An act of vulnerability and risk brought Ally Lutar to New York City for a gala, which changed everything for the then-single party planner. “I went solo. I wasn’t even going to do it,” she tells The Knot of flying in from the West Coast for the event. “I walked in and I was just drawn to this couple. And we ended up becoming really close friends.”
That same couple encouraged her to fly out to L.A. for their house party with the intention to set her up with one of their single friends. “‘Come out to our beach party,’” they said to Lutar. “‘If you find someone you like, you’ll know.’”
She knew. “I walked in and I saw Marcus,” she recalls. “It was instantaneous. We knew within moments. We even went out to dinner that night and it was a six-hour date.” As the night came to a close, Grodd leaned in and said something incredibly romantic. “I’ve always been told that you know meeting your wife within the first few minutes,” he said. “Sitting with you at dinner, I know that you are the woman I’m going to marry.”
Though in different cities at the time—she was in Vancouver and he had moved to L.A.—“we didn’t even think it was a challenge,” she reflects. “There was never a moment we felt apprehensive, disconnected or worried. We both felt so sure of each other from the second we met. There was no fear. There was excitement. We knew we were in the right place.”
In July 2017, Grodd proposed on a suspension bridge overlooking a waterfall at Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Canyon. “I had that ring tucked in a pillow case for two months before the actual proposal,” the Bachelorette alum previously told us. The couple’s timeline (from their very first encounter to the wedding) totaled nine months. “The truth is we wanted to get married faster than we did it,” Lutar says of their whirlwind romance. However, once the planning process settled in, the couple realized they needed a few more months to execute their wedding day vision.
“The Knot sent me this beautiful box of planning, and to be honest, at first, I thought this would be easy. I’m an event coordinator and planner,” muses the bride. “I thought I had a really good capability of being able to do this, and I realized I had no idea I was doing.” (We recommend starting with our app and the style quiz.)
The pair decided on Vancouver as their wedding destination, and Lutar sourced event designer Bespoke Decor whose aesthetic seemingly fit the bill. “I was following her Instagram… And what I loved was the couple spoke for itself. The furniture wasn’t the whole thing,” she says. “For us, we were keeping it really small and really intimate. I wanted it to be serene, peaceful and elegant.”
The guest list was, indeed, cozy with a total of 44 guests at the candlelit nuptials, making the wedding all-around emotional. “Even though we talked about it, it made it more surreal to see my mom there and family there,” says Grodd. “I didn’t think I’d cry because I was practicing vows and I already saw the venue, but when you sit down and you see everyone staring up at you—especially your parents, prideful—I broke down.”
For more details from the couple’s wedding, see below for a full breakdown of vendors, details and more.
The pair chose Brix & Mortar, a boutique restaurant venue in Vancouver’s Yaletown district. The couple worked closely with the Opus Hotel to help facilitate and streamline other events for their family members and friends. “We planned so much of it together. Marcus was on board through all of it,” says Lutar. “We transformed a room and turned a black, empty space into a whimsical, midsummer night’s dream-fairytale. Seeing it for the first time, both of us. Realizing all the work we had put in, everywhere we looked was an emotion of our love.”
The bride wore a piece by Ines Di Santo. “Well it all started with your guys’ magazine. You had her dress on the cover. Ines,” she says. “I got it from a boutique here called Bisou. As soon as I put it on, it was it. The dress was my size. No alterations. I did that within four weeks. I couldn’t find a dress. I was feeling a lot of pressure.”
The bride personalized the piece by adding some fabric to the bodice. “You don’t want to be too sexy, but I didn’t want to be too covered up,” Lutar adds. “I know Marcus likes a little more sexy. We added a little lace down the center to cover me up a little more.”
Lutar tapped Bespoke Decor, a Canadian company that provides vintage rentals and event design, after meeting with the owner. “As soon as I met with Ashton, it all changed for me,” she reflects. “She asked, ‘When you close your eyes and see a room, what do you see?’ … I wanted it to feel very intimate. She really understood the concept of what we wanted.”
“It’s a fine dining restaurant and we wanted the food quality to be excellent,” says the pair. “As long as people are really fed and liquored up with decor were the main things.”
Quo Vadis Flowers was tapped to add pops of color to the venue. “I was open to different colors. We really loved desert rose. I stuck with summer colors. We did white, desert rose, navy and rose gold,” the bride muses. “When I looked through your book, I was like, there are so many options! Our florist guided us through it.”
Beautiful Life Studios documented the special occasion and captured sweet frames of the spouses, along with Kiana Rae of Kiana Rae Photography.
The Wedding Party
The couple had six groomsmen and five bridesmaids (including one brides-man). “One of my groomsmen was Josh Murray,” says Grodd. “We’ve remained close throughout the years. Seeing him when I can and always talking to each other. And he was there on our second date, too, when he was with Amanda [Stanton] in California.”
The couple toasted 44 guests, mainly including their immediate family members and close friends. “It was so intimate. We had a big open harvest table with the garland down the middle with the chandeliers and the chargers,” says the pair. “It was a meeting for both of our family and friends. We didn’t want 200 extra people. We thought it was important to just have our parents and our closest friends. We wanted to focus on the people we spend the most time with. We have an amazing extended family but it didn’t make a lot of sense for first encounters.”
Instead, the couple had a cocktail party for their loved ones the night before. “You know what else I would do differently? We planned it.. all of my family and friends. there was so much pre-wedding, pre-planning, pre-drinks, pre-food. As a bride, it’s really hard to relax when you’re entertaining people for days before your wedding,” she reflects. “I told Marcus, I would do a wedding on the first day, have a cocktail party the night after when people are hungover, and then do a brunch. I feel so much pressure as a bride to eat right, eat clean, and take in the right amount of water. It’s hard to be relaxed because you want the one big moment.”
The couple wrote their own vows—a process that was especially sentimental for Grodd. “It was hard to get time away. I sat down the day of our wedding in the morning and I started to think and reflect on our whole relationship and that was the only time I had time myself was the day of the wedding,” he says.
“Marcus is very poetic and he’ll write these beautiful notes to me so I knew there was some pressure,” says his wife. “I’m better with talking. I spent like days and days and days to get these vows right. I took the pressure. We wrote from the heart. It was hard to get through them. The hardest part was saying them without tears.”
The couple tells us that their favorite part of wedding planning was working with their venue. “They invited our dogs to come with us because they’re super pet friendly. They have these big tents and they got us inspired with the West Coast menu. That was probably the most exciting for us. We’ve created new friends,” says the bride. “I loved the whole process. I don’t think it was stressful like some brides say. We found the perfect people to work with.”
The best part of the wedding, meanwhile, was sharing it with their selected few. “Standing in a room with 44 people, they traveled from all over the world… every single person there is a huge part of our life even if they’re not in the same city as us,” says Lutar. “There’s not a lot of times in your life that people will be in a room there for you. People were so encouraging of our love.”