An Enchanted Garden Wedding in California
Lily and Jonathan
Growing up in Florida, Lily Pollard had a friend, Julia Evans, who happened to have a twin brother, Jonathan. No big deal. Then one day in 2008, when Lily was home from college but Julia wasn't, Lily made plans with Jonathan instead. They met for mini golf and some laughs—"We're both at our funniest when we're competitive," says Lily—and were inseparable for the next two weeks, until he returned to school in Georgia. The first time she visited, "People kept asking if we'd been together for years," she recalls. "We knew we had something special."
So special that they spent the next five years together, relocating to Los Angeles in 2011. On their fifth anniversary, they took a trip to a Santa Barbara ranch. "We walked around for about an hour saying, ‘Should we get engaged there? How about there?'" says Lily. Finally, on a clearing overlooking the Pacific, Jonathan went to bend down on one knee, but Lily stopped him, asking that they be eye to eye. He stood to pop the question. Her answer: "Of course."
When it came to planning the wedding, the bride reached back to her childhood for inspiration. "I loved The Secret Garden growing up," says Lily, who wanted their celebration site to look "overgrown, like an English garden." And on Friday, October 24, 2014, the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills had just the enchanted woodland feel she dreamed of, complete with hanging lights, masses of white flowers, and carefully chosen music. A string quartet performed during the nondenominational service and then played interpretations of the couple's favorite rock songs, like David Bowie's "Golden Years" and "Ceremony," by New Order. They had just 35 guests, who sat down for a Wolfgang Puck–catered five-course meal at one long table. For their first spin as Mr. and Mrs., the couple chose "And I Love Her." ("I grew up listening to The Beatles with my dad," explains Lily.) Later that night, friends and family reconvened at the newlyweds' home for sliders, fries, and milkshakes, because everyone wanted to keep the party going. It's a feeling Lily knows well: "If we could get married again and again surrounded by these same people," she says, "we would."
The oversize letterpressed invitation and the digitally printed envelope liner each showcased a different fern motif.
John presented Lily with a vintage 1950s sapphire ring, from Frank Pollak & Sons, shown here atop the walnut slide boxes that were laser etched with the couple's monogram and offered to departing guests.
The Welcome Arch
A custom arch was draped with emerald taffeta silk, welcoming guests to the lawn of the Greystone Mansion for the ceremony. As Jonathan waited for his bride, a quartet played Yo-Yo Ma's "Appalachia Waltz (Solo Cello Version)." "It reminded me of Jonathan's quiet confidence," says the bride.
In lieu of having bridesmaids, Lily asked attendees to wear pastels and neutrals, and gave each female guest a wrist corsage.
At the end of a grass aisle lined with greenery and white blooms, a handmade arch was draped with acacia, eucalyptus, and delphiniums, then encased in a thicket of ferns.
The Bride's Bouquet
A Champagne Tower
Lily and Jonathan kicked off cocktail hour with a Champagne tower.
The Reception Table
Small arrangements of amaryllis, dahlias, ferns, and heirloom roses ran down the length of the table.
Banquet tables, pushed together to accommodate all 35 guests, were set next to a row of cypress trees.
A Royal Cake
The couple's monogram was stenciled onto a white four-tier cake similar to the one at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.
A Piece of Cake
Everyone took home a slice of wedding cake, a silver fork, and a vintage napkin in a custom walnut box.
Location, Greystone Mansion
Event planning and Design, Duet Weddings
Catering, Wolfgang Puck Catering
Flowers, Flowerwild Productions
Photography, Jose Villa
Officiant, Reverend John Moore
Stationery, Amber Moon Designs
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy
Cake, Sweet & Saucy Shop
Bride's gown, Atelier Pronovias
Hair, Bethanie J. Hair
Makeup, Symmetry Beauty
Groom's suit, Burberry
Sketch artist, Stéphane Kardos
Welcome Gift, Valleybrink Road