Taryn + LA
As seen in the Fall/Winter 2011 Edition
Taryn and LA’s wedding was one of our favorites. The planner’s, Gail and Hester of Wedding Soiree, really did pure magic on this location. The decor-AMAZING. Imagine persian rugs, wind chimes, paper fans, and spiced wines… This wedding just screams cultural fusion and was a perfect nod to the Taryn and LA’s multiracial heritage. (Taryn is of Chinese, Afro-Caribbean, and East Indian heritage and LA is of German, Irish, and African-American heritage.) Here are some highlights from the wedding and the full gallery is below.
photography by Tec Petaja
The Details Gown : Pronovias Shoes : Jean-Michel Cazabat (Bride & Groom) Formalwear: Ben Sherman Ceremony site: Inn at Serenbe, Palmetto, GA Venue: Inn at Serenbe, Palmetto, GA Hair/Makeup: Scoobie West Event designer/décor: Gloriosa & Wedding Soiree Wedding Planner: Wedding Soiree Florist: Gloriosa Cake: Gloriosa Favors: Handmade (courtesy of the groom’s sister) Bridesmaid Gowns: J. Crew Videographer: Joe Simon Wedding Films Photographer: Tec Petaja Caterer: Gloriosa Registries: Macy’s, Crate & Barrel Rentals: Exquisite Events – Chiavari chairs Entertainment: DJ Limelight Wish Lanterns: Wishlantern.com
Taryn and LA found each other on a dating website and after eight months of long-distance courtship, they realized that this was it. According to Taryn, “The first time we laid eyes on each other was in an airport…after months of online correspondence. We already knew the other was “the one” at this point, so it was all very relaxed and low-key.” At the time they became acquainted with each other online, Taryn, the island girl from Trinidad and Tobago, was in medical school in Washington, DC; and LA, the IT specialist from New York with fifteen siblings, lived in upstate New York. With Taryn about to begin her residency in Miami, Florida, the couple moved to Miami. Now much closer to each other, they courted for three more years and shared many travels. Soon, LA knew it was time to pop the question. Turning to one of Taryn’s friends for help with selecting the perfect ring for his sweetheart, LA set about the anxiety-inducing task of preparing for the proposal. “I sweated, I suffered anxiety attacks, I second-guessed…but finally it was time to present it. For that, I returned to the place that helped me realize how much she loved me – Negril, Jamaica. She’d taken me there for my birthday a year earlier, and no one had ever done anything so involved for any occasion in my life. The place had a special meaning for me, and for us,” said LA. LA took Taryn to Jamaica and while enjoying a lazy Saturday on the beach, he asked Taryn to get ready for dinner. As she made her way slowly back to the beach, Taryn noticed someone tear frantically past her about fifteen minutes before the sunset. It was a terribly anxious LA! Unsure what was going on, Taryn sat on a lounger to take in the beautiful view. She had no idea that the love of her life was about to ask her to be the love of his life, forever. She explained the moment: “It wasn’t two minutes more when he sat behind me. Cuddles and flattering words were exchanged, and before I knew it, he was down on his right knee. That was the rush…he’d gone to get the ring! Count on me to have nearly sabotaged my own romantic moment!! Once I got my right hand off my open mouth, I extended my left, started nodding and finally–finally–eeked out a ‘Yes!’” Now happily engaged, the couple set a date for their wedding, choosing the Saturday closest to the date they first became acquainted online, September 18, and began planning. Because Taryn admits she had “never been the little girl who dreamt of [her] wedding day”, she browsed several bridal magazines and blogs to get inspiration for her big day. Doing that helped her put ideas together and decide what their wedding vision would be. Next, she took on the task of finding the perfect location for the wedding. Not satisfied with traditional venues like churches and ballrooms, she looked elsewhere and found the Inn at Serenbe in Georgia. “I quickly realized that the more I investigated, the more depressed I became…once I viewed Serenbe’s beautiful outdoor locations for both ceremony & reception, I couldn’t envision anything more lovely. The added bonus of cottages on site where important guests could stay sealed the deal.” Putting the rest of the details together would be undeniably arduous, so Taryn knew she needed to get expert help. Lucky again online, Taryn found her wedding planners, Wedding Soiree. They helped her make her ideas a reality and did all the groundwork in Atlanta where the wedding would be. Their help was particularly valuable because she was still based in Miami at the time and had to communicate via email and conference calls. Now that they had their planners, the couple still had to resolve the issue of entertainment. Taryn turned to LA to make the decision on whether to pick a DJ or a band. He enthusiastically made the decision to choose DJ Limelight whose work he was familiar with from his travels in Indiana. Taryn also revealed that another great hurdle was deciding how to budget. In the end, she made the decision to splurge on her photographer and videographer knowing that they would create images that would spark amazing memories of their special day for a lifetime. Determined to share a day that was “beautiful, elegant and sacred but ultimately accessible” with their families, Taryn and LA decided to create a casual but beautifully charming environment for their guests at Serenbe, especially with guests coming from destinations as varied as Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and all parts of the United States. They wanted to ensure that the celebration was luxurious without being stuffy, lovely without sacrificing the feeling of family and unity. On September 18, 2010, their wedding day, they achieved that goal. From the family-style dinner served on wooden risers to the charming outdoors, Taryn and LA brought their vision to life. They even added the element of family by selecting Taryn’s godmother, an Anglican priest from Canada, as the officiant of the ceremony in which she led them through vows they had written together. As for the wedding details and décor, Taryn and LA went for cultural fusion. Taryn’s elegant wedding look took on a bohemian quality when she combined her gorgeous dress with a piece of gold jewelry that went around her forehead. The cultural fusion was in every detail of the décor as Moroccan, Eastern and Caribbean elements such as wind chimes; bright paper umbrellas in the wedding colors, spiced wine, coral and deep pink; paper fans to combat the Georgia heat; and a semi-outdoor reception pavilion with Persian rugs at the perimeter of the dance floor would all be juxtaposed in the most creative ways. Moroccan lanterns were scattered down the tables and strung from the rafters that had drapes of crimson fabric. The florals were completely diverse as a nod to the couple’s multiracial heritage: Taryn is of Chinese, Afro-Caribbean & East Indian heritage and LA is of German, Irish and African-American heritage. Their menu was consistent with their theme. The appetizers consisted of vegetable samosas topped with minted chutney, hummus on lavosh, grilled lamb kabob and curried pumpkin soup. The family-style dinner consisted of strawberry and goat cheese summer salad, chicken thighs tagine with apricots and spiced pine nuts, grilled salmon over lentils with fennel and roasted corn, Moroccan-style potato fritters, grilled eggplant and portobello mushrooms with tomato fondue and goat cheese, stuffed zucchini, and artisanal bread. For dessert, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing, baklava, Moroccan cookies and yogurt parfaits were served. All of that was washed down with the couple’s signature sweet tea drink flavored with vodka and infused with peach Schnapps, Guinness, Heineken, Trinidad & Tobago’s Carib Lager, red & white wine and soft drink beverages. There was also a water station with fruit-infused water for the guests’ additional comfort. With their magnificent wedding over, Taryn stated that there is just one thing she would have done differently, “I would have focused even less on little details. One of the secret highlights of the day was that I had completely entrusted the cake’s design to our caterer, Gloriosa. The look of the cake was a surprise even to us when we entered the reception, and that was so fun.”