A Jungle-Inspired Wedding With Balinese Details at Valentine DTLA in Los Angeles

Ariana Chomitz and Owen Finnegan were both young when they met in Washington, DC. Their paths diverged, but fate brought them back together. “Years la

Ariana Chomitz and Owen Finnegan were both young when they met in Washington, DC. Their paths diverged, but fate brought them back together. “Years later, he reached out and confessed out of nowhere that he still thought about me, and I admitted that I felt the same way,” Ariana explains. Their long-distance love between LA and Chicago led to cohabiting in Venice Beach. The pinnacle of their journey was a surprise proposal in Palm Springs. Amidst a romantic setting of candles and rose petals, Owen proposed under a full moon, leaving Ariana utterly surprised: “I really, really didn’t see it coming.”

The couple envisioned a day in the heart of Los Angeles that would encapsulate their shared love for travel, culture and each other, setting the stage at the beautiful Valentine DTLA. With roots tracing back to Indonesia, Ariana yearned to infuse her special day with Bali influences. “Our inspiration was daydreaming about the Bali wedding we wished we could have done,” she says. Owen, equally enthusiastic, was all in for bringing their dream to life.

Their passion for travel and Owen’s Pittsburgh heritage became the cornerstones of their wedding theme. “I spent a couple of years in Indonesia as a baby, and my parents lived there for longer, so it was important to me to weave details from there into the day,” Ariana recalls. The couple’s first visit to their venue solidified their vision. “We instantly knew that the jungle backdrop would be perfect for pulling this off,” Ariana beamed. Nestled in the bustling city, this oasis was set to become their Bali away from Bali.

Fashion choices for their big day were a delightful mix of tradition and personal style. Ariana always imagined a bold, patterned dress but found herself drawn to something unexpected. Her choice, a sleek, minimal one-shoulder Sarah Seven dress, perfectly complemented her unique accessories – treasured costume pieces from her mother’s traditional dance days in Indonesia. “My mom studied and performed traditional dances in Indonesia and had a treasure chest of gorgeous costume pieces from those days,” the bride shares. She adorned her hair with beaten gold floral hairpins, arranged delicately to resemble a crown. Owen, towering and dapper, chose a James Bond-esque white dinner jacket for the ceremony and a classic black tux for the reception, capturing the essence of elegance and timelessness.

The day of the wedding was a colorful, joyous affair. Guests gathered in the atrium, a glass-roofed sanctuary surrounded by lush greenery, feeling like they had stepped into a Balinese garden. The air buzzed with anticipation as Ariana and Owen prepared to exchange vows. Ariana’s closest gals donned sleek gowns with varying necklines in striking, warm, tropical hues. The ceremony, an intimate, heartfelt exchange, was set against the backdrop of fifteen-foot, colorful flags in shades of pink, red and yellow with real gold leaf designs: a nod to Ariana’s heritage. “My mom was horrified and kept going, ‘Those?? But they look so old??’ And I kept telling her, ‘No, mom, they’re vintage!’” Ariana laughs.

As the sun began to set, the cocktail hour unfolded with a unique twist, paying homage to Owen’s hometown. “Owen’s from Pittsburgh, and in Pittsburgh, they have a wedding tradition called the cookie table,” Ariana explains. The guests mingled and indulged in the homemade goodies mailed in by Owen’s family. The reception was a vibrant mix of Los Angeles modernity and Balinese charm. The couple’s love for food and drink was evident. “We’re both serious foodies and whiskey collectors too, so having an above-expectation open bar and wedding menu was a priority for us,” details the bride.

Inspired by their favorite restaurant, Wallflower, the menu delighted guests with familiar flavors. As the night unfolded, the dance floor came alive. Ariana, a dancer at heart, reveled in the joy of movement with her bridesmaids, who shared her passion for dance. The DJ spun tunes that kept everyone on their feet, and the atmosphere was lively and electric. Their nuptials were a fusion of cultures, passions and heartfelt moments.

After their special day, the newlyweds shared pearls of wisdom for future couples. “If you wouldn’t have it in your house, don’t put it in your wedding,” Ariana advises, emphasizing the importance of authenticity. Owen echoed her sentiment, urging couples to “keep it as simple as possible.”

Bride in Gold Indonesian Headpiece and One-Shoulder Dress, Tattoos and White Shoes
Bride in Sharp, Orante Drop Earrings, Gold Headpiece and A Tattoo Sleeve
Bride in Gold Headpiece, Bright Tropical Bouquet and Groom in White Tux Jacket, Black Trim
A bride in a sleek, sheath gown with one shoulder, a tattoo sleeve, a gold Balinese headpiece and a warm-toned tropical bouquet with her groom in a white tuxedo jacket with black trim and black pants at an industrial Downtown LA venue.
A bride's tropical, wide and warm-toned bouquet with anthurium flowers and other blooms in pink, orange and red.
Bride With Bridesmaids in Warm-Toned Dresses in Greenhouse With Tropical Bouquets
Groom in White-and-Black Tux, Bride With Gold Headpiece, Altar Colorful Balinese Flags
Bride in One-Shoulder Dress and Gold Headpiece, Groom in White-and-Black Tux, Greenhouse
Modern Reception Welcome Sign in Green and Gold
Jungle-Themed Ceremony Space in Greenhouse, Altar With Colorful Balinese Fabric
Groomsmen in Gray Suit, Geometric Shirt, Tropical Tie, Handkerchief and Boutonniere
Minimalistic, Bohemian Tablescape, Gin Bottle Table Number and Orange Flowers
Bride in Gold Headpieces Reading Vows to Groom at Jungle-Themed Altar, Bright Colors
Signature Cocktail Menu at Bar With Tropical Theme in Frame
Bride Hand With Color Gemstone, Curved Wedding Band, Sparkle Nails and Groom's Band
Guests in Colorful Dresses Dancing in Dark Reception With Drinks in Hand
Guests in Bright and Colorful Dresses Dancing at Dim Jungle-Themed Reception
A tropical and minimalistic dessert table with a small, two-tier wedding cake with the top layer wrapped in a banana leaf and the bottom tier displaying white frosting surrounded by low tea candles, banana leaves and single-stem birds of paradise flowers.
Wood Reception Tables, Minimalistic Decor and Single-Stem Centerpieces, Mural Backdrop