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The minute I laid eyes on the ridiculously adorable flower girls in this next wedding…I knew we had a keeper. Then I saw the stunning bride, the fresh totally laid back style, the Southern California vibe done so so right. And well, it was a no brainer. Dawn and Joe tied the knot in one of the most thoughtfully designed, lovingly crafted weddings I’ve ever seen…hand picking vendors that they not only respected, but that meshed with their own unique personalities. A quality that is so important in designing a perfect wedding, that is all to often overlooked. Photographed to perfection by JAC Photography, this wedding will make you smile from ear to ear. Click here to see so much more!

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

southern california wedding by jac photography

click here to see the full wedding gallery!

We had been engaged a little over two years by the time the big day finally arrived. Life had presented quiet a few challenges over the course of those two years…financial struggles, a minor heart surgery for me, medical issues for one of our sweet pups. We tried to approach each challenge with strength and grace and our relationship grew stronger for it. Although, our plans changed (the wedding originally was scheduled for Hawaii) in the end it was exactly how it should be. A perfect day and a true reflection of Joe and I as a couple.

We are both quintessential California beach kids and wanted our wedding day to reflect that laid back vibe. My design aesthetic was organic beach chic. I am a photographer but also have a background in event and interior design. Needless to say, I got swept away in all the wonderful little details that go into planning a wedding. My inspiration for our color palate came from the beaches that we grew up exploring, both here in southern California and on the islands of Maui and Oahu. Agave green, pale turquoise, aloe, yellow and warm sand wove a beautiful story through florals, paper goods, wedding attire and even the candy at “the bar”!

Since I am a photographer myself, choosing one to shoot our own wedding was a daunting task. I had certain things I would not budge on…they had to shoot film and they needed to approach the day naturally. I stumbled upon Jac Photography one morning when I was doing my daily wedding blog reading (style me pretty being one of my favorites!) They were featured on a blog and I remember the way I felt when I viewed their images…breathtaking! And guess what? They shot film! I promptly got in touch and we scheduled a meeting. Joe and I can both be a bit shy in front of the camera. Chris and Jamie put us both at ease. It was as though we had two life long friends, who just happened to be amazing photographers, shooting our special day! And, of course, our pictures rocked!

My mother is an amazing artist so Joe and I enlisted her help with our wedding stationery. I had gotten a Valentine’s day card for Joe with two kissing fish which became the inspiration for our little wedding logo. Of course, my mothers fishes far surpassed those on the card. She did a free hand sketch and then scanned to her computer and used her art program to finish the process. I purchased all the card stock at Paper Source and used a professional for printing. We printed and assembled all the programs ourselves again with my Mom’s fabulous artwork.

Choosing attire for our wedding party was so much fun. I had four bridesmaids, Joe had four groomsmen and we had…..wait for it…… NINE flower girls! I have a slight addiction to J. Crew so it was only natural that they be my source for the girls dresses. The bridesmaids wore a cotton dress in a warm sand color from the ‘honeymoon department’. I handmade necklaces for each of them. Turquoise and jade stones with an abalone shell accent. The flower girls tiered cotton chiffon dresses were part of the children’s spring collection and I made each of them a little bracelet of turquoise beads and a shell cut in the shape of a star. I loved, loved, loved the flower girl dresses possibly more than my own gown. They were so darn cute!

As for the groomsmen, they wore khaki pants and a cool textured long sleeve white shirt. The best part for them, Rainbow sandals on their feet, Joe’s gift to them. A nod to our local San Clemente roots. Joe wore a khaki suit with a fantastic Hugo Boss tie and Rainbow Sandals, of course! I wore a beautiful raw silk ruched gown custom made for me by a local San Diego designer. It had a casual elegance about it and fit me like a glove! Love! My extremely talented friend Jessica of Lovestruck make-up artistry made me look beautiful and equally talented friend and hairstylist, Carrie did my fabulous casual, beach girl bun.

Our ceremony location, Pines Park in Capistrano Beach, was the perfect spot. A beautiful park on the bluff overlooking the ocean in Orange County that Joe and I both spent lots of time as children.

I love, love, love flowers and they were a huge part of our wedding design. I wanted them to have an organic, eclectic feel. At our first meeting with Kristen from The Treasured Petal, I told her that I wanted to use succulents and orchids in the arrangements and incorporate some coral. She not only got it, but she executed my floral vision to perfection. The aisle was lined with pieces of driftwood and rocks that Joe and I collected from the beach. Succulents, orchids and pieces of coral were sporadically tucked amongst the driftwood. Bamboo offering bowls filled with loose orchids atop a large palm leaf were placed at the end of each row. Guests showered us with orchids and well wishes as we made our way down the aisle. Long orchid leis with a white starfish at the end of each strand hung from the branches of the tree surrounding our wonderful driftwood cross.

We wanted the reception to feel as though we were having an intimate gathering in our backyard with good friends, yummy food and awesome music. We chose Salt Creek Grille in Monarch Beach, one of our fav restaurants for its outdoor terrace and casual yet lovely setting. We had a cocktail reception with a full bar and lots of yummy hordourvers- beef sliders, tuna wontons, mini caprese sandwiches were just a few of the mouth watering nibbles. White leather lounge furniture with coffee tables that we purchased from Ikea were surrounded by four cabana tables and a dance floor.

Planning the wedding inspired me to venture back into the event design industry. I have started a small boutique company, Kissing Fish Designs and thanks to family and friends, already have a few events under my belt.


Cake + Cupcakes: Susie Cakes / Photography: JAC Photography / Flowers: The Treasured Petal / Reception: Salt Creek Grille, 949-661-7799 / Chair Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Lounge Furniture Rental: Plush Lounge Rentals / Makeup: Lovestruck Makeup Artistry, Jessica Hofmann / Hair by Carrie Schmidt at Pure Salon, 619.977.2273 / Music: Injoy Entertainment, Jason Tokita  / Wedding Stationery Graphics: Debbie Termini, custom work available. please contact Dawn / Event design by Kissing Fish Events