The ocean provided a “foundation of strength and positivity” in bride Ashley’s upbringing and she made it a strong point to incorporate it in the celebration of her wedding to Brandon. Casa Del Mar Hotel, in Santa Monica, offered a perfect setting for the couple and set the scene for an elegant day planned by EDE By Jacqueline with nods to an ocean theme. Romantic ceremony design and florals by Chloe & Mint and a french-inspired macaron bar are the Parisian details we know brides will love and Sally Pinera captured it all beautifully.
What made the wedding special and unique?
I wanted something in Santa Monica. I grew up in there and wanted it to be close to home and close to my heart. I envisioned my wedding to be near the ocean without actually being on the beach/water. Growing up, I found peace and comfort in looking at the vast ocean and hearing the waves crash. It was what I would turn to through life’s tougher moments and it never failed me. The ocean and home were pillars of strength for me, so I wanted that foundation of strength and positivity represented in my wedding as well.
My color palette was cream/champagne with touches of mint green/sage. I’m drawn to natural colors and wanted my wedding to be subtle with a touch of class and understated elegance. I chose the venue because I wanted to accentuate the colors of the ballroom itself and not cover it up with too much “stuff” going on. I wanted to enhance the beauty that was already there.
I loved the flower girl dresses. I wanted something extra poofy and had the dresses made of layers on layers of tulle by an Etsy seller. All the girls were so adorable in them! I also ordered the same dress for our daughter. Though she was too young to be a flower girl, I wanted her to match the other girls.
My flowers were organic and free flowing like those found in a garden. I wanted a soft color palate of cream and blush accented with eucalyptus and other greens and Chloe + Mint captured that well. Garden roses, black and white anemones, and peonies. My gown was by Martina Liana and made me feel comfortable in my new full-figure as a mother. The sweetheart top and delicate lace was subtle but still elegant. I wanted a more traditional look for the ceremony and added a lace bolero. Cake (by the Butter End) was a simple but delicious and adored with flowers that matched my bouquet.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
I really wanted to personalize my wedding details. A dear friend of mine is a designer and gifted us her time and creativity by working with me to design our invitation suite. We handpicked every detail of the suite, from the font, layout, cardstock, envelope color, foil press color, etc. I wanted to tie in the location of the wedding – by the beach –and elements of that so we selected different seashells and incorporated a different shell into the invite, RSVP, menu, and thank you card. It was felt really special to be able to work with her to create something from scratch instead of selecting a pre-made design. Although it took a lot more time than I had on my hands (with a then newborn), I have a fond memory of the whole process.
I also wanted my then-fiancé to have a part in planning the wedding, and I wanted him to feel proud of the celebration we were putting together for our friends and family. Being an avid fan of Chardonnay, his father has a hefty collection of wine corks. I wanted to somehow incorporate the wine corks into the wedding and asked Brandon if he could make the corks into escort card holders. Brandon was really on board and worked on his project with his brother. The escort card holders came out beautiful, and he was able to bond with his brother while working on them. I loved that this simple project not only personalized our wedding but also brought my husband and his brother closer.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
My favorite moment was the reaction of our wedding guests when we had our First Dance. Having had our daughter, Harper, a few months before the wedding, and being a working mom, I did not have much time to learn a choreographed dance (let alone plan a wedding!) It was a tradition of Brandon’s family though, and I so very much wanted to honor this tradition. We started dance practice late and as our wedding day got closer and closer, we realized we would not be able to get down the routine in time. On the day of, we decided we throw off our guests and start our dance swaying back and forth, like a middle school slow dance. When it was cue to start the choreographed part, I heard our guests gasp in surprise that we had something planned. It was so fun and exciting, and in the midst of the excitement from everyone’s cheering, we somehow pulled off the dance!
Take in every moment and enjoy the day! Really, just have fun. My wedding really did fly by – like every other bride had cautioned me – but I never realized just how quickly the day would be over!
Photographer: Sally Pinera // Wedding Planner: EDE By Jacqueline // Flowers: Chloe & Mint // Venue & Catering: Casa Del Mar Hotel // Wedding Dress: Martina Liana // Dress Salon: Lovella Bridal // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Hair & Makeup: Kelly Zhang Studio // Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse // Cake: The Butterend // Videography: April Story Films // DJ: Vox DJ’s // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box