This Airy Wedding at a Beachfront Malibu Estate Will Make You Wish Your Backyard Looked Like This
As an ad agency owner and founder, it made perfect sense that Gino Sesto incorporated two bus benches during his proposal to Bettina Ho. "He knew the day of the engagement that I would bring Lulu, our French bulldog (who I love more than anything else in this world), into the office," says Bettina. "Our receptionist called me when I was at my desk to notify me that Gino was there to visit and to come downstairs to meet him, which I thought was a little strange. Gino was outside the front entrance, so I went outside to meet him with Lulu alongside me. He took my hand and lead me to the bus benches in front of my building, and dropped onto one knee and proposed." The left bench had a festive photo of Lulu that said, "Bettina, Marry Me," and the right bench had two boxes marked "Yes" and "No" with another photo of Lulu. "I immediately said yes," says Bettina. "He then handed me a giant Sharpie, and I sealed the engagement by drawing a giant check mark on the 'Yes' box!"
The bride envisioned a modern coastal wedding with Old-World European charm. "Our main color was dusty blue with complementing shades of cream, taupe, and gold," she says. "I wanted our wedding to look timeless with hints of modernity." Since the couple lives and works in West Los Angeles, and most of their friends and family are from Southern California, they kept their venue search local and started in Malibu. "Having a venue with beautiful natural scenery was an important component to me, and of course, any venue had to be dog-friendly since Lulu would be a key element of our wedding day."
The pair found Casa di Pietra online, and when they visited the property, it exceeded their expectations. The beachfront estate, designed by renowned Malibu architect Douglas Burdge, includes a five-bedroom home with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. "The home was covered in a soft shade of stone that reminded us of a modern Italian villa," says Bettina. "There was an option of staying on the property for a week, which was an easy choice for us to make and made our wedding week truly memorable."
The couple's letterpressed invitations from Minted were timeless in design and relied on a lovely script for impact. Blue ribbon accents gave guests a hint of the color palette; personalized stamps were the finishing touch.
Bettina's stunning diamond rings, as well as the groom's handsome wedding band, were sourced from local jeweler Peter Norman.
A Vintage Look
It took 10 stores and trying on 50-plus dresses for Bettina to find her dream wedding dress, a graceful A-line gown with a soft lace bodice and cap sleeves. "I just felt like a bride in it!" she says.
A Dash of Sparkle
Her crystal-embellished sandals added sparkle and shine to her ensemble.
A Crown of Blooms
The couple's flower girl donned a lovely floral wreath of fresh green foliage dotted with roses.
A Textural Bouquet
Bettina's bouquet featured garden roses, hydrangeas, caramel and white lisianthus blossoms, peonies, ranunculus, and eucalyptus. "The bouquet was an organic shape with a little movement, with some greens and lush florals in mostly white and ivory with touches of taupe and blue," says Bettina.
The bridal party was dressed in a mix of light blue, dusty blue, and navy. "I offered my bridesbabes (not maids!) choices of colors and styles of dresses," says Bettina. "The dresses were light, airy, and pretty to match the theme of the wedding."
Gino, who pilots as a hobby, embellished his classic black tux from Theory with sterling silver cuff links in the shape of airplanes (a gift from his bride). His socks featured a pattern of musical notes as a nod another one of his passions.
Welcome to the Wedding
An acrylic sign greeted guests at the venue's entrance.
The couple's ceremony space was on the rooftop of their venue and boasted romantic views of the ocean. They kept with Lucite touches—see-through chairs highlighted the beauty of the natural stone architecture, while two pillars of garden roses, hydrangeas, peonies, white lisianthus, and ranunculus marked the altar.
The Flower Pup
Lulu, the duo's French bulldog, preceded the bride down the aisle. "Lulu wore a flower collar made of green foliage and small white flowers, plus a GoPro!" says Bettina. She also managed to destroy her floral collar an hour before the ceremony. "Luckily the florist had enough material to make her a new one," laughs the bride.
A Personalized Service
The pair's non-religious ceremony was officiated by Bettina's friend of more than 10 years, who is a theater actor. "She took the time to write her own script incorporating quotes from Rumi and Shakespeare," says the bride. "We have coined her the 'love fairy' because she believes in love and is a total romantic."
The pair wrote their own vows, which turned out to be very similar in style and content. "We are both very different but we complement each other," Bettina notes.
The cocktail hour was dubbed "Lulu's Speakeasy;" attendees sipped on signature drinks, along with wine, beer, and spirits.
Guests were treated to view of the rolling Pacific Ocean during dinner.
A Beautiful Reception Set-Up
Gray-washed farm tables were surrounded with coordinating chairs and lined with taupe silk runners that trailed gracefully on the ground.
Airy Place Settings
Ornately textured chargers with crisp menu cards and dusty-blue napkins paired prettily with gold utensils; together, they brought a modern touch to the tablescapes.
Ivory blooms were accented with a variety of striking greenery. "Centerpieces consisted of large central arrangements in a gray cement vessels filled with garden roses, hydrangeas, lace cap hydrangeas, eucalyptus, lisianthus, peonies, and ranunculus, with satellite pieces in terra cotta vessels," says Bettina. "Green garlands were woven down the center of the tables with an assortment of tea lights and pillar candles." Even the table numbers featured a floral theme.
Marble slabs of colorful desserts were brought to the tables, including lavender cookies displayed with sugar daisies.
A Sentimental First Dance
The pair took their first dance as husband and wife to the song "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca"—Gino's favorite movie.
Photography, Anya Kernes Photography
Venue, Casa Di Pietra
Planner and event designer, Mad Love Events
Flowers, Penelope Pots
Invitations and Stationery, Minted
Calligraphy, Jolly Seul Calligraphy
Bride's Gown, Anais Anette via Love and Lace
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Peter Norman
Bride's Jewelry, Peter Norman
Bride's Shoes, Schutz
Bride's Hair and Makeup, Kelly Zhang Studio
Bridesmaids' Hair and Makeup, Kelly Zhang Studio, Hair Malibu
Bridesmaids' dresses, Lulus; Social Bridesmaids
Groom's Tux, Theory
Cuff Links, Brooks Brothers
Groom's Shoes, Bruno Magli
Music, Lynnzee Fraye; Colton Sidell
Catering, LA Roots Catering
Cake, Susie Cakes Bakery
Rentals, Locust Collection; Premiere Party Rents; Simple Things Ceramics
Transportation, Vantage Parking
Entertainment, Egyptian Lover; Arabian Prince
Officiant, Iva Hasperger
Desserts, John Blandi Desserts