Jenna Caine and Neil Parris have Coachella, the popular music festival in California, to thank for their first introduction in April of 2012. "It was the last night, around 9 p.m., and a mutual friend introduced us in the VIP area," Jenna says. "I was ready to head home but Neil was ready to make the most of the last night." The pair got to talking — she was getting ready to make the move from NYC to Los Angeles and asked Neil about jobs in the area since they're both in marketing. "We started talking a lot on Facebook, which lead to texting, which lead to a first date about a month later when I moved back to LA," she says.
Two years later, on January 3, 2014, Neil decided to propose in the most modern way possible: on Instagram! "I came home from work and walked into our bedroom, which was filled with flower petals, two GoPro cameras, and Neil," Jenna remembers. "He sat me down, told me to get our my phone, go onto Instagram and turn the volume all the way up." There, she found the account @TheStoryOfJennaAndNeil, where her groom-to-be popped the question with a series of 49 photos and videos that spanned their entire relationship.
Jenna and Neil began planning a fall wedding in Santa Monica, California, with a simple, romantic, and chic aesthetic. They chose the Viceroy Hotel, which was decorated by famed designer Kelly Wearstler, for their September 20, 2014 nuptials, and asked GATHER Events to plan a day with a back, white, and pink color palette. Keep reading to see the final result, as documented by Scott Clark Photo.
While Jenna and Neil can't imagine having a wedding anywhere but the Viceroy Hotel now, it wasn't always their plan. "We were scheduled to get married at a venue deep in Malibu when we found out my sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma," the bride says. "Neil, our families, and I decided that the venue was not conducive to make my sister comfortable as the weather was going to be hot that time of year and her comfort was the most important thing to all of us." They scrapped their initial plan and started calling every hotel they could think of between Hollywood and Malibu. "The only venue available on our date was the Viceroy. I visited the site, met with the coordinator, and fell in love immediately."
The property had never taken on such a large wedding before — the couple had 245 guests in attendance — but they were up for the challenge and were happy to accommodate the couple and their families. Jenna and Neil took over both the interior and exterior areas of the hotel, creating an elegant, inviting space with pops of bright pink.
Prim & Pixie designed the couple's elegant black and white invitation suite. The envelope was lined with paper designed to look like agate, which Jenna and Neil used throughout their reception.
An ivory and silver lace gown from Lazaro stole Jenna's heart while shopping for a wedding dress. "I felt different in this particular dress," she says of the form-fitting silhouette. "I am usually very boho when it comes to dresses, but this was fitted and sexy. I loved that I could do something out of the ordinary and feel beautiful at the same time." She describes the shopping trip as "painless," noting she was open to trying nearly any dress and that making the final decision came easily.
A pair of silver Christian Louboutin pumps perfectly matched the threading in Jenna's gown. Her punchy hued bouquet was comprised of garden roses, dahlias, ferns, and greenery.
Neil didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to don some cool formalwear. He chose a tailored Alexander McQueen tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and a bright pink boutonniere with ferns and protea.
Jenna understood the reality of how expensive bridesmaids' dresses can be, so she gave each of her attendants a preferred color and asked them to find a long dress in the shade. "It was as simple as that," she says. "I wanted them to be able to wear their dress over and over again after the wedding." Her two sisters, who both served as maid of honor, wore long black dresses by Halson Heritage.
Neil's groomsmen wore classic black tuxes and matching patterned socks.
The ceremony was held on a lawn outside of the Viceroy. Black and white chiavari chairs fit with the monochromatic palette the couple had chosen, while feathery green ferns and bright pink bougainvillea wrapped around the chuppah lent a pop of color to the outdoor space. Guests were provided with sleek programs that kept them informed about the evening's events.
A live trio sang while the wedding party made their way down the aisle. Jenna's late father was a talented guitarist and taught his daughter to love classics like the Beatles. "He used to play me 'Blackbird' on his guitar, and ever since I can remember, I knew that was one of the songs I wanted in the ceremony." Since she knew it would be near impossible to walk down with aisle without crying as the song played, the couple had the trio sing that beloved song after the bridal party had finished walking down the aisle, but before the Jenna started her processional. "It was my way of having my father at my wedding," she says. "I knew he was listening." Once the song was complete, the bride made her entrance with her mother and stepfather. "It was important for me to have both of them by my side."
The couple decided to have a traditional Jewish ceremony, but they also wanted to write their own vows. "It was harder than we thought it would be! You want vows to be perfect, funny, sentimental, and not boring. Hopefully we nailed it."
Jenna and Neil wanted unique and elegant escort cards. A calligrapher wrote each person's name and table number on thin slices of agate that were displayed on a table beneath a wall decorated with vintage plates.
Round tables were arranged on the patio beneath glowing string lights. "We went with low floral arrangements in simple vases," the bride says of their centerpieces. The colorful mixes of pink and red flowers certainly stood out against the otherwise white tables. "I wanted the flowers to pop, not anything else." Each place setting was decorated with a bright green fern leaf.
The groom handled the task of selecting the dinner menu, choosing fun items, like chicken and waffles, for the couple's guests to enjoy. "The food was exceptional and we loved everything," Jenna says. For dessert, the couple picked a carrot cake with vanilla icing and selection of sweet treats like cake pops, cupcakes, and mini tarts.
To help set the tone for the party, the couple had geometric lanterns hung over top the dance floor. "I wanted something a little more decorated for the party, so we did the starburst lanterns," the bride says. Clearly, it worked! "People danced until the music literally shut off." Even then, the party wasn't ready to disperse. Jenna remembers many of her guests chanting "one more song" after the DJ closed out for the night.
After the wedding, the newlyweds enjoyed a mini moon in Kona, Hawaii, and had planned to enjoyed a longer vacation further down the road, but those plans got delayed when they found out they were expecting their first child! "Our due date was coincidentally our one-year anniversary!"
Venue & Catering: Viceroy Hotel Santa Monica || Planning & Event Design: GATHER Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Lazaro || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bride's Hair: Amberlee Schoneweis || Bridesmaids' Hair: Blow Me Hair App || Makeup: Mellody Vere; Tara Di Pino; Veronica Stevens || Maid of Honor Dresses: Halston Heritage || Groom's Attire: Alexander McQueen; Tom Ford; Henrik Vibskov || Flowers: Moon Canyon || Stationery: Prim & Pixie || Music: Fortune Entertainment || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; Borrowed Blu; Trejo Dance Floors; Line 204 || Videographer: Nicholas Andrew Films || Photo Booth: Flashtag Photo Booth || Photographer: Scott Clark Photo
Can't get enough of this black and white color palette? Then check out another couple's monochromatic wedding in the video below.