Amanda Palencia and Jason Barajas knew one another for about a year before sparks began to fly. Their friendship blossomed easily into romance, and not long afterward, Jason surprised Amanda with a proposal of marriage while they were on a cruise with friends. Once back in Los Angeles, they went right to work planning their one-of-a-kind celebration, which took place just six months later. While they agreed that elegance and a sense of tradition were important to the tone of their celebration, Amanda and Jason had no interest in planning an uptight affair. “I wanted a beautiful, cool, fresh, and different kind of wedding,” explains the bride. So in keeping with the idea of “something old, something new” they decided to blend the best of both worlds by holding their wedding at one of their favorite spots, the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel, while infusing it with hip and playful details.
Amanda and Jason’s out of town guests knew they were in for a special experience when baskets full of treats, including the couple’s favorite cupcakes, greeted them in their hotel rooms. The garden ceremony they witnessed was a wonderland of hanging orchids, climbing roses, and arching trees all in a demure palette of ivory, peach, and green. But as the bridesmaids made their way down the monogrammed aisle runner in flirty, bubble gum pink dresses, a unique element of fun was instantly introduced into the elegant surroundings. Amanda, dressed in a draped satin Elizabeth Fillmore mermaid gown, carried a distinctive bouquet made of pink petals arranged to look like one giant rose. The bride and groom recited original vows and white doves were dramatically released as they shared a kiss. “The moment I held my husband’s hand while we said our vows, it felt so amazing. It felt so complete,” says the bride.
The flowers that decorated the cocktail hour were an extension of the ceremony’s lush and dream-like display and a surprising contrast to the world that was waiting behind the closed doors of the reception. The ballroom’s historic space was reinvigorated with a vibrant and whimsical décor. Tropical orchids, purple linens, dramatic lighting, and boxes of roses transformed the ballroom into a nightclub atmosphere complete with a spacious dance floor and several lounge areas. During breaks in the dancing, guests took advantage of the indoor couches to sip martinis dispensed from giant ice sculptures and garnished with blinking ice cubes. Outside in the repurposed garden, large white ottomans provided a quieter opportunity to enjoy hand-rolled cigars beneath the soft light of modern chandeliers.
Amanda and Jason’s wedding cake also added a playful punch. The words “Just Married,” written in large cartoon lettering, adorned the first of the cake’s six square layers, which were covered in turquoise icing and spiked with sugar hearts and flowers. A crystal monogram of the newlywed’s initials crowned the cake’s top. In addition to serving their funky cake, the bride and groom spiced up the dessert service with a large candy bar so guests could make themselves goody bags for the trip home.
For Amanda and Jason, however, the journey had only just begun; they celebrated their new life together as a married couple by honeymooning in Bora Bora and the nearby private island resort, Le Taha’a.