Swept away by her beloved, Garen Karimian, Daniella Hovsepian was enjoying their romantic weekend getaway in San Diego, California, spending time at the beach. “It was perfect,” she describes of their boat ride and lunch out at sea. “As the sun was setting, he asked me to share the rest of his life with him.” She undoubtedly agreed. The celebratory milestone was bittersweet at first, as Daniella’s father had recently passed unexpectedly. Garen shares his incredibly sweet gesture of having “asked” her father for his blessing: “I decided I would write a letter and tuck it in his coat at the funeral.” The thoughtfulness illustrated the type of partner Garen would prove to be, and Daniella’s mother and sister also gave their blessings, supporting the couple as they began planning for their dream nuptials.
Arranging the details for a large event – 300 loved ones in Daniella and Garen’s case – is never an easy feat. “I had heard horror stories about planning a wedding, so I was kind of scared, but excited to start the process,” confides the bride. “However, the two of us working side by side was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.” Searching for a setting that was not only breathtaking, but would also accommodate the couple’s guest list, finally came to an end when they visited a ranch near Santa Barbara, California. The couple agreed it was the perfect location to host their ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
Daniella and Garen wanted their celebration to be modern with a classy feel. “Something timeless that if we were to look back on would still leave us in awe,” describes the bride of their vision. Electing to opt out of traditional Armenian customs, such as having a church service, the couple did want to incorporate one time-honored tradition: the “taking of the bride.” Daniella explains, “On the morning of the big day, the groom’s family goes to the bride’s home to dress her and shower her with gifts such as live musicians, flowers, chocolates, and jewelry... It was such a wonderful experience.”
Guests were seated in gilt-backed chiavari chairs. As the sun set, the bride walked down the aisle with her mother to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” played by a string quartet. Daniella dazzled onlookers, wearing a feminine strapless A-line gown with floral lace embellishments and carrying a frothy bouquet of all-white garden roses. She met her husband-to-be – who wore a sharp white tuxedo jacket paired with all-black attire – beneath billowing ivory fabric that had been affixed to the large trees of the lush lawn area. Four tall floral arrangements placed on Lucite stands were situated to create a lovely backdrop.
The sophisticated color scheme of black, white, and gold was carried over for the alfresco reception in a spacious grassy area of the estate. Family and friends took their seats for dinner at circular tables dressed in sleek black linens. Each place setting was impressive: a bullion charger beneath ebony dinnerware and golden flatware, and a black linen napkin and single vanilla-hued rose sat atop to complete the look. Crème brûlée roses intermingled with dark-hued stock and gold leaves to create tall centerpieces. The newlyweds sat a stunning sweetheart table that was arranged with gilded chairs, a runner of fresh roses that draped from each end onto the floor, a pair of chandeliers, and a collection of grand candlesticks.
Guests took to the custom dance floor, adorned with the couple’s monogram, to dance to songs performed live by Andy Madadian. “I grew up listening to Andy, and to have him at my wedding was a dream come true for me,” admits Garen. “I even went on stage with Daniella and sang one of his most iconic songs ‘Cheshmaye Naz [Beautiful Eyes]’ with him... it was completely unscripted!”
The ambience of the evening was fairy-tale like, warm, and inviting – just as the couple had wished. “All the planning had come to its fruition, and getting to see how everything came together was just breathtaking,” says Daniella.