Their friends who set them up knew it, and rather instantly, Jennifer Fields and Andy Howard knew it, too. It was clear, obvious, jump up and take your breath away apparent: sitting across the table from each of them was the person that would change their life forever. And as quickly as their courtship began, it progressed, with Jennifer sending Andy instant messages and Andy sending Jennifer roses every month. It was all building up to a momentous proposal only eight months later at the Hotel Bel Air that Andy was waiting to unveil until after Jennifer’s busiest time of year, tax season. On April 16, 2003, with family and friends waiting anxiously, Andy surprised Jennifer and proposed to her in a breathtaking candle-lit gazebo. He gave her a book that he had taken the time to compile of every IM and email they had ever traded during their relationship and capped off their night with a suite overflowing with roses – eight dozen in total –for every month she had touched his life. As quickly as she had known that Andy was her true partner, Jennifer accepted, and the couple celebrated their bright future together with a new extended family that was already blending seamlessly.
In keeping with their swiftness of heart and mind, the couple decided straightway that the Beverly Hills Hotel was the place for their wedding. Jennifer fell in love upon seeing its grand staircase and attached garden and she imagined their guests entering their wedding in grand style. Working hand in hand with the couple, Jennifer and Andy’s mothers dove into the planning process and linked their impeccable tastes with the added benefit of Linda Howard’s event planning expertise to create a dream wedding fitting of their children’s happiness.
Their pink color scheme romantically permeated every detail from the bridesmaid’s bouquets to the personalized boxes that guests would later fill with desserts. And of course, there were roses, pink roses as far as the eye could see. As their 400 guests arrived for the ceremony, photographs were taken of them and placed in silver frames to be given as souvenirs at the end of the evening. Descending the garlanded staircase, guests gathered for an indoor garden ceremony with a pink linen aisle flanked by flower boxes brimming with pink roses, hydrangea and idyllic candlelight.
Before the ceremony commenced, Andy was led blindfolded by his groomsmen to see Jennifer for the first time that day. Sharing that emotional moment together not only reminded them of how lucky they were, but impressed upon them the real meaning of the proceedings that were about to take shape. The processional music was sung from the balcony as Jennifer walked to meet her Andy holding a distinct white bouquet of roses, stephanotis and lily of the valley wrapped in French braided satin. The seven blessings of marriage were read aloud as was their personally written Ketubah which Jennifer and Andy also wanted to share with their guests.
During the cocktail hour, floating bouquets of pink roses were set into the four-foot iced martini station that was chiseled with the couple’s new initials. As guests mingled from table to table dining on such gourmet offerings as freshly prepared sushi, others could be seen using chopsticks to enjoy Chinese chicken salad out of pink take-out containers that were passed throughout the crowd on silver trays. The ballroom was resplendent in shades of pink details from floor to ceiling. At each table there were pink roses bursting from tall crystal vases filled with pink water. Pink crystal goblets housing candles rested on antique silver bases that were surrounded by Swarovski crystal votives twinkling under the rose colored lighting. Pink satin napkins wrapped in silver organza were found atop silver sparkle chargers and fastened with silver cording that was finished on each end with pink crystals. Crystal candy dishes filled with sweets and unique monogrammed mints were also found at each place setting and provided yet another thoughtful favor for Jennifer and Andy’s guests to take home.
Even though the food and décor were aweinspiring, the emotional focus of Jennifer and Andy’s wedding was clearly the dance floor. The newly married couple shared their first dance together to “Amazed”, a poignant song by Lonestar about spending your life with someone who simply blows you away. Later in the evening, the couple turned everyone’s attention to their parents as they seated them in the middle of the dance floor. Since they were the last children in both of their families to get married, Jennifer, Andy and their guests performed a traditional Jewish Mezinka by dancing circles around their parents honoring their accomplishments as loving, supportive and devoted role models.
Jennifer and Andy’s wedding cake was five tiers of different flavors wrapped in white fondant. Pink roses made of royal icing created the base of the cake, a garland of roses encircled the third layer and a bouquet of pink sugar roses crowned the top, just above Jennifer and Andy’s monogram set in icing. To avoid the disappointing time after the cake is served when most celebrations come to an end, the couple kept their guests eating by offering an additional room devoted entirely to all things sweet. A cappuccino bar preceded two chocolate fountains, one white and one dark, boasting skewers of marshmallows, fruit, savory snacks and cookies for dipping into the flowing goodness. Similar pink take-out containers to those at the cocktail hour wished guests “Sweet Dreams from Jennifer and Andy” and asked to be filled with brownies, lemon squares and miniature versions of dessert favorites for the late night trip home.
But before their loved ones could sneak off with their treats, a surprise “after party” was launched by Wayne Foster Music and Entertainment luring guests back to the dance floor for a Las Vegas style production. Dancers and singers rounded everyone up for one last spin around the floor, including the happy couple who joined the band onstage. It left a lasting impression of Jennifer and Andy’s exuberant celebration that no one was soon to forget.
It was a spectacular affair, the focus of which Jennifer and Andy made sure remained on their closely held group of family and friends and the miracle of love that brought them all together. “We realized from the very beginning that our wedding was going to be a celebration of life”, remembers the couple, “We just loved every minute of the day”. And while it’s true that they owe a debt of gratitude to the friends that brought them together, Jennifer and Andy’s wedding proved to everyone that it was their willingness to take a chance on love that really made their relationship an amazing example to all.