“I cried in the store,” Wendy recounts of her first attempt at shopping for a mother of the groom dress.
“I looked terrible in everything that I tried on, and I was devastated. I had to really expand what I thought would work on me and find something really well made."
Wendy shifted to buying online so she could try on dresses at home after that first unpleasant store experience. “That worked really well for me," she says. "I could find the best lighting, fix my hair, try with shoes and different undergarments. But it was not fun at first.”
When Wendy discovered Sachin & Babi’s structured column gowns, she says, “I knew I’d be okay.” The cut was so comfortable and forgiving, “I didn’t even wear my Spanx!”
The winning gown was the "Bonnie," a one shoulder with bow in a forest green—the exact color of her son Sam’s wedding suit (and his favorite color). “The color was exquisite. It worked so well with my gray hair,” says Wendy. ”I felt more beautiful than I've ever felt in my life.”
Sam and Stephanie’s September, 2023 wedding was long in coming. Both Colorado natives, the two met in ninth grade at a theater camp and started dating the next year. After graduating from college and settling in Los Angeles, they were finally ready to make it official with a wedding in Topanga Canyon. But Covid prompted them to cancel it—twice. “After 16 years together, their commitment was clear but the excitement of planning a wedding had rather faded,” Wendy says.
Inspiration struck when the couple visited Wendy and her husband in Portland, Oregon, where they recently settled after retirement. “Sam proposed to Stephy on a road trip up the Oregon coast, so it was a special place for them.”
A destination for everyone but the mother and father of the groom, they kept it intimate: 80 people, with a barbecue rehearsal dinner and a post-wedding brunch at Wendy’s house. For the wedding itself, they needed space for dancing, which led them to Blockhouse, an intimate outdoor event space within the Pomarius Nursery, featuring a chef-inspired kitchen. Dinner and dancing took place under a billowing canopy, surrounded by lush greens.
“After planning the whole wedding, I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen and what details I needed to worry about,” Wendy says. “But the details I worried about were meaningless.” Like being concerned about a train going by on the nearby tracks during the ceremony. “Actually, we didn’t get one train; we got five—we broke a record," Wendy says. "And that turned out to be some of the most fun and memorable moments. I never could have foreseen how much love would be in the room that night.”
| Photography by Roberto Rodriguez