Vanessa Villa’s wedding in San Diego
Sometimes fate aligns with a perfect date. On 10/10/2020, sunset sale Star Vanessa Villala and creative director and photographer Nicholas (Nick) Hardy are almost connected. “We met online as friends,” Vanessa shares with her brides. “It was in England and I was here in Los Angeles. It was a great, instant connection that we felt and after three months of beautiful friendship, we met in person in Mexico. It’s been a fairy tale ever since.”
Only a year and three months later, Nick knows Vanessa is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. On January 26, 2022, he took her to the iconic steps of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles at sunset and popped the question. “It was a very special and very romantic moment with just the two of us,” Vanessa recalls. “It was really magical with the Hollywood sign in the background like a movie! Just like our love story.”
When it came to choosing where they would say “I do,” Nick and Vanessa decided to tie their roots and history together. “We started our love story in Fairmont Mayakoba,” the couple shared. “What started as a 10-day trip turned into a seven-week romance! We made good friends with Sylvia Ferrer, director of marketing and PR for Fairmont, who attended the wedding. Since then, Sylvia has supported us and introduced them to many other Fairmont hotels around the world.” “.
The couple decided to host their wedding at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. “I have very strong family roots in San Diego, and the Fairmont was one of my late sister Jackie’s favorite places to visit,” Vanessa says. “Seems to be the perfect place to reunite the family.”
As for the vision for their relationship, the couple dreamed of a wedding that was “magical and cinematic.” The bride and groom explain, “We wanted the event to be intimate and luxurious, and to create something that would blow people’s minds. Just like our love, this event should reflect their fairytale love story.”
The first step in the planning agenda was coordinating a great team to mark the day. The couple explained, “The most important thing for both of us was having a family that came together to create a legendary wedding! Each vendor spent time talking to us before they were both chosen.” To lead the mission, they enlisted Janan Dakrup of Ladee Designs, with help from Holly Kalkin in Yum. “I wanted to work with as many women as possible and to help create a showcase for the talented cast of your choosing,” adds Vanessa.
On September 3, 2022, Vanessa and Nick hosted 69 friends and family in San Diego, California to celebrate their imaginary love and the beginning of their new family. Before that, see all the details with planning by Janan Dakrup from Ladee Designs, photography by Christine Flower, and videography by Vanessa and the Raconteur group.
The couple chose a palette of blush, ivory, and gold for their wedding day. Captured in their invitation design, it was meant to embody the romantic colors of the event. The couple shares, “Our vision has always been to have a nighttime event with lots of candles under the summer moon and stars!”
On the morning of the wedding, the bride wore Maria Elena’s stunning headpiece, which set the tone for her royal-inspired beauty look. “She made it for me and blessed my crown, so it was magic too,” says Vanessa. With the help of makeup artist Pepe Gutierrez, she looked gorgeous with romantic glamor and her signature cat eye. To prep her skin for the day, the bride went to the Fairmont Century Plaza Spa for award-winning treatments by Dr. Rita Raccos. “They did treatments to hydrate and improve the texture and tone of my skin,” she shares.
Vanessa adds, “My beautiful mother-in-law Kriztina gifted me two days ago one of my favorite perfumes from Le Labo. So I wasn’t just wearing my favorite scent, but it was gifted by the mother of the man of my dreams, and that made it even more special and meaningful.”
Vanessa spent the morning enjoying and getting ready with her nearest circle, who were all wearing matching robes given to them by the bride.
Vanessa had three stunning looks on her wedding day. She started with a beautiful dress by Galia Lahav. “When stylist Gigi sent me the photo of the options in Galia Lahav, I fell in love with that photo,” the bride shares. “The moment I tried it on, I felt magic and my friends were crying. I just felt it. It was the perfect dress for my wedding.”
Nick worked with John Park of Zeglio Custom Clothiers to create his wedding day look. “I wore a custom-made black tuxedo with a purple and pink two-tone silk inside,” the groom explains. “Red contrast stitching has been added to the sleeve and the words ‘NV x TE AMO 3.SEP.22’ are stitched inside.”
