You'd never guess it by the photos, but Candice Wilson-Olensky and Matthew Cherry planned their wedding ceremony in just one week! The couple, who first met at a film festival in 2016 and got engaged at home in January 2019 with only their pup looking on, married in Malibu with zero guests in attendance.
"Because of COVID-19, we opted to change our wedding plans and instead of postponing another year, we decided to have an ultra-intimate wedding ceremony with just us," Candice explains. "We will hold a reception with our friends and family near and far when things return to safer conditions."
On their big-yet-tiny day, the couple asked their close friends and family—who they didn't ask to attend in person as they didn't want to risk anyone's health—to send prayers, thoughts, and well wishes at the actual time of our ceremony. "It was a way to feel connected," adds the bride.
Keep reading for all the details on Candice and Matthew's stunning micro wedding, which the bride describes as an "intimate, love-filled day that felt easy-breezy and special," as captured by Porterhouse Los Angles and coordinated by Waverly Coleman.
Candice, who is a film and TV producer and head of developement and production at Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Network, found her Berta gown before visiting a bridal salon! She originally saw the dress in an image promoting an upcoming trunk show, and, of course, made an appointment. (Her mom even flew across the country to join her!)
"I tried it on and fell in love immediately. I knew instantly. I felt beautiful and timeless in it," she says of the dress, adding that shopping was "100 percent better" with the company of her mom, who made the experience feel like playing dress up.
After finding the one, Candice worked with tailor Rhonda Hale to perfect the fit.
"I can’t say enough great things about our florist, Poppy Lavender Florals," admits Candice. "Poppy took the vision and multiplied it."
Candice tapped DaVonte Blanton to do her hair, saying they incorporated her natural curly hair to accomplish a "effortless and natural look." At the encouragement of Blanton, she also added a veil from BHLDN last-minute, for which she is "forever grateful."
She also accessorized with Christian Louboutin shoes and two special pieces from her parents. "My father passed away in 2008, so I wore his wedding ring and my mom’s earrings," she says. "They had a beautiful marriage, and it served as a prototype for me."
There was a whole lot of DIY on the big day: Candice did her own nails and even steamed her dress and veil with the help of her mom, who is a clothing designer, on Facetime. (She counts this as a highlight of the day!)
Matthew, a former NFL player, is now an Academy Award-winning director, producer, and writer. He won an Oscar earlier this year for his short-animated film, "Hair Love," so it's no surpise that he tapped his Oscar stylist and good friend Brandon Williams to style and design his wedding suit, which Candice says "fit him perfectly and worked with the landscape." "He’s a great friend of ours who is making waves in the fashion space. It was special to include him in our day," she adds.
"This was always our top choice for our venue, but with COVID-19 precautions, we had to make a pivot from our original plans," Candice says of choosing Malibu Rocky Oaks as their wedding location. "We both fell in love with the sweeping views, the feeling of being a spectator to its natural beauty, while also feeling like it was part of the day and moment. It was everything we dreamt it would be."
The couple works in production so they applied that mindset when planning (especially given the short timeline!). "We pulled the actual day together in a week," admits the bride. "It was fast, but a lot of these elements were things that we had been thinking about for a long time. That plus the help of completely talented professionals made it all come together seamlessly. Everyone was a pro!"
Candice walked down the aisle alone to meet Matthew at the entrance of the ceremony. "Literally, right before I turned the corner to walk down the aisle, I Facetimed my mom, sister, nieces and nephew," she recalls. "It was a fun moment that brought them into the moment."
The ceremony space was decorated with a low arrangement of pampas grass as to fulfill the couple's whimsical wedding vision and showcase the stunning Malibu view. "We wanted to lean into the natural landscape," she says of the design. "We kept it simple! Overall our aesthetic and the day was about simplicity. Nature was the décor."
The ceremony was led by officiant Chris Dickens of Your Custom Ceremony. "Chris was such a fun part of our process; he made the ceremony feel rooted by incorporating elements that were special and specific to us," adds the bride.
It was important to us that we write our own vows. We wanted our vows to be reflective of our unique love journey and hopes for our future.
Candice and Matthew opted to write their own vows. "It was important to us that we write our own vows," she says. "We wanted our vows to be reflective of our unique love journey and hopes for our future. We also worked with our officiant to incorporate readings that held significance for us."
"We tried to incorporate elements that we love and that had significance to us," Candice says. "Every detail had a bit of love in it. Like many couples deciding to proceed with their wedding during COVID-19, it wasn’t what we imagined, yet, for us, it was everything we dreamt."
After exchanging vows, Matthew and Candice decided to climb up the rocks. "It was a pretty surreal moment to share," she recalls.
Since it was just the two of them, the newlyweds tapped Mama Soul Bakes to make a mini marble cake that incorporated cherrries as a nod to Matthew's last name—and Candice's new last name. "They took our vision and made the most delicious art I’ve ever tried," says the bride. "It was everything we hoped!"
Like many couples deciding to proceed with their wedding during COVID-19, it wasn’t what we imagined, yet, for us, it was everything we dreamt.
"This year has come with its share of challenges and for many planning weddings, it’s also had disappointments," Candice admits. "My advice would be to be flexible and kind to yourself. Focus on the aspects of your wedding day that matter most to you and get creative about how to bring them to life. The day is about celebrating the love you and your partner share."
Venue Malibu Rocky Oaks
Day-Of Coordination Waverly Coleman
Officiant Chris Dickens of Your Custom Ceremony
Bridal Gown Berta, from Lovella Bridal
Couture Tailor Rhonda Hale
Shoes Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Hair DaVonte Blanton
Makeup Starlynn Burden
Groom’s Hair Saniyyah Sahar
Groom’s Suit Brandon Williams
Wedding Bands Mark Broumand
Floral Design Poppy Lavender Florals
Cake Mama Soul Bakes
Videography Ari Perilstein of Custom Made Productions
Photography Porterhouse Los Angeles
Editor's Note: In the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, this couple decided to do what they felt was best for them based on the individual guidelines of their state and the information available at the time of their wedding. For more up-to-date guidelines, check the CDC and your state's website.