Jonathan Grahm and Jeffrey Postlethwaite met on Raya in 2016 and were a match from the very start. “Our first date was to the farmers market in Brentwood. Within about a block or two, we were laughing and having a great time. It was very effortless and the connection was really immediate,” Jonathan remembers. “We ended up on that farmers market date—which was supposed to last about 30 minutes—for five hours, and had our second date the same evening. The rest was history.”
They found common ground in food—or, more specifically, dessert. Jonathan is a modern-day Willy Wonka, the L.A.-based chocolatier behind cult-brand Compartés Chocolates. (“We had a lot of dates at the chocolate factory,” he laughs.) Jeffrey is an English-born actor, best known for his role in turn-of-the-century drama “Peaky Blinders.” But, being with Jonathan reignited Jeffrey’s passion for the food business, and he founded California Gummy Bears.
“We got engaged in April 2018 in Kauai, Hawaii, right on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Napali Coast, with humpback whales jumping out of the water,” the couple shares. “The ocean and waterfalls have always been a big part of our lives and relationship.” For their big day, their love of water drew them to Calamigos Ranch, a tucked-away Malibu venue with countless gorgeous water features.
Their vision was “California orchard meets tropical, but also chic and minimal,” the grooms say. “We wanted to let the venue, the flowers, and the food do the telling of the story, sort of like how we live our lives in L.A. We wanted to incorporate a bit of a Hawaiian vibe, since we got engaged there and travel there so often, while still feeling very California summer with various fruits placed throughout flowers. For colors, we [went with] white and gold—chic, timeless, and elegant.”
They got a crash course in wedding planning over two busy months, each tackling different projects. “For Jonathan, the flowers were really important. For Jeff, it was more the music,” they say. “So, we let the other person do the research, and then came together to make the decisions.” They did hire a day-of coordinator, Jessica Rolph of 3 Little Birds Event Planning, and “we couldn’t have done it without her,” they share.
“When you have a wedding you are inviting the people you love, who mean the most to you in the world, you have the two of you, and you have this amazing fact that you are getting married,” the couple reflects. “So, when you think about it that way, which we really did, we figured that ‘perfect’ is not the ideal we were going for, and we did not fuss about every single detail. We personalized it in every single part and place, and that’s what really made it so special and magical.”
Read on to see all the magical—and sweet!—details of their 80-guest affair on June 2, 2022, planned by the grooms with day-of coordination by 3 Little Birds Event Planning, and photographed by Lulan Studio.
“We got ready as a couple in a suite at the Calamigos Ranch hotel,” the grooms share. “It was really fun and special because we both put each other’s bow ties and watches on, and we celebrated with a bottle of Champagne on our balcony.” They booked Kristene Bernard, who works on TV show sets and celebrities, for hair and makeup. “She applied some under eye and face patches before doing the makeup that really helped the skin.” Both grooms spritzed on the fragrances they wore the day they met: Replica Jazz Club by Maison Martin Margiela for Jonathan, and Sean John Unforgivable for Jeffrey. “It’s funny because neither of us really wear either of those colognes any more, but the scents mean a lot to us because they were from our first date.”
Jonathan wore a custom Prada tuxedo and bow tie, while Jeffrey opted for Saint Laurent. “We wore matching Gucci shoes specially selected three years ago together for this occasion,” they share. Jonathan completed his look with a family heirloom, an Audemars Piguet watch encrusted with diamonds that had belonged to his late mother, Shelly.
Taking wedding portraits around a local circus setup definitely felt appropriate for two grooms in the candy business and brought a healthy dose of fun to their photos.
“Malibu vibes prevailed all day long, starting with the magical California garden setting for the ceremony,” the couple says. The backdrop was one of the largest waterfalls in all of Los Angeles, an ode to their love of water; chandeliers hung from the trees; and colorful Cali-centric florals marked the start of the candle-lined aisle.
Following their immediate families and trio of Pomeranians, the grooms walked down the aisle together at “California golden hour,” they say. “The easiest part of planning was the music selections, because we had a lot of songs in mind for a long time,” the couple shares. “[Hearing them as] an engaged couple, we’d be like, ‘Okay, we want this song at our wedding.’ We already had a mental playlist—and a Spotify one—of all the must-haves, and knew right away where things would fit in.” For their walk down the aisle, they selected “Today I Do” by Tamia.
We wrote our vows with our whole hearts, unedited.
