WIPA SoCal Hosts Glamorous 'Jazz Age of Paris' Gala at the Charleston

The Wedding International Professional Association's chapter in SoCal came together for a night of glitz and glamour with gorgeous décor.
Written by
Emily Sweet

On January 24th, the Southern California chapter of the Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA) gathered to celebrate as well as announce and swear in their new board of directors for 2024. The gala was held at the luxurious Charleston in Orange County and an opulent design was inspired by the "Jazz Age in Paris," bringing a regal and avant-garde take to the style. 

Melody Ponce of Winner Circle Events was keen on creating an elevated and truly elegant take on the gala's theme that differed from the speakeasy and Great Gatsby events that have been sweeping the wedding industry in the last year. To actualize her vision, Ponce went straight to the history to tap into a sense of luxury, enjoyment and intellect with refined details reminiscent of Paris' city streets.  An inspiration deck had been sent to guests before the gala to inspire attire, and Melody said that the entire gala delivered with dazzling outfits and accessories that were captured by a luxury fashion illustrator as a hand-drawn keepsake. 

The French art of living (French art de vivre) is a form of luxury. This includes taking time to appreciate beauty, to savor good food, to acquire knowledge of the arts and other intellectual pursuits to engage in meaningful conversation, and above all, to enjoy life to the fullest.
— Melody Ponce of Winner Circle Events

Parisian Gardens were another key design motif that was explored in sumptuous ways with Unifier Entertainment's Topiary Girls greeting guests in delightfully whimsical costumes. Velvet and constellation linens also channeled an aura of nature that blended with high-brow luxury. Perhaps one of the most ethereal details was the lighting, which had the grand ballroom alight with celestial stars bringing an alfresco vibe to the indoor event. Live jazz from Chloé and the Jazz Heart Band was pulled straight out of a 20s club and kept the ambience cohesive through the evening. 

And what is a night dedicated to Parisian luxury without at least a few mouthwatering treats? Guests were kept busy with a crepe station and cheese fountain in addition to dinner, and Sweet Novelette provided chocolate for all attendees to take home. Melody said she was inspired by Chanel to create a dance floor wrap with a glamorous edge. For a feminine touch, the French 75 was transformed with rose flavors for a signature cocktail that paid homage to the Ritz Paris. The entire night was a showcase of such careful curation of a magnificent vision, brought together by dozens of talented California wedding professionals. WIPA members were treated to a dance lesson experience as well as some exclusive discounts for Haute Caviar and Dot Cards. The evening peaked with a celebration of WIPA's new 2024 Board of Directors which honored the work of the 2023 team and passed the torch to new leadership. 

Learn more about WIPA here.

City State:

Fullerton, CA


Southern CA






Design + Planning
Bartending, Catering + Venue
Floral Design
Paper Goods
Backdrop + Photo Booth
Dance Floor Wrap
Crepe Station
Cheese Fountain
Chocolate Favors
Audio, DJ + Emcee
Dance Performance
Fashion Illustrator
Live Poetry
Hair + Makeup
Name Badges