Rod & Alfonso - A Wedding at Il Cielo in Beverly Hills, California
June 20, 2016
Rod & Alfonso
Il Cielo, Beverly Hills, CA
From the Couple:
We met online -- on OK Cupid. We had both just gotten out of very unhealthy relationships and we both remember wanting to take a break from dating. Something told Rod to go back on the site one last time, where Alfonso came up as a match and Rod messaged him. They found out they used to work in the same 10UCP building in Universal City a few years earlier (but had never met, despite Alfonso remembering Rod's unique silver & black Mini Cooper) and reminisced over this Italian restaurant around the corner. Alfonso asked Rod out to dinner there after a few messages and Rod agreed. It was a Tuesday night, and they were there for 3 1/2 hours gabbing away as if they'd known each other their whole lives, and effectively closed down the restaurant for the night.
Alfonso had never been to Europe and since Rod is all about travel they decided to plan a week long adventure to Copenhagen, Paris and London. It was late November, crisp weather, but beautiful! We were completely on the same page and had already discussed marriage not as an 'if' but a 'when.' Rod had a feeling since Paris was Alfonso's #1 bucket list destination, and because of its romanticization, figured Alfonso was going to propose. We landed in Paris at 7am... checked into our hotel, wandered the streets, gawked at the foot of the Eiffel Tower before having lunch at Les Ombres with an unobstructed view, wandered the streets more, visited Sacre Coeur and Montmarte... all day, no proposal. We made their way back to our hotel but decided to stay in the room for dinner, so we picked up cold cuts, fresh cheese, a freshly baked baguette, and a bottle of wine. When we got back to the room, we saw the Eiffel Tower starting its nightly light twinkling. We went out onto our room's balcony and became mesmerized by it. Rod then grew impatient and in the heat of the moment turned to Alfonso and said, more or less: "Fuck it, I don't know what I've been waiting for. We've been talking about marriage for months, we know we're going to spend the rest of our lives together. I love you, you're the one. Will you marry me?" Even halfway through, Alfonso was nodding and saying "YES!" We hugged and kissed for a good 5 minutes in the cold Paris night. Alfonso then turned to Rod and said "You know these last few months have been beyond crazy for me at work. If I hadn't been so busy I would have bought the rings I was looking at... I didn't want to half ass the proposal so I didn't ask you til I could find time to buy them, bring us back here and propose to you at the top of the Eiffel Tower."
We are both very analytical and Rod decided to take charge with finding a venue. He scoured every wedding website, venue site, hotel chain's list of properties, etc. He made an Excel spreadsheet with 86 venues across Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Mexico City. We decided to simply start local with branch out from there. I emailed close to half the venues to get pricing estimates, and made appointments to visit about one dozen places. The first place we visited was Il Cielo, a small Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills neither of us had ever heard of or noticed before. But the second we saw the space we instantly knew that was it. It was the perfect combination of rustic beauty, old world elegance, and Southern California charm. We had been torn between a beach wedding or a vineyard wedding but this just made everything on our ideal 'want' list obsolete. It was a couple miles from our place, the food was INSANELY delicious, the wedding planner Giovanni was the nicest and most easy-going event planner I had communicated with. It was a very easy decision.
We're still sorting out the details of the wedding, but we've always wanted one thing in particular: a blending of Italy & Mexico to show our union coming together. We're creating signature cocktails which are Latin American drinks with Italian twists; so we're doing a Limoncello Margarita for sure, and we're looking to see if we can do a Lavender Mojito. We originally wanted to do a destination wedding in Provence or Tuscany so the idea of lavender has stuck with us the entire way (but because my mom is unable to travel, we decided we needed to have it in LA). We are also going to be having our puppies in the wedding (they're almost 1 year old now). They're going to be our ring bearers! And also, the rings Alfonso was looking at for our engagement we ended up not buying -- we went with a different ring for the engagement. We decided to use those rings for the wedding band, but almost didn't get them because Chanel discontinued them. This amazing salesperson in Beverly Hills tracked the last rings in our sizes down at two different corners of the world and had them imported for us. So we feel really blessed that everything is seemingly coming together so easily! -knock on wood-
In all honesty...? We're looking forward to it being over because we're heading to Disneyland on Monday and then jetting off to Europe on Tuesday! Our honeymoon will have us spending 2 days in Rome, then taking a 10 day Greek Isles cruise, followed by 3 days in Paris at the end. We honestly love traveling and the idea of spending over two weeks together on another European adventure is heaven. We're just going to really miss our two dogs haha!
Florist - Sam Robinson / Flowers by Sam Venue - Giovanni Krause / Il Cielo Officiant - Daniel Noble (personal friend)