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Real Wedding | Zazu + Aaron

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We met at our Jewish sleep-away camp in Malibu in the summer of 2014 - a place that was a second home for both of us and where we had each spent over ten summers. By meeting in the place that had formed us - a place where we were both so comfortable - we were able to introduce our full, most uninhibited selves to the other. It was exciting and new, but also held the comfort of being on a 100th date. We now live in New York, where Zazu is a practicing therapist, and Aaron a soon-to-be ordained rabbi. Our relationship still contains all that it promised – comfort, deep connection, and a commitment to having fun and being in community with people we love.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

In an earlier moment, we thought that we would get married at Camp Hess Kramer, where we met. While it sadly burned down in the 2018 Woolsey fire, we chose a venue located nearby, so that we could still smell the eucalyptus trees and ocean that brought us together. We also wanted a venue that was fully outdoors (a dream even before the pandemic, but especially after) and also where we would have full autonomy over aesthetic and vendor choices. Saddlerock Ranch allowed us exactly this. It was definitely more work to bring in all of the vendors ourselves, but also allowed us to be the curators of our day.

How many guests did you have?

230 - what we considered intimate!

Tell us about your outfits.

We both love using fashion as a tool to express ourselves and for this reason, decided to custom make our outfits. We both worked with brilliant artists who somehow understood our visions and then worked incredibly hard to not only bring them to life, but also elevate them beyond expectations - Zazu with Mika Inatome (whom she found by googling 'dress-maker upper west side') and Aaron with B.J. Gray of Grayscale (whom he had been following and admiring on IG for years). We both wore similar shades of off-white, to subvert the idea that a bride wears white to indicate purity and instead promote the idea that this was about a fresh, new chapter for the both of us.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

Our ceremony. We wanted to have a party, but we wanted that party to be in celebration of our relationship, and of all of the people who have made our relationship better, stronger, and more vibrant. So we invested hours upon hours thinking about the values we wanted incorporated, the friends and family members we wanted included, and the rituals we wanted to keep, tweak, and let go of.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

It was important for us to bring every part of ourselves into the day, to unite our desire for deep spirituality and uninhibited fun. We decided to go big with both. We sent emails out to our guests in advance explaining the Jewish rituals they would encounter at our wedding, held a joint Tisch (pre-ceremony Jewish ritual), and had a fully egalitarian traditional ceremony. We also hired a 9 piece band, had pizza for dinner (shout-out to Jason Winter and the whole Urban Pie/Speak Cheezy team), and walked down the aisle to Maggie Rogers and Frank Ocean.

Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during the pandemic?

It can be hard to connect back to yourself and your partner when there are so many “it should be done this way” and “you need xyz in order for your guests to really have the best time.” Our most useful question to ourselves throughout the process: how do we want to feel on that day? We wanted to feel connected to each other, to our spirituality, to our community. So every decision was made in service of that goal. Trust that your guests are there as witnesses to your joy, so the more you’re able to tap into that joy - and the less concerned you are with meeting expectations - the better it will be for everyone. Including (and mostly) you. On a different note, hire Janna Takeyama of Orange Blossom Special Events if you’re looking for the kindest and most competent wedding coordinator. Janna makes everything better.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

It was important to us to choose people that we liked and felt connected to, so we truly were head-over-heels for all of our vendors. A few especially remarkable ones: Renko Floral blew us away. Ren focuses on “local, seasonal and interesting materials that in turn create an emotional experience.” For us, she did just that. Chloe Schlossman, who provided a wedding makeup look that somehow struck both bridal and editorial. She made Zazu feel exactly like herself, and not at all like just another bride. Madison Olling, our photographer, somehow elevated the energy in the room without anyone knowing she was there. Our photos aren’t just aesthetically beautiful, they also fully capture the energy, beauty, and dynamism of the day. Find a photographer (hire Madison!) who makes you feel like just being you is enough - it pays off.

Photographer : Madison Olling @madisonolling | Videographer : Knot Creative | Ceremony + Reception Location : Saddlerock Ranch | Celebrant : Andrew Belinfante | Entertainment : De Bois Entertainment | Planner : Janna Takeyama of Orange Blossom Special Events @orangeblossomspecialevents | Hire : A Rental Connection | Flora : Renko Floral @renkofloral | HMUA : Chloe Schlossman @bychloerose | Catering + Beverages : Urban Pie | Cake : Vanilla Bake Shop | Stationery : J.Lucy Tauber | Zazu's Dress : Mika Inatome | Aaron's Suit : Grayscale @grayscaleic | Engagement + Wedding Rings : Elly Adler | Shoes : Yuul Yie @yuulyie_official | Other Jewellery : Acme | Wedding Party Attire : Custom Grayscale @grayscaleic ascots/bowties/ties and hand-dyed dresses


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