Now, this is a “how we met” story you don’t hear every day: When Heather Weiss first met Kevin Besignano, she was on a first date with someone else! “The man I was with and I both knew there was zero chemistry, so we decided to invite the mutual friends who had introduced us to join us at an Entourage viewing party,” Heather, an L.A.-based publicity pro, explains. “That’s when Kevin and I really hit it off.” But the story gets even more interesting...really! “I got up to use the ladies’ room and asked Kevin to watch my clutch. When I came back to the bar, he was there but my purse was gone!” There were no hard feelings, though, and a few days later Kevin called Heather at her office to set a date for that week, and they’ve been together ever since.
It took almost seven years for Kevin to finally pop the question—and there was some serious anticipation on Heather’s end. “I knew Kevin had my great-grandmother’s ring because she gave it to him right in front of me over Christmas,” Heather reveals. But even after a trip to Hawaii that she’d thought would bring that special moment, Kevin still hadn’t gotten down on one knee. In April 2015, after happy hour at a local bar, Heather was in the kitchen fixing a cocktail when she saw Kevin walking toward her with his hands behind his back. “I took a look around, saw the sun setting outside, and immediately thought, ‘This needs to happen outside!’” she says with a laugh. She made her way to the door, and Kevin couldn’t understand why a woman who wanted so badly to get married was running from his proposal. He grabbed her arm, got her to stand still, and dropped down on one knee, cutting himself in the process. “The rest of what happened is a blur, but I know he asked and I said yes!” says the bride.
The bride’s from Texas and the groom is from New York, but they call California home, so they chose the historic Camarillo Ranch there for their October 29, 2016, wedding, with a ceremony in the ranch’s barn followed by cocktails in the garden and a reception on the lawn in front of the Victorian home. A rich and moody color scheme was a wedding-appropriate nod to the Halloween season, and Jessica Castro Weddings captured all of the autumnal details.
Heather carried a lush and textural bouquet of anemones, snowberries, dahlias, roses, and dusty millers, all wrapped in crushed-velvet ribbons.
“I put a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust pin on the front of my bouquet,” says Heather. “I’ve loved Bowie since I was a baby and saw him twice in concert. I even have the Ziggy Stardust face tattooed on my forearm. Though I never got to meet him, I feel like he’s been a huge part of my life.”
She wore Ted Baker pumps with gold soles and clusters of crystals on the back of the heel—the perfect glam finishing touch.
“I did a first look with my bridesmaids, which was so special,” says Heather. Her mom helped her slip into her champagne and white lace Val Stefani wedding dress, which had a mermaid skirt and a cathedral-length train. “It was so great to share that hug and to feel so supported and loved.”
Her bridesmaids wore cabernet-hued dresses from Jenny Yoo. Comfort and style were key to Heather, who has been a bridesmaid 10 times. “I know what it means to purchase a pricey dress you don’t feel good in, and the convertible straps meant each woman could choose a style that made her feel great,” she explains.
As Heather and her bridesmaids were taking photos on the veranda, the groomsmen suddenly came around the corner. “I thought Kevin was trying to sneak a peek before the ceremony, but instead he’d given each of his groomsmen something to read about our relationship,” she says. One by one, they created a timeline of the couple’s love story, full of sweet memories and inside jokes.
Kevin and his groomsmen all wore light-gray three-piece suits. The groomsmen’s ties matched the bridesmaids’ dresses, while Kevin stood out with his white tie.
Heather’s mother walked her down the aisle, an important moment the bride had always wanted to share with her. She and Kevin exchanged vows in front of an altar of dahlias and roses that was surrounded by seasonal pumpkins. “We wrote our own vows, keeping our ceremony short and sweet. We hadn’t discussed them beforehand, but it was a nice surprise to hear that our vows echoed each other’s sentiments so naturally,” Heather describes.
Because Kevin and Heather skipped a first look, they shared a few sweet moments alone after the ceremony before joining guests at cocktail hour. One such guest? Heather’s client, Mayim Bialik!
At the bar, guests ordered the couple's signature cocktail, the Perfect Pear. "It was a muddled mixture of ginger and pear with champagne poured over top," says the bride.
Dinner was served on the property’s sprawling lawn, with a mix of bare wooden farm tables and round tables dressed in ivory linens. Centerpieces mixed small pumpkins and arrangements of roses and dahlias, surrounded by votive candles.
A single white pumpkin was placed on each guest’s gold-rimmed charger, along with an In-N-Out order card for guests to customize their burgers for dinner.
The newlyweds dined at a sweetheart table beneath a chandelier hung from one of the property’s trees.
The table was topped with olive branches, colorful blooms, and lots of candlelight. It was surrounded with pumpkins and gourds, more flowers, and a marquee B, the pair’s last initial.
The first dance was to a David Bowie tune, natch. The couple chose “As the World Falls Down” (of Labyrinth fame) for their spin around the dance floor.
In addition to the couple’s signature cocktail, Cali Craft Cocktails was on hand to serve up rosemary fizzes, old-fashioneds, and tequila smashes. 24 Carrots Catering passed bacon-wrapped scallops and smoked-tofu skewers during cocktail hour, then took burger orders and delivered the made-to-order selections with a choice of regular or sweet-potato fries at dinner.
“We are so glad we decided to separate ourselves a bit and sit alone,” says Heather. “Guests came by to visit, and it was our spot to be together for a few moments while we ate and drank—as well as to watch all of the speeches!”
For dessert, the bride and groom cut into a two-tiered cake wrapped in fondant and covered in fondant pearls. Inside, strawberry cake was layered with champagne icing. Along with the cake, guests nibbled on mini chocolate- and caramel-covered apples, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Oreo cookie and coffee-caramel cupcakes.
Heather danced with her mother to “My Girl,” by the Temptations, then Kevin danced with his mom to “Simple Man,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. “My family is small, and Kevin has a huge Italian family, so his mom came up with the idea that, after our dances with our mothers, the four of us would dance together to ‘I’ll Always Love My Mama,’ by the Intruders,” Heather explains. “It was a great moment that really made us feel like one big family.”
As the night came to an end, the pair celebrated with a last dance to “God Only Knows,” by the Beach Boys. “Our DJ announced it, and guests surrounded us for a huge, loving circle,” Heather remembers. Then guests grabbed sparklers and the newlyweds made their way to the getaway car: a 1960 Bentley that was perfect for the 40-minute drive back to Studio City.
“My sister-in-law gave me the best advice a few weeks before the wedding, when I was really struggling with the stress of it all,” says Heather. “She reminded me that no one cares about the favors, welcome bags, or programs. They don’t need a gift or a treat. Their gift is watching you get married and getting to be a part of this monumental day for someone they love. She encouraged me to bring it back to the two of us. It’s an incredible day, but it’s only one day. Remember you’re about to marry your best friend and smile! It will all be worth it.”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Camarillo Ranch || Wedding Planner & Designer: A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Val Stefani || Jewelry: Simon G. Jewelry || Shoes: Ted Baker || Hair: Michael Duenas || Makeup: Linda Cowan || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse || Flowers: Vavé Studios || Invitations: Crystal Kantenberger || Other Paper Products: Oh It's Love Design || Music: Dave Cavelier; Icy Hot Club Band; DJ Lisa Pittman || Catering: 24 Carrots Catering || Bartender: Cali Craft Cocktails || Cake: TJ's Sinfully Sweet Cakes || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; Found Vintage Rentals || Videography: Butter Pictures || Photography: Jessica Castro Weddings