Although her job as founder and CEO of Weddington Way puts her firmly in the bridal industry crowd, Ilana Stern and her now-husband Jeff Enquist had a blast bucking tradition at their California wedding on August 31st, 2013. "I don't really like cake," says Ilana, "But I love ice cream sandwiches. So we had an ice cream sandwich cake, as well as a custom ice cream sandwich bar from Coolhaus." And the beats were just as great as the sweets. "We brought in a club DJ from Las Vegas for a high-energy dance party with amazing flow."
The couple, who met at business school at Stanford and got engaged over a basket of pastries in Napa (read more of the sweet story here), wanted their wedding to feature saturated colors, a beachy atmosphere, and tons of personal touches.
Read on for even more details from this gorgeous California wedding:
Ilana and her bridesmaids got ready at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. "I loved that we were able to all get dolled up together," she says. She paired her lace gown with a gold Prada sandals for a bit of shine.
"Jeff worked with a family friend to design my engagement ring," says Ilana. The couple also had their wedding bands custom-made by Derco Fine Jewelers in San Francisco.
Teams from drybar, Blushington, and Ouidad stopped by the bridal suite to set up a beauty boutique for the bride and her 'maids.
Ilana's lace Monique Lhuillier gown was the first one she tried on. "I loved the open back," she says. "I'm not a girly girl, so the simple silhouette was perfect for me. It was light and soft, and surprisingly comfortable!" The bare back added a sexy touch to the elegant shape and fabric.
The bride carried a cascading bouquet made up of vibrant yellow-and-pink garden roses, parrot tulips, spray roses, dahlia, and branches of coffee beans.
As the founder of Weddington Way, it's no surprise that Ilana's bridesmaids wore a fabulous selection of dresses. "I collaborated with Xay, the lead designer from Watters, to create their custom coral-hued dresses," says Ilana.
"I didn't want them to have to carry bouquets," says Ilana, "So each of my bridesmaids wore a boho-chic floral crown of spray roses."
Jeff wore a light gray Bonobos suit, which he accented with a pink tie and pocket square, a garden rose boutonniere, and bright striped socks.
The couple's niece and cousin served as flower girls, wearing gold sequined dresses topped with tulle. "They were doing a great job holding hands as they walked down the stairs to the aisle, but once they saw the crowd, they panicked," remembers Ilana. "They turned to run back up the stairs! Harper finally went down the aisle and high-fived Jeff. Natalie was finally convinced to follow her, and gave him a high-five as well when she made it to the end."
The white aisle was topped with a geometric pattern of coral and fuchsia rose petals, leading to a mahogany chuppah decorated with bougainvillea.
Jeff and Ilana wrote their own vows. "I teased him, promising to laugh at his jokes and tell him when he'd gone too far. He promised to cook me gourmet dinners and to try to get me to cook for him," Ilana says. "He's a great cook, and I really should stay out of the kitchen!" The couple finished their vows with, "Thank you for marrying me."
After their first kiss as husband and wife, Ilana and Jeff walked back up the aisle to a string version of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours."
Cocktail hour took place in a Spanish-style courtyard, where guests were treated to a caviar bar. "We had the string trio from the ceremony play contemporary songs, including '90s hip hop and Top 40," says Ilana. "It was our little way of flipping tradition on its side."
As guests made their way into the reception, they found their escort cards tied to miniature bottles of Patrón tequila. "We wanted our guests to know it was time to get the party started," says the bride.
The reception was decorated in coral and orange hues, with lush centerpieces and patterned linens. Each table was named after a place Ilana and Jeff had visited together, with the name printed on ombré watercolor cards.
The trellis-embroidered tablecloths were topped with pink patterned napkins and orange ombré menus. Roses, peonies, and tulips overflowed from simple white vases.
Ilana and Jeff (and their guests!) love to dance, so a great DJ was a must. "We hired an awesome club DJ from Las Vegas, who played House, Billboard Top 100, and more," says Ilana. "Our guests couldn't get enough of his high-energy flow!"
When it came time for sweets, the couple skipped a wedding cake. Though the bride doesn't love cake, she's a huge fan of ice cream sandwiches—and who isn't? They had an ice cream sandwich cake, as well as custom ice cream sandwiches, where guests could pick cookies and ice cream for the sandwich of their choice.
"I'm so happy that Jeff and I chose to have a 15-month engagement," Ilana says. "We were able to spend the first few months just enjoying being engaged, and still had plenty of time to plan our dream wedding." The couple's wedding celebration didn't stop when the party ended. They went straight to the Mayan Riviera for a friend's week-long wedding celebration, then took off for French Polynesia for their honeymoon. Can you say newly-wedded bliss?
Ceremony & Reception Venue: A Private Club in Pacific Palisades, California || Wedding Planner: Allyson Levine & Katie Pincus of Bob Gail Special Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Shoes: Prada || Hair: Bride - Ouidad, Bridesmaids - Drybar || Makeup: Blushington || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters for Weddington Way || Groom's Suit: Bonobos || Wedding Bands: Derco Fine Jewelers || Florist: Wisteria Lane Floral Design Studio || Save The Dates, Invitations & Menus: Minted || Calligraphy: Calligraphy Katrina || Table Numbers: This Life Loves || Signage: Laura Hooper Calligraphy || Music: Ceremony - Bob Gail Special Events, Reception - DJ Nahchey of Dash Entertainment || Cake: Coolhaus || Rentals: Bob Gail Special Events || Photography: Erich McVey