One of the special accessories he wore for the day came from the bride herself. “I received a surprise gift for my adorable husband which was a heart-shaped locket engraved on the forever together and our wedding date,” Vanessa shares. “Inside was a picture of him with his late grandmother whom he loves deeply, and one of our first pictures together. But before I gave it to him, he asked me to close my eyes and gave me a beautiful bracelet to wear to our wedding As always, we were both a surprise to each other. some.
The party was really magical with lots of white flowers around the outside spaces. The couple shared, “Influenced by an enchanting garden with flowers that seem to have grown in and around the dome and along the driveway. Our florist, Nancy Lobo, was one of the main additions to the wedding where her imagination and skills went above and beyond. Perfection. She did a beautiful job with her floral designs .”
Turning around and seeing Vanessa walking down the aisle for the first time took my breath away.
Vanessa’s brother, singer Tony Ferrari, walked down the aisle while the strings played “Canon in D.” classic. Nick recalls, “He turned around and seeing Vanessa walking down the aisle for the first time took my breath away. I felt like I was about to faint. It was beautiful. Thanks to Adrian, my best leg, I didn’t fall.”
Vanessa and Nick exchange vows they wrote themselves for the party hosted by Patrick Aroff and Eva Tamargo.
One notable moment of the ceremony? The bride and groom recalled: “When the rings were asked, no one knew who had them!” At that point, the boy, Lucas St. John, ran up, shouting, ‘I have the rings!’ He walked down the aisle carrying a custom-made, crystallized gold chest designed by Elena Honch of Ukraine that contained both.”
To celebrate their glamorous romance, the couple released pigeons after saying “I do.”
The newlyweds walked happily down the aisle while the bride’s brother, Tony, sang “Ave Maria” to them.
The wedding party celebrated the bride and groom and posed for some pictures with photographer Kristen Flower. Since groomsmen come from all over the world, Nick asked them all to wear classic black suits. Vanessa adds, “I chose black for the beautiful bridesmaids to match the groomsmen and it looked sexy.”
The couple thought about how beautiful the day would be together. “Honestly, nothing was too difficult thanks to Jenan, our amazing wedding planner and her team,” they share. “The selected vendors were so excited to help our vision come to life. Everyone involved went above and beyond!”
At the cocktail hour, guests can sip three different side creations designed for the couple by Remy Martin with a selection of tamarind, spicy mango, or peaches.
The reception was absolutely dreamy with tons of neutrals, cheeks and twinkling lights. “Custom lighting flanked the perimeter of two moonlights to set the romantic scene while adding 250 large church candles,” the couple share.
“Shy contestants were presented to break the neutral pallet with lots of candles and orchids on the tables,” they continue. “Each plate had an open rose set on a bronze glass charger plate and each place card had a chiffon ribbon. To complement the table setting, it was finished with rose-colored glassware.”
Habiba’s table was a masterpiece overflowing with flowers.
Cold fireworks went off as the couple entered the reception.
The reception witnessed many surprises, starting with a cinematic experience. “We wanted our guests to surround the romance between us,” the couple says. “A giant LED screen displayed videos and photos of our beautiful love story with special behind the scenes clips from the amazing journeys and experiences we have shared together so far.”
Music was a big part of the night for the couple. The mariachi band was on the horizon to play as they performed their first dance to Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”. For this part of the evening, Vanessa wore a sparkling For Love Bridal dress.
Later, Nick danced with his mother to the tunes of Three Times A Lady from The Commodores and Vanessa swayed with her brother Tony to Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” Another musical surprise? Tony gave a surprise performance of “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. The newlyweds recall: “It was perfect! The setting was exciting.” “There was no dryness in the public’s eye.”
The three-tiered white wedding cake had a special filling as nods to the couple’s British and Mexican roots with English fruit cake and Tres Leach flavors.
The party moved indoors as an 11-piece band got all the guests on the dance floor. The bride sparkled in her final evening look – an embellished dress designed by Charbel Karam Haute Couture.
The last performance of the night came from the bride herself. “I surprised my husband singing to him ‘I Love You Baby’ right after the party,” Vanessa shares.
A word of wisdom for other couples planning a wedding from the groom? “It’s all about you as a couple. Enjoy every second as it flies and goes with the flow if anything happens. It’s the most important day in couples’ lives to start a new journey of love and joy, so it should only be the smiles and the love surrounding you both. Nothing else matters. Just hold on.” Strongly each other and don’t let them go.”