Photography by

Cortney Shegerian & Adam Mortanian

May 26, 2018. Dana Point, California

Reception Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Dana Point, CA; Floral and Event Design, Rentals, Linen: White Lilac Inc. Costa Mesa, CA; Wedding Dresses: Ines Di Santo; Groom's Attire: Tom Ford;

In spite of having been in the same Sunday school class at age 11, attending the same college, and growing up in the same area where their Armenian families had known each other for years, Cortney Shegerian and Adam Mortanian never really “met” until Adam’s cousin and Cortney’s best friend, who were dating at the time, brought them together in Newport Beach, California.

“The joke is that in the past we lived such parallel lives but never noticed each other,” quips Adam. “We got closer day by day and have never looked back. We realized we were perfect for each other.”

Three years later, Adam planned a surprise proposal on the same beach where they spent their first evening. Cortney thought Adam was in Fresno celebrating his mother’s birthday, but unbeknownst to her, he came back to Newport Beach with his entire family to surprise her with a proposal. “I was shocked,” Cortney says. “And no one ever surprises me!”

For their wedding, it was very important for them to incorporate Armenian traditions. They had a classic Armenian ceremony at the Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church in Santa Ana, which culminated in the “rite of crowning,” where the bride and groom are crowned “king” and “queen” of their newly created kingdom.

Afterward, everyone headed to The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel for a romantic, Spanish influenced reception.

“I can still remember the feeling I had, just pure joy, seeing everyone who we love in this magnificent room, listening to the traditional music,” Cortney says of first entering the Ritz’s grand ballroom with her new husband. “I was so happy—that feeling when every cell inside your body is happy and you feel like you could float away.”

The ballroom dance floor was quite literally dripping with deep red calla lilies and roses suspended from the ceiling. A five-foot-tall wedding cake provided another breathtaking focal point, and an artist captured the stunning scene by painting the reception while the party went on.

“It felt like magic,” Cortney says.

The bride wore two gowns from the Ines Di Santo 2018 collection. The first was a lace, princess-style gown with dramatic train and veil that perfectly matched the elegance of the church ceremony. For the reception, which featured music by both American and Armenian bands and DJs, Cortney changed into a sleeker dress that allowed her to dance the night away.

And dance she did; the couple was on the dance floor that night until 2 a.m.

“While the entire wedding weekend was enjoyable beyond belief, the most memorable thing for me that day was seeing Cortney in her dress for the first time,” remembers Adam.

After the celebration, the couple jetted off to Italy for two weeks, where they stayed in Rome at Hotel Eden, in Positano at Il San Pietro Di Positano, and in Capri at J.K. Place.

“There couldn’t have been a more special place to explore together on our first trip as newlyweds,” Adam says. “The culture, food, hospitality, sightseeing and the people were all amazing!”

> Written by Allyson Reedy

Reception Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Dana Point, CA; Floral and Event Design, Rentals, Linen: White Lilac Inc. Costa Mesa, CA; Wedding Dresses: Ines Di Santo; Groom's Attire: Tom Ford;

Photography by

Cinematography by

Cortney Shegerian & Adam Mortanian