After meeting on Hinge in New York City a few weeks before she was moving back to Los Angeles, Michele Maize and Zach Boren had the best first date of their lives—eight hours of tequila, dancing, and delicious food. Months later, he moved to L.A., and two-and-a-half years after their first date, he got down on one knee.
Zach had told Michele that his best friend Mitch was planning on proposing to his girlfriend Chloe in New York, so they had to fly out for the surprise engagement party. On Friday night, they prepared to meet her friends on Public Hotel’s roof, but her pals were in on the plan, and when Michele walked out, the space was transformed with flowers, candles, and framed photos everywhere. After she said, “Yes!” both their families came out—hers from L.A.—and then she was later surprised with a party with even more friends and family.
The engaged pair set the date for a 300-person wedding on July 25, 2020 at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach with Mindy Weiss and the mother-of-the-bride at the helm of the planning ship. As COVID-19 hit, the couple decided to postpone to June 2021, but as the pandemic continued, they made the tough decision to cancel the bigger wedding and pivot to a micro-wedding in Michele’s parents’ backyard on November 7, 2020. “All of my firsts happened here, and I feel a lot of love for the house and the memories it holds,” the bride says.
Unfortunately, for the micro-wedding, many of Zach’s family and friends from New York were still not comfortable making the cross-country trip to the west coast. However, Michele and Zach required everyone from out-of-town get tested before they left their cities, and all guests were tested on Thursday evening.
To wear down the aisle, Michele wore the gown she found pre-pandemic. The day she got engaged, she and her sister made her an appointment at Saks to try on Mira Zwillinger designs. “From observing other weddings, I knew I always loved Mira Zwillinger; her dresses are so feminine and have the most gorgeous lace, beading, and design work that I have ever seen,” the bride says. Of course, she fell in love with first dress she tried on—the Chaz. However, Michele’s mother convinced her to wait and attend the Mira Zwillinger trunk show at Saks in L.A. There, she was surprised to find the updated version of the Chaz—the Jess. “We purchased the Jess that day.”
On the day-of, Make-Up Therapy and bridal stylist Maradee Wahl helped Michele get ready. “[Maradee] had everything from tampons to lip-gloss and was constantly by my side to make sure my dress looked perfect,” the bride explains. “She also bustled my dress before the party and even helped me pee.”
On November 7, guests gathered in the backyard for the traditional Jewish ceremony, where the groom, wearing a custom Vero Uomo tuxedo and Alexander McQueen shoes, waited for his bride under a floral chuppah by Mark’s Garden. “The ceremony was intimate and filled with so much love,” Michele recalls. “Zach and I read our own vows which is always my favorite part of a ceremony. Due to the size, it felt really personal and was special that every single person there knew us so well.”
After saying, “I do,” everyone walked to the front of the house for cocktail hour, and the ceremony space was transformed by Revery Event Designers with a custom dance floor designed by Donald Robertson, DJ booth, and one long dinner table. The delicious meal was catered by Serves You Right, and afterward, Capri Gelato was served, and entertainment was provided by West Coast Music.
Since the couple love tequila, they had a 1942 tequila bar and used hollowed-out limes as shot glasses. And what pairs well with tequila? Late-night Shake Shack, which was passed out to keep everyone fueled.
Although Michele and Zach’s Italy honeymoon was put on hold, the newlyweds headed to Mexico for a mini-moon, and they hope they can travel to the land of La Dolce Vita soon.
Looking back at everything now, the couple is so thrilled this was the route they chose. “We were missing a few key family members and friends due to Covid, but aside from that, if we were to do it over again, it would look no different,” Michele says. “I had the best night of my life, got to have full conversations with every single person, got to dance with everyone, and didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. We feel so fulfilled by how our wedding turned out and have no regrets at all.”