A Retro Tie-Dye Wedding for Two “Deadheads” at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California
After Casey Regan made a sweet comment about Monique Gray’s job after the two matched on a dating app, they met up at a wine bar in Orange County, California. Spontaneity followed the couple throughout their relationship: all the way through to the proposal date. “The proposal happened in the backyard at a party with all our friends. It was pretty last-minute—Casey didn’t have a ring,” Monique remembers. “It didn’t feel real until we went ring shopping the next day. Not having a ring actually worked out in my favor because I got to pick out my dream ring from Tiffany & Co.”
The ceremony venue selection was an easy choice for the couple's December wedding. “Our wedding took place at Saints Felicitas and Perpetua in San Marino. It is the same church where Casey’s parents were married more than 50 years ago,” says the bride. Wanting to let the church’s beauty speak for itself, Monique, Casey and their planner decided against bringing in tons of decor. So instead, they left the venue mostly unadorned during their traditional Catholic ceremony as they exchanged heartfelt vows in front of their nearest and dearest before jetting off to The Langham Huntington in Pasadena for their unique and stylized reception.
“We wanted the reception to feel like we were taking out families to a “Dead show.” We are both really into jam bands, specifically the Grateful Dead,” explains Monique. “We wanted something fun and retro, and we wanted it to feel like a show instead of a regular wedding reception.” Attendees found a 60s-inspired escort card display encouraging guests to “get on the bus,” which is “a phrase many Deadheads use to describe the feeling of when they first fell in love with the music and the Dead scene,” the couple describes.
The groovy lounge space featured clusters of dyed flowers in various neon colors, like burgundy, mustard, deep teal and brushed gold. Vibrant furniture pieces, including a yellow velvet couch, create a warm-and-comfortable atmosphere for friends and family to enjoy small bites and drinks. The newlyweds’ signature cocktails incorporated inside jokes between the couple. “The names of our two signature cocktails were twists on our nicknames for each other: the “Momo-sa,” which was Champagne with a splash of orange juice, and the “Spicy Cay-so-Rita,” a jalapeño margarita.”
Just inside the venue, guests found vinyl records set up for them to sign—a keepsake guest book for the bride and groom. Dining tables displayed a vibrant color palette with deep-hued water goblets, bold yellow napkins, butterfly charger plates, intricate gold-and-white linens, and low centerpieces in the signature tie-dye shades. “The florals received many compliments because of how much additional color they brought to our already colorful reception: they really tied everything together and made it cohesive,” Monique tells. “The stage for the band—which was truly the main attraction of the reception—was covered in beautiful florals from Inessa Nichols Design. In front of the stage was a custom, tie-dye dance floor, which matched our cake and our escort wall.”
With an aesthetic created around a celebrated band, the bride and groom knew that music would play a starring role at their celebration. “The music and vibe were the most important parts of the evening. We hired Jerry’s Middle Finger, a well-respected and established Jerry Garcia Band cover band that we have seen live many times. JMF was my very first “Dead” experience. The first time Casey and I heard “How Sweet It (Is To Be Loved By You)” together, we knew instantly that it would be our song.”
The song played proudly during the couple’s first dance as the bride and groom showed off their wedding attire. Paired with her fitted A-line gown, “my shoes had bells on them, and I had red begonias in my hair, which goes with some of the lyrics from a Grateful Dead song,” Monique reveals. “The men chose crimson red pocket squares to match the roses commonly seen in Dead symbolism and Casey had a pair of custom-painted Grateful Dead shoes he wore for dancing.”
“We each feel like we married our best friend,” beams the new Mrs. “For both of us, we could not wait to say our vows and be married: everything else was just icing on a tie-dye cake.”