The Wedding Was an Italian Affair in Bel Air

Of course the bride wore Valentino to the ceremony

Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Photography by JOHN &  JOSEPH

Actress Praya Lundberg on her wedding day at Hotel Bel-Air

Actress Praya Lundberg on her wedding day at Hotel Bel-Air.

 

It was Praya Lundberg’s mother who put her in touch with her future husband, Vietnamese businessman Quoc Cao. But with the actress in Los Angeles and Quoc continents apart, they connected during the pandemic over the phone, eventually developing a friendship and sharing poems, hopes, and dreams. “We were able to get to know each other slowly, the old-fashioned way,” says Praya.

Once travel resumed and Quoc arrived in L.A. for frequent visits, Praya brought him to her favored haunts. He, in turn, brought her to Rome — a place dear to Praya as the first foreign city her Thai mother visited (her father is a former Swedish diplomat) — and proposed. “My dream when planning my wedding one day was to wear a gown made by the house of Valentino and designed by Pierpaolo in Rome,” says Praya. The Italian lace veil inspired Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino’s creative director at the time, to suggest the Alexandre Desplat song “Snow in the Garden” to accompany Praya and her father down the aisle. She did just that amid a cascade of white roses and Italian-inspired columns set in the lush gardens of Hotel Bel-Air. “It was my Italian wedding dream,” Praya says.

The reception was a variation on the floral theme. “A dome of white roses and wild smilax contained twinkling lights,” says Lisa Lafferty, Praya’s friend and planner. “The entrance tunnel and table florals were a mix of white roses, ranunculus, hellebore, lilacs, tulips, lisianthus, and hyacinths.” Even the towering cake was draped in white peonies. Praya and Quoc created custom China settings with their wedding monogram in gold for the reception to double as their daily dishes at their new L.A. home. “We had the plates hand-washed and dried the night of the wedding and returned to their new home for use — all 1,250 pieces!” says Lafferty.

With the Hotel Bel-Air nuptials preceded by a welcome party at Nobu Malibu and a rehearsal dinner at the Sunset Tower, guests got a tour of all the places Praya had taken Quoc while they dated, and the after-party was held in an ephemeral speakeasy on-site at the hotel. “Being an actress myself, it felt fitting to revel in that Old Hollywood glamour that I love so much,” says Praya.

 

Piccioli also designed Lundberg’s lace veil and suggested a tune to accompany the bride down the aisle.

 

A 72-foot aisle with white roses.

 

Praya Lundberg Wedding, Praya in a custom Valentino gown created by Pierpaolo Piccioli in Rome.

Actress Praya Lundberg, in a custom Valentino gown created by Pierpaolo Piccioli in Rome, at Hotel Bel-Air.

 

Praya Lundberg Wedding

Praya, in Vivienne Westwood, cutting the cake with Quoc.

 

China settings with the couple’s wedding monogram.

 

Red Bliss Design stationery.

 

Praya in Alexandre Vauthier at the after-party.

 

Praya Lundberg Wedding

The couple post-ceremony.

 

Actress Raline Shah.

 

Dress: VALENTINO
Bridal Stylist: JILL JACOBS
Cake: THE BUTTER END
Flowers: BUTTERFLY FLORAL
Stationery: RED BLISS DESIGN
Planning and Design: LISA LAFFERTY
Venue and Catering: HOTEL BEL-AIR

 

 

Feature image: The lace in the bride’s gown echoed her custom veil.

 

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of C Weddings.

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