Weddings of Our Own: Rod & Alfonso
Los Angeles, June 11, 2016
Photography by Derek Chad
NAMES Alfonso Carrillo & Rod Lundgren.
LIVE IN Hollywood.
OCCUPATIONS Alfonso is a consulting actuary; Rod is a TV and film development executive.
HOW THEY MET On OkCupid.
HOW THEY GOT ENGAGED They had already discussed getting married—it was just a question of when. On a trip to Paris, a destination long on Alfonso’s bucket list, Rod seized the opportunity. “Before Rod even finished asking,” says Alfonso, “I was nodding and saying, ‘yes.’”
BACHELOR PARTY They celebrated together in Las Vegas with about a dozen friends. Festivities included fine dining, attending Cirque du Soleil and Chippendales shows, and visiting a gay strip club.
CHALLENGES OF PLANNING AN LGBT WEDDING Though Rod reports the couple was “fortunate not to experience discrimination from any vendors,” they were disappointed to find that the marriage license application and most vendor forms still used only the heteronormative labels “bride” and “groom.” “Despite gay marriage being passed three years ago, paperwork hasn’t been updated to be inclusive.”
WEDDING-DAY WEATHER Overcast, but comfortable, with no rain.
NUMBER OF GUESTS 80. WEDDING COLORS Black, white/cream, and different shades of purple.
THEME A “Mexitalian blend.” (Rod is of Italian descent, and Alfonso’s heritage is Mexican.)
FLOWERS Hydrangeas and sterling roses.
DIY HIGHLIGHTS Instead of numbering guest tables, the grooms placed framed black-and-white city maps corresponding to famous Italian cities on each tabletop. Guest place cards were mounted atop wine corks. They invited guests to write wishes and advice on cards and place them in a green lantern they placed on a small table by the dining room entrance. As favors, the couple presented guests with small baggies containing Mexican wedding cookies and tied with bows and “thank you” cards.
THE MENU An opening course of porcini mushroom ravioli followed by a salad and a choice of entrées: chicken with butternut squash purée and broccolini or filet mignon with white truffle sauce. Two specialty cocktails were served: a limoncello margarita and a blueberry lavender mojito. “The food was incredible,” recalls Alfonso. “It was one of the big reasons we chose Il Cielo.”
DESSERT A flourless white-chocolate cake with white-chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries.
MUSIC They created two Spotify playlists, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. The first dance song was Gloria Estefan’s “I See Your Smile.” Rod: “We love each other’s smiles.”
IF THEY HAD TO DO IT OVER They would have booked their photographer for the entire day to help them remember each detail. Alfonso: “When people tell you, ‘you’ll look back on your wedding day, and it’ll all be a blur,’ they’re 100 percent right. We remember waking up that morning and then waking up the morning after—everything in between has blended together.”
FAVORITE DETAIL They placed a framed sign by the reception entrance with a personalized wedding hashtag and instructions encouraging guests to live-tweet with photos and comments.
UNIQUE ELEMENTS OF THE DAY Il Cielo’s lighting. The back patio was decked with lighted chandeliers, candlesticks, and trees, including one of the tallest lighted palms in Los Angeles.
UNEXPECTED EVENT Just being able to wed legally in the United States came as an unexpected gift. “We honestly never imagined we would ever be able to marry,” says Rod, who adds that the outpouring of love they received, not just from guests but from friends and family who could not attend, came as a happy surprise.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS Don’t stress out—it’ll take your focus away from the day. Experience each moment as it comes. Nothing will go 100 percent according to plan.
The back patio was decked with lighted chandeliers, candlesticks, and trees, including one of the tallest lighted palms in Los Angeles.
CEREMONY, RECEPTION, CATERING & CAKE Il Cielo, Beverly Hills
OFFICIANT Daniel Noble (friend)
WEDDING PLANNER Giovanni Krauss, Il Cielo
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY Derek Chad
FLOWERS Sam Robinson, Flowers by Sam
MAKEUP Iris James
HONEYMOON Celebrity Cruises
INVITATIONS Paperless Post