Michelle Franzen Martin 2017-09-05 10:05:29
Lauren and Michael Salem’s Valentine’s Day wedding at Montage Beverly Hills had the perfect balance of style, tradition and romance. Under a gorgeous pink February sky, Lauren Lebowitz and Michael Salem exchanged wedding vows during a sunset ceremony at Montage Beverly Hills. It was a magical moment for the couple, who grew up just a few miles away from each other but didn’t meet until after college when a mutual friend introduced them. The couple envisioned a romantic, traditional and elegant wedding with a few modern touches, and they achieved exactly that on Valentine’s Day. It was by coincidence that the couple planned their wedding for Feb. 14. They imagined exchanging vows at sunset, but they wanted a three-day weekend. Jewish tradition holds that a couple cannot get married during the Sabbath—from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Valentine’s Day was on Sunday, with the next day being Presidents Day. With the long weekend, it was the ideal time for a wedding. “I was very happy since the Valentine’s Day love theme definitely worked with a wedding and we were able to make it fun by personalizing conversation hearts and having a heart-themed cake, which I loved,” Lauren Salem says. “What better day to get married than on the day of love.” But Salem wanted to be sure Valentine’s Day was carefully woven into the wedding and reception in an understated way. “We wanted to play up the love theme when we could without it being too much,” says Salem, who worked with Debbie Geller of Geller Events to craft the gorgeous occasion. Together, they chose a color scheme of white, light pink and rose-gold accents. With understated luxury the focus of the wedding, it made perfect sense to select Montage Beverly Hills as the venue. “We chose the Montage because it is one of the most elegant hotels in LA and we wanted to have an outdoor ceremony with a beautiful ballroom feel for the reception,” Salem says. Taking advantage of the long weekend, guests arrived on Saturday and enjoyed some time at the pool. Then, on Sunday, it was time for the ceremony, where they walked down a candlelit aisle under a tent to their seats. The couple’s younger cousins and nieces and nephews, with whom they are close, led the bridal party. “It was one of the cutest moments since we had eight little girls and two boys walking down the aisle dropping rose petals,” Salem says. The couple also incorporated a few important traditions into the ceremony. The tallit used on the chuppah was from the father of the bride’s bar mitzvah, and they asked their cousins and parents to do a blessing during the ceremony. After the couple said “I do,” they headed toward the ballroom, which was beautifully decorated with rose-gold accents—chairs, a mirrored head table and even rose-gold chocolates. The Valentine’s Day theme came through in a perfect, subtle way. When guests walked in, they were greeted by a creative display of escort cards that were in the shape of hearts and hung by a string. Friends and family enjoyed specially made drinks with a “love” theme and desserts like delicious XO sugar cookies, heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies with milk, and chocolate- covered strawberries. The main confectionary attraction was a gorgeous tiered heart-shaped red velvet cake. “It was displayed on a table right when you walked in,” Salem says. “It was almost one of the first things you saw when you walked into the room and everyone was commenting on it and taking pictures.” Pink selfie sticks along with a lipshaped couch offered a touch of whimsy—a different twist on the photo booths often found at wedding receptions. The next day, before the couple left for a minimoon— the precursor to their honeymoon to Spain and Greece in May—they enjoyed breakfast at Montage Beverly Hills with a few close friends. And now, more than a year after their wedding, Salem still remembers it as “the best day ever.” She sums it simply, “It was warm, elegant and, of course, planned with love.” Getting Ready Gown: Christos Shoes: Christian Louboutin Makeup: Janelle Faretra Hair: Camila Marie Ceremony Venue: Montage Terrace Rings: Norman Silverman Flowers: Mark’s Garden Music: West Coast Music: Impulse Officiants: Cantor Chayim Frenkel and Rabbi Daniel Bouskila Invitations: Brenda Himmel Stationery Wedding Planner: Geller Events Reception Venue: Marquesa Ballroom Cake: Sweet Lady Jane Videographer: Bluecat International Rentals: Revelry Event Designers Food: Montage Beverly Hills Rose-gold chocolates: Edelweiss
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