Jo + Andrew by Morgan Hydinger

We happened to be going to the same music event that following weekend, where I took his hand and flirted my head off. He was quite shy, but I think he got the message at the end and we started dating. That was 10 years ago, and we haven’t looked back since.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…
A: I’m an attorney and Jo is a pharmacist. We moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ago after living on the East Coast, and are definitely city people – we both love music and art, and spend a lot of our time going to concerts and checking out restaurants, record shops and wine bars. I think part of what brings us together is a certain duality; we’re both fairly bookish, but are equally enthusiastic about seeing our friends and dancing until dawn.

J: Something a bit unique about our relationship is that we’re a long-distance success story. We’ve spent much of our time together physically apart, largely due to our careers. Shortly after we started dating, Andrew moved across the country to start law school, while I started pharmacy school in California. After we both graduated, Andrew moved to New York for a job and I relocated to Boston for my post-doc. Being long-distance was difficult, but we were, and remain to be, incredibly supportive of each other and our respective career goals.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?
J: We became acquainted through mutual friends before we started dating although we weren’t interested in each other at the time. Years later, I happened to be browsing Facebook (read: stalking Andrew’s profile) and asked my sister if she thought he was cute. We happened to be going to the same music event that following weekend, where I took his hand and flirted my head off. He was quite shy, but I think he got the message at the end and we started dating. That was 10 years ago, and we haven’t looked back since.

A: We definitely originally started flirting by posting about music on each other’s Facebook profiles! I remember at that music festival being so taken by how cute Joanne was, and how enthusiastically she talked about the things she was interested in. It was pretty clear from the start that we shared a lot of common ground, and are really passionate about our interests.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…
A: It’s very much a COVID-19 story – in June 2020, we were living in a small studio apartment in Manhattan and were in the process of moving to Southern California. We wanted to spend a couple of weeks quarantining before seeing our parents, so we rented a house in Topanga Canyon just outside of LA. In hindsight, despite all the stress of that time, it was such a peaceful and romantic period for us. We would often take long walks around the canyon in the morning before logging into work, and one morning, as we were passing a particularly pretty viewpoint, I asked Joanne to marry me and she said “yes.” It was very simple, with no photographer or champagne or anything, which was perfect for us.

J: It was a very low-key proposal – Andrew didn’t have a ring, and I was wearing leggings and Crocs—but it was very special. Andrew had contacted a local florist to send an arrangement later that day, and we cooked dinner together and Facetimed our family and friends to celebrate.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…
J: We had a long engagement (two years) and I know our vision for the wedding didn’t start coming together until we got deeper into planning. We booked our wedding for the Ebell Club in Long Beach early on – we both fell in love with the space as soon as we saw it. The Ebell is a historic building that used to serve as a women’s club in the 1800’s and is absolutely stunning; it has so much character on its own. So when thinking about how we wanted our wedding to look and feel, we wanted to add our own flair to the venue with some unique, modern details. It was also incredibly important to me that our wedding day felt intimate despite our large guest count, and that it very much felt like “our” wedding, not something that was copied and pasted from someone else’s Pinterest board. We wanted to throw a fun and stylish party!

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?
A: On the whole, it was pretty smooth! One minor one – in lieu of a wedding cake, we opted to have a “champagne tower,” using a pétillant naturel from one of our favorite California winemakers, Purity Wines (shout out to Barrie and Noel!). Joanne sourced a bunch of coupe glasses to use for the tower, but on the wedding day, as we were prepping for the ceremony, our wedding planner Claire realized that we’d forgotten the glasses at our apartment. Luckily, within an hour, Claire had somehow sourced alternate glassware, and by the end of the night we were all happily clinking glasses on the dance floor.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?
J: I thought it would be cute to wear the Manolos from Sex in the City on my wedding day – both to serve as my “something blue” and as a wink to New York, a city that means so much to both of us. From there, I worked backwards to find a dress to match the shoes!

My wedding dress was by Rime Arodaky, a Paris-based wedding dress designer, which I had been eyeing before I ever made an appointment to try on dresses. I had seen the dress on their Instagram, and actually showed the picture to Andrew to get his opinion on it before I went to try it on…and he didn’t like it! I went to try it on anyway at The Dress Theory in San Diego; it was one of the first dresses I tried on. I knew it was the dress as soon as I saw myself in the mirror. I hemmed and hawed about the decision for about a month, even going to another dress store to try on more dresses, but I knew I would go back for that dress.

A: For what it’s worth, once I saw Joanne’s dress at our first look, I absolutely loved it! For my outfit, I wanted to go with a classically-styled tuxedo in a classic cut. When we were in New York last year to take our engagement photos, we visited the studio of Kent Wang, a tailor whose work I’ve long admired. It was important to me that the tailoring of the tuxedo be fairly traditional as well, as I wanted to avoid details (tapered pants, exposed ankle, etc.) that might look dated when we look back at our photos in the future. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Ceremony + Reception: Ebell Long Beach, @ebelloflb / Photography + Videography: Morgan Hydinger, @morganhydinger / Planner: Grit + Grace Events, @gritandgraceeventsco, @heyclairemarieroche / Hire: Signature Party Rentals, @sigpartyrentals / Florals: Lavenders Flowers, @lavendersflowers / Catering + Beverages: Tres LA, @treslagroup / Stationary: Maya & Love, @mayaandlove_ / Pet nat tower: Purity Wine, @puritywine / Desserts table: Foodologie, @foodologiebakedgoods / Churro cart: @loveswirls / Entertainment: DJ Griff Entertainment, @djgriff / Voicemail guestbook: After the Tone, / After-party: Bamboo Club, @bambooclublb / Bride’s Wedding Dress: Rime Arodaky, @rimearodaky / Bride’s Reception Dress: Fame & Partners, @fameandpartners / Bride’s Wedding Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, @manoloblahnik / Bride’s Reception Shoes: Schutz, @schutzoficial / Makeup + Hair: Kayla Arielle Artistry, @kaylaarielleartistry / Bride’s Earrings: Nadri, @nadrijewelry / Bride’s Engagement Ring: Princess Bride Diamonds, @princessbridediamonds / Bride’s Wedding band: Ring Concierge, @ringconcierge / Groom’s Wedding band: Cartier, @cartier / Groom’s Tuxedo: Kent Wang, / Groom’s Shoes: Alden, @aldenshoeco / Bridesmaids dresses: BHLDN, @bhldn / Bridesmaids gifts: Ferko’s Fine Jewelry, @ferkosfinejewelry / Groomsmen suits: Friar Tux, @friartux / Groomsmen ties: Kent Wang,