Elizabeth Karam and Ryan Paul met on a volleyball court during a tournament. She was a last-minute entry, and he had just come back into town from San Francisco. Their teams played each other in the first round—bump, set, spike, match.
After two years of dating, he proposed while they were on a walk in their Manhattan Beach neighborhood. “Ryan suggested we walk a little further, and then at 4th Street in Manhattan Beach—where we met—’Liz, Will U Marry Me?’ was carved in the sand and filled with red rose petals,” Elizabeth remembers. He dropped down to one knee, and she gleefully said yes.
Their wedding was originally scheduled for August 1, 2020 at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, and six weeks before their date, the hotel called the couple to inform them that they would be closed and unable to hold their event. At this point, Elizabeth and Ryan decided to move their wedding to her family’s home in Waverly, Pennsylvania. The bride exclaims, “We planned a whole new wedding in three weeks!”
Even after moving the location to a different state, the couple was very lucky to keep their planner, Rebecca Gigandet of Imagine Weddings & Special Events. Their invitations by Lazaro Press + Design were even inspired by their previous California venue. The guest list had been downsized from 225 multiple times, and in the end, around 85 people—which was within CDC and state guidelines—were able to attend their August date. The entire day was outdoors, and the reception tent, from Stamford Tent & Event Services, had air conditioning that was installed to ventilate upwards.
For Elizabeth’s wedding gown, her priority was that she wanted to look good and feel good. “I also was shooting for a look that was classic and timeless,” she explains. The bride’s cousin suggested she schedule an appointment at En Blanc LA, and after not falling in love with anything at her first visit, she ended up making a second appointment. When Elizabeth returned, she saw the Remy by Chosen by KYHA and knew it was what she would walk down the aisle in. “The big selling point for me was that it was comfortable, conducive to dancing, and had pockets!”
On the morning-of, Elizabeth got ready with Face Time Beauty and put on chandelier diamond and sapphire earrings and two matching cuff bracelets from her mother’s jewelry collection. To complement the dress, the bride also chose a romantic and soft Daphne Newman veil and ice blue, crystal-embellished Manolo Blahnik pumps. And after the ceremony, she changed into new Golden Goose sneakers for dancing.
Ryan wore a Tom Ford navy suit, white shirt, blue striped tie, white pocket square, and black velvet smoking loafers. Like his bride, he changed into more comfortable footwear for the reception—white leather Vans.
On August 1, the short and sweet ceremony took place. Elizabeth and her father walked down the outdoor steps from the second floor of the home to the floral-lined aisle and bloom-filled arch by Lewis Miller Design. The couple was married by a family friend, who is also a local judge. “Once the ceremony actually started, I was filled with pure joy,” the bride remembers. “I was marrying my best friend.”
After the two were finally announced as husband and wife, guests moved to the side lawn for cocktail and hors d’oeuvres, while the newlyweds finished their portraits. They then rejoined their guests under the tent for a wonderful evening of dinner—from The Epicurean Delight Catering Co.—toasts, and dancing with The Uptown Band and Marko Marcinko.
Looking back at everything now, the couple wouldn’t change anything—except the absence of family and friends—about their day. “Getting ready at my parents’ house, watching the grounds transform into the most spectacular event was everything,” Elizabeth says. “I wish I could relive the day over and over again!”