This Couple's Colorful, Cinematic Wedding Featured a Seating Chart Inspired by a Hotel Check-In Desk

With details inspired by Wes Anderson's movies, this pair's outdoor event made a summery splash.

wedding couple gazing at one another in front of a greenery-filled background
Photo: Stetten Wilson

When mutual friends introduced Deia and Stephen over dinner in San Francisco in March 2018, they each knew their future was about to change. "We had both been excited to be single that summer," says Deia. "But things didn't go as planned!" For the next three years, the couple prepared for a life together. "After doing a lot of work on our relationship, we decided we were ready to move ahead with getting married in June of 2021," says Deia. "We made the decision together, no ring or surprise!"

As Deia and Stephen began planning their wedding—with help from Amorology—they knew they needed a central location that could accommodate guests traveling in on international flights for five days of festivities. "It was important to us that once they landed in Los Angeles, everything would be really simple and seamless for them," says Deia. "It took a lot of work on our part but it was worth it and the guests appreciated it!" The duo chose Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu to host 240 loved ones for their colorful ceremony and reception on July 8, 2022. "We wanted our guests to feel like they were stepping into a whimsical dream, almost like they were living in a Wes Anderson movie for the night, so we leaned into making the wedding as colorful as possible," says Stephen.

The color palette included "delicate pastels and saturated vibrant tones" inspired by the filmmaker's aesthetic and the mountainous landscape, including millennial pink, mustard, saffron, persimmon orange, sky blue, and grass green. Personal touches—like a trio of signature cocktails designed to tell the couple's love story, a favorite pasta dish on the family-style menu, playlists designed by the bride and groom, and nearly a dozen speeches at the reception—created a unique and unforgettable event. "Make sure you infuse as much of your own personality into the wedding as you can, regardless of what's typically done!" says Deia. "That's the stuff you and your guests will always remember."

Cape Drama

bride wedding dress
Stetten Wilson

Deia found herself drawn to Ines DiSanto's designs, which offered just the right combination of unfussy elegance and statement-making accents. "My style is simple and minimalist, so I knew I wanted an understated dress à la Carolyn Bessette," she says. "Once I tried on the 'Robin' dress combined with the amazing cape—it reminded me of ocean foam—I knew I had to have it!" She kept her other fashion choices low-stress, selecting Dolce Vita heels and Apranje Jewellers hoop earrings. "I ended up deciding which earrings to wear about five minutes before the first look," she says. "My mom had them made in India, and they were exactly what I wanted."

Sunny Delight

bride holding bright, floral bouquet
Stetten Wilson

A vibrant, sunset-inspired collection of lavender clematis, peach peonies, apricot parrot tulips, and coral ranunculus from Honey and Poppies filled out the bride's bouquet; a complement of open tuberose and sweet peas added a "heady dose of fragrance."

Dressed to Impress

groom walking in tuxedo alongside loved ones
Stetten Wilson

Stephen chose a white dinner jacket and black pants from Zegna for the ceremony, adding heirloom accessories from both sides of the family: black-and-gold cufflinks, passed down from his father, and a gold necklace that had belonged to Deia's grandmother. "Amma passed away in 2008, and Deia's mom gifted the necklace to me when Deia and I were engaged," he says. "I always wear it."

Flower Girls

bride walking alongside friends donning floral dresses
Stetten Wilson

Though Deia chose not to have bridesmaids, she invited a few of her closest friends to join her before the ceremony. "All the gals were able to wear their own dresses in styles that complemented them the most in fun shades and patterns that were reminiscent of summer," she says. "They all ended up wearing floral dresses that looked really good together for some pictures!"

So Happy Together

wedding couple smiling during first look
Stetten Wilson

Meeting before their ceremony helped both Deia and Stephen calm their nerves. "I think Stephen and I had only been apart for five hours, but it felt like forever on that day!" says Deia. "As soon as he turned around, I completely relaxed and started to really enjoy every moment."

"Same here!" says Stephen. "I was definitely anxious during the lead-up to the day, until I saw Deia and immediately felt calm and at ease."

View From Above

wedding ceremony with mountain views
Stetten Wilson

The mountains provided a sweeping backdrop for the outdoor ceremony. Pink-and-yellow chairs laid out in a color-blocked pattern were accented by aisle arrangements designed to look as though they were growing from the ground.

Arch Appeal

floral ceremony arch
Stetten Wilson

Megan Gray, a florist at Honey and Poppies, built an arch using "lots of oversized whimsical florals, including globe allium, hybrid delphinium, eremurus, dahlias, garden roses, and peonies," she says.

By Design

wedding ceremony signage
Stetten Wilson

A silhouette of the surrounding landscape (by Lotus and Ash) became a "graphic and bold" day-of element that was carried through from the pair's invitation suite and save-the-date.

Saying Their Vows

wedding couple kissing during ceremony
Stetten Wilson

Deia and Stephen entered their ceremony together, walking down the aisle arm-in-arm to "Lover" by Taylor Swift—their favorite part of the day. "Walking down the winding aisle and finally seeing all our friends and family—they looked so happy, they were clapping for us, it was totally surreal!" says the couple.

The groom's cousin officiated the ceremony, which included traditions from the bride's South Indian culture. "During the ceremony, Stephen tied a minnu, a small gold cross (that belonged to my grandmother), strung on seven gold threads taken from my mom's wedding saree, around my neck," says Deia. "Also as is custom, Stephen's sisters presented me with a saree to welcome me into their family."

Just Married

wedding couple wearing floral garlands and walking down the aisle during ceremony recessional
Stetten Wilson

After exchanging vows they wrote themselves, the newlyweds put on floral garlands by Jasmine for SoCal as they left the altar to Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere." "It was important to us to write our own vows," says Deia. "Our relationship hasn't been easy and we wanted to be honest about that. Totally reflective of us, Stephen wrote his vows weeks in advance, and I wrote mine the night before."

