A Flower-Filled Southern California Wedding Under the Stars

With creative, unexpected details like bicycles.

Updated 10/13/17
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Photo by Paige Jones Photography

Almost 10 years to the day they first met, during a seven-day AIDS/LifeCycle charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Jackie Ganz married Matt Silverberg. What started as a long-distance East Coast/West Coast relationship became an engagement in Laguna Beach on Labor Day weekend during sunset, and it was made official before 191 friends and family who gathered at the romantically named Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, California. “We fell hard during our walk-through when we stepped out and saw the Grand Prix (essentially a polo field) that separated a Mediterranean-style mansion and the Santa Susana Mountains. It was very Gatsby,” says Jackie. Beyond holding the entire event outside, the couple wanted delicious cocktails, farm-to-table food, plenty of dancing—and bicycles! “Bicycles were a running theme through the day, and we were thrilled to give back to the event where we met, offering a donation to this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride on behalf of our guests as our wedding favor.”

When it came to making her dream wedding a reality, Jackie worked collaboratively with Robin Baab Olascoaga of RO & Co. Events. “There were decisions that were fun no-brainers and others that proved tougher, but the day was so magical, it was all worth it,” she says. Keep reading to see how this couple personalized their southern California celebration with bright florals, bicycles, and more—as shot by Paige Jones Photography!

Solo shot bride with bouquet
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

During her very first wedding-dress-shopping experience, Jackie tried on the Anna Maier Couture gown that would become the dress to beat, and it never was. After appointments on both coasts, she kept coming back to the “formfitting lace beauty. It could never be beat, so on my birthday weekend we purchased it—solid birthday present!” For his part, Matt had a blue suit custom made by Klein Epstein Parker, and he wore a white paisley bow tie and white suspenders.

The bride accessorized her strapless French-lace gown—with buttons running down the entire back—with a hairpiece from Saks Fifth Avenue, clutch by Glint, shawl from Brunello Cucinelli, and Rene Caovilla shoes.

Mother's corsage pink flower
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

There was no question that rose gold would be featured in all the floral arrangements by Peony & Plum, along with lush greenery. “I love rose gold,” says Jackie, “so we made it rain rose gold all weekend long, from the foiled save-the-dates to the invitations and day-of paper goods, our handmade ketubah, and our flatware and sequined sweetheart and dessert-table linens, just to name a few.”

Bride and groom walking down stairs
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

Aesthetically, Jackie and Matt wanted what they call “rustic romance. Our look is Restoration Hardware/West Elm, so we wanted rustic but refined elements: romantic florals, candlelight, and calligraphy with pops of understated glam,” she explains.

Water fountain
Photo by Paige Jones Photography
Floral chuppah
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

For the ceremony, the couple stood under a gorgeous exposed-wood chuppah decorated in lush florals and greenery with modern geometric lanterns and arrangements on levels in front of it. Also key to the all-important setting: what Jackie calls “an unforgettable view of the mountains in the background.”

Bride and groom at altar
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

During the ceremony they signed their ketubah, handmade by an artist friend and incorporating a bicycle and rose gold, as Jackie surprised her groom by having the band play a version of a song he wrote for her when they first met. They did a twist on the traditional seven blessings, which had seven special people blessing them with humor, friendship, adventure, family, patience and forgiveness, trust, and respect, and they exchanged their grandparents’ gold wedding bands.

Bike with flowers in basket
Photo by Paige Jones Photography
Bike tire escort cards
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

An oversize sign and flower-bombed beach cruiser commemorated their gesture of donating to this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride in lieu of wedding favors. The couple did provide curated guest welcome boxes for everyone who attended, including personalized water bottles and snacks—Matt’s favorite black and white cookies and Jackie’s go-to salty potato chips.

RO & Co. Events designed a nontraditional bicycle wheel escort installation that Jackie says appealed to her hubby’s artsy side and, again, paid homage to their fateful meeting on the bike ride.

Reception Table Setting
Photo by Paige Jones Photography
Place setting
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

“To keep things from getting too pink, we offset the feminine color with sophisticated neutrals of gray table runners and seat cushions and natural finishes like exposed wood dinner tables,” says Jackie. They also used rose-gold flatware and had the same bountiful Peony & Plum arrangements decorating tables.

The couple decided on a family-style meal for their guests that featured fresh, clean, and seasonal food by Whoa Nelly. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, they did a dessert extrava-“Ganz”-a with a massive Milk Jar Cookies bar, representing Matt’s cookie monster side, and a Hannah’s Bananas cart as a nod to Jackie’s favorite sleep-away-camp Chocolate Banana Nights. There were three signature cocktails designed by the Whaling Club: a Basil Gimlet, Bee Sting, and Georgia Fix.

Bride and groom in chairs
Photo by Paige Jones Photography

A Rental Connection built a custom wooden truss over the dance floor with Edison bulbs dangling from it. “It’s now known as the Ganz,” says Jackie. Her first dance with her husband was to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” which kicked off a night of “crushing the dance floor surrounded by everyone in our lives who we love,” she says. “We have never felt such love and happiness in our whole lives.”

Venue: Hummingbird Nest Ranch, Santa Susana, California || Catering: Whoa Nelly Catering || Desserts: Milk Jar Cookies, Hannah’s Bananas || Bar Caterer: The Whaling Club || Planner: Robin Baab Olascoaga of RO & Co. Events || Bride’s Dress: Anna Maier Couture || Bride’s Shoes: Rene Caovilla || Groom’s Attire: Klein, Epstein & Parker || Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Juan Carlos Obando || Floral Design: Peony & Plum || Rentals: A Rental Connection, Borrowed Blu || Linens: La Tavola Linens || Band: Professional Folk || DJ: Redshoe LA, DJ Wes || Save-the-Dates: Minted || Invitations & Paper Products: Prim & Pixie || Guest Book: Artifact Uprising || Photography: Paige Jones Photography || Videography: McDuff Productions || Photo Booth: GC Photo Booth

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