Jessica Claire Photography
Nicole Baktiarian & Harut Kavoukjian
August 27, 2016. Westlake, California
Nicole Baktiarian and Harut Kavoukjian first met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Exchanging phone numbers by the end of the night, Nicole discovered that Harut worked at the local fish market, and proceeded to order her fish from him consistently for the next year.
“Even from our initial interaction, I was so intrigued,” Nicole describes. “He was extremely kindhearted, and we had an instant connection. Each time we would talk so I could order more fish, I knew there was something more, and that he thought the same. About a year later, we finally went on our first date to Sushi Gen in downtown LA. After that first date, we were hooked. I do not think either of us ever questioned our forever ending after that first date!”
One night, Nicole arrived at Harut’s loft to find a room flooded with roses and a heart made of candles in the center, followed by a sweet proposal. Quickly transitioning into wedding planning mode, the planning process began with choosing the perfect planner and event designer. “There was one that stood out as being more passionate about her work,” Nicole recalls. “I knew then that Aliana would be the one to go far and beyond her job during those next eight months with me.”
With a guest list of 600 people, one of the greatest tasks was finding a wedding venue with the right style and capacity. Once Aliana found the Four Seasons in Westlake Village, however, the rest of the planning experience was smooth sailing.
When the wedding day arrived, everyone could feel how much love was in the air. “I had people coming to me left and right, telling me they hope they could be as happy as I was on my wedding day,” says the bride. “It was evident that this was a stress-free and joyous celebration, and I do not think I had an upset moment the entire day.”
For the bride, her favorite memory was one involving an Armenian wedding tradition. “In our culture, the man comes with this family to the woman’s house before the ceremony, to ‘take her from her home,’ she explains. “There is a man – which in my case, was my brother – who guards the door when the groom arrives, and the best man must ‘buy her over’ so they can enter the home. This is our version of the ‘first look,’ and I will never forget Harut’s family playing music as they came down the street to get me. We left the house and, as in Armenian culture, I never looked back.”
>Written by: Lauren Malamala