Photos by Randee St. Nicholas
Dr. Phil often advises his guests to Love Smart, and this weekend his oldest son, Jay, took that advice to heart. Jay wed model Erica Dahm in an intimate ceremony at the McGraw family home in Beverly Hills on Saturday. Seventy close friends and relatives filled the residence, which was transformed into an elegant cathedral, draped in rich white fabrics sparkling with crystals. During the ceremony, Jay and Erica spoke deeply touching vows they wrote themselves. Dr. Phil served as Jay’s best man.
Dr. Phil’s wife, Robin, found her son’s big moment especially moving. After the ceremony, she reflected, “I looked at his father, and Phillip teared up, and I couldn’t hold it in. So, yeah I cried then. It’s been tears of joy the entire time.”
The bride cut a sophisticated silhouette in a floor-length, full-skirted gown custom made for her by Chado Ralph Rucci. Erica has two identical sisters, Nicole and Jaclyn, who served as bridesmaids in gowns designed by Bradley Bayou.
The ceremony was followed by a glittering reception for 400 guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel. A palette of deep aubergine accents and radiant gem stones offset the ballroom draped in white. Vases filled with oversized gems propped up large bouquets of dark purple calla lilies at every table.
The atmosphere impressed even Dr. Phil. “When I walked through that door, I’ve got to tell you, it took my breath away,” he said. “I thought it was elegant and fun … I thought this is going to be a night they will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Guests danced to the band Impulse under a ceiling of low hung crystals strung from rich, white ribbons. Soon the 22-person ensemble broke into Kenny Chesney’s “Me & You” for the couple’s first dance.
And the music didn’t stop there. Jay’s younger brother, Jordan, who plays guitar in a band of his own, surprised the newlyweds with a musical gift, inviting 12-time Grammy winning producer and writer David Foster on stage, who in turn introduced R&B legend Babyface. Guests reveled to romantic hits, “When Can I See You?” and “Change the World.”
Amid the atmosphere of high elegance, guests also enjoyed touches of pure fun: After the toasts had been made and the six-foot tall cake cut, a course of mini-hamburgers and itty, bitty ice cream cones was served. And throughout the night, an old-fashioned photo booth turned out strip after strip of photos.
Perhaps the only bling to outshine the glittering decor was a beaming Dr. Phil. “How much prouder can you be when your son gets married like this to such a wonderful girl?” he asked. “As I said, when you know that’s working, you just have a huge sigh of relief. And you feel proud of him. Honestly, we couldn’t be happier, and we couldn’t be more proud.”
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