In one of Big Sur’s ancient redwood groves, Ken Fulk realizes the fairy-tale union of tech baron Sean Parker to Chanteuse Alexandra Lenas.
Sean Parker has been behind some big ideas in his 33 years: Napster, Facebook and Spotify, to name a few. But nothing has captured the wild imagination of this ambitious visionary quite like his breathtaking wedding this past June in Big Sur.
“Logistically, it was the craziest thing I’ve ever done,” says Ken Fulk, who was charged with all design aspects of the entrepreneur’s union to 24-year-old singer/songwriter and New Jersey native Alexandra Lenas. In the past, Sean had called on Fulk for a “unicorn-prom-themed” affair in S.F. and a wintry bash in Switzerland; this time, “their vision was of a Celtic-inspired wedding in a magical redwood forest under a canopy of flowers.”
After storyboarding every detail of the affair, Fulk’s team set into action, converting a campground at the base of Big Sur’s Ventana Inn & Spa five months before the big day. Woodworkers created split-log benches and Celtic archways; 18-foot iron gates with the couple’s initials were welded by metalsmiths; a cobblestone bridge was pieced together by stonemasons; even a leather-bound book (Our Tale) was published for guests as a keepsake. Meanwhile, tailors were dispatched to measure costumes for the 364 attendees—all designed by Lord of the Rings costume designer, Ngila Dickson (outfitted in velvet robes and silk brocade vests and jackets were MTV founder Bob Pittman, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Allison Williams, Emma Watson, Zynga’s Mark Pincus and Facebook cofounders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes—Mark Zuckerberg sent his regrets).
The weekend kicked off with the rehearsal dinner at a private ranch perched high above the Pacific. Kokkari, the bicoastal couple’s favorite restaurant in S.F., catered, with the help of Paula LeDuc (who would prepare the wedding feast), and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performed.
The following afternoon, surrounded by a cathedral of 500-year-old redwoods, Alexandra floated down the aisle in a hooded couture Elie Saab gown that was made in Paris. The couple (with their 5-month-old daughter, Winter) were married under the largest tree in the forest—around which Preston Bailey elegantly hung thousands of floral garlands to evoke the architecture of a ruined abbey. “It sounds cheesy, but you could burst into tears just looking at it. It was that beautiful,” Fulk recalls.
After the bride and groom exchanged vows, guests were led into a verdant glade for a feast fit for a king. Upon descending from their sweetheart table (aka a 10-foot sofa-throne with candelabras and a bearskin run), Sean serenaded Alexandra with a song from The Little Mermaid before Sting took the stage. At the end of the night, the couple retreated to The Post Ranch Inn, where a brunch was held the next day. “I’ve been to a lot of parties,” says Fulk, “but this was truly the most magical thing I’ve witnessed in my entire life.”
VENUE Ventana Campground PLANNER Ken Fulk MENU Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Kokkari CAKE Perfect Endings DRESS Elie Saab SUIT Ngila Dickson FLORIST Preston Bailey ENTERTAINMENT Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Sting STATIONERY Hand painted stationery design and production by Momental Designs; Stationery type design and layout by Markatos Moore
By Kelsey McKinnon.
Photographed by Christian Oth.