Danae Holmes and Ian Murray first met as colleagues on the Twitch science team. “I first noticed Danae’s smile and how happy she made everyone around her,” Ian shares. “I had a considerably more reserved work personality, so in that sense we were opposites.” One weekend, they went to karaoke with mutual friends, and Danae chose “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria. That night, Ian invited her to join him at one of their upcoming shows in Berkeley. “The date was the best I’d ever had!” Danae exclaims.
After three-and-a-half years together, Ian proposed at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay at sunset with a Chopard ring they picked out together. Once engaged, the couple decided on hosting a destination wedding at a chateau in France. “We picked France because of our love for the culture and amazing travel memories and milestones we’ve had there and in the French Caribbean over the last few years,” Danae explains. “I think we both felt we lucked out with this relationship and knew it was something we were meant to celebrate spectacularly.”
Chateau de Vallery was the perfect venue for the multi-day wedding. A section of the house was designed by architect Pierre Lescot, who also designed a wing at the Louvre. With an impressive locale set, Célia Athanase of Bonjour Weddings took the planning and design reins for the weekend, and Greg Finck was behind the lens. Emily Baird Design set the tone with a beautiful French-inspired invitation suite.
The week before the wedding, Danae seamlessly found her welcome party and farewell brunch looks at Rime Arodaky. However, nailing down a ceremony dress was harder for the bride.
“I had trouble finding a wedding dress designer I felt could really embody the ‘avant garde princess’ style I was looking for,” Danae shares. While visiting a friend in Dallas, she pointed Danae toward local designer Ese Azenabor, who made dresses that were just what the bride was looking for. During a last-minute appointment, Danae and the team decided to turn Danae’s dream look into a two-in-one dress.
To complement the pearl-heavy bridal look, Danae wanted the pearl version of her everyday Dior 30 Montaigne choker and went to Paris to pick it up. There, she and Ian also picked up his Dior suit and shoes for the welcome party. On the day-of, she got ready with makeup artist Maeva John and hairstylist Ciara Costenoble, who gave her a soft glam look with a refined yet soft bun. And Danae completed her ensemble with purple crystal Rene Caovilla shoes.
Ian dressed in a custom green velvet tuxedo by Monsieur Brunold with Louboutin’s Dandelion Spikes loafers, the Dior Icon necklace, a Boucheron Quatre Double White Edition small ring, and a Bvlgari Titanium Octo Finissimo watch—a wedding gift from Danae. “We had a loose ‘Bridgerton vibes’ dress code and our guests definitely understood the assignment,” Danae shares. “Ruffles, pastels, feathers, gloves, drama—everything we hoped for!”
On April 19, 2023, the ceremony began in the rose garden with a string quartet. Danae walked down the aisle—lined with floral by Botanique Bazar—with her parents to the score from one of their favorite video games, Destiny. Ian’s parents unfortunately couldn’t make it due to an injury his mom had, so Ian’s brother live-streamed the event for them. “Given our rather reserved emotional natures, the ceremony was especially meaningful given the vulnerabilities we both expressed to each other in front of an audience of our closest family and friends no less,” Danae says of her feelings during the ceremony.
After being announced as officially married by officiant Laura Montorio, Danae changed into her second look and had her glam updated. Guests enjoyed cocktail hour, while aerialist Cara Chapman elevated the scene. The newlyweds entered their regal and romantic reception to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating.” Tables were named after “guardians” in Destiny—weaving the couple’s “secret theme” throughout.
To close out the delicious meal from Le Domaine des Jardins, the duo cut their traditional wedding cake by Synie’s Paris and croquembouche. Danae and Ian had their first dance to “Golden Hour” by JVKE. Then, a fire show from SuperCho stunned everyone, followed by a fireworks display by Nuit Feerique. “It was a beautiful show with a soundtrack that married our interests in anime, gaming, and Daft Punk,” the bride explains.
The reception formally ended with Selecktive around 2:00 a.m., and the after-party was set up with snacks, hangover supplies, and karaoke. “I went to change into something more comfortable for the after-party, but by the time I made it to a room to change, my energy had given out and I had turned in for the night with Ian,” Danae laughs. “We actually ended up not spending the night in the honeymoon suite—we fell asleep in the rooms above the after-party venue. This led to a little ‘walk of shame’ the next morning, since breakfast was being served in the same area we had the after-party in.”