California couple, Julie and Chris, wanted to host a wedding that celebrated their love in the great outdoors of their home state. Clos LaChance Winery offered the perfect backdrop to the couple’s big day—golden California mountains, soft lighting around sunset and a warm evening for the patio reception. The wedding palette is neutral with hints of a lovely french blue and punchy coral in the florals by FVJ Luxuries. Julie’s WTOO gown is a scene stealer and her delicate hairpiece makes a romantic statement. The details and the glowing light of the afternoon California sun are all captured here by Retrospect Images.Click to expand for more
What made your wedding special and unique?
I think our wedding was the perfect combination of everything that Chris and I love. We both grew up in California and loved the great outdoors. While we were planning our wedding, we both knew we wanted to host an outdoor wedding. We had the golden California mountains as the backdrop to our ceremony and enjoyed the warm summer night out on the patio with friends and family for our reception. The soft lighting around sunset and warm night with loved ones was exactly what we wanted.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I live in Northern California but my mom and Maid of Honor live in Southern California, so I made a trip down there to shop with them. I tried on a lot of white/ivory dresses but they didn’t really fit my personality. I ended up trying a WTOO by Watters blush skirt not really expecting much because I thought I didn’t want a two-piece dress or a blush dress (because it didn’t feel very traditional). But once I tried it on, I loved it, and tried on a few variations of corset tops to create a complete look. I ended up loving the final combination. It made me feel youthful and romantic which was what I was going for. I ended up purchasing the skirt at Trudy’s Bridal because it was easier for me to pick up, and happened to find a matching WTOO corset top at BHLDN and on sale!
What were some touches added to make your wedding personal?
We asked Chris’s niece and nephew, our flower girl and ring boy to do a reading from Dr. Seuss’s O The Places You’ll Go. What made it extra special to us was that Chris and I met at the University of California, San Diego, where the main library is named Geisel Library after Theodore Seuss Geisel aka “Dr. Seuss”. It brought back a lot of memories of first meeting Chris, and the time spent there as college kids. It was also just really fun to hear them trying to pronounce words that they don’t know. I think our guests had a good laugh too.
Also since I’m a designer by trade, I designed all the signage and printed materials for our wedding. I’ve never actually planned events so it was really nice to see the vision in my head come to life. All those hours stressing over typography and color choices were well worth it in the end to see everything come together.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The whole day was extremely memorable. Everything flowed from one event to the next and before I knew it, it was over! I remember looking out during the reception feeling thankful to all these people who have shaped us one way or another. One of the more memorable parts of our day was when we asked our DJ to play 98 Degrees’ “I Do” as the last song. We had originally asked guests to give us suggestions on songs they wanted to hear and this was one of them. We ended the day doing a slow dance with our close friends creating a circle around us and serenading us.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Chris and I met in college during the summer of our junior year. I was at our mutual friend’s house cooking dinner and we had extra food. Our mutual friend called Chris over to eat and we just clicked! We got to know each other that summer since a lot of our friends either went home or were traveling. After graduating we both took up jobs in San Diego and moved in together and eventually moved up to Silicon Valley where we could both pursue our careers in tech. Chris finally proposed 9 years after we had first met. I kept telling Chris to tell me to wear makeup and dress nice, and have a photographer hiding in the bushes to document the event. But he ended up proposing on a hiking trail the second day of our camping trip in Big Basin Redwoods State Park after having not showered and in dusty hiking clothes. It was still the perfect proposal because it was the perfect place to do it, in nature among the redwood trees, just us two.
Photography: Retrospect Images // Wedding Coordinator: Kristin Murphy Clos LaChance Winery // Florist: Fredrick James FVJ Luxuries // Stationery: Minted // Venue: Clos LaChance Winery // Dress Designer: WTOO // Hair & Makeup Artist: Quyen Nguyen Quyen Artistry // Jewelry Designer: Ben Amun // DJ: David Gomes Sound Wave Mobile DJ // Caterer: Clos LaChance Winery