Jeanine Celeste Pang, senior creative director at Old Navy and freelance journalist, was the inspiration behind a season four Gossip Girl character, when she worked under Stefano Tonchi at W—but we digress. She met her husband, neuroscientist Brent Parsons, through a dating app, and on the first date, he revealed that within the next six months he was moving to Italy to take a postdoc. They quickly fell in love, and the two bravely forged on through two years of long-distance—making a point to meet every month somewhere fantastic. (Manhattan, Madagascar, Iceland, and Shanghai are a few examples.)
Coincidentally, they also grew up in neighboring Bay Area towns and had the same childhood dentist—Dr. Chew, so they’re convinced they met earlier in life. After one-and-a-half years of dating, Brent proposed on the rooftop of Riad El Fenn in Morocco at sunset. “He knew that Morocco was my happy place—since my early 20s, I’ve visited many times to cover the culture as a journalist or just for fun, unearthing gem after gem,” Jeanine says.
When thinking about wedding planning, the engaged couple were drawn to the intimacy of a destination wedding and decided that having guests experience the magic of Morocco would be the best way to celebrate their marriage. The itinerary kicked off with a road trip to the nearby beach town of Essaouria and ended in Marrakech with an exclusive weekend at El Fenn. To help plan all of the festivities, they hired Boutique Souk.
For the rehearsal dinner, Jeanine wore a 70s, parakeet yellow, chiffon Zandra Rhodes gown, which she gloriously found on eBay, and completed the look with a Simone Rocha floral appliqué headpiece and lace-up espadrilles. The evening was filled with family and friends— and even a snake charmer or two.
The morning of the ceremony, the bride indulged in a hammam ritual at the Royal Mansour Spa, and then came back to her bridal suite to begin hair and makeup. She put on her Oscar de la Renta long-sleeve dress, a sample from one of Mr. de la Renta’s last collections, and matching veil from the runway. For footwear, she slipped on a pair of pale green, vintage Manolo Blahnik kitten heels. The groom looked handsome in a custom suit, cut from emerald green Loro Piana fabric, by Hall Madden.
The wedding party’s attire was very Moroccan-glam. The bride’s sister and maid of honor wore a diaphanous Temperley London caftan, while the mother-of-the-bride was in an ice blue, puffy sleeve look from Copenhagen-based boutique Jerome Vintage. The youngest members of the group wore linen djellabas designed by Aya’s Marrakech and glitter jelly sandals from Old Navy, of course.
When it came time for the service to start, guests gathered in the courtyard, scattered with orange trees, white and yellow roses, daisies, burnt orange bougainvillea, carob and eucalyptus. Programs were designed by Tail of the Yak in Berkeley—a nod to where they now reside—and the aisle was lined with candlelit lanterns (a Moroccan tradition).
The bride, holding peonies wrapped in lace from her mother’s old wedding dress, walked down the aisle with her father to Etta James’s “At Last.” Once she reached Brent, the ceremony began, and Brent’s brother and Jeanine’s cousin officiated. For their mothers, the couple performed a rose ceremony, and then their sisters gave readings from Rilke and Lao Tzu. After they recited vows, a rose cannon filled the air with petals as the two shared their first kiss as husband and wife. They walked back down the aisle to Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me.”
Everyone then made their way to Dar Yacout, first to the sprawling rooftop for a champagne toast with a traditional ahwach troupe and gnaoua musicians. For the seated dinner, guests moved into the garden area for a supper of lamb tagine and chicken with preserved lemon and olives. During the courses, family and friends took turns speaking, and one of Jeanine’s friends even shared a wish that the couple would have twins . . . and as fate would have it they’re expecting a boy and a girl in the spring!
After the meal, a local band, fronted by Faty.S, kept the energy up. The newlyweds took to the floor for a first dance to The Lumineers’ cover of “This Must Be The Place,” and then the party rolled on until around 1:00 a.m., when everyone headed back to El Fenn for a late-night swim and more champagne.