Mieka Tennant and Jacq Pablo’s romance started out as a slow burn. “It happened over many years,” Mieka, a publicist and community organizer, says of how she and Jacq, who works in finance, got together. “Jacq’s sister, Jenn, planted the seed when she showed each of us the other’s photo.” It took a few more years after that for them to finally meet and get together. “But when we finally became an item, in true U-Haul fashion, the dog and the house soon followed,” Mieka laughs.
After a year and a half of dating, they started to talk to their friend Jess, of J.Hannah and Ceremony, about their rings. “We love the process of developing ideas collaboratively and doing it with someone we trust implicitly,” Mieka says. Not wanting to do away with the element of surprise entirely, they eventually gave each other creative permission, with the idea that two proposals are better than one. “From the start, Jacq was clear on what she wanted for her custom engagement ring,” Mieka says. “So I was the first to propose in December. I had imagined the way I would do it from early on in our relationship, and I was excited to create a grand moment to show her how much I loved her and ask her to be my wife.”
Mieka’s plan started with their friend Vatana getting Jacq out of the house for a four-hour hike. In the meantime, Mieka had filled their house with flowers and candles. “When Jacq returned home, I asked her to marry me and then blindfolded her while our four friends entered the room,” Mieka recalls. When she took the blindfold off, their friend Mereba had begun strumming the first chords to Daniel Caesar and H.E.R.’s “The Best Part.” While Mereba and Arima sang the duet, their other friends Jalan and Jibril Durimel snapped photos and took videos. “Once the song was complete, we all hugged and cried together,” Mieka says. “We then cooked dinner and giddily FaceTimed family and friends.”
The second proposal happened during a trip to New York, a little more than a month after the first. “I knew Mieka didn’t want a theatrical proposal, so I followed the spontaneity of the trip to find the right moment,” Jacq says. “And, of course, there were a few near misses where Mieka almost found the ring in my pocket along the way!” The proposal eventually happened one quiet morning in their hotel room and then morphed into a day of ongoing celebration throughout the city, ending at a drag bar–tiki lounge with friends.
With two successful proposals behind them, they started to turn their attention to wedding planning. “The moment we set foot on the property where our friend Jason Lev, of Ground Up, was building his home, we immediately knew we had found the perfect place for our wedding,” Mieka says. “The house was still very much in construction, but it was clear by the canyon it was nestled in and the vision for the architecture and design that this was the dreamiest backdrop for us to be married in.”
When they asked Jason if they could have their wedding there—acknowledging that it might have to take place right around the time when the house’s construction was set to wrap—they weren’t sure what his reaction would be. “But it was a big yes—he said that it was the perfect blessing for his new home,” Mieka adds.
It was down to the wire, but thankfully, the house was completed the week of the wedding; fresh grass and landscaping were installed three days before the big day. “To say there were some moments of stress would be an understatement,” Mieka says. “But Jason pulled out all of the stops to have the house perfect just in time.”
The lines and tone of the home’s architecture guided their design choices. “We were excited to bring in some playful elements to contrast its masculinity,” Mieka explains. “But we knew that the only colors we wanted brought in would be through floral design.” They hired Ren MacDonald-Balasia of Renko Floral because of her artistic approach to event decor. “She captures fantasy in what she creates,” Mieka says. They gave her references but asked her to, above all, create something that inspires her, while incorporating fruits and vegetables that were nods to Mieka’s Jewish and Israeli roots and Jacq’s Filipina heritage. They also emphasized that she need not follow the traditional bridal route. “What she ended up doing for us had us in tears when we saw it,” Mieka says. “From the tiny white radishes to the fruit and vegetable totems to bursting lilac dried grasses at the chuppah, what she dreamed up was nothing short of enchanting.”
The chuppah was a labor of love. Mieka and Jacq’s friend Tyler Thomas, an architect at Venn Studio, built it for them as a gift using bamboo and traditional pi?a fabric that was brought back from the Philippines by Jacq’s family. It was all coordinated by Lena Randolph, the couples’ planner who Mieka describes as “a godsend.” “From the get-go, it was clear she understood our vision for the day and the way we wanted our guests to feel,” Mieka explains. “To have a wedding coordinator that is detail-oriented, has impeccable taste, and also uses Drag Race verbiage was a match made in heaven for us.”
