Janah and Lauren’s Foodie Dream Wedding
Feb. 21, 2015
A love of food brought Janah and Lauren together more than four years ago. The pair met at the Food and Wine Malibu event, when Janah was a chef and Lauren was a casting producer for popular culinary television shows like “Top Chef.” Lauren said the two were “instantly inseparable,” bonding over their foodie tastes. A little over two years later, Janah proposed to Lauren on their “monthaversary” at the Santa Monica beach in front of their immediate family (and tons of onlookers).
When looking for a wedding venue, the couple knew they wanted a blank canvas—a place where they could make their vision come true, and create a night unlike anything their guests ever experienced at other weddings. Janah and Lauren were the first to wed in either of their families, so that meant a lot of pressure, Lauren said. The two landed on the Santa Margarita Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California. Just three hours north of Los Angeles; remote, but populated and possessing of the rustic atmosphere Janah wanted, while still having the potential to host the elegant affair Lauren envisioned, the venue was perfect for the brides.
Once the venue was secured, planning wasn’t exactly smooth sailing for Janah and Lauren. Not only had the ranch never performed a same-sex Jewish ceremony, but the brides wanted create a unique (and challenging) mix of vendors. Desserts were created by “Top Chef: Just Desserts” finalist Carlos Enriques of Patina Group, while “Top Chef” contestant Dakota Weiss provided artisan popcorn and the officiant—Janah’s first cousin—was ordained for just one day to perform the ceremony. Add that to a non-stop wedding flow that their coordinator coined an “East Coast Vibe,” which meant very little downtime and an all-night dance party.
Planning hitches didn’t affect Janah and Lauren’s big day, and Lauren described the wedding as everything they’d imagined. Before the ceremony, the wedding party took a ride on a vintage Disneyland train around the ranch before strutting down the aisle. Wedding guests also enjoyed cocktails before ceremony to make sure there were no lags in the party. The brides served sliders and pizza made on-site in a ceramic pizza oven, along with local beer shots, hot apple cider and speciality cocktails—Lauren’s poison and Janah’s cure.
During the ceremony, the brides chose to honor their religion and their families. Janah and Lauren incorporated traditional Jewish wedding practices like the chuppah and breaking of the glass. They also blended sand from the Janah’s native East Coast and Lauren’s native West Coast to symbolize their families joining and how the brides will forever be intertwined.
Janah and Lauren’s celebration continued inside the historic Santa Margarita Ranch barn, where the brides danced the night away with friends and family.
Although I've spent the last decade riffing on everything from suburban politics to race in media, documenting love stories as content manager of GayWeddings.com definitely takes the cake. A proud alumna of Howard University's journalism program, I've written for Parents.com, The Huffington Post, xoJane and Essence magazine. When I'm not writing, I'm debating the merits of Drake, obsessing over frozen yogurt or plotting my next international adventure. I want to feature you on GayWeddings.com! Always feel free to drop me a line at community [at] gayweddings.com to share your engagement, wedding and love stories.