On June 8, 2014, Texans Eric Vergati and Valentina Tran married in a million-dollar wedding at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point, CA. The wedding, a stunning seaside affair with a fuchsia-and-navy color palette with pops of silver, was exactly what the couple dreamed of for their big day—though they had no input in any of the wedding details. In fact, Brides.com readers voted on everything from the bride's Monique Lhuillier dress to the global-inspired décor to the sparkling wedding bands.
Also up for vote? The couple that ultimately said "I do."
Eric, an accountant, and Valentina, an emergency room nurse, are the winners of Brides Live Wedding 2014, the first event of its kind where one real couple has the chance to tie the knot in a celebrity-style wedding. Before walking down the aisle toward a beautiful bougainvillea-adorned arbor overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Eric and Valentina were one of more than 1,400 couples campaigning to win their dream wedding. After finding out they were one of the top three finalists, the pair spent a whirlwind week in Los Angeles meeting the other remaining couples and checking out all of the voting options (which also included bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, wedding cake designs, registry packages, hair and beauty looks, and nail art) for the very first time.
Lucky for us, there wasn't a detail they didn't love!
More motivated than ever, Eric and Valentina headed back to their hometown of Plano, Texas, ready to mobilize their friends, family, and community to vote. They set up a booth at a pro-soccer game equipped with iPads ready for voting, reached out to family across the globe, canvased their neighborhood, flyered local stores, cafes, and restaurants, and dominated their friend s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram newsfeeds.
Their efforts paid off and Eric and Valentina exchanged vows before nearly 100 of their friends and family, and thousands more via Livestream broadcast.
See every aspect of their big day by clicking through the slideshow!
The day after getting engaged, Valentina picked up a copy of Brides and first learned about Brides Live Wedding. Admittedly indecisive and struggling with the idea of planning her wedding without the help of her younger sister, who lost her life to Lupus in 2012, Valentina felt a wedding planned by votes was the perfect solution. Something else that convinced her this was the way to go? The charitable component. The couple elected the Lupus Foundation of America to honor the memory of Valentina s sister (and best friend), Victoria.
Valentina instantly fell in love with the winning wedding dress designed by Monique Lhuillier. The modified trumpet "Esme" gown features removable illusion cap sleeves and embellished appliqué overlay.
Valentina and her bridesmaids wore jewelry by Simon G. The bride's diamond drop earrings and diamond bangles perfectly accented her wedding dress's intricate details.
The bride's glitter manicure by Sally Hansen also lent her wedding-day look subtle sparkle.
The winning makeup palette, which featured peach cheeks, silvery eye shadow, and berry lips, also created by Neutrogena, was glam, but still elegant.
The bride carried a lush bouquet featuring blush peonies, Juliet garden roses, vibrant greenery, and other ivory blooms. All of the wedding's florals were designed by Sunny Ravanbach of White Lilac Inc.
Valentina's six bridesmaids wore navy dresses by Allure Bridals. The winning chiffon design features a strapless neckline and waterfall hem.
The bridesmaids carried vibrant bouquets of fuchsia peonies and roses.
Eric's groomsmen wore gray Aspen tuxedo by Jos. A. Bank with navy ties and pocket squares.
Fuchsia boutonnieres complemented the bridesmaids' flowers.
Valentina's father escorted her down the aisle.
The couple tied the knot beneath a stunning floral arbor of bright bougainvillea, fuchsia roses, and blush hydrangea overlooking the St. Regis Monarch Beach's golf course and the Pacific Ocean.
The ceremony was officiated by JP Reynolds, who shared a sweet piece of advice with the couple: "A happy marriage is a long, grand conversation that always seems too short."
All of the big day details were coordinated by wedding and event planner Brooke Keegan.
The Invitations by Dawn invite perfectly captured the vibe of the couple's "global-chic"-inspired wedding-day décor.
Simon G. Jewelry designed the winning wedding rings. Valentina's white gold band is adorned with a row of round-cut diamonds and Eric's band features brushed white gold.
Inspired by the famous Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, guests wrote well wishes to the couple on padlocks and attached them to a section of fence in lieu of a traditional guest book.
Event designer Sunny Ravanbach of White Lilac Inc. dreamed up the incredible reception space, which was filled with mirrored tables, Lucite Chiavari chairs, and incredible tabletop canopies of bougainvillea, hydrangea, and roses. Floating candles in glass orbs were suspended from the hanging florals, which created an utterly romantic glow after the sunset.
An eclectic collection of blue glassware gave each table a bold burst of color.
Each place setting featured a menu card and silver-edged charger.
Musical group G.R.L. kicked off the dance party with a performance of their hit song "Wild Wild Love."
Eric and Valentina pause for a picture with G.R.L.
"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro of Carlo's Bakery created the elegantly understated wedding cake featuring four layers and blush sugar flowers.
With their wedding behind them, Eric and Valentina will rest, relax, and soak up the sun at the St. Regis Bora Bora, the winning honeymoon destination.