When Melissa McClure Photography sent us this first little number, we were instantly mesmerized with the modern decor, the crazy gorgeous rooftop ceremony, and of course, the plethora of succulents. (Yes, we’re still whole-heartedly on that bandwagon) In fact, I don’t think there is one little piece of this wedding that we aren’t head over heels for. It’s cool, it’s contemporary and it’s all ours to devour in the gallery so be sure to carve out a little time this morning for a visit.

see the FULL wedding here!

Vanessa and Ryan met four years ago through a mutual friend and they wear their love for one another on their sleeve. I could tell it was a match made in heaven from the moment I met them! Though the two have done their fair share of traveling about the globe, the couple decided to marry in San Diego, the bride’s home town. They knew their special day would celebrate their beautiful kind of love but they wanted it to be an event that not just reflected them but also their desire to respect and preserve this gorgeous planet of ours. With the help of their planner, Megan of Swann Soirées, they created a wedding that celebrated both those things.

Vanessa and Ryan didn’t wait until August 21 to set their plan in motion. They set the tone of their event with invitations that not only let guests know where to be and when, but each one was printed on and sent in paper made from recycled cotton. Then once all the RSVPs were in it was time for the big day! All of the weekend’s events took place at venues within the Andaz Hotel and guests were encouraged to limit their use of cars for their few days in town. Our venue was the perfect setting for this celebration; The Ivy rooftop combines a modern urban feel with an earthy vibe. Its as if their decorator knew we were coming! The ceremony overlooked the San Diego skyline right before sunset, making for some pretty spectacular views of the architecture unique to our waterside town. The grooms uncle officiated the informal ceremony and after Vanessa and Ryan were pronounced husband and wife they were able to spend a few moments alone in one of the fabulous rooftop cabanas in the tradition of the “yichud” while their guests got to enjoy the cocktail hour.

After a little mingling guests were invited downstairs to the basement ballroom. The elevators opened and there waiting were small succulents serving both as an escort card and favor. Each little green plant was potted by the bride and groom and topped with a pennant penned by Vanessa. Since she’s the proprietor of Cursive and Ink Calligraphy she also repurposed some notebooks into intimate “Advice Books” in lieu of a traditional guest book. Her talents don’t end with pen and ink though, she used an old veil and belt and refashioned them into items that more closely fit her taste and personality. As guests stepped into the ballroom they were greeted with unique oval tables adorned with succulents and florals. With the help of Sally at Exquisite Blooms all the centerpieces and personal florals were made with local ranunculus and a smattering of succulents that the guests could (and did) take home.

Before the real party started everyone sat down for a meal together. Menus for the rehearsal dinner and the reception were based on local, seasonal fare, but this decision certainly didn’t stop all the food from being any less delicious! The cake in all its simple beauty even included a gluten-free layer for the bride. After the toasts were through the guests got things grooving on the dance floor. DJ Average Joe went above and beyond keeping guests young and old on their feet, and both the bride and groom remember the dancing as the best part of the evening. Melissa McClure skillfully captured all of the organic and DIY details without missing a beat. She took the time to get to know the bride and groom so well that she slipped into the reception like she was a guest and caught every move and emotion on camera. Their friends have a tradition of dancing with a beer bottle and I’m pretty sure even that little moment was caught on film forever!

Photography: Melissa McClure Photography / Event Planning: Megan Mills with Swann Soirées / Hair & Makeup: Marisa Von Sheere / Flowers: Exquisite Blooms / Venue: The Andaz Hotel, San Diego / Calligraphy: The bride! – Cursive and Ink / Officiant: Groom’s Uncle / DJ: Average Joe with JMC Events