Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 44

A Beautiful Maximalist Wedding at One of the World’s Most Photographed Houses

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Lacie Hansen

|Planning by 

AE & Co.

Margaux Swerdloff’s best friend—and future maid of honor—introduced her to Alex Minot in New York City. The two immediately hit it off and began dating. Three years later, they made the move to Los Angeles for Margaux’s job as a TV producer at Sugar23. And two years after that, the couple took a trip to Mexico for Margaux’s birthday, and Alex surprised her with the best gift of all: an engagement ring designed by Jade Trau.

Newly engaged, they began coordinating a grand Santa Barbara soirée with a 2020 date; but the pandemic changed Alex and Margaux’s big wedding plans. They married in a private legal ceremony and then arranged for an intimate celebration with friends in 2021.

“Because the nature of the event changed to be more fun, casual, and celebratory, we wanted something totally different and special,” Margaux explains. Wedding planner Alexis Eskenazi of AE & Co. discovered the Dawnridge Estate. The property is one of the most photographed houses in America and considering its sumptuous collection of 17th and 18th-century art, rightfully so. “Given Tony Duquette’s maximalist nature, we leaned in for our aesthetic!” Margaux shares. “Alexis blew us away with what she came up with. The layers, colors, and textures were just so, so cool.”

Margaux wore several looks for the wedding. She donned a traditional, classic Carolina Herrera gown first and then switched into a sequined Galvan dress with a feather topper jacket in the evening. Chanel Cross applied Margaux’s glowing makeup, and Nick Flores styled her hair.

Margaux paired her bridal ensembles with treasured accessories. Her pearl necklace had family history and significance—both her mother and grandmother wore it to their weddings. And now, Margaux would continue the tradition. She also slid on a bracelet her mother designed with Jade Trau. The piece featured Margaux’s new initials, her official wedding and party dates, and a sapphire stone that was passed down throughout Margaux’s mother’s side of the family.

Anny Choi, OTM’s head stylist, also happens to be one of Margaux’s best friends and served as one of her bridesmaids. “Anny made the process seamless and so much fun,” Margaux divulges. “Given [that] the venue was so special, we wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to reflect that. We also wanted each bridesmaid to feel their best in what they wore, so we decided to take inspiration from the house itself and have everyone choose eclectic jewel-tone dresses of their choosing.” The groomsmen sported black suits adorned with boutonnières that Renko Floral created.

On October 9, 2021, Alex’s older brother, Daniel, led the ceremony with a renewal of the couple’s earlier vows from their 2020 wedding. “We could not be happier with how it turned out,” Margaux says. “It was so special to reaffirm our love in front of our closest friends.” Their wedding planner, Alexis, suggested that guests stand around the couple instead of sitting to the side. Her recommendation proved brilliant. In such close proximity to their nearest and dearest, Alex and Margaux could feel the warmth of their loved ones’ support.

The newlyweds, or as Daniel called them, “the re-newlyweds,” followed guests into the reception. “Given the venue had multiple levels, we got creative in designing the flow of the reception,” Margaux recalls. Cocktail hour happened on the terrace directly outside of the house, so guests could easily walk in and out of the opulent building.

Everyone reconvened for dinner and sat at one of the two long tables. Margaux elaborates, “It was important to us that it felt like an epic dinner party. Alex and I decided to each pick one friend to make a speech, as well as one family member.” Ally, Margaux’s maid of honor and the reason why Margaux and Alex met, spoke first. Margaux’s father spoke next. Alex’s best man, Jordan Kramer, and his brother, Daniel, also delivered speeches. “The dinner was one of our favorite parts of the evening, as it was really special that almost all of the guests knew each other well,” Margaux describes. “It was beyond intimate.”

Schaffer LA catered the meal, which consisted of a burrata and tomato salad, pasta course, and guests’ choice of steak or fish. As soon as the plates were cleared, the party continued farther down at the pond level. The DJ, saxophonist, and percussionist were situated on the ornate Vietnamese pavilion structure. The evening persevered with dancing. In addition to their first dance to Leon Bridges’s “Coming Home,” the newlyweds danced the Hora.

Cutting the cake, a creation of Big Sugar Bakeshop, was next. The best was definitely saved for last. “We were totally blown away by the cake, as we had no idea what it was going to look like!” Margaux gushes. The night ended with an after-party in the penthouse suite of the Sunset Tower Hotel.