One Couple's Cool, Modern Garden Wedding in Ojai, California
How many couples can say that Kanye West brought them together? Not many—yet the rapper did introduce Ashlie Bruener, a model, to Adam Alpert, a record label CEO, in a way. Even though the New York City-based pair had a friend who was trying to set them up for months, it wasn't until Adam slyly bought that friend four tickets to a Kanye West concert, knowing he'd invite Ashlie, that they finally connected. Ashlie and Adam got to talking before the show—after, by the time the lights came back up in Madison Square Garden, they were relationship official. "For me, it was love at first date," says Adam.
About a year later, on a trip to Santorini, Adam proposed against the Grecian sunset. The duo dived right into the wedding planning process. Their first decision—where their celebration would take place—was an easy one. "We knew we wanted to get married in California because we wanted guaranteed nice weather," says Ashlie. "The humidity in New York during the summer is no one's friend." On a sunny August 25, 2018, the pair were joined by around 200 of their nearest and dearest at the Ojai Valley Inn where they wed in a Jewish ceremony. The venue was designed to feel like a relaxed and modern garden party, complete with all-white flowers and lots of greenery, says Ashlie.
After the main event, which included the couple's ceremony, a sit-down dinner, and a dancing session on the lush lawn, the whole group moved to a concert-themed after-party. Everyone wore "backstage passes" for an appropriate late-night concert (this consisted of a performance by two of Adam's groomsmen, The Chainsmokers, who he manages). This time, however, the couple enjoyed the music as husband and wife.
California, Here We Come
Welcome to Ojai
When guests arrived to Ojai, they were greeted with clear lucite trays brimming with some of the the bride and groom's favorite snacks: sea salt potato chips, Australian licorice, and mixed nuts. A welcome note and mini hangover kits rounded out the package.
Adam proposed with an oval solitaire on a platinum band that had their initials engraved inside. For the big day, the couple both donned gold bands; Adam's father also gifted Ashlie a baguette diamond eternity band worn by his mother.
Fashion and Family
Ashlie walked down the aisle wearing a few of her favorite things: satin Jimmy Choo heels, teardrop earrings, and a touching "something blue" keepsake from her mom. "The day of the wedding, my mom gifted me a charm with a photo of my dad, who passed away, and on the back, it said, 'Walk with me today.' She attached a blue ribbon to it and tied it around my bouquet," Ashlie says.
Ashlie carried a tight collection of all-white astilbe and other small buds.
With Arms Wide Open
The pair decided to do their first look on the sprawling lawn at Ojai Valley Inn. "Everyone kept commenting about how I was the most relaxed bride ever," says Ashlie. "I was filled with so much love and excitement and I just couldn't believe the day was actually here. It felt like an out of body experience!"
"When I was younger I did a lot of bridal modeling, so I already had a pretty good idea what I liked and didn't like," says Ashlie of her Sareh Nouri wedding dress, which was a combination of two gowns. "I really wanted a very classic and simple dress with a boat neckline." Adam wore a dark blue Dior suit and white shirt, Hermes tie, and Christian Louboutin shoes. A Tiffany & Co. tie clip and Lanvin pocket square finished off the look.
Adam's groomsmen, which included his four brothers, suited up in J.Crew. As gifts, Adam gave each guy a monogrammed Tiffany & Co. tie clip, Hermes tie, and Lanvin pocket square.
Two VIPs rounded out the groomsmen: Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart from The Chainsmokers, who Adam manages.
Before the ceremony, the pair signed a ketubah in the property's Artist Cottage. "It was so fun to have our whole bridal party and parents there," Ashlie says.
The Ceremony Space
The couple put their own spin on a traditional chuppah. "My father-in-law actually came up with the idea of having it hanging from the tree," Ashlie says. "We wanted it to feel as if it was meant to be there, and the tree was so beautiful it didn't feel right to over-do it." Gilly Flowers & Events made their vision come to life with lots of greenery and white flowers.
Get with the Program
Parasols kept guests cool on the 80 degree, sunny day. Navy yarmulkes from Kippot World were on hand and fit one of day's décor motifs—on the inside, they were black and white checkered, just like the reception's dance floor.
Ashlie's cousin, Hudson, announced her arrival with a "The Bride is Coming" sign. "He stole the show," Ashlie says. Later, Hudson took his skills to the dance floor. "During 'Blurred Lines', he and Adam went up on stage and showed off their famous dance moves, which were weirdly in sync! You'd think they planned it ahead of time!"
A local Rabbi officiated the Jewish ceremony. "Adam and I wrote our own vows, but we said them to each other in private when we did our first look which felt so special," Ashlie says.
The First Kiss
Adam knows exactly what his favorite moment was of the day: "Kissing my wife for the first time!"
The just-married couple strutted back up the aisle while a string quartet played "What's My Age Again?" by Blink 182. As Ashlie says, "Who doesn't love that song?"
The newlyweds took a sweet ride to their reception—a fully-decorated golf cart.
To get to the reception, guests walked through a heart-shaped hole in a hedge. Other love-inspired details included heart-shaped ice cubes.
Hit the Bar
A table that spelled "LOVE" was topped with moss to hold escort cards, which were tucked into slits on a thin log.
The Reception Scene
The secret garden theme carried over into the reception, too. A mix of long and round tables featured the same white floral runners and monogrammed "A" napkins; white and green flowers decorated each tablescape. When it came time for dinner, guests settled into a meal of their choice: branzino or filet mignon. For dessert, each attendee received a warm chocolate chip cookie skillet.
Tiers of Joy
"Adam has a huge sweet tooth, so I let him take charge of the cake flavors," Ashlie says of the giant confection, which had layers of funfetti, chocolate marble with toffee filling, and banana with a chocolate chip buttercream filling.
A Fun Topper
A vintage bar decorated with white orchids was stationed near the dance floor and offered the merry-makers tequila shots.
The newlyweds swayed to "Louisa" by Lord Huron, Ashlie's favorite song. "It's such a feel-good," she says.
Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher
The hora was a definite highlight of the night. "We had so much fun dancing with our families and friends," Ashlie recalls.
Light the Way
On their way to the after-party, guests gathered to send the newylweds off with sparklers as The Chainsmokers' "Something Just Like This" played in the background.