restaurant there was a whole romantic set up with rose petals, candles, and the most beautiful view of the ocean.” She asked him: “Babe, did you do all of this? Is this for us? Are we at the right table?”
Okwus responded “just roll with it.” A few moments later he told Darian he didn’t want to live life without her and popped the question!
Moments after she said “yes,” their Moms popped out of the corner of the restaurant. “Okwus flying out our parents for the proposal made it that much sweeter – best surprise ever!”
When they knew they found “the one”…
Darian knew Okwus was “the one” after their first weekend together in San Francisco.
“Everything felt so natural, easy, and fluid and we genuinely enjoyed each other’s company.”
Mr. & Mrs….
Wedding style & shopping experience …
After over a year of dealing with COVID-19 and quarantining, Darian and Okwus wanted to “show up and show out.” Steering away from current trends, the couple embraced a timeless “soft glam” wedding style with a “garden, chic, glam” vibe.
“I am obsessed with a neutral color palette which is why all of the florals were shades of white and pale pinks.” They complimented their soft flowers with table linens in black and gold.
Darian adds, “our goal was to curate a very timeless wedding aesthetic.”
Their timeless wedding style was also reflected in their attire through Darian’s lace wedding gown paired with Milado silk and Okwus’ custom black tux.
Wedding dress & favorite accessory…
Darian’s wedding dress was part of the Spring 2020 Couture Collection with Aire Barcelona.
Her favorite accessory was the dress’s “customized…open back” which added a “youthful touch and hint of sex appeal.”
While they didn’t have a “traditional church wedding,” the pair were wed by a black female reverent, Joyce Randall, and recited The Lord’s Prayer during their ceremony.
They also had a memorial table dedicated to all of the folks who are no longer with them, but where present in spirit.
Reception space & décor…
Best wedding day memory…
One of Darian’s favorite memories was during their cocktail hour. After taking photos, she and Okwus stood at the top of the steps watching their family and friends laugh and mingle below.
Looking out at their loved ones, Darian reflects: “The roses were in full bloom, the Grammy-award winning hip hop violinist was playing all the latest jams, and it was truly a magical moment.”
Cutting the cake…
Advice for other engaged couples?
After postponing their initial wedding date, the best advice they can give to other couples is to “do what makes you happy and don’t hold back!”
Looking for more timeless garden chic wedding inspiration?
- Wedding planner: The Events Boutique
- Ceremony venue: South Coast Botanical Garden
- Reception venue: South Coast Botanic Garden
- Event Design: Argyle Design Co & Kat Bell
- Event Planning & Logistics: The Events Boutique
- Photography: Asha Bailey Photography
- Videography: Cooley High Productions
- Bride’s dress: Aire Barcelona Bridal Couture 2020 Collection – Andrea Dress
- Bridal salon: Le Marriage Couture Bridal Salon in West Los Angeles
- Bride’s headpiece and/or veil: Veil 149XXX
- Bride’s shoes: Follies Embellished Pumps 100 – Christian Louboutin
- Bridesmaids dresses: Birdy Grey Mauve Collection
- Cakes/desserts: Cocoa Berry Cake Co. – cupcakes and 3 tiered cake with white, pink, and 24k gold florals. Cake flavors included french vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream filling, french vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream, and champagne strawberry cake.
- Gelato: Leo Leo Gelato Bar (Flavors: Blackberry Cheesecake, Honey Lavender, Milk Chocolate).
- Catering: Critic’s Choice Catering & Event Production, Inc. (Petite Filet Medallions & Fire Roasted Shrimp paired with mashed potatoes, au jus, and roasted vegetables).
- Entertainment: Performance by Grammy Award Winning Violinists Jordan Waré ; DJ R-Tistic & DJ Dilly
- Event Planning & Logistics: The Events Boutique
- Florals: Dolce Fiore Florals
- Groom’s attire: Custom Suit by Harrison Blake Apparel Co
- Groomsmen attire: The Black Tux
- Lighting: Bright Event Rentals c
- Linens: Event Rentals by Stephanie’s Linens
- Florals: Dolce Fiore
- Makeup: Jackie Huerta & Lauren Butler
- Hair: Yasmine Brown Hair
- Rentals: Bright Event Rentals & Event Rentals by Stephanie’s Linens
- Custom Stage & Signage: Cosmos Neon Designs Corporation – Los Angeles, CA