This gorgeous, floral-filled Montecito wedding is featured on Vogue.
“Celebrity wedding planner Sharon Sacks of Sacks Productions was the mastermind behind all of the festivities. “Sharon has worked with my family since my dad’s 50th birthday, and she knows us extremely well,” says Lauren. “She was an enormous help in making sure everything felt intimate and highly personal.” The aesthetic of the weekend was derived directly from the house and the garden, and the color palette for everything was inspired by the apricot roses, blue hydrangeas, red brick, green ferns, and crimson-color wall ivy on the property.”
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As seen on Vogue:
“Lauren Gaba, a creative coordinator at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and Brian Flanagan, the COO of Mythical Entertainment and a co–executive producer of The Night Manager, met at a Christmas party. “My mother introduced me to a group of guys who had all worked in the same building as my father. I immediately took a liking to Brian, as we had both gone to college in Boston—and he was wearing plaid pants!” jokes Lauren. “We talked the entire night over bourbons in front of the fireplace, but he couldn’t ask for my phone number as we were leaving because my mother was right there. On the way home, I told her I thought I’d marry him—naturally she thought I was crazy!”
The two had been dating for two and a half years when Brian proposed on the balcony of the penthouse at the Sunset Tower Hotel, the same spot where the couple had gone for their second date. “After sabering open a bottle of Champagne, catching our breath, and FaceTiming his parents, my family arrived, followed quickly by our best friends, three of whom had flown in from the East Coast,” says Lauren. “The night ended with Kir Royales and ice cream sundaes!”
For Lauren and Brian, there was never any question about where they would get married. “While I’m from Los Angeles, my mother and late father have had a home in Montecito, California, since the ’80s,” says Lauren. “I was born there and grew up going there every weekend and for holidays. It’s by far my favorite spot in the world, and it was my father’s as well.” The wedding took place at the house her parents built together—the architecture, design, and garden are all their shared vision.
“Montecito is unique in that you can get from the coast to the country in 10 minutes or less,” says the bride. “The hills of Montecito are full of deciduous trees and horseback riding, which is incredibly different from the vibe among the palms on the sand. We wanted to show our mostly East Coast guests both, so our welcome cocktails and farewell brunch were on the beach, and then the bridal luncheon and the wedding were in the mountains. We insisted every aspect of the weekend reflect this quintessentially West Coast way of living, and many of our guests stayed in California for a week and made a vacation out of it, just as we’d hoped!”
Celebrity wedding planner Sharon Sacks of Sacks Productions was the mastermind behind all of the festivities. “Sharon has worked with my family since my dad’s 50th birthday, and she knows us extremely well,” says Lauren. “She was an enormous help in making sure everything felt intimate and highly personal.” The aesthetic of the weekend was derived directly from the house and the garden, and the color palette for everything was inspired by the apricot roses, blue hydrangeas, red brick, green ferns, and crimson-color wall ivy on the property.
Choosing a wedding dress that worked with the venue was a quick and easy process for the bride. “I wanted something classic and timeless, but nothing too old or too serious,” she says. “The dress had to have a sense of whimsy; while I love Victorian styles, I’m a young woman, and we were getting married outside in California.” She knew Oscar de la Renta was the right place to go and found a high-neck, long-sleeved dress with a dramatic silhouette that she loved. For her second dress of the evening, she wanted something she could dance in like crazy. “I didn’t even care if it was white!” she admits. “Ultimately, I found a silk column dress by Zac Posen on Moda Operandi and took the plunge. When it arrived, I couldn’t believe how spectacular it was in person—it was a simple piece, but the construction and fit were artful.”
For accessories, the bride wore two rings—her mother’s sapphire and her engagement ring—coupled with a pair of diamond earrings set in the shape of flowers. “My mother surprised me and gave them to me on my wedding day,” says Lauren. Her something new was an Edie Parker clutch that said “Mrs. BWF” in gold script as well as white satin Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps.
Makeup-wise, like most brides, Lauren wanted to look like herself: “Complete with cat-eye liquid liner that I don’t go a day without!” She even had makeup artist Stevi Christine use the lip color she wears all of the time—Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. “It’s my all-time favorite beauty product,” Lauren explains. “I’m also most comfortable with my hair up, and the last thing I wanted to be worried about that day was how curls were faring after being outside for so long.” As a result, she asked hairstylist Trace Henningsen to create a wispy, intricate braided style that complemented the low backs of both dresses.
The ceremony took place on the lawn overlooking the ocean underneath a huge California Oak right off Lauren’s childhood bedroom. “Walking down the aisle with my mother—to Pachelbel’s ‘Canon in D’—was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life,” she remembers. “It was a very emotional moment for everyone.”
One of Lauren’s father’s best friends, Gregg Field, became ordained just so he could marry the couple. “Beyond being one of the funniest and kindest people alive, Gregg is a spectacularly talented music producer and jazz drummer who toured with Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, and Ella Fitzgerald for years,” says Lauren. “The ceremony was deeply sentimental, but there were also lots of light moments and laughs.” The couple worked with Gregg to craft a non-religious service that they felt honored their respective heritages and traditions.
After the ceremony, guests were ushered to the back porch for the cocktail hour. “We had the doors to the living room open, and there was a roaring fire. We also made sure the property was well lighted so people could safely explore,” says Lauren. “Meanwhile, we absconded to the library to enjoy our first moments as newlyweds, sneak a quick glass of Champagne, and sign the marriage certificate.”
Dinner was served buffet style so as not to keep people seated for too long. The menu, which was created by the couple’s caterer, the Kitchen for Exploring Foods, included lots of autumnal foods like roasted root vegetables and gourds, harvest salads, wild fish and beef tenderloin, and charcuterie with crusty baguettes. In every decision about event flow, the first consideration was whether or not it would take people away from the dance floor. The couple had a classic big band for the reception that played lots of soul, Motown, and jazz. The result was an evening filled with nonstop dancing and three bars that were packed all night.
For the after-party, the couple opted for a DJ and spent the months in the lead-up to the wedding perfecting a playlist that included everything from ’90s Euro house to Drake to Huey Lewis and the News. At the end of the night, the newlyweds did the opposite of a send-off: “We are the first ones on the dance floor and the last ones off at everyone else’s wedding, so we insisted on being the last two standing at our own,” says Lauren with a laugh. “At around 3:00 a.m., we called it quits and sat at the kitchen table debriefing over a (very, very late) dinner.”
Planning & Design: Sacks Productions
Rentals: Town & Country
Tabletop Rentals: Casa De Perrin, Town & Country
Décor: Revelry Event Designers
Floral Design: Jeff Leatham
Lighting: Images By Lighting
Videography: Bluecat International
Entertainment & Sound: Elan Artists
Cake: Sweet Lady Jane
Catering: Kitchen for Exploring Foods
Invitations: Jonathan Wright & Company