Kiana Madani & Bryan Buckley
June 30, 2018. Amboise, France
Planner and Event Design: Sacks Productions Calabasas, CA; Event Design and Decor: Deco-Flamme Antibes, France; Wedding Dress: Livné White; Groom’s Attire: Lanvin; Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co.; Linen: Resource One Inc Reseda, CA
“Who’d of thought I’d meet the man of my dreams on a random Tuesday night,” says actress Kiana Madani. Also a hostess at Santa Monica’s Penthouse restaurant at the posh Huntley Hotel, she clearly remembers showing Bryan Buckley and his friend to the bar. “Bryan had a distinct sparkle about him,” quips Kiana.
Later on, Bryan approached the hostess stand to turn in a wallet another patron had left behind, and they began to talk. By the end of the conversation, he gave her his contact information and left the ball in her court. “He was respectful and genuine about it,” says Kiana. But by the time she got in touch, Bryan, a film and TV writer, producer and director had left for a summer of work in London.
When he returned, they went out for a couple of friendly coffees. On what Kiana calls their first “real” date, they rode the iconic Santa Monica pier Ferris wheel—despite her fear of heights—and enjoyed themselves like little kids would. “Bryan was sweet and kind and a good listener,” says Kiana.
After three and a half years of dating, they planned Kiana’s first trip to Europe. “I thought a proposal might be coming,” she confides. Nothing happened in “romantic” France nor in “beautiful” Italy. Then, in Santorini, Greece, as they trekked down 300 steps trying to reach a waterside restaurant before sunset, he pulled her aside. “We had an amazing view of the sea, there were no tourists around and he just proposed!” says Kiana. She said “yes,” before he even finished speaking.
A destination wedding in France’s Loire Valley took place at Château Gaillard, the countryside getaway of kings and queens of old. The Persian ceremony, held in a meadow, was “right out of a dream,” according to
Kiana, who arrived in a Bentley to walk down a mirrored aisle reflecting hundreds of flickering candles.
Traditional elements of the rites, arrayed on a Sofreh Aghd, included honey for sweetness a mirror for a bright future, coins for prosperity and eggs for fertility. A unity cloth bound the bride and groom together and in one of Kiana’s favorite moments, a sisterhood of mothers, sisters and friends sifted a block of sugar through a cloth to rain down sweetness over the marriage.
Views of the manicured King’s Lawn and the pastoral setting beyond set a romantic mood for the balcony reception. Long royal-style tables seating guests were topped with mirrors that amplified the glow of the stars above, twinkling candles and exquisite florals. Dinner, featuring fine French and Continental cuisine, was accompanied by the music of Paris cabarets, while the after party was fueled by “dance music and good, greasy American sliders and fries,” according to Kiana.
Surprises for the guests included a tethered hot air balloon that rose up allowing riders to appreciate the magnificent scenery and fireworks exploding overhead during the dessert course. The five-tier French Fraisier-style strawberry shortcake wedding cake was as beautiful as it was tasty.
A weeklong honeymoon spent on Capri and touring Italy’s Amalfi Coast gave the newlyweds time to explore, relax and get ready for their next big project. On their return to California, Kiana and Bryan will use their energies to pack up and move to their much-anticipated new home.
> Written by Francine Kaplan