Lara Atchabahian and Edward Samourjian met in 2008, when Edward tagged along with one of his friends who was invited to a mutual friend’s birthday party. “We started talking, and I found out that he just graduated from medical school and was starting residency in Las Vegas in a few weeks,” Lara recalls.
“I was pre-med in college at the time, and was about to start studying for the MCATs. After a 30-minute discussion about medical school, our initial meeting ended. He handed me his ‘business card,’ which I thought was kind of a sleazy move, but I didn’t think much of our encounter. We added each other on Facebook and exchanged a few brief messages.”
“THE MOST TOUCHING PART WAS THAT AFTER THE PROPOSAL, HE SHOWED ME A VIDEO OF HIM ASKING MY GRANDMOTHER IF I CAN MARRY HIM.”
Exactly one year later to the day they met, Edward sent Lara a Facebook message asking how her med school application process was going. It had been a while since their last correspondence and Lara hardly remembered who he was, but she agreed to hang out when Edward was back in LA on vacation.
“During that week, we spent nearly every day together,” Lara says. “And that was the start of our long-distance relationship. Finally, after six years of daily Skype and Facetime conversations – and endless plane rides back and forth – we moved in together in 2015.”
While they were still living apart, the couple got engaged back in 2012. During a trip to San Diego, the two were staying at the Beach Village at the Hotel Del Coronado when Edward took Lara down to the beach at midnight and popped the question. “The most touching part was that after the proposal, he showed me a video of him asking my grandmother if I can marry him,” Lara adds. “I am very attached and close to my grandmother, so that was a special moment.”
Four years after their engagement, the couple tied the knot with a dreamy California wedding. The reception space was filled with blushes, ivory, and gold tones, as well as a show-stopping flower wall that added to the romantic ambiance.
One of the bride’s favorite moments of the day was a special Armenian dance that Edward and his cousin put together for the reception. Edward went to an Armenian dance school for years during his childhood and teenage years, and he asked his retired Armenian dance instructor to help choreograph a routine. Not only did his instructor agree, but he also showed up to cheer on his former student.
“By the end of our wedding day, Edward and I were so ecstatic,” says the bride. “We could not believe that after our struggles of being apart for so long and surviving our crazy residency schedules, we were finally able to celebrate our union. Both of our fathers had passed away before we met, so it was very special to be able to honor them in our speeches, knowing very well that they were with us in spirit.”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Marbella, Spain, where they spent time swimming, laying out in the sun, eating local cuisine, and simply enjoying each other’s company.
Location: Hilton Los Angeles Airport, Los Angeles, CA; Event Design and Planner: Fancy That! Events, Los Angeles, CA; Floral Design: Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design, Los Angeles, CA; Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Napa, CA; Rentals: White Night Designs, Burbank, CA; Chairs: Classic Party Rentals, Los Angeles, CA; Cake: The Butter End Cakery, Los Angeles, CA; Lighting: Amber Event Production, Anaheim, CA; Wedding Dress: Vera Wang; Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss; Hair: Arsineh Ghazarian, Glendale, CA Makeup: Enipra Makeup, Glendale, CA