This California Wedding Was Inspired By the Beyoncé Lyrics "I Love You Like XO"
Shima and Ryan
In her vows, Shima Baradaran admitted that her romance with Ryan Baughman had been a whirlwind: "If someone had told me I'd start dating and marry anyone within four months, I would have laughed," she said. "But I can honestly say that I loved you immediately." It was a sentiment shared by Ryan, who at 38 was teased by buddies about being a perennial bachelor. It turns out he just hadn't met the right girl yet.
After chatting with Shima, a law professor, at a mutual friend's party in April 2015, "I was smitten," says Ryan, a real estate investor. He asked Shima and her two young sons to a movie the very next day and, just seven weeks later, proposed while the couple were in Paris for a friend's wedding.
The Salt Lake City-based couple decided to throw an August wedding at Montage Laguna Beach, near Shima's parents' home—which gave them just six weeks to plan. They quickly settled on a cheerful pink-and-red palette and, inspired by the Beyoncé lyrics "I love you like XO" and their affectionate personalities, a graphic motif of the letters symbolizing hugs and kisses.
On Friday evening on August 7, 2015, at six o'clock, Shima walked down the aisle with her sons, Kian and Darian, as ring bearers. Ryan's friend and business partner conducted the civil ceremony (the pair, who are Mormon, will mark their first anniversary with a sealing ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple). For both, exchanging their self-written vows was a highlight. Because their relationship had progressed so quickly, "we used the vows to inform everyone of our love story," says Shima.
The bride, who is Persian, incorporated Middle Eastern music into the reception entertainment, including a traditional dance during which the couple were lifted into the air on chairs by family and friends. Ryan recalls that, as he looked out at his loved ones and at the woman who had finally won his heart, "I felt like a conquering hero."
The Bridal Bouquet
Shima and Ryan selected her engagement ring together. For the wedding day, Shima borrowed jewelry from Montage Laguna Beach's jewelry shop Lugano Diamonds.
The couple married beneath an arch of flowers that included distant drum roses, Eden romantica spray roses, gomphrena, raspberry scabiosa, astilbe, jasmine vine, and green privet berry.
Married by Ryan's friend and business partner Craig Romney, the son of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the sweet, self-written vows were a highlight for the couple. Shima promised to "eat dessert with you every day for the rest of our lives," while Ryan vowed to "kiss you often, to hug you more, and to always make you feel like you're my girlfriend."
The couple served passed canapés catered by Montage Laguna Beach before sitting down to a dinner of roasted beets and goat cheese salad, braised beef short rib, and grilled local sea bass.
Shima's bridesmaids, who included two friends and her sisters (far left and second from right), wore dresses from J.Crew.
Escort Xs and Os
A Thematic Floor Plan
Guests dined at tables arranged in X and O patterns, perched on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean.
Kisses Instead of Numbers
Each of the "X-" or "O"-shaped tables at the reception was named for the word "kiss" in different languages.
Centerpieces in terra-cotta pots included 'Antike' garden roses, raspberry scabiosa, and dahlias, while place settings featured wooden Xs and Os.
Favors for the Girls
A favors table offered lipsticks in crimson and berry hues.
Favors for the Guys
Wooden tic-tac-toe games were given as favors to the men.
Photography, Michael Radford
Location, catering, and lighting, Montage Laguna Beach
Event planning and design, Amorology
Cinematography, Kavin Lindgren Films
Stationery, Peanut Press Creative
Calligraphy, The Pointed Nib
Cake, Hey There, Cupcake!
Music, 11H Entertainment
Bride's gown, YolanCris
Hair and makeup, Melina Ruiz
Bridesmaids' dresses, J.Crew
Groom's suit, shirt, tie, and pocket square, Urbana Custom Clothier
Groom's shoes, Allen Edmonds
Custom backdrop, Back Up Photo Backdrops & Installations