Ani Esmaili & Sevan Markari
October 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California
In 2007, Ani Esmaili met Sevan Markari at a trendy LA nightclub called Les Deux. He asked for her phone number, and she turned him down – a surprising start to the couple’s love story.
Ten years later, the two happened to cross paths again at an LA bar, The Mohawk Bend. “We immediately reminisced over that initial night, sharing the regret I remember feeling over my decision and the amount of time he confessed to searching for me on social media,” Ani shares. “We spent the entire night conversing with what would have been undoubtedly mistaken as scripted ‘no way, me too’ responses. The night flew by and he begged for me to join him back at his apartment where I continuously rejected him until he gave me his word, ‘I swear I won’t put a move on you, and I will build you a fort.’ It was safe to assume we were not going to let this opportunity pass us by twice.”
Ani has a self-proclaimed obsession with lights, from the vintage Edison lightbulb Sevan gave her during their first Valentine’s Day, to the string lights he helped hang up when she moved in with him. That’s how Sevan decided upon the perfect place to propose – under thousands of lanterns at the Light Festival in Las Vegas. “Like most couples, we had touched on our future,” Ani describes. “But when it came to marriage, we found our first discrepancy, and it was that he said he would never get on one knee to propose, to which I said I would never marry him unless he was on one knee when he proposed. Given the fact that we’re now married, we know which one of us folded.”
Unlike most brides, the wedding planning process left Ani with the constant fear and anxiety of being the center of attention. Sevan made sure she had her top picks of vendors and an incredible wedding planner to ease the stress, but she was still set on cancelling their wedding plans in favor of going to city hall. Ani remarks, “It was his constant reassurance that I would be fine with him by side that allowed for me to get through my insecurities and be able to have and enjoy the most beautiful day of our lives thus far.”
The wedding turned out to be a lovely combination of the couple’s traditional Armenian culture, paired with a less traditional venue. They reserved every event space at the Alexandria Hotel to create several memorable ambiances throughout their celebration. The Mezz, with its antique light fixtures and exposed steel, was used for photos; the walkway of the Palm Court featured original Tiffany’s stained glass and arched ceilings for the ceremony; and the King Edward ballroom brimmed with romance and timeless elegance via gold moldings, crystal chandeliers, and a floral color palette of white and green.
After the wedding, the newlyweds set off on a two-week honeymoon in London, Paris, Belgium, and Iceland. “We were well-traveled before the honeymoon, but there was just something different about traveling with your new husband/wife,” recalls Ani. “Despite the wedding being an utterly magical day, we both agree that the honeymoon was unlike anything we have ever experienced.”
>Written By: Lauren Malamala