Of the countless breathtaking moments throughout a couple’s wedding day, it’s rare that the bride and groom recount the same one as their very favorite. Renee and Trevor Zeff are clearly meant to be: Both cherish one heartwarming memory from their opulent, touch-of-gold celebration at Montage Beverly Hills.
“Right before I walked down [the aisle] to an instrumental of ‘Something in the Way [She Moves]’ by James Taylor, my husband walked down the aisle together with our son who was 1 1/2 at the time,” Renee says. “That was easily my favorite part of the day.” As it was for Trevor, from his own vantage point: “After walking down the aisle holding my son, I turned around to see Renee for the first time in her dress. She wouldn’t let me see her before the ceremony because she wanted to surprise me … and she really did. She looked unbelievable. Standing there holding my son, seeing her, and us all being together was something I will never forget.”
Before planning any of the other beautiful big day details, the couple worked hard to craft a modest guest list of around 100 people. “We purposely kept our event small because we wanted it to feel intimate—and it worked out perfectly,” Trevor says. “We really got to enjoy ourselves with only our closest friends and family.”
The luxe and layered grandeur, however, spilled over in regal proportions. Kristin Banta Events designed distinctly elegant environments for the black-tie ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Each blended inspiration from vintage Coco Chanel and Gucci with the polished style and timeless sophistication of James Bond. Renee fell in love with the gold tones and brushed gold accents, and the pair both appreciated the way in which Kristin Banta incorporated a whiskey bar and decorative clocks for Trevor, a passionate watch collector. A subtle yet shimmering palette of textured white, cream, champagne and brushed gold set the stage for this sleek, modern celebration in a marriage of masculine and feminine flourishes.
To honor Trevor’s faith and heritage, throughout the ceremony. The couple’s dramatic backdrop for their vows was a one-of-a-kind chuppah, bedecked with a sparkling trio of crystal chandelier spheres and delicate strands of white orchid blooms. After a spirited cocktail hour of tray-passed Old-Fashioneds and a jazz trio performing classic rock, guests received their first look at the enchanted fairytale inside the ballroom, as did the couple. “When we made our entrance, we saw how the room turned out for the first time and we were amazed,” Trevor recalls. “Kristin made the room absolutely stunning. We were both shocked by how great it looked.” The warm, romantic glow of candlelight played off lush white floral arrangements that burst from footed crystal, hammered gold and mercury glass vases. Draped fabric, fine linens and cozy alternative seating and lounge areas lent intimacy and a residential embellishment to this party of a lifetime. When guests weren’t visiting the dessert table and whiskey station, they were dancing across a brushed-gold dance floor to the sounds of the Rhythm Collective from Elan Artists.
For the Zeffs’ wedding, the groom’s personal tastes played into the decor as much as the bride’s. Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events styled a fanciful display of escort cards shaped like miniature clocks, inspired by Trevor’s extensive watch collection.
“When we got engaged, I started looking all around Beverly Hills, but nothing was grabbing me,” Renee says of her search for the perfect venue. “One morning, I went to the Montage by myself. I walked in and was like: ‘This is it!’ The decor, the terrace, the spa—everything was perfect. It was just my style. I immediately called my husband and told him I had found our place.” Since then, Renee says, Montage Beverly Hills has become their “go-to” spot—a familiar and meaningful destination where they spend every anniversary and birthday. They even had a whiskey party at the resort’s £10 bar when Trevor recently turned 30. “Montage is a place where you always know what to expect” and are never disappointed, she says. “Now, we want to s start visiting the other Montage properties.”
By Lisa Marie Hart
Photos By Miki And Sonja Photography