Though Jennevy Opena and Cipriano Macabuhay had many mutual friends, it wasn’t until a friend’s birthday party in April of 2007 that they finally met. Cipriano, though, was smitten from the start, and the pair dated for a decade before getting engaged. After all that time, Cipriano says he knew how to surprise Jennevy. “He planned for my friends and me to go on the Malibu Wine Safari in August of 2017,” she recalls. “I’d wanted to go forever, and thought it was going to be a great day trip.” After meeting the resident wildlife (who have names like Michelle O’Llama and Yak Efron), the tour guide brought the group up to a private overlook of the vineyards, where Jennevy found a flower crown, balloons, and a handwritten letter from Cipriano. “As I was reading, he snuck out from his hiding spot and proposed!” she says. “It was an amazing surprise, surrounded by my closest friends.
The couple gave themselves a year to plan their wedding, setting the date for September 8, 2018, in Los Angeles. “When we started planning, our venues (Valentine and Grass Room) weren’t actually finished yet,” says Cipriano. “We went on a hard hat tour, and reviewed the designs and creative vision with the staff. Even though we couldn’t see it, we booked it immediately!” The properties, run by the same company that runs Smog Shoppe, are filled with eclectic decor, murals, and lots of color and texture. Combining both spaces gave the couple ample room for their 250-person guest list. “We wanted our wedding to be fun and immersive,” says Jennevy. “Since we've been together for a decade, each of our wedding guests has played an important role in our story, so we wanted to celebrate them as much as our marriage.” Colorful flowers, textured accents, and the tropical setting at Valentine and Grass Room influenced the pair’s playful vision, which they worked with Green Apple Event Co. to amp up with immersive experiences and lots of fantastic music.
These photos, by Mallory Dawn, are totally eye-catching and absolutely inspiring. Keep reading to take a closer look at all of Jennevy and Cipriano's creative (and beautiful!) ideas.
The invitation suite paired tropical colors and floral motifs, incorporating butterflies and chameleons as a playful finish.
The flowers were bright and punchy with vibrant mum boutonnieres and bouquets of pale pink anthurium and ranunculus. The flower girls donned white and yellow crowns filled with texture.
Jennevy worked closely with designer Oliver Tolentino to create her custom wedding gown. The resulting design featured lace off-the-shoulder sleeves and a long train. Cipriano looked classic yet chic in a black shawl collar tuxedo with a silk bow tie.
“We knew we wanted a traditional Catholic ceremony, and we were so lucky to find St. Timothy’s in Los Angeles,” says the bride. “We loved the stained glass windows, but it was our officiant, Father Paul, who really made us feel excited about the ceremony.”
During cocktail hour at Valentine, guests nibbled on braised short rib tacos and lemongrass chicken kebabs as they sipped two signature cocktails. Cipriano’s was the "Ultra Light Beam," a whiskey sour with a splash of red wine and Jennevy’s was the "Love, Jennevy," a champagne cocktail with lemongrass syrup. During this time, guests also lounged on colorful midcentury furniture in the venue’s tropically-inspired garden.
Two trucks rolled in to keep guests entertained throughout the evening: The Lenita by Grita flower truck created custom arrangements for guests to take home, while the Gloria photo camper from the Traveling Photo Bus snapped pictures of everyone in their formal attire.
The vibrant escort card wall had guests’ cards displayed on a collection of shapes in shades of pink and peach. The pastel colors popped against the teal wall.
In the dinner area, bare tables were flanked with colorful chairs and topped with vibrant tropical arrangements. Each table was draped in a pink gauzy runner, which perfectly matched the anthurium and dahlias in the centerpieces, and a yellow napkin was set on each white charger for an added pop of color.
After a dinner of grilled hanger steak with cilantro chimichurri and braised greens with pork belly, Cipriano and Jennevy shared their first dance to a mix of the acoustic and album versions of “May I Have This Dance” by Francis and the Lights. “DART Collective created a music map to curate the mood for each portion of the reception,” Jennevy raves.
Guests nibbled on Oreo cheesecake and crème brûlée tartlets alongside slices of triple berry, chocolate almond crunch, and raspberry lemon cake. “The textured tiers were decorated with gorgeous fresh flowers,” says Jennevy.
Looking back on their special day, Jennevy and Cipriano admit that staying within budget was the hardest part of planning. “Talking about money isn’t easy, and it can be frustrating to feel that your vision is restricted by your budget,” he says. “We tried to use it as an opportunity to be creative and explore exciting and unique options as we designed.”
Wedding Planner: Green Apple Event Co.
Ceremony Venue: St. Timothy’s Catholic Church
Bride's Dress & Veil: Oliver Tolentino
Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way
Groom’s Shoes: Prada
Bowties: The Tie Bar
Engagement Ring: Robbins Brothers
Floral Design: Lavender’s Floral
Flower Truck: Lenita by Grita
Catering: Tres LA
Bar: Cocktail Concierge
Cake: Sweet Lady Jane
Ceremony Music: Cattus Quartet
Reception Music: DART Collective
Videography: Tim & Co.
Photography: Mallory Dawn Photography