February 11, 2010, James Fay was preparing to celebrate his birthday in a very unusual way: on a blind date. “I was set up by good friends, so I thought it would either be the best birthday gift I could get, or at least I’d make a friend a long the way,” he remembers. When he got to the restaurant, he met Beau Dunn, an actress, model, and contemporary artist known for her Barbie portrait series. They both realized quickly that it wasn’t just any first date and, two years later, James proposed during a candlelit dinner on the beach in Cabo San Lucas.
James and Beau spent five years planning their wedding, changing the date a few times as they enjoyed their engagement. “It worked out for us, but I wouldn’t recommend it,” says Beau. “We changed it the first time to accommodate family members’ schedules, and it just kept happening!” Regardless of the date, the couple had big plans: They knew they wanted to elope (twice!), and then celebrate at the bride’s parents’ home in Beverly Hills. They headed to the Maldives for a romantic, barefoot ceremony on a private island, where they arrived to their ceremony in bathing suits.
Next, they headed to South Africa before embarking on a 30-day safari throughout Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. On the second day of their tour, they were visiting with rescued cheetahs and baboons when, all of a sudden, Beau took a surprise fall that resulted in a torn patella and shattered cartilage. “I flew back to Los Angeles 28 days early for emergency surgery,” says Beau.
But that didn’t put the couple’s June 10, 2017 wedding on hold. Instead, the bride powered through, shopping for dresses on crutches and founding a new business in the process. “We couldn’t change the date—June 10, 2017 was my 30th birthday, and it really felt full-circle after we had our first date on James’s birthday,” says the bride. They filled the bride’s parents’ yard with a white-on-white theme inspired by a Ralph Lauren ad campaign from years ago. And fittingly, for their third wedding celebration, Beau wore three dresses—paired with bedazzled crutches (since her knee hadn’t healed yet!).
With wedding planner Sharon Sacks at the helm, this wedding was the perfect mix of Beverly Hills glam and natural New Zealand charm. Keep reading to see more of Beau Dunn's big day!
To really hammer home the white-on color palette, Beau and James’s invitation was letterpressed on white paper with no ink in sight.
Beau’s engagement ring features an absolutely gorgeous cushion-cut diamond, flanked by two trillions.
The bride’s first dress of the day was by Self Portrait. She fell hard for the long train and lace accents, and calls this dress her most traditional of the day. And, in fitting with their location, the bride paired her statement gown with soft Old Hollywood waves.
The bride carried an all-white bouquet of roses and peonies, tied together with white ribbon.
Natural wood chairs surrounded white tables, which were topped with soft centerpieces of peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and greenery. “The house and garden are so pretty, we didn’t want to take away from the surroundings,” says Beau.
Tables were arranged around a circular white dance floor, making the dance floor the real center of attention for the night!
Before the couple’s grand entrance, Beau changed into a second, crystal-covered gown by Berta. “I was the first person in the U.S. to try it on, and I knew it was my dress from the moment I saw it,” she says.
After dinner, the couple’s friend, Claire, read a blessing poem to the newlyweds. Then, following her blessing, she led guests in writing their own blessings and tying them to white balloons. “We all wrote blessings, then had this incredible balloon release,” Beau describes. “It was one of the most magical moments of the evening, and it made me want to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.”
At the end of the night, Beau changed into a her third and final dress, a pink sequin gown by Abyss by Abby. “It was the perfect dress to wear to blow out the candles on my birthday cake!” she says. “And it looked great with my crutches!”
Speaking of crutches, Beau is proof that it’s best to keep calm and go with the flow. “I never imagined not being able to walk on my wedding day, but the women who came together to literally hold me up made me realized how blessed I am to have them. I enjoyed every moment just as much as I would have if I could have walked!”
Wedding Planner: Sacks Productions || Bride's Dresses: Self Portrait, Berta Bridal, Abyss by Abby || Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Bride's Jewelry: MEME London || Hair: Nine Zero One Salon || Makeup: Michael Shepherd || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Fame and Partners || Groom's Attire: Givenchy || Flower Girl Attire: Plum Pudding || Engagement Ring: Steven & Co. || Wedding Bands: Cartier || Floral Design: Petals L.A. || Paper Products: Lehr & Black || Catering: Savore Catering || Cakes: Hansen’s Cake, The Ivy || Space Designer: Revelry Event Designers || Entertainment: Tony Martinez || Rentals: Town & Country, Resource One Inc.