Torrey and James met and fell in love in San Diego so it was natural choice for their wedding celebration. With the help of Luxe Events they planned their destination wedding remotely while they both pursued graduate degrees. San Diego Museum of Art provided the beautiful setting which included a garden ceremony “in the round” and a reception in the historic courtyard of the museum. Modern design sensibilities and a black and white palette informed the details including florals by Parker and Posies and stationery by Brightly Designed. Lucky for us, the couple enlisted the skill of San Diego wedding photographers Let’s Frolic Together to capture their day in these light-strewn images.
Tell us about yourselves!
Torrey is originally from Huntington Beach, California, and currently works as a social worker and therapist at a school in Seattle. James is from Portland, Oregon, and is graduating from medical school this year. We were both in graduate school for the entire time we were planning our wedding! Some of our favorite things to do together include cooking together and exploring new cuisines, hiking, and traveling. Most importantly, we love spending time with our mini goldendoodle named Moose
What made the wedding special and unique?
We chose to get married in San Diego, which is where we met and fell in love. Even though it wasn’t always logistically easy to plan a wedding from far away, every time we came back to San Diego it felt like a mini-vacation! We had people come from truly all four corners of the country to celebrate with us all weekend. Each night leading up to the wedding we had the chance to spend time with a progressively larger group of friends and family, which made it easier to balance seeing all the people who came to celebrate with us and spending some quality time with people who we otherwise don’t get to see very often. Since we have both spent time living in different places throughout the time we were dating, our wedding was a place to bring together all our communities and by the end of the weekend it was so beautiful to see everyone mixing together, we felt so loved! In planning our wedding we wanted everyone to have fun, eat great food, and enjoy the setting. We worked with the awesome Cara North of Luxe Events, and she helped us execute this vision. We wanted our wedding to have a modern flair and so while our color palate was black, white and gold with an accent of inky blue, we mixed modern patterns into the place setting and paper goods.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The dress was a beaded Jenny Packham Gown that I bought at The Dress Theory in Seattle! I loved my experience at the Dress Theory; they made me feel so special throughout the whole process. James and I were engaged for 2 years and so I had plenty of time to gather inspiration for what kind of a gown I wanted before I even started shopping. I had seen some Jenny Packham gowns and was in awe of their shape and the beading. The closest stockist was the dress theory, and I had already heard from friends that they had beautiful, unique gowns. I would describe my personal style as more minimalist, and so I had originally envisioned a simple gown with maybe some lace, but as soon as I put on the dress I knew it was what I wanted for my wedding day. Another important factor was how easy it was to dance in!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
We both have close friends and family of different genders. We didn’t let ourselves feel constrained when inviting people to be in our wedding party and it made it more of a community than separate parties. Our grandparents have been major influences in both of our lives, and even though they couldn’t all be at our wedding, two of our grandmas were our flower girls, lining the aisle with flower petals and joy.
Our dog, Moose, was only a few months old when we got married and sadly wasn’t able to make the trip with us to San Diego. We had a silhouette of her on our table numbers and we got a cardboard cutout of her likeness that people took photos with for our guestbook, and she also made appearances at our first look and on the dance floor.
We had our ceremony in the round, which meant we had a chance to look out at all those gathered with us, and they were able to see our faces throughout the ceremony.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
We loved reading our own vows to each other. We hadn’t initially planned on doing this, but it ended up being meaningful to declare our feelings for each other so publicly and using our own words.
One of the reasons we picked our venue was that we could stay there until midnight dancing outside. We’ll never forget dancing all night under a full moon, surrounding by all of the night lights of Balboa Park.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met in college, when we both led a Spring Break immersion trip to Tijuana, Mexico. Despite having an eye out for each other from the beginning, it wasn’t until after the second year of working together that we started to make moves! We dated long distance for a few years before moving to Seattle together when James started medical school. James spent a summer doing research in South Africa, and when Torrey decided to visit last minute James knew it would be the perfect time to propose. After flying almost 28 hours to get there, James proposed the day after Torrey arrived when they visited Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch Gardens. To celebrate their engagement James surprised Torrey with a safari where they got to see numerous elephants–Torrey’s favorite animal!
Photography: Let’s Frolic Together // Coordinator/Event Design: Luxe Events // Floral: Parker and Posies // Stationery: Brightly Designed // Venue: San Diego Museum of Art // Dress: Jenny Packham / The Dress Theory Seattle // Caterer: Miho Catering Co. // Cake: Twiggs Bakery // DJ: Still Listening Productions // HMUA: The Hair and Makeup Box // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Bright Event Rentals / Concepts Event Design / Hostess Haven / Craft in the Park // Tux: Indochino // Rings: Aide-Memoire