GAR­DEN OF LOVE

KARO­LINE STAROSTIK & TORRE FITZ

Inside Weddings - - Editors Circle 2018 - April 22, 2017 Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia | Pho­tographed by Duke Pho­tog­ra­phy

“My Prince Charm­ing lit­er­ally rang my door­bell,” ex­plains Karo­line Starostik of the mo­ment she first met Torre Fitz while he was work­ing as a fit­ness and nu­tri­tion coach. The pair re­mained just friends for eight months be­fore their first date, and fol­low­ing that un­for­get­table evening, their re­la­tion­ship quickly es­ca­lated. One month later while visit­ing Karo­line’s fam­ily in Brazil for Christ­mas, Torre knelt down in her mother’s kitchen and pro­posed in front of her fam­ily. Then one year later, he pre­sented her with a sparkling oval-shaped di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring for a se­cond pro­posal at their home be­fore fly­ing to Lon­don and Paris to cel­e­brate with friends.

With just four months to plan a so­phis­ti­cated Bev­erly Hills wed­ding, the cou­ple en­listed the help of Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events to co­or­di­nate the de­tails of the spe­cial day. Their choice of venue was simple: a lux­ury ho­tel just five min­utes from where they re­side, as it was their se­cond home while re­mod­el­ing their own. “We never even con­sid­ered get­ting mar­ried some­where else,” ad­mits Karo­line.

Since both the bride and groom are of Catholic faith, it was im­por­tant to them to make prom­ises to each other in front of God and their fam­i­lies. “Fol­low­ing Ro­man Catholic tra­di­tion, we had our wed­ding mass in our parish, The Good Shep­herd, on a Thursday evening and then on Satur­day, Fa­ther Ed Be­nioff blessed us at the ho­tel,” de­scribes Karo­line. “The wed­ding mass was the most im­por­tant as­pect to me,” shares Torre. “I be­lieve it is im­por­tant to have a bless­ing, re­gard­less of one’s reli­gion or be­liefs.”

On the af­ter­noon of the cer­e­mony, at­ten­dees took their seats in ghost-style chairs to wit­ness the beau­ti­ful out­door service take place be­neath a strik­ing flo­ral arch com­prised of roses and pha­laenop­sis or­chids. “I wanted the cer­e­mony to look like a [dreamy] gar­den,” beams the bride. She was a vi­sion in a glam­orous high­neck gown with illusion long sleeves dot­ted with flo­ral ap­pliqués that com­ple­mented her bou­quet of al­abaster pe­onies. “Watch­ing Karo­line walk down the aisle is some­thing I will never for­get,” re­mem­bers Torre.

Fol­low­ing the vow exchange, loved ones made their way in­side to find their seat­ing as­sign­ments on a dis­play dec­o­rated with ar­range­ments of hy­drangeas, or­chids, roses, and calla lilies. As they en­tered the ball­room, they dis­cov­ered a col­lec­tion of rec­tan­gu­lar glass ta­bles fea­tur­ing dra­matic crys­tal de­tails as well as round mir­ror top va­ri­eties adorned with ar­range­ments of vanilla roses and or­chids and sur­rounded by vel­vet chairs with in­tri­cate me­tal­lic backs. Each place set­ting show­cased a sil­ver charger plate topped with a menu card high­light­ing a gilt mono­gram and a single rose. “The room was trans­formed into a fairy-tale gar­den to cel­e­brate our fairy-tale romance,” notes Karo­line of the theme.

“The en­ergy of the evening was pure light and love, and our guests could not stop talking about the joy they felt in the air.”

Lounge vi­gnettes sur­round­ing the large dance floor dis­played tufted set­tees and vel­vet ot­tomans, allowing guests to re­lax fol­low­ing the din­ner service. Tow­er­ing trees were brought into the ball­room and placed near the me­tal­lic stud­ded bar, which kept the li­ba­tions flow­ing all night long. “The en­ergy of the evening was pure light and love, and our guests could not stop talking about the joy they felt in the air,” rem­i­nisces Karo­line. As an ode to the bride’s Brazil­ian her­itage, rev­el­ers en­joyed slices of a gor­geous fourtier confection adorned with rose gold de­tail­ing and fresh blooms as well as brigadeiro­s – Brazil­ian choco­late fudge sweets cov­ered in sprin­kles or nuts.

The joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion lasted well past mid­night, and the duo was ab­so­lutely thrilled with how ev­ery­thing came to­gether. “Our wed­ding day was my dream come true,” at­tests Karo­line. As for their ad­vice for fu­ture en­gaged cou­ples, the groom has a bit of wis­dom to share. “Hire a rep­utable wed­ding plan­ner. Ev­ery­thing will run so much bet­ter and it will take a lot of the stress off you… And let your fi­ancée make the fi­nal de­ci­sions,” he smiles.

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