Real Weddings - - Celebrations -


ince its hey­day in the 1940s and ’50s as a haven for pri­vacy-seek­ing Hol­ly­wood stars, Cal­i­for­nia’s re­sort-dot­ted Coachella Val­ley has sym­bol­ized es­cape. But for Wash­ing­ton, D.C., res­i­dents Tali Toltzis and Michael Co­hen, host­ing their wed­ding in Ran­cho Mi­rage wasn’t a re­treat but a re­turn. “My grand­par­ents have spent part of the year in nearby Palm Springs for 30 years; I’ve gone there on va­ca­tion all my life,” Michael says.

Fam­ily has been im­por­tant to the cou­ple from the start. In 2010, Tali, the founder of a gift and hos­pi­tal­ity box com­pany, and Michael, who works in real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, were set up by their two younger sis­ters, col­lege bud­dies who dis­cov­ered that their older sib­lings lived within 10 blocks of each other. “Nei­ther of us had been on a blind date be­fore, so it was lucky we both agreed to it,” Tali says. Much to the sis­ters’ de­light, the two hit it off im­me­di­ately, and by Oc­to­ber 2013 they were en­gaged.

Tali and Michael’s con­nec­tions to both peo­ple and place in­formed nearly ev­ery de­tail of the wed­ding week­end, from the cit­rus-filled es­cort-card dis­play (a nod to the fruit Michael’s grand­par­ents grow and of­ten ship to the cou­ple) to the Coachella mu­sic fes­ti­val–themed af­ter-party, com­plete with flower crowns and “Co­henchella” wrist­bands, which re­called the con­certs the two had at­tended. Tali’s fam­ily rabbi flew in from Cleve­land to of­fi­ci­ate the Jewish cer­e­mony be­fore 250 loved ones, and the cou­ple ex­changed vows un­der a chup­pah sewn by Tali’s grand­mother and embroidered with the names of her cousins who had wed be­neath it.

Cock­tails were served pool­side to the strains of a Frank Si­na­tra trib­ute singer be­fore ev­ery­one moved to the ball­room for a Cal­i­for­nia twist on a kosher feast, in­clud­ing a choice of loup de mer or salmon, and ag­nolotti with truf­fled sage but­ter. Mu­sic and danc­ing fol­lowed, and when the Co­henchella af­ter-party kicked off, in front of a back­drop of the fes­ti­val’s iconic Fer­ris wheel, it was like com­ing, well, full cir­cle. “The best part was be­ing in a place so spe­cial to my grand­par­ents, and to us,” says Michael. A place that now has one more amaz­ing mem­ory. —Va­lerie Rains SOURCES Lo­ca­tion The Ritz-Carl­ton, Ran­cho Mi­rage Event plan­ning and de­sign Shan­non Leahy Events Cater­ing Sa­vore Cui­sine & Events Flow­ers and event de­sign Mindy Rice De­sign Pho­tog­ra­phy Jose Villa Videog­ra­phy Blue Kite Cinema Sta­tionery Swiss Cot­tage De­signs Cal­lig­ra­phy Hardink Cal­lig­ra­phy Cake Charm City Cakes West Mu­sic West Coast Mu­sic; Luca El­lis Duo; Mike Goldfarb aka DJ Sherpa Bride’s gown Monique Lhuil­lier Bride’s ac­ces­sories Marisa Perry (en­gage­ment ring); Jimmy Choo (shoes) Groom’s suit, shirt, and tie J.Mueser See The Guide for more ven­dor sources

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