After an epic engagement on their fifth anniversary—on a mountaintop at sunset in Santa Barbara, followed by a celebratory dinner in the hotel restaurant reserved exclusively for them—Jessie Willner and Davan Firinn's wedding was sure to be over-the-top. And that it was, when they got married in an intimate destination wedding on June 27, 2017. The couple who work together—Jessie is owner and creative director of The Mighty Company, whose statement-making leather jackets went viral when Gigi Hadid wore one, and Davan is operations manager—had a particular vision for their important event: a French disco!
Though for just 40 guests, their wedding was thoughtfully curated down to the littlest detail. To start, the venue, The Pavillon de Musique du Barry, was built by Louis XV specifically for receptions. “I have an obsession with 17th and 18th century French architecture and have always cited that as a design inspiration,” says Jessie. “When I saw the Pavillon it felt like it was plucked from an actual dream.” With such a historical venue, they turned the clock forward (and put their own twist on the venue!) with the French disco theme. Jessie’s vision was “to combine the worlds of Neoclassical Paris and metallic, neon ‘70s disco,” and her local wedding planner, Nancy LaTart of Fête in France helped make that dream a reality. She adds, “Planning the actual wedding was really funny because I’d speak to her between midnight and 2 a.m., which was the only time our schedules would match up with the time zones—it was all a great adventure.”
Keep reading to see more of this gorgeous (and fun!) celebration, as captured by Marcus Meisler, below!
As a designer, Jessie chose to work with LA-based atelier L’ezu to create her custom wedding dress, which was a rather long process. She says, laughing, “By its final iteration, I felt like I couldn’t even tell what it looked like anymore! But when I put it on in the setting of the Pavillon it all fit together so well I realized I wasn’t completely delusional.” The modern-fit gown she created, with details reminiscent of old-era France, was made of white silk charmeuse with French embroidery that was hand-stitched on. Of the process, Jessie says, “It’s kind of like when you’re home decorating—you put together all the pieces and just hope it looks perfect.”
The bride wore lace Alberta Ferretti shoes that fit perfectly with her venue and theme.
As a gift, Jessie had colorful Commes des Garçons pouches hand-painted with each of her bridesmaids’ names as passport holders for the journey. The couple gave each guest a few takeaways as well: their favorite Le Labo fragrance poured into vintage French perfume bottles from the ‘50s, and rose and chocolate eclairs from L’Éclair de Génie for a morning-after pick-me-up.
Jessie says, “To fit the crazy-disco-in-a-very-grand-setting vibe I decided on bright metallic silvers mixed with French blues” for the palette. So the five women in Jessie’s bridal party wore varying shades of blue and silver and did their hair and makeup on the carefree, natural side.
The bride purposely opted for a wildflower feel for her blooms to juxtapose the elegant surroundings. Throughout the Pavillon there was a smorgasbord of roses, greenery with berries, scabiosa, thistle, dahlia, pepper plant, cosmos, cineraire maritime, astrantia, eucalyptus, jasmine vine, rosemary, clematis and viburnum berry.
In keeping with the French theme and location, Davan wore a navy blue tuxedo by Saint Laurent, with a black bowtie by Lanvin. His groomsmen donned the opposite: black tuxes with navy blue bowties.
The Pavillon de Musique du Barry was built in the 18th century French Neoclassical era, and everything for Jessie’s and Davan’s wedding day took place in and outside it. She got ready in one of the salons; they held the ceremony in the front courtyard; cocktails on the side deck overlooking the Seine; and dinner and dancing inside salons.
After Jessie’s father walked her down a flower-lined aisle to a recording by a friend of a stripped-down version of “God Only Knows.” Following her grand entrance, she and Davan read each other vows they’d each written. “That was my favorite part of the entire wedding, trip, everything. Davan is also not a big crier, but he was sobbing like an actual baby. We were a mess, but it was the greatest moment,” she recalls.
During cocktails, the couple had a gypsy jazz–style trio play and the band’s leader created some of the music for Midnight in Paris. "Almost every guest commented on how absolutely brilliant they were," she says.
During the rehearsal dinner, two of Jessie’s bridesmaids took Instax photos of each guest, which they used for escort cards. “When they arrived they were confronted with a table of all their last night’s memories!” The bride designed all the visuals, including the invites, which were pale blue macaron boxes—letter-pressed with silver foil and filled with bright macarons and topped with illustrated RSVP cards. “We wanted to create invitations that could be turned into keepsake boxes,” she says.
Table centerpieces were created from the same mix of flowers and greenery that was used throughout, and the place settings kept with the French look. Dinner included a chèvre salad, beef fillet and creme brûlée with assorted macarons and passionfruit macadamia wedding cake, which was tiers of blue watercolor mixed with silver leaf, marbled sugar paste, and ruffles with metallic edges.
Before their first dance, Jessie was surprised by a secret project Davan had been working on for weeks. He created a stop-motion animation video telling the story of their last six years together, and played it on a projector screen before everyone. “At the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Jessie remembers. Afterward, during their first dance (to “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” by Elvis Presley), all the guests held up blue neon hearts Davan had secretly made and passed out.
The focal point for the dinner and speeches (and later, dancing!) was the couple’s wedding catchphrase, “Hooked on a Firinn,” which was illuminated in blue neon on a giant sign.
For the after-party, Jessie changed out of her white gown and into a rainbow sequin dress by Attico, paired with Dolce & Gabbana rainbow sequin shoes.
The after-dinner party turned Le Salon de Musique into a dancing extravaganza, says Jessie, who along with Davan had asked for the DJ to play a mix of ‘90s hits, Motown, and old-school hip hop. Throughout the evening, guests sipped signature cocktails from the Kir Royale bar—which had a variety of flavors of violette, peach, and classic red currant to select from—and snacked at a Nutella crepe counter.
Talk about one epic disco party—where was our invite?!
Venue: Le Pavillon de Musique de la Comtesse du Barry || Catering: La Belle Assiette || Cake: Synie’s Paris || Planner: Nancy LaTart from Fête in France || Bride’s Dress: L’ezu || Bride’s Shoes: Alberta Ferretti || Groom’s Attire: Saint Laurent, Lanvin || Hair & Makeup: Harold James || Floral Design: Lily Paloma || Music: Jazz Around Midnight || Rentals: Options || Photography: Marcus Meisler || Videography: Vincent Cadoret of Lifestories Wedding