Montage Resort Laguna Beach | The Girl Who Got Married in the Glass Castle

Celebrates Five Years of Marriage

Written by Allison Hopkins for Très Fabu Event Planning and Design
Photography by Marc Weisberg ~ Orange County

“You are the princess to me in my crystal castle of love ~ truly an angel on earth sent to me from above.   Now in our castle of love you will always be by my side, we shall stand together through this life, always near the calming oceans sand, where we will walk in the warm sunset forever, hand-in-hand”   ~ dmh

When Eva stumbled across Fred on the sofa in her college apartment, she didn’t anticipate this stranger would one day be calling her Ladybug. Actually, she was a little annoyed her roommate had agreed to let this colleague (who resembled “Shaggy” from Scooby Doo) camp out a few nights. Little did she know, Fred would become a friend, a boyfriend, and five years later, a wonderful husband.

When it was time to plan their special day, Eva and Fred knew that living in San Francisco and planning a wedding in southern California would be challenging. The couple met with Debra Hiebèrt from Très Fabu Event Planning and Design to discuss their ideas.

“After our initial meeting with Debra, we both agreed she would be a good match for us for several reasons,” says Eva. “Fred really appreciated her respect for our faith. I also felt that she envisioned what I had in mind, and I also remember how easy it was to communicate with her despite just meeting her. Nothing felt forced and I could tell that she was ready and willing to make our dream wedding come true.”

“I remember when Eva slid the box across the table to me during our initial meeting,” says Debra. “She asked me to design her wedding with the beach in mind, but wrapped around the concept of the Tiffany & Co. box that her actual engagement ring came in. I loved it and was truly inspired by the entire idea.”

September 23rd, 2006 was indeed a dream come true for the couple. They were married in the magnificent Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove and were chauffeured to their reception at The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach in a white vintage 1937 Packer complete with a champagne toast!

About 120 guests attended the ceremony and reception with the beautiful bride and groom. Eva was stunning in an Italian silk gown with hundreds of hand-stitched Swarovski crystals and a handmade veil that had been special ordered by her father.

“I felt very special and blessed the minute I got into my dress,” says Eva. “I remember the private moment that my mom and I shared as she helped me get dressed. I was looking into the mirror as she lifted the heavy material behind me to extend my dress and veil. I can actually remember the sound of the material and how quiet the room was. No words were exchanged, except for a prayer before she started to cry.”

The colors of the day were Tiffany blue, platinum, and white. Dinner tables were draped in aqua linens, the chairs all had white slipcovers, and each chair had a bow on the back, reminiscent of a Tiffany & Co. jewelry box. The design team at Wildflower Linen died the satin fabric of the overlay linens to match the Tiffany & Co. box perfectly and they were complete with matching Swarovski crystals to tie in with Eva’s gown.

“The lighting was perfect,” says Eva. “I remember blues and whites. It was all very elegant and classic.”

For the two-hour cocktail event held at The Montage Resort’s appropriately named ‘Oceanfront Lawn’ overlooking the lovely Pacific ocean, Debra designed in whites and rhinestones, giving guests a glimpse of what was to come in the ballroom for the glorious reception (also inspired by Eva’s gown).

There were several different types of fresh seafood served — oysters on the half shell, jumbo prawns, and four sushi chefs preparing authentic and fresh sushi right in front of the guests! Adult libations during the cocktail event and throughout the remainder of the wedding celebration included: 1996 Dom Perignon, 2003 Duckhorn Vineyards, Far Niente, Heitz Cellars, and Domain Drouhin.

For dinner, guests had their choice of several dishes, including a rack of lamb, filet mignon, chicken, and lobster bisque. Everyone enjoyed an ice cream bar! But there’s always room for cake…

The couple chose to have two wedding cakes. One was very traditional and the other was designed by Eva. It had a ladybug and a frog on it (their nicknames for each other our Ladybug & Frogger) and was created by The Montage Resort lead pastry chef from a picture that Eva had drawn for Fred while they were dating.

J & M Entertainment played all the classics throughout the evening (Sinatra, Bobby Darin, etc.) and also included a few 1940s Cuban songs by Carmen Delia that Eva grew up listening to. This is when Eva’s mother began to cry, again, and thanked her. They are her mother’s favorite tunes.

“One thing I remember Debra telling me was how important it was to take mental pictures because it was all going to happen incredibly fast, and she was right,” says Eva. “I only remember a whirlwind of blurry images of that morning as I was getting ready, but I can clearly remember all the different smells and sounds. I can still hear Sade playing through the speakers. However, one thing that stands out is walking to the lobby of The Montage and hearing the limos coming in, and Fred’s dad saying ‘That’s for you, Eve. Saddle up!’”

A four-year-old girl who attended the wedding still refers to Eva as “the girl who got married in the glass castle.”

As the couple celebrates 5th Wedding Anniversary, they also recently made another dream come true and bought a house by the beach that they share with their two Westies, Winston and Tails. Fred is preparing himself to start his own business. Eva just got her Master’s in stem cell research. They live just miles from The Montage Resort & Spa and the beach, and each time they drive on Pacific Coast Highway to go to school or work, it reminds them that their special day was not just a dream ~ but a blissful reality created by Debra Hiebert of Tres Fabu Event Planning and Design and her team of stellar professional vendors.

Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Harris!  Cannot believe it’s been five years!  My heart is always with you both!

Wedding Design, Planning, and Execution: Très Fabu Event Planning and Design ~

Photography: Marc Weisberg Photography ~

Catering: The Montage Resort, Laguna Beach ~

Cake: The Montage Resort, Laguna Beach ~

Linens: Wildflower Linen ~

Music & Lighting: J & M Entertainment ~

Floral Design: The late Edward Bellingeri of Edward Bellingeri Design

Escort Cards/Table Signage/Menus: Robyn Lyn Steward of House of Monarch ~