Jump Right in

dive bar-themed custom bar
Stetten Wilson

Custom bars designed for the couple's "Summertime Magic"-inspired reception included the "Dive Bar," which mimicked a blue-tiled pool complete with brass ladder. "There was also a separate bar that featured my dad's favorite quote, 'You're never lost with a full tank of gas,' and various gas fill-up station installations," says Stephen.

Small Bites

wedding reception passed appetizers
Stetten Wilson

A selection of passed appetizers from Contemporary Catering included veal, pork, and pancetta meatballs, mini fried chicken and waffles, sweet corn fritters with coconut jam, and ahi tuna tartar served in crisp wonton shells.


wedding guests holding cocktails
Stetten Wilson

Deia and Stephen designed three signature cocktails. "We wanted to tell the story of our relationship," they say. "'The First Move' was an Aperol spritz because that was the drink we had when we first met. 'Couples Therapy' was Deia's favorite, a dirty vodka martini, and a nod to our amazing couples therapist who guided us through tough times (and whose favorite drink is also a martini). 'Til 3005' was a nod to one of our favorite love songs, '3005' by Childish Gambino, and is also a reference to infinity."

Check-In Time

custom hotel check-in desk seating chart
Stetten Wilson

One of the most elaborate custom builds for the reception was a blush pink hotel check-in desk, courtesy of Backup Backdrops. A reference to Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, the station was where guests picked up their table assignments on hotel room keychains.

Find Your Way

keychain seating chart
Stetten Wilson

Vintage diamond-shaped keychains, each engraved with the phrase "This Must Be the Place," hung on individual hooks behind the hotel desk. Guests' names and table assignments were attached, turning the keychains into escort cards.

Words of Love

recordable guest book with telephone
Stetten Wilson

A recordable guest book from After the Tone was placed at one end of the hotel desk, giving guests the opportunity to leave a message for the newlyweds.

Mixed Seating

wedding reception seating area
Stetten Wilson

The outdoor dining area, lit by hanging chandeliers and overhead string lights, included a combination of elements: round, rectangular, and bar-height tables with cane-back, wooden, and scooped chairs and barstools. Cloths in shades of persimmon and citron added vibrant color to the scene.

Relax and Enjoy

wedding reception seating
Stetten Wilson

Long wooden banquet tables, dressed with geometric-patterned runners, were finished with sunny yellow napkins; plush pillows softened each chair.

Light the Night

wedding reception light fixtures
Stetten Wilson

Dramatic globe light fixtures hung over the tables, suspended from natural boughs of greenery.

Colorful Hues

wedding reception place settings
Stetten Wilson

High-contrast shades added a dynamic punch to each place setting, which featured bright velvet napkins, colorful glassware, glass chargers, and metallic flatware.

Blooming Beauty

reception floral centerpieces
Stetten Wilson

Low vases filled with bright summer blooms in orange, peach, coral, pink, purple, and white shades were placed along the center of each table.

Food and Family

wedding reception food
Stetten Wilson

The newlyweds' family-style dinner menu included mixed greens with peach and burrata, a little gem salad with roasted fennel and shallots, chargrilled hanger steak with chimichurri, pan-roasted halibut, and cacio e pepe—the couple's favorite pasta. "We took the food very seriously!" they say. "Family-style was a must for us. The best weddings we'd been to were family-style, which let everyone at the table mingle and get to know each other over a delicious meal."

On the Floor

couple dancing during wedding reception
Stetten Wilson

Dart Collective provided music from playlists Deia and Stephen customized. "We spent ages on the playlists!" says Deia. "We wanted every song we heard on the day of our wedding to be one that meant something to us. We also made sure every guest requested a song and that all of those were played at some point during the day." For their first dance, the self-described "big Swifties" chose Taylor Swift's "Cowboy Like Me."

Sweet Stuff

dessert table with an assortment of pies at wedding reception
Stetten Wilson

Instead of cake, the couple presented their guests with a table of full-sized and mini pies in a variety of flavors. "Not only do we just like pie way better than cake, but also my dad and grandpa are mathematicians, so it was a little nod to the number pi," says Deia. "We had a sign by the pie that read: 'Love is like Pi… Real, irrational, and never-ending.'"

Memorable Moments

guests seating during the wedding reception
Stetten Wilson

The couple's loved ones took in the serene, mountainous terrain over dinner.

All Smiles

couple laughing and smiling during the wedding reception
Stetten Wilson

Deia and Stephen worked hard to make every part of their wedding personal, a priority that was reinforced by the reception's toasts. "We really tried to throw out the usual wedding traditions and start from scratch," says Deia. "We insisted on having 10 friends give speeches! It did take up time, but they each told a part of our story, and we felt it helped our guests get to know us as people and as a couple."


couple kissing during wedding reception
Stetten Wilson

Photography, Stetten Wilson
Venue, Saddlerock Ranch
Catering, Contemporary Catering
Event Planning, Amorology
Flowers, Honey and Poppies
Videography, Viby Creative
Stationery, Lotus and Ash
Music, Dart Collective
Rentals, Backup Backdrops; Catalog Atelier; Folklore Rentals; Found Rentals; A Rental Connection
Bride's Gown, Ines DiSanto
Bride's Accessories, Dolce Vita shoes; Arpranje Jewellers earrings
Hair, Nawel Abdelaziz
Makeup, Megan Lombardi
Groom's Attire, Knot Standard
Lighting, A Rental Connection
Guest Book, After the Tone
Flower Garlands, Jasmine for SoCal

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