Jacq’s mother taught her how to sew when she was a kid, so she grew up making costumes for herself, and she felt ready to take on the challenge of crafting her own wedding look. “As soon as we started planning, I knew there was no way I was going to wear a dress or traditional-looking suit,” she says. “I wanted to feel comfortable in what I was wearing, and I wanted to look like myself.”
The couples’ friend Shaina Mote kindly offered to make a custom look for Mieka. “Some of my favorite memories leading up to the wedding were in Shaina’s studio with her lovely team discussing ideas and trying things,” Mieka says. “It turned into a true collaboration, and I felt so seen and understood every step of the way.” After experimenting with a few silhouettes, Shaina called Mieka to say she was interested in exploring the option of a jumpsuit. Mieka agreed, and the design quickly followed. “Everyone in Shaina’s studio was so dedicated and celebratory throughout the process. It was such a joyful experience,” Mieka says.
The dress code for guests was do the most. “We wanted our guests to be comfortable and in full expression of who they are,” Jacq says. “We were blown away by the looks, ranging from some sheer pants to vintage pieces to a sprinkling of more Shaina Mote pieces in the crowd.”
Mieka and Jacq walked down the aisle together behind their dog Larry, who was wearing a collar adorned in flowers, with a lace leash. “The sensation of walking to the ceremony together and seeing our friends and family was so incredibly impactful and the tears began,” Mieka says. Her sister, Zoe, officiated the wedding. “The three of us are all really close, and we knew she was the perfect person to guide us through the ceremony,” Mieka says. “She read it to us a few nights before the wedding, and we all lay in bed crying and laughing during it. We couldn’t believe the work she put into it and how layered it was. She started by honoring the land we were getting married on, then moved into stories of each of our family’s heritages from describing the texture of the town Jacq’s great grandmother was from, to how each of our parents fell in love.”
A few close friends gave a blessing during the service. “This was an emotional and, at times, hilarious experience,” Mieka says. “Each friend contributed so much love and richness to the ceremony. And then, our friend Erica Chidi Cohen sang one of our favorite songs, ‘Moon River.’ It was so special to share in that moment with her.”
“I was so excited but so emotional and full of anticipation,” Jacq says. “At the same time, I had never felt so ready for something in my life. I remember thinking, ‘I should feel more nervous,’ and in most situations speaking so openly in front of all of my family and closest friends, I would have been. But standing there in front of Mieka, I didn’t feel nervous at all. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I was fully settled into a state of pure happiness.”
After the ceremony, guests gathered for dinner and speeches. The meal was served family style on rustic dishes filled to the brim with the couple’s favorite ingredients like burrata, capers, and tons of lemon zest. “Developing our wine list was such a fun and long process,” Mieka admits. “We spent months trying various wines to find the right fit for the night. We wanted wines that reflected our love for murky and dank natural wine. We also have both loved pavlova’s since we were little and Jacq will make them on special occasions, so the choice for our cake was a simple one.”
For the after-party portion of the night, everyone moved back outdoors where a cement cube had been mounted into the side of the canyon (it will one day be a home gym). “For the wedding, we had this fantastic space that we filled with candles and projections of time-lapse videos,” Jacq says. Mereba and Arima once again sang Daniel Caesar and H.E.R’s “Best Part” for the first dance, then surprised the newlyweds with the song “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.” DJ Toque started off the dance party with a set of funk/disco tracks, and after a few drinks and some “pass the aux cord,” the night ended with Erica DJ’ing and everyone belting Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.”
Late night, Mieka and Jacq headed back to their suite at The Nomad. There, they each read their vows, cried one last time, and shared a room-service burger. The following day they had everyone over to their house for a party in the front yard featuring Micheladas and a taco truck. “It was really nice to be barefoot with our guests and continuing the celebration,” Jacq remembers. “Also all the babies and dogs joined for this portion of the weekend, making it even more fun.”