A Los Feliz couple throws a high-altitude celebration on a ranch in the New Mexico foothills
A subtle suggestion from the mother of the bride set everything in motion. “She thought we should have the wedding somewhere where we have family roots,” says Net-a-Porter stylist-turned-freelance creative director Monica Wade, whose mother inspired her to decamp to New Mexico with her beau, Dan Oh, a former DJ who is now managing his family’s L.A.-based logistics company, to exchange vows. Suddenly, the idea of an open-air Santa Fe wedding seemed ideal. After all, Monica grew up visiting the area where her entrepreneurial sister now owns a nearby farm, a bistro named Vinaigrette and a modern general store, and where her parents also have a second home. Often, the couple, who met in New York through mutual friends just before Dan moved back to Los Angeles, reunited in New Mexico—their rendezvous point of choice during two years of long-distance dating.
Monica and her planner, Beth Helmstetter, settled on La Mesita Ranch, just minutes from her parents’ property, and her sister, Erin, created a menu incorporating handed-down family recipes for the gathering. Low benches at the ceremony gave guests a view of the majestic foothills and mountains surrounding the couple, and rose gold on invitations and silverware—and embedded in the marble dance floor—picked up the vibrant pinks of New Mexico sunsets. As the evening set in, Helmstetter used bright flowers, a neon sign, tinsel and 16 disco balls to lure guests onto the dance floor. An oxygen lounge helped to combat the thin air at 7,000 feet. The party continued beyond 3 a.m., and Monica says her friends were smitten with the location: “They keep asking, ‘Take me back!’ So really, this all tells you, ‘Listen to your mother, she knows best.’ ”
Photography by AMY AND STUART.
Written by ELIZABETH VARNELL.