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Most Valuable Love Story: A Dreamy Moroccan-Meets-Mediterranean Wedding Day At The Ebell of Long Beach

Carrie Bell
Valorie Darling

Five years ago, Malcolm and Anissa found themselves dining in the same Seattle restaurant, Earls. The former gymnast caught Malcolm’s eye and he came over with friends to introduce himself. The NFL linebacker waited two weeks and one date to tell her that he played for the Seahawks. Anissa clearly didn’t hate the player—or the game—as by their first year of dating they had moved in together and adopted a dog named Roscoe. Two Super Bowls, a new team (the San Francisco 49ers) and another dog later, the couple moved to Southern California. Malcolm planned to propose in Laguna Beach at sunset with strategically placed members of her family positioned to document the moment. Unfortunately, the notorious LA traffic had other plans. By the time they had arrived, it was dark, and the restaurant had screwed up her family’s table, so Malcolm scrapped the plan and went with a simpler play. It was just him, her, the beach and the big question. 

The couple chose to have a wedding at a venue that reflected their taste in interior design. They fell for the Ebell’s decor, especially the brass accents and color scheme of navy blue, black, gold and gray, because it reminded them of their love nest. The detailed archways, mosaic caustic tile floor, hand-stenciled coffered ceilings and crystal orb chandeliers helped the couple achieve their vision of a Moroccan-meets-Mediterranean environment. They were sticklers about not seeing each other before the ceremony began. Malcolm had dared her to make him cry, and when the bride entered the courtyard in the elegant strapless gown, the waterworks were instant.  The bride loved the idea of all-white florals, especially her favorite blooms: tulips and anemones. Indigo elements such as the bridesmaids’ dresses, table runners, wedding cake, napkins, macarons and water goblets brilliantly popped against the sea of ivories.

The event was attended by many of Malcolm’s former and current coaches and colleagues, but the couple’s most important guest was their daughter, Nova. They wanted her to play a prominent role in the ceremony, so she was carried down the aisle by Malcolm’s father and remained through the vows in the arms the officiant, who also happens to be Anissa’s aunt. Both lovers of music, they hired a pianist to bang out current hip-hop hits on the baby grand during cocktail hour while cheeky cocktail napkins proclaimed “It’s Lit.” These details presented a fancy touch while still being true to the couple. 

Valorie Darling

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