When Sunny joined a friend in a Brooklyn park for the afternoon, she wasn't expecting to meet her future husband. "Meeting Ryan was absolutely random," she says. A year later, the pair started dating, and in November of 2012, Ryan took Sunny to Morocco for her birthday. One evening at dusk, the pair rode camels to the top of a sand dune, where Ryan popped the question under the moonlight.
The couple headed west to Los Angeles for their May 3rd, 2014 wedding, choosing the decadent and newly restored Theatre at Ace Hotel. "We fell in love with the history and the aesthetic," says Sunny, who worked with Bash, Please to plan the bash and focused on the lush, dramatic mood of the venue for inspiration.
Keep reading to see how they combined the theater's glamorous gold and burgundy color scheme with Sunny's Persian heritage, photographed by Heather Waraksa.
The invitations featured a graphic Art Deco design, which tied perfectly into the hotel and theater's history as a 1920s movie palace.
Instead of choosing a traditional bridal gown, Sunny wore a strapless brocade Lanvin gown that she purchased for only $500 at the annual Net-A-Porter sale in New York City. "I always dreamed of wearing couture at my wedding, and was so lucky to find this dress at the sale," she says.
Crystal-studded Alexander McQueen sandals paired perfectly with Sunny's glam jewelry. She paired her modern look with a lush, loose bouquet of peonies, ranunculus, scabiosa flowers, chocolate cosmos, and Queen Anne's lace.
Ryan wore a custom suit by Martin Greenfield. The flower girl, Sunny's cousin Bella, wore a white dress with a sheer neckline.
To match the rich color scheme, Sunny's three bridesmaids selected their own dresses in pale pink, burgundy, and red. Their freeform bouquets of peonies and ranunculus were tied with coordinating ribbons.
As guests arrived at the theater, they were greeted with a Persian tea station.
Traditional sweets, fruit, and Iranian teas were served throughout the evening.
Ryan and Sunny challenged their officiant with creating a ceremony that combined the bride's Iranian heritage with a non-religious Western ceremony. "She came over and conducted a 3-hour interview with us to create a sermon that really told our story," Sunny says.
The stage was decorated with a traditional sofreh aghd, with symbols of good fortune and prosperity. Sunny's favorite part of the ceremony? Walking down the aisle with her father. "My family started clapping, whistling, and cheering so loudly. Iranians are very expressive, and my friends loved it!"
The reception took place throughout the theater, with round tables in the ornate gold lobby and long tables upstairs. Blush and burgundy linens were accented with gold flatware and vases full of roses, peonies, ranunculus, and Queen Anne's Lace.
"The food was amazing," says Sunny. "It felt like dining at an expensive restaurant, and our guests raved about it."
During dinner, traditional Persian dancers entertained the guests.
The simple two-tiered cake was decorated with seasonal fresh fruit and nuts, including lemons, blackberries, and almonds. There was also a dessert table, filled with creme brûlée cups, napoleons, and Persian sweets.
The party didn't end when everyone left the theater. "My dad decided we should have an after-party in the presidential suite," Sunny remembers. "We had people up there celebrating with us until 6 a.m.!"
The couple, who took a minimoon up the Pacific Coast Highway a few days after the wedding, stress the importance of hiring a fantastic photographer and videographer. "The pictures and film are the only thing you'll take with you when the wedding is over, so it's worth it to be able to truly relive such an amazing experience."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Wedding Planner: Bash, Please
Shoes: Alexander McQueen
Hair: Sharri Hillman of Medusa Salon
Makeup: Emi Kaneko
Groom's Attire: Martin Greenfield
Wedding Bands: Mociun, House of Gems & Pearls - (212) 226-8256
Floral Designer: Twig & Twine
Invitations & Paper Goods: Please Keep Me In Mind
Entertainment: Bohemia Dance
Catering: L.A. Chapter
Cake: The Butter End Cakery
Desserts: Pink Orchid Bakery
Tea Station: Ruby's Party & Wedding Coordinating Services - (818) 395-8966
Photography: Heather Waraksa