Style Lovers, Unite! This Bold Wedding at The Ebell of Los Angeles is Color Goals
Ain’t nothing like modern love. “We met on Tinder! We both swiped right,” Rob Forman says of the beginning of his relationship with Ben Fink. The pair chatted and made plans to meet. “I had a rule that Rob wasn’t aware of, that if within 24 hours of talking, plans hadn’t been set, I stopped talking,” Ben explains. “I just wouldn’t waste any more time.” Luckily, both were immediately intrigued by the other.
Fast forward to a weekend getaway at Ojai Valley Inn; little did Ben know that Rob had been planning a proposal. "It was a tricky thing to pull off; keeping secrets while living in the same house and working from home during a pandemic is tough!” Rob wanted to catch Ben off guard, even though Ben started to suspect a proposal was coming. After check-in, they embarked on a golf cart ride, ready to explore the property. As they turned a corner, a breathtaking scene unfolded before them. “I saw rose petals laid out over a gravel path, leading to a table with white linen and Champagne on ice,” remembers Ben. “I said yes!"
Rob and Ben wanted to create a celebration that reflected their love for boldness with a touch of whimsy. As a rule, the pair leaned on their unique saying to guide their aesthetic ideas. “We have a call and response we do as a couple, where one of us will ask: ‘Too much?’ and the other replies: ‘Not enough.’” This philosophy of embracing abundance and rejecting minimalism became the guiding light for their decor. “This was absolutely a ‘more is more’ wedding!”
The grooms allowed their expert team to work their magic before and on their wedding day. “Our planner saw a mirror in our house with a pink resin frame in a curvy, Art Nouveau style and suggested we use it as inspiration.” Embracing their love for vibrant colors, they kept pink as the centerpiece of their color palette, complemented by purples, natural greens and pops of red. Their attention to detail extended to the dress code, which they described as “Black Tie Fabulous.” They explained that black outfits were only welcomed if adorned with sequins or sparkles. Amongst their vendors, their wedding became known as “The Met Gala of weddings.” The guests arrived in stylish and colorful attire, genuinely embracing the theme and adding to the vibrant atmosphere.
The lovebirds met at the altar bedecked in completely custom looks. “We knew we wanted bright, bold tuxedos.” Every detail was meticulously considered, from fabric choice to buttons, stitching and secret embroidery messages. Rob’s look exuded regal charm: a three-piece purple tuxedo with a lavender cape and iridescent loafers that paid homage to “Tuxedo Mask” from the anime show Sailor Moon. Julie Harris Designs brought his vision to life, crafting a cape reminiscent of a traditional wedding veil train. The breathtaking cape, measuring ten feet in length and nine feet in width, elicited gasps and giddy laughter from the room. Rob truly felt like a prince.
Ben’s attire was a personal celebration. Initially grappling with fears of how his bold style might be perceived, he got a powerful reminder from their wedding planner. “Holly reminded me that this was my wedding. Everyone who was going to be in attendance was going to be a supportive, loving member of my inner circle,” he recounts. “I realized any fears of looking ‘too gay’ stemmed from internalized homophobia, and this conversation made me feel like I had permission to be as fabulous as I wanted on my wedding day. Which is absolutely true for anyone getting married: be who you are, and if someone isn’t going to accept that, maybe they don’t belong on the guest list.” His look featured a bright pink tuxedo adorned with an extravagant silk floral corsage and complemented by leopard print boots.
Desiring a floral element, Ben (in collaboration with their planner and florist) planned a monochromatic floral lapel. “There was concern that real flowers would wilt during the event,” Ben explains. “Ultimately, Holly sold me on silk flowers when she mentioned that the same flowers were used in an outfit worn by Sarah Jessica Parker.”
Ben’s father, a Rabbi, officiated the Jewish ceremony under a lush chuppah sporting pink-and-purple blooms. Following the ceremony, guests were palpably excited for the festivities to continue; the newlyweds didn’t disappoint, throwing a reception celebration filled with personalized touches and heartfelt tributes. First up: Ben and Rob’s beloved rescue dogs, Stella and Luna. Because they couldn’t physically be present, the couple paid homage to their furry companions by naming their signature cocktails after them. They also hired Jonnie Reinhart, a talented drag performer and jazz singer, to entertain. “We were so thrilled to be able to incorporate their drag into our wedding. Jonnie elevated the ceremony and set the tone for a whimsical evening.” The energetic performance added an extra layer of fun and excitement to the celebration.
Amidst the joyous celebration, the couple and their guests carried the memory of Ben’s late mother, Sally, who had passed away from cancer just eleven days before the wedding. “Her entire treatment was focused on making it to the wedding, and her absence was felt throughout the event.” In honoring her spirit, their florist adorned all the bouquets with Gerber daisies, Sally’s favorite flower. Their wedding planner designed a unique table at the reception with framed photos, Sally’s glasses, a vase of daisies, and her favorite martini.
Our grooms end with out-of-the-box marriage advice. "Get a dog trainer… seriously," they laugh. "It's so much easier when humans and dogs speak the same 'language.' Our relationship is stronger, and our dogs are happier because we invested in their education!"