Both grooms wrote their own vows, bringing the crowd—and themselves—to tears. “We wrote with our whole hearts, unedited, with the intention that we are telling the other person what we really want to say on our wedding day,” Jonathan and Jeffrey share. “Knowing people will hear them didn’t matter to us. It was what we wanted to say to each other in that moment, that once-in-a-lifetime moment.”
The unique ceremony incorporated both Christian and Jewish rites and was officiated by Jonathan’s godmother, a Buddhist. “We did a unity candle to celebrate and symbolize the two families coming together,” the grooms recall. “It was a truly well-rounded, spiritual, and beautiful ceremony, adopting wedding traditions from various cultures and religions to create a one-of-a-kind fairytale experience.” At the end, both grooms broke the glass—a Jewish tradition—together in their matching Gucci shoes.
Cheers from the crowd rang out as the couple finally shared their first kiss as newlyweds—having postponed their wedding due to the pandemic—and guests waved gold and white streamers as they recessed out.
Pups Samson, Sebastian, and Grayson Grahm were an integral part of the wedding day, wearing matching doggie tuxedos and bow ties.
A colorful spread—hummus with bright fresno chilies, butternut squash dip, farmers market romanesco with tahini, pine nuts, and raisins—awaited guests at cocktail hour. “Passed hors d’oeuvres were inspired by our favorite foods with meaning from our relationship,” the couple shares. “Mini hot dogs with aioli and apricot preserves were inspired by Puka Dog in Kauai, where we got engaged; British fish and chips to celebrate Jeffrey’s heritage; and honey walnut shrimp from our favorite Chinese restaurant.” On the drink menu: Champagne cocktails and margaritas.
“Jonathan has such a clear sense of style and vision when it comes to his chocolates. He really had a vision for what the wedding would look like,” the couple says. Artistic, sculptural florals like birds-of-paradise, alliums, heliconias, gloriosas, and foxgloves were featured in centerpieces, “each one different and unique, just like a garden setting,” the grooms say. “The beautiful flowers were coupled with fallen fruits framing the arrangements, such as papaya, pomegranate, and green almonds.” The couple even plucked fresh grapefruits from the trees at their Beverly Hills homes for the tablescape.
We felt as though we were dancing alone, even though you have all these people just watching you.
The newlyweds made their grand entrance into The Oaks Room at Calamigos to the tune of Harry Styles’ “Golden,” then launched into their first dance to Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” “The room sort of stops, and everything stops in time,” Jonathan and Jeffrey recall of their first dance. “We felt as though we were dancing alone, even though you have all these people just watching you. It’s such an incredible and special moment, glancing and seeing their faces, but really just being in the moment with your significant other like the whole world has stopped.”
“Candles were a big part of the decor—lots and lots of candles everywhere,” the couple shares. “We had a sign inviting guests to each light their own candle and place it inside a lantern—one of their favors they could take with them after the wedding—and bring their light into the reception space. They were really bringing their own light and magic into the room to be a part of our story.”
The four-tier wedding cake by celeb favorite Hansen’s Cakes featured layers of classic white and marbled mocha chip; slices were plated with fresh papaya, blueberries, and raspberries. “We also featured a groom-and-groom cake topper next to the stunning cake—but not on top, because we thought the flowers and cake design were beautiful on their own,” the couple says.
Of course, the grooms had to incorporate their signature sweets into the big day. Guests got luxe custom Compartés chocolates printed with the couple’s hand-drawn monogram and a palm tree; the box featured a custom sleeve with the same design. Favor boxes of California Gummy Bears were filled with a custom mix of gummy bear colors that resembled a California sunset.
“We interviewed so many DJs over FaceTime and landed on our DJ, Ace. He was originally from Kauai—where we got engaged—and had this sort of chill, laid-back, but fun vibe that really reflects our personalities and us as a a couple,” the grooms share. “We wanted all the choices to feel like us. Who we would want to hang out with and be around, those were the vendors we chose. It was all really based on chemistry.”
In an unexpected moment, the grooms invited all the single men and women to the dance floor and tossed a bouquet the florist had prepared to represent Jonathan’s late mother. “It had significance because the flowers were so special to us. [It’s like we were] passing on the love.”
The morning after their epic night, the grooms stopped into The Oaks Room one last time before driving home, this time in their pajamas instead of tuxedos. “We walked in and it was empty. They had reset everything and were getting ready for whatever their next event was in that space,” the duo recalls. “Suddenly, out of nowhere, Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ came on! In our pajamas, we went right to the dance floor, and danced to the entire song again—this time just the two of us—in the exact same spot we had danced our first dance only hours before. It was like out of a movie or fairy tale—pretty incredible and magical.”