Abby and Sean worked with Nicole George Event Planning & Design to create their gorgeous East-meets-West-Coast garden wedding in coastal San Diego at the Darlington House. An ode to their East Coast roots, Abby and Sean’s design spurred from a classic and timeless look with a splash of San Diego flair. From the florals by Wallflower Inspiration, to calligraphy by Pearl & Pen, each detail was playful and refined, touching on Abby and Sean’s lighthearted personalities. Lucky for us, Petula Pea Photography was behind the lens capturing all the details in these delightful images.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Our wedding was hand-curated from every little detail in collaboration with the best team of vendors, from our food theme to the placement and knot in the napkins at the table setting. What made it so unique was that every detail felt personal and filled with love – a representation of our relationship and how we feel about everyone in our lives. The details matter!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My gown was actually my second (the first one was able to be returned thankfully), and one I found at a bridal shop I thought “wouldn’t be for me”, but was where my best friend also found her dress back in Philadelphia, PA a few years ago. I wanted to look great and be comfortable, but didn’t have a vision of what my dress would look like or which designer I would pick from, even after years of watching Say Yes to the Dress. The Decklyn gown by Hailey Paige is everything I never knew I wanted. I was so incredibly comfortable all day long, danced our choreographed first dance with ease, and threw on a denim jacket from House of Catherine to hang out at the after party dive bar, The Shack. There was movement paired with structure, classic paired with modern, comfort paired with flattering – truly a perfect fit. A little secret: our wedding wasn’t the last time I’ve worn it!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Oh gosh – every moment of our day felt hyper-personal, from the Starbucks coffee my maid of honor and sister got labeled BRIDE instead of Abby, to our yoga pants and flip flops getting ready looks, to blasting Spice Girls before our guests arrived, to members of our family singing You Matter to Me during the procession, to our ceremony, the flowers that brought our venue to life, the east coast/west coast food theme (we just moved from Philadelphia about a year before we got married in San Diego), to the welcome reception at our favorite date place in Little Italy with pizza and wine for everyone, to donuts and a Parks and Rec inspired dessert table “Treat yo Self” with donuts. Every one of our vendors truly became partners and we felt how deeply they cared about us and our big day. Little ideas became big moments and details throughout the day – I could go on and on and on!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The most memorable part of the day was just that – the day. I relive little moments in my head with everyone we love so deeply who was able to join us, from the dance floor parties to the moments in the hallway. With my hubby, I’d have to give a top 3: 1. Our first look, where we both laugh / cried our way through overwhelming emotions of excitement and love — it was finally here. 2. I have to say our vows right? 3. After the ceremony, sneaking away with our videographer and photographer down to the beach to sneak in a dusk photo session. Those were the moments when I was really able to absorb all the energy and love around us, and the insane love we have for each other, something I check in on and lean in on from time to time.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We “met” back in Philly in 2012 – I say “met” because we knew each other through mutual friends for a few years prior, but we didn’t have our moment until a dive bar karaoke night where we hopped up and sang TLCs Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls together, and a few more after that. We refer to that night as the “night that started it all”.
We each knew pretty quickly this was it for us, but we took our time [this is me nicely saying SEAN took his time] working towards our engagement. I took a job opportunity at a start up in San Diego, and about 6 months after we moved into our brand new home in Philadelphia, I headed for the west coast and Sean spent the summer wrapping things up before coming out in August with our dog and beloved house plants, which we planned would be our cross country road trip together. We stopped in St Louis, Colorado Springs, and then Sedona AZ in our sprint to get to the other coast, where we actually spent two nights at a beautiful and peaceful Kimpton Resort right in the heart of Sedona. So many people asked if I expected it. I knew something was up like I desperately hoped something was up every time we went some place magical, thinking “now THIS place would be great for an engagement…”, but our travel exhaustion left me a little less suspicious. That is until Sean suggested a very early morning wake up to hike and watch the sunrise. And then he offered to carry his backpack instead of putting his stuff in my bag (whhaaaaat?! That’s a first). So we went and we hiked and we watched the most magical sunrise with our dog Franklin by our side. And then we watched some more. And then I looked for shadows or signs of a ring in his pockets (we were both in workout clothes). Annnnnd there was nothing.
So we hiked back down from the lookout point we watched the sunrise from, along with some of the other travelers who joined us. We were hanging out a bit at a landing trying to figure out where to go next, and that’s when it happened! Just us, the red rocks in Sedona, our amazing furbaby Franklin. It was perfection. My reaction: “are you sure?!” And then “omg it fits” with a “YES!” squeezed in there somewhere. We FaceTimed all our family from the same spot to share that moment with them (all east coasters) and have screen shots of everyone’s reaction when we told them, something I’ll treasure forever!
Wedding Planner: Nicole George Event Planning & Design // Photography: Petula Pea Photography // Floral Design: Wallflower Inspiration // Venue: Darlington House // Calligraphy + Signage: Pearl & Pen // Bridal Salon: The White Flower Bridal Boutique // Bridal Gown: The Decklyn by Hayley Paige // Beauty: Elwynn + Cass Beauty Concierge + Elizabeth Root // Catering + Bar & Beverage: Root Cellar Catering Co. // Basic & Specialty Rentals: Farm Tables and More // Desserts: VG Donuts & Bakery // DJ + Lighting: Sage Productions // Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux // Videography: West Coast Wedding Cinema