Never ever have I spotted a venue that so embodies everything fabulous about San Diego. Think beach views, gorgeous Spanish architecture, lovely outdoor gardens – all of that wrapped up into one out-of-this-world spot called The Darlington House. It is definitely enough to make this San Diego transplant a little homesick. Serendipity Videography captured all of the seaside festivities on film and it is pure film perfection. If you’re itching for all of the images from the day, check out Green Wedding Shoes for the full spread captured by Jill Thomas.
From the Bride… As cliché as it sounds, I have always had “The Father of the Bride” dream wedding in my head. So when Wesley and I got engaged, I immediately thought of the church ceremony, and backyard reception. Unfortunately, the house that I grew up in is in Arizona, and Southern California is where Wesley is from, and has also been my home for the last four years. So, we had to get a little creative.
We are both in love with the beach (Wes pretty much grew up on his surfboard), so we knew we wanted a summer wedding near the ocean. I began searching for houses to rent to host my “backyard reception.” I stumbled upon The Darlington House, which is in La Jolla, CA. The house itself is just gorgeous and the outdoor patios, where most events take place, are absolutely breathtaking. The patios and courtyards were designed with a Spanish influence, with gorgeous tiles, arches, and fountains. The main reception took place in the rose garden, which was in full bloom that summer. It is a large property, but intimate and cozy, just perfect for the feel we were going for. And to make it even better, it is just a block from the ocean. The church that we attend on a regular basis is actually held in a high school auditorium, so we also needed to find the perfect church for the ceremony. We spent a day driving around and looking for churches, and were so blessed to find La Jolla Christian Fellowship. It is a gorgeous church that is small enough to not overwhelm our 150 guests, and it is located just a few blocks from the Darlington House. It couldn’t have worked out better.
The Darlington House has been left just the same as when Mrs. Darlington lived in it, so the whole feel of the decor is very antique and vintage. To go with this theme, I collected all sorts of decor from vintage shops all over California the year leading up to it. Our flowers were done in antique jars and vintage vases. I had an amazing antique chandelier hanging over the cake, which was a wedding gift from my cousin and sister, and is now hanging over our dining room table. I also found some antique shutters for our seating arrangements, a vintage birdcage for our cards, antique books for stacking on the tables, and an antique cake stand. Our photography was done by Jill Thomas, who had coincidentally moved from the East Coast to San Diego right before our engagement, so I knew it was meant to be. She and I also went to high school together and were on the cheer squad together, so it was extra special to have her capture our wedding. I absolutely love her work, and couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. Our videography was done by Serendipity Videography. I had actually found them from watching one of their previous weddings that was featured on Style Me Pretty, about six months before our wedding. I went back and forth deciding if I should use a local company versus having them come from Arizona to shoot our wedding. But after the very first email with them, I knew they were the right company to film our wedding. Taryn and Jeff Bills are a husband and wife team, and their combined vision make for a perfect balance of capturing all of the special moments and emotions throughout the day. Our wedding film is the most precious thing to Wesley and I. They did such a beautiful job, I could watch it everyday if I had time! I can’t wait to be able to show our children this amazing piece of work someday.
I like to consider myself a do-it-yourself bride, as I did as much as possible on my own. From the programs, to the seating charts, to finding and restoring all of the vintage furniture etc., I was a busy bride! I also wanted to incorporate friends and family as much as possible into our day. My cousin played all of our ceremony music on the piano, which is something I will always be so thankful for. And my good friend Bri Emery, from Design Love Fest blog, designed our gorgeous invitations, which were letterpressed by The Mandate Press. Catering and rentals were done by Personal Touch Dining, they were a breeze to work with! Our cake was by our favorite local donut shop, VG’s donuts in Encinitas. Our DJ was High Energy DJ, and that he was! He really knew how to get our guests to have fun on the dance floor. Our friends still talk about our DJ whenever we get together, he was so entertaining! My hair and makeup was done by Jeannie Jeffries at Couture Beauty in Newport Beach. She did a great job, and really executed exactly what I had in mind. And our day-of planner was Heather Balliet from Amorology. She did a wonderful job and I couldn’t have gotten through the day without her amazing organizational skills! Our wedding really turned out to be the wedding that I have dreamt about since I was a little girl. I look back at that day and wish I could do it over and over again. I am so thankful to all of our amazing vendors for putting together such a beautiful day, and thankful to Style Me Pretty for all of the daily inspiration for the day that I married my true love.
Wedding Photography: Jill Thomas Photography / Wedding Reception Location: The Darlington House / Wedding Ceremony Location: La Jolla Christian Fellowship / Cinematography: Serendipity Videography / Day of Coordinator: Heather Balliet of Amorology / Floral Design: Brenda Davis-Landini / Wedding Invitations: Bri Emery of Design Love Fest (Design) + The Mandate Press (Letterpress) / Wedding Cake: VG Donut & Bakery / DJ: Paul Peterson of High Energy DJ Service / Catering & Event Rentals: Personal Touch Dining / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang via Bliss Bride / Bride’s Shoes: Fendi / Groom’s Suit: H&M / Hair & Makeup: Jeannie Jeffries of Couture Beauty Team / Film Work: Richard Photo