A Fun, Modern California Wedding
Perri and Phillip
When you hobnob with Hollywood types, it's not surprising to develop an appreciation for the dramatic. That's what came over Phillip Sun, a talent agent, the day he pulled his girlfriend, psychotherapist Perri Monkarsh, inside a circle of roses her friends had placed on the beach near their Los Angeles home, bent to one knee, and proposed. "It was the most romantic thing I could think of," says Phillip. He then took his elated fiancée to a nearby restaurant, where family and friends had gathered to share hugs and congratulations—and to inspect the dazzling ring. Phillip had created the three-carat round brilliant center-stone ring with the help of Perri's cousin, jewelry designer Ashleigh Bergman.
The wedding weekend was no less spectacular. It was important to the couple to celebrate the coming together of their Jewish (Perri) and Chinese (Phillip) heritages. Friday night's rehearsal dinner at a Chinese restaurant featured a traditional tea ceremony. And Saturday afternoon, July 2, 2016, at the wedding itself, they took their vows before 275 guests and celebrated their shared traditions. Both of Perri's parents walked her down the aisle to Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road"—a surprise for her mom, who had entered to the same song at her own wedding 31 years prior. Perri's cousin officiated, having prepared for the service by getting advice from Phillip's mother and grandmother as well as both of Perri's parents about the meaning of marriage in Chinese and Jewish cultures.
Consideration for their family and friends was at the forefront of the reception as well, from the food and music choices to the décor and dress code. "Our attire was 'colorful cocktail,'" Perri recalls. "Everything else was very white and green, and we wanted our guests to bring the color and life to the party. And they did."
For people planning the biggest day of their own lives, they were unusually focused on their guests. Maybe that's because they themselves had been wedding guests when, three years earlier, they noticed their first sparks of romance. "No one was dancing, so we looked at each other and were like, 'Let's dance!'" says Perri. "We were just trying to get the party started."
A Fashionable Party
Perri wore a Monique Lhuillier minidress with a removable overskirt and Phillip donned a Klein Epstein & Parker three-piece suit. The five bridesmaids wore floral-patterned Reformation dresses—no two alike—that inspired the bouquets each carried. Perri also had two "brosmaids," who wore suits by Theory.
Perri wore Monique Lhuillier shoes with lucite heels that transition from rose gold to clear—tying in with both the rose-gold theme and the acrylic accents that were woven throughout the ceremony and reception.
The Big Entrance
After the entire wedding party made their way down the grand stone steps at Klentner Ranch, the bride arrived, escorted by both her mother and father. White parasols were passed out to give guests some refuge from the sun.
Following Jewish custom, Phillip stepped on a glass after they were married beneath the chuppah—this one surrounded by peonies, roses, and dahlias thanks to Moon Canyon.
With These Things
In keeping with Jewish tradition, Perri was married with an unbroken solid gold band—also used by her mother and grandmother. Phillip's band is rose gold. "I am obsessed with my ring," Perri says. "I'm not someone who will want a different ring in a few years." For the vow books, Perri sourced from Etsy and then pasted in the words she and Phillip had written themselves. Perri's first line in her vows: "Three years ago, I kissed a cute boy on the dance floor at another wedding, and in that moment, I found everything I'd ever wanted."
Clear Seating Charts
Seating assignments were laser-engraved on acrylic rectangles by ABC Trophies & Awards, and then lined up in the grass leading to the tent. "It was like an interactive art installation," Perri says. "People loved it."
Having Fun Together
Perri and Phillip pose with his mother and actor Michael B. Jordan, one of Phillip's clients, who has starred in popular TV shows Friday Night Lights and The Wire as well as films including Creed and Fantastic Four.
A Sophisticated Setting
"We wanted a presence, but we didn't want it to be overpowering," says Perri of the simple, clean, white-and-green table settings and transparent chairs developed with help from their event planner and designer, Duet Weddings.
The Place Settings
Clear acrylic place cards didn't obscure the deep-green clematis leaves. The white-flower centerpieces were unobtrusive, and meant to encourage cross-table conversation.
During the reception, Perri and Phillip reveled in the traditional Jewish Hora dance, which involves the bride and groom being hoisted into the air on chairs by some of the strongest guests, while others dance around them.
The Dessert Table
They couldn't pick a flavor, so Lelé Pâtisserie suggested several vanilla cakes, some with whipped cream and strawberries, others with cinnamon cream cheese.
Custom fortune cookies left in guests' hotel rooms pre-fête were a wink to both Phillip's heritage and Perri's candy obsession. The messages inside helped set a playful tone for the celebration.
The Party Bus
Buses emblazoned with "Here Come the Suns" transported guests to Good Bar in Goleta for a festive after-party. "We wanted to keep enjoying time with our guests," says Perri. Then, at the hotel where everyone was staying, there was late-night snack food and a huge candy smorgasbord—in keeping with Perri's personal rituals. "I'm obsessed with candy," she says. "I eat Haribo gummi bears every day."
Location, Klentner Ranch
Event planning and design, Duet Weddings
Catering, Pure Joy Catering
Flowers, Moon Canyon
Photography, Steve Steinhardt
Videography, Satellite Weddings
Cake, Lelé Pâtisserie
Bride's gown, sash, veil, and shoes, Monique Lhuillier
Bride's jewelry and wedding bands, Milestones by Ashleigh Bergman Consulting
Hair and makeup, Sheila Raye Stone
Makeup, Stephanie Rhio
Hair, Philip Carreon
Bridesmaids' dresses, Reformation
Bridesmen's suits, Theory
Groom's suit and shirt, Klein Epstein & Parker
Lighting and draping, Bella Vista Designs
Transportation, Jump On the School Bus
Alcohol, the Liquor & Wine Grotto
Custom Fortune Cookies, Fancy Fortune Cookies
Restroom trailers, MarBorg Industries