Australian model Nicole Trunfio, 30, and musician Gary Clark Jr., 32, fell in love at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival four years ago, so it was only fitting that the couple get back to the desert for their wedding day. With family, friends, and their one-year-old son, Zion, in tow, the pair made their union official last night, April 19, 2016, at the Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs, California. The newlyweds gave BRIDES an exclusive first look at their big day—including everything from the model bride's attire to their A-list musical performers.
So why did they get married on a Tuesday? They were working around Gary's performance schedule: He was set to play both weekends at Coachella, so a mid-week party nearby was a no-brainer; guests arrived as early as Friday to take in the groom's concert and kick back with the pair before the big day.
Nicole spent her pre-wedding weekend in plenty of funky bridal-inspired white attire (including a 70s-style Houghton dress for Gary's Coachella performance) but went totally classic on the big day. For the ceremony, the model bride wore a beaded ball gown from Steven Khalil, complete with a plunging neckline and lengthy train. Her lace-trimmed Cathedral-length veil finished off her look. "I went through thousands of dresses, ideas, and custom designs to find something that was truly authentic to me and everything I dreamed about," Nicole says of finding her dress.
"As a model, I don't usually get to choose the styles I wear on the day of a shoot, but on my wedding day I got to show off my style."
Gary worked with the team at John Varvatos to choose his and Zion's suits. "He went into the archives to select their looks," says the bride. "Gary wore a true John Varvatos style, while Zion's outfit was custom made."
Nicole's five bridesmaids, including models Gemma Ward and Jessica Gomes, donned white gowns from Reformation and festival-appropriate flower crowns.
The pair exchanged vows officiated by the groom's manager, Scooter Weintraub, beneath a floral arch covered with blooming branches, white spirea, cotton, and tufts of baby's breath. Jessica Gomes, Zion's godmother, carried the couple's young son down the aisle. As a special treat, the couple tapped alternative rock singer Citizen Cope to provide background music, performing Sebastian Tellier's "La Ritournelle."
"This was my favorite part of the day," Nicole says of the ceremony. "I loved reading my vows and hearing Gary read his."
The poolside reception was filled with gorgeous flowers, including tall glass vases topped with garden roses, tea roses, hydrangeas, and phalenopsis and dendrobium orchids. Nicole helped plan every detail along with the team at Artisan Events, including the pool filled with glowing balloons and the couple's neon light monogram. "I have such a specific attention to detail. I'm so visual and I needed to go over everything three times so I could see it, touch it, and feel it. I wanted the wedding to feel whimsical and transport people to another time," she says.
There, the entire crowd dined on a decadent three-course meal, including crispy pork belly buns, brisket tacos, wood-roasted salmon, roasted Brussels sprouts, and black truffle mashed potatoes.
In addition to their epic five-tier wedding cake (with layers of vanilla berry crunch and vanilla bean with salted caramel cake), dark chocolate espresso martinis made for a delicious end to the meal.
For the reception, Nicole traded her voluminous ball gown for a figure-hugging lace sheath from YolanCris. The semi-sheer second look was perfect for partying and featured a high neckline and long sleeves.
What song do a Grammy Award-winner and his new bride choose for their first dance? This duo chose Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," but that didn't cap off the musical selections for the night. Alice Smith hit the stage, performing Nina Simon's "Will You Be My Husband," before DJ James Gonzales took over. "Music had a huge role in our wedding," says Nicole. "It's the story of our lives and our love. We created a list and passed it around to our closest friends to add selections to, so it became a collaboration between us and the bridal party."
At the end of the day, Nicole admits she was surprised by how calm and relaxed she was. "I felt absolute bliss at the end of the night," she says. "I felt so honored to be surrounded by such incredible people. We were blessed to have these people all together in one place and all getting along."
Venue: Colony Palms Hotel || Planner & Flowers: Joey Lizotte of Artisan Events || Bride's Wedding Dresses: Steven Khalil; YolanCris || Hair: Cassie Harwood of Salon Ruggeri NYC || Makeup: Victoria Baron || Groom's & Zion's Attire: John Varvatos || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Reformation || Rings: Trunfio Universe || Cake: Over the Rainbow || Music: Citizen Cope; Alice Smith; DJ James Gonzales || Photographer: Kane Skennar