Brynn & Ness
A Wedding in the Clouds:
This Couple Married
Overlooking the Cliffs of Big Sur
With a story from Vogue.com
Brynn Jones, a model and the owner of Aralda Vintage—a shop that sells well-curated eclectic clothing in Hollywood—and Ness Saban, an independent film distributor, met at a party about eight and a half years ago. He proposed about a week after their six-year anniversary. “We planned a last-minute trip to Big Sur to celebrate six years together,” Brynn remembers. “Apparently, Ness had just recently told his parents that he wanted to marry me, but didn’t know when he was going to propose.” That Friday, the plan was for Brynn to meet Ness outside of his office so they could head out to Big Sur together. “But he wasn’t there when I arrived, and when I called him, he said he ran out to ‘put air in his tires.’” Brynn later found out that Ness had just decided he wanted to propose on the trip, so he ran out to buy a simple gold band at the last minute.
“Later that night, we decided to go all out at dinner and eat and drink everything we wanted—but at one point, Ness stopped eating and drinking and started acting weird,” Brynn recalls. She assumed he didn’t feel well, so they went back to their room and talked to a soundtrack of Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys. “While laying there, Ness turned a bit serious and nervous. He said, ‘Hey Brynnie, Look at me,’ so I did, and he asked, ‘Will you marry me?’”
The two decided early on that they wanted to go back to Big Sur to get married, and their wedding location was the best of both worlds—ideally situated between the trees and the cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean. “We were in the clouds!” Brynn laughs. They wanted the aesthetic of their wedding to be whimsical, a bit abstract, and laced with some tradition. To achieve this, they worked with Yifat Oren and Emily Park of Oren Co, who created exactly what they were hoping for. “The atmosphere and energy of the weekend was a priority,” Brynn says. “We were trying to create an ‘experience,’ and we did this through colors and music that we wanted to share with our friends and family.”
Originally, Brynn thought she didn’t want to wear white or look too bridal on her wedding day. “I decided to team up with some people to create a custom dress, but it didn’t end up working out as planned,” Brynn laments. “So I had about 10 days before my wedding to find a wedding dress.”
In major crunch time mode, she drove to a few spots in Los Angeles on the hunt for something she could get fast, but that still felt like her—not too bridal or serious. She ended up at Monique Lhuillier, where she saw a dress that seemed like it could be right. “I tried it on and sent some photos to Ness asking what he thought. We weren’t really following the whole tradition of waiting for him to see me—I value his opinion most! After quite a few underwhelming dresses, it was exciting to get his response: ‘That’s the one!’ It was the only one they had, and after taking it in a little at the waist, it was ready to go. In the end, I’m really glad that I wore white and that it was a little bridal.”
Brynn had known which shoes she’d wear for months. “I found my shoes at Gucci last winter and bought them before making any other purchase,” she says. But she made her jewelry decisions at the last minute, adding three bracelets to her ensemble while she was getting dressed. One was a blue sapphire and diamond bracelet that Cheryl, Ness’s mom, had given her years ago; the next was a yellow diamond bracelet that was borrowed from Cheryl. Then, Ness came to visit her while she was getting ready and gave her an emerald and diamond bracelet as a wedding gift. “I thought, Why not wear them all?” says Brynn. “Something blue, borrowed, and new.”
The day of the wedding it was overcast, the sky mostly white. The ceremony took place cliffside. A string quartet played while guests—who’d been instructed to wear dusty colors and lots of prints—arrived. The ceremony’s officiant, Cantor Walfish, Ness, and the brides and grooms’ families walked out to a slowed-down version of “Dreams” by The Cranberries. “That song is about falling in love, and one of the all-time greats if you ask me,” Brynn says.
Brynn and Ness were escorted down the aisle by both of their parents—“a Jewish tradition that we love,” Brynn notes. “When we arrived under the chuppah, which was made up of different pieces of cloth—all different family heirlooms—there was a slight breeze and being surrounded by all of our loved ones was very calming.”
Originally, Brynn and Ness were going to flip a coin to decide who would say their vows first. But a couple of days beforehand, Brynn asked if she could go first—after thinking it over, she realized her husband-to-be would be a hard act to follow.
“I started writing different versions of what I wanted in my vows not too long after we got engaged, and I had tons of versions in my notes on my phone,” she says. “I was overwhelmed with how to put it all into a condensed version and if I was going to be able to express them the right way. So, I decided to wing it.”
She couldn’t help crying when the time came. Says Brynn: “I gathered myself and thanked him for being my best friend and told him about all of the different versions of vows I had written and that I would share all of them with him the next day. Along with a few other sentiments, I kept it short and sweet. I am more private with emotions and feelings, and he is very external with his. He wrote his vows while getting ready that day; they were so sincere and epitomized our life together.”
After the service, guests gathered for a family style meal comprised of locally sourced food: summer squash ravioli, lamb, halibut, and delicious sides like roasted piquillo peppers and butter beans.
The band Magik Magik, which played the strings at the ceremony, also put together an ensemble for the reception. During dinner they played a custom playlist, mostly acoustic, ambient versions of songs like “Waterfalls” by TLC and other favorites from artists such as Dolly Parton, Air, Built to Spill, Sade, and more. The couples’ parents and siblings all gave toasts. “I don’t think I’ve coasted through so many emotions in one night,” Brynn remembers. “We are both really lucky to have the big and strong families that we do.”
Following the toasts, the couple’s friend Ana Calderon started playing “Don’t Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys for the newlyweds’ first dance. Midway through, she mixed in “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash, and Brynn’s dad tapped Ness on the shoulder and cut in. “As a kid, I would ask my dad to tell me bedtime stories or sing to me; he would always choose to sing Johnny Cash,” Brynn explains. Ness and his mom followed with their first dance to “Unchained Melody,” which has special meaning to both of them. Shortly after, two chairs came out on the dance floor for the hora. “The hora was an unforgettable moment,” says Brynn. “It was so fun looking down and seeing everyone lifting us up and dancing all around us.”
Late at night, everyone took buses back to the hotels, and most guests joined the newlyweds for a “Tiki Chic”–themed after-party at Ventana, with the appropriate amount of LED lighting and lots of lava lamps. “Ness changed into his favorite sweatsuit, and I changed into a different dress,” Brynn says. “There was plenty to drink and a great supply of food like grilled cheese sandwiches, sliders, and french fries for the intoxicated, and Ana Calderon kept the party going all night long. We never would have guessed the dance floor would be packed until 3:00 a.m. As the night was finally coming to an end, our friend Nick put on ‘Just a Girl’ by No Doubt and dedicated it to me. There were only about seven of us on the dance floor, but we really went out with a bang with that tune!”
Article via Vogue.com
Written by Alexandra Macon
Event Design – Oren Co.
Photography – The Wedding Artists Co.
Flowers – Studio Mondine