GARDEN OF LOVE
KAROLINE STAROSTIK & TORRE FITZ
“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.