Karen likes to call her first date with Jonathan "semi-blind"—the two had worked together for months, but, amazingly, had never met in person. Back in 2004, she was working as a mortgage lender when Jonathan needed a loan. After she helped him get one he asked her out without ever having met her face-to-face. (While Karen had done a little Googling, Jonathan had no idea what she looked like!)
Eight years later, his loan became hers at an elegant, intimate wedding in Beverly Hills. Fifty guests watched as they tied the knot on the rooftop of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (can you say Pretty Woman moment?) before a reception in the hotel's Royal Suite.
One January evening in 2010, Karen and Jonathan had dinner reservations at a top-tier restaurant, Il Sole. As they were getting dressed, Karen asked if Jonathan thought she should add any accessories to her look. "Here's an accessory that would work really well," he said, holding out an engagement ring. "Dinner was extra-special that night," Karen says.
The couple's invitations, designed by Carlo Cards, matched their green and white color scheme.
Karen wore an off-the-shoulder gown by Romona Keveza, only the third dress she tried on. "I knew it was the dress Jonathan would most love to see me in," she says. She paired the glam silhouette with a bouquet of wild roses and lilies, sparkly peep-toe Jimmy Choo pumps, and a custom veil made from the same lace as the Duchess of Windsor's wedding dress. Talk about a future family heirloom!
Jonathan looked dapper in a navy tuxedo by Salvatore Ferragamo.
Jonathan accessorized his tux with a traditional bow tie and these Ferragamo tuxedo shoes.
The two were married in a Jewish ceremony, but Karen likes to say it was "semi-Jewish," explaining, "We were married under a chuppah by a rabbi and stepped on a glass after we were pronounced man and wife, but most of our guests weren't Jewish so our rabbi had to keep explaining why he was doing what he was doing." It took two tries for Jonathan to break the glass, Karen says. "The first time it came flying out of the velvet bag!"
Karen and Jonathan's flower girl was the 2-year-old daughter of a close friend (appropriately, her name was Violet). "She adores her 10-year-old brother Aiden, so he waved to her the whole time she as walking down the aisle to make her feel comfortable. When she saw her brother, she walked to him and began throwing all her petals in his direction!" Karen says.
The couple decked out the Beverly Wilshire's Royal Suite, which Karen loved for its swanky NYC penthouse feel, with white flowers. Every surface was covered with pale blooms, and the entranceway featured a cascade of white roses, orchids and lilies. Most stunning of all were the long dinner tables, which were laid with a 50-foot white runner made of 5,000 clumped white roses.
Karen placed Jo Malone orange blossom candles throughout the venue. "I've worn the scent daily since Jonathan and I started dating, so it's a subtle reminder of me wherever he goes," she says.
On their three-tier cake, the couple placed a figure representing Zeus, their beloved dog who had passed away from a brain tumor months before. They'd planned to make him their ring bearer, but instead, they asked guests to make a donation to the rescue where they'd gotten him in lieu of a gift.
Karen and Jonathan dated for over six years and were engaged for nearly three before they were married, so they had life together down pat by the wedding. "It isn't really the wedding that solidifies the relationship," she says, "but the everyday togetherness—being a team of two and being each other's solid ground—that makes a marriage."
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Beverly Wilshire Hotel || Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Veil: handmade by Letitia Alta Moda || Rings: Prince of Jewels || Hair & Makeup: Monique Powers || Groom's Suit: Salvatore Ferragamo || Planner: Linney Kim at Button Events|| Florist: Kelly Hancock of Garden Spells || Invitations: Carlo Cards || Cake: Butterend Cakes|| Photography: Adam atEmbrace Life Photography