The wedding weekend started with plenty of wine. Celebrity event planner David Tutera says he and fiance Joey Toth sought a warm and relaxed, rustic vibe for their rehearsal dinner–the theme, “Love Is Love”–ahead of Saturday’s over-the-top, black-tie ceremony.
On Thursday, March 30, the couple kicked off the festivities by hosting an outdoor welcome dinner at Cielo Farms in Malibu, where an intimate group of family members and friends toasted to the celebratory weekend ahead. “It was a truly magical evening,” Tutera tells The Knot exclusively. “We kicked off our wedding weekend alongside our family, friends and wedding party… [and] enjoyed an intimate welcome dinner alongside our loved ones with a gorgeous landscape that left us all utterly speechless.”
The name of the venue bears significance: the vineyard shares the same name as Tutera’s 3-year-old daughter, Cielo. The setting, which includes sweeping views of mountains, rolling hills, and a gorgeous vineyard, was intended to be more casual.
“Being outside at the farm allowed us to have the most relaxing and quiet evening under the stars, with nothing but a gorgeous sunset and lush green hilltops posing as our backdrop,” Tutera continues. “It was a great way to ease into the weekend with a laid-back setting allowing us quality time with our guests before heading back to downtown L.A.” The future groom teases his wedding as “a completely different style … which will be a formal, black-tie, Old Hollywood affair.”
Tutera—who’s now worked on weddings for Shannen Doherty, Jewel and recently, Mark Ballas and BC Jean—opted for a picturesque, farm-to-table dinner. Guests first arrived to the farm’s open lawn, where they were greeted with cocktails as the golden sun slowly dipped below the Malibu mountains. Cocktail hour, which featured several “crowd-pleasing favorites,” was followed by a family-style dinner.
The couple decided to seat their guests at long, Tuscan-inspired tables decorated with lavender in low stone containers, as well as ferns and babies breaths displayed on boxwood. The setting was illuminated by glowing candles and rose gold flatware provided by Premiere Party Rentals, while the menus created by Invitations By Dawn were tucked into neutral-color linens. According to the couple, they wanted to create a peaceful and calming environment for guests.
Tutera enlisted the help of Contemporary Catering to produce the rustic meal, starting with an artisanal cheese and charcuterie board tastefully matched with berries, dates, nuts and crisps. White Rabbit Sauvignon Blanc from Woodstock by Malibu Estate Cielo Wineyards was served, followed by the salad course consisting of Scarborough Farms spinach, shaved fennel, radish, gold beets, apple matchsticks, manchego and a champagne shallot vinaigrette.
Guests noshed on warm breads with compound herb butter in addition to honey pie. Their plates were then cleared for the main entree—a porcini-rubbed, grass-fed, ribeye steak served with Weiser Family Farms Magic Myrna potatoes seasoned with Maldon salt and olive oil, and grilled asparagus dusted with truffle salt–paired with a 2013 Cab Estate Reserve from Woodstock by Malibu Estate Cielo Vineyards.
An equally-delicious vegetarian option was available, with those guests enjoying fresh field mushroom ravioli topped by a porcini-shallot cream sauce.
The mouthwatering main course was followed by family-style servings of desserts including tasteful cheesecake shots topped by a graham cracker crumble, balsamic strawberries, and blackberry, lavender and cardamom tarts. Those with extreme sweet taste buds had the option of double Valrhona chocolate brownies drizzled with salted caramel.
Throughout the meal, the couple gave prosecco toasts, acknowledging their inner circle’s role in their journey to true love. Both Tutera and Toth gave toasts and were toasted by loved ones. The soon-to-be newlyweds ended the evening by inviting their guests back to their home for more libations and fun.
“It is all starting to feel so real now,” concludes Tutera, who will marry in a lavish ceremony this weekend. “And we are truly overwhelmed with love and excitement already.”