Christine and Garo got married on November 07, 2015 at St. Leon Armenian Cathedral followed by a reception at Metropol Banquet Hall. The couple shared their love story, proposal, wedding planning and all the details of their beautiful, traditional Armenian wedding and we’re very excited to share with you!
Before we get into the wedding details, Christine shares their story. Here is what she said...
"Garo and I officially met in 2012 at trivia night at a local bar. I went with some friends of mine who knew him and his friends. We introduced ourselves and had a nice night but didn't keep in touch until we were at the same mutual friends' super bowl party in 2013. A few days after the party, he messaged me on FB, and asked me if I'd like to grab a cup of coffee. I agreed! Our first date lasted about 4 hours. He was a breath of fresh air. Our conversations flowed so perfectly, we had a lot in common, and he was just so easy to talk to. Within a few months of dating, we knew that we had something extraordinary, and it wasn't long afterwards that we were discussing long-term plans and our future together. We spent the next year and a half getting to know each other better and we fell in love instantly. I knew a proposal was in the works, and he knew already what style of ring I liked, that I wanted a somewhat public proposal where someone would be there to capture the moment, and not to do it on my birthday, since I wanted my proposal to have its own special day. On July 1, 2014, my birthday, we went to dinner with my family and we decided to go back to my house for cake and tea. As soon as we pulled in the driveway, Garo mentioned that he had a birthday gift for me and wanted me to open it. He pulled a box out of the trunk of his car and told me to open it. The small box already got me nervous. As soon as I opened the box, I saw this gorgeous princess cut diamond ring shining at me......I was frozen. He grabbed the box, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. The first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Are you sure???" He laughed and nodded. Tears. Everywhere. I was hysterical. There we were, in my driveway, alone, on my birthday (pretty much everything I asked him not to do!) and the proposal I had waited for my whole life was happening. I screamed, cried, and hugged, over and over. I didn't realize that I hadn't even answered his question!! I said "Yes Yes, a million times over yes!" I later learned that he purposely did it on my birthday because he knew I wouldn't be expecting it, and he wanted us to be in private (hence no one to capture the moment)."
Instead of a traditional engagement party, Christine and Garo celebrated with a dinner party to bring both sides of the family together. Almost immediately after the proposal, they started wedding planning.
Christine envisioned an elegant wedding. She found inspirations on Pinterest and from weddings she attended. She also used The Knot checklist often to stay inline and organized.
The couple knew exactly which photographer, DJ, and Church they wanted so they made sure to get their date early and reserve the specific vendors. They wanted to marry in St. Leon Armenian Cathedral so they went there first to book their date. Once they had their Church, they booked their photographer, Kim Fox Photography, and DJ Sevag. They booked the rest of their vendors gradually as they continued wedding planning.
As for all couples, wedding planning could be both exciting and stressful. Garo and Christine also had their challenges. Garo works in Orange County and 6 months before their wedding, they leased an apartment there, where Garo moved and lived on his own until Christine moved in after the wedding. He would come home on the weekends but Christine sometimes worked on the weekends too. This made it difficult for the couple to have time together and set aside time for wedding planning.
On the other side, the best part of wedding planning for Christine was finding her dress. She said "Dress shopping was frustrating in the beginning. I had watched countess episodes of Say Yes to the Dress where the brides try on size 16 dresses and use clamps on the back of the dress to hold it together, but my first experience was nothing like that. Everything was a size 4 or 6 and didn’t fit me. I was so disappointed. On my next try, at a different store, I found a dress that I loved and I put it on hold since my mom wasn't with me and I wanted her to be there for the experience. Once I brought her with me, she didn’t like the dress. We kept looking and found a dress that looked really nice and gave it a shot. As soon as I put it on, my mom and I just stared at each other in the mirror. We knew it was the one. Not only did it fit well, but it was very flattering on my body. It was very simple with no beading, lace, crystals, or other embellishments. Just rouching in the front, which would allow me to accessorize as I wished. Every other dress I tried on prior to that disappeared from my mind. Once I chose the dress, the consultant let me know that I would have to purchase the sample dress! Seeing that the dress was in perfect condition and it was going to be altered, I said yes to my dress! I didn't want to leave the store! We took a bunch of pictures and sent it to close family and they all loved the dress as well. I was incredibly thrilled to have found the perfect dress!"
Most traditional Armenian weddings follow a specific schedule starting with a morning celebration, followed by the bride getting ready, photoshoot, ceremony, and reception. Christine and Garo's wedding was similar. We've broken down the photos in order to capture every moment and tradition.
Garo and Christine incorporated various Armenian traditions into their wedding. Christine's family is Persian Armenian whereas Garo's family is Lebanese Armenian and there are slight variations in the traditions for each side. Her family follows the tradition of Sazandar where the groom's family goes to the bride's parent's house with musicians and bring the gown, etc. His family was not familiar with that tradition, so they adjusted to meet halfway. Christine’s family asked Garo's brother Joe, also the best man, to bring chocolate cups with cognac, and they handled the rest. The musicians went straight to the bride's house. Christine's family insisted on the boys waiting outside in the limo and coming inside once the musicians arrived, but she had her heart set on doing a first look shot. So she went outside and did a first look shot with Garo. Then once the musicians arrived, he and the rest of the boys went inside with celebrations.
Bride Getting Ready
Another tradition was breaking the plate. During the reception, once the DJ announced Christine and Garo for the first time as husband and wife, they ran onto the dance floor and started dancing, and Garo's father brought a plate and put it at Christine's feet and she immediately smashed it for good luck!
We asked Christine what her favorite moments were from the wedding and she said "All of it... From being at the hair salon at 5:30am to partying at the house, photos, ceremony, reception, and going home with my husband at the end of the night. I was nervous that I was going to be tired after being awake from 4:30am, but the adrenaline stayed with me through the 24 hours."
She said, "I expected to be an emotional mess the whole day. I prayed for the structural integrity of my false eyelashes and mascara. I'm generally a very emotional person so I prepared for it. It didn't hit me until long after the wedding was over that I'm married. We were at a store shopping and Garo was trying on some shirts and an employee asked if I needed help and I responded, "oh no, I'm just waiting for my husband who's trying something on." That was the moment!
To all other couples "enjoy the day! I didn't have a planner and it was hard but I made sure to look take several moments and soak up everything that was happening around me."
Congratulations Christine and Garo on your special day! Thank you for sharing your story and all the details of your beautiful wedding. Special thanks to Kim Fox Photography for providing all the stunning photos.
Church: St Leon Armenian Cathedral
Reception/Venue: Metropol Banquet Hall
Flowers: Petals LA
Photography: Kim Fox Photography
Videographer: On Bended Knee Films
DJ: DJ Sevag
Limousine: Crown Limousine
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik (changed into Toms for the reception!)
Hair: Fame's Beauty Salon
Veil: Mazdo's Bridal
Makeup: Marina @ Lilit's Makeup Studio
Suit: Friar Tux
Cake: Shakar Bakery
Favors: Valrhona Chocolates
Invitations: Alik Printing
Flower girl outfit: Macy's
Tags: mother of the bride , armenian , breaking plate , bridal bouquet , bridal party , bridal shoes , bridesmaid , cake , champagne , chocolate , church , cognac , dance , dance floor , dress shopping , fall wedding , father , father of the bride , father of the groom , flower girl , garter , mother of the groom , priest , sazandar , tradition , veils