There isn’t much I love more than a gorgeous seaside soiree covered in stripes. I think it’s safe to say I have a full on obsession. So you’ll surely understand why I am swooning over this beach-side beauty snapped up by Greg Thompson Photography. It marched it’s pretty little self directly into my favorites folder, and I’m pretty sure it will do the same for you after spending some time gawking over the full gallery of images!

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From the bride… My husband, Mark, and I were wed on August 6, 2011 in Carlsbad, California. 80 of our closest family and friends came from all over the world including Alaska, New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, and Guatemala to our beach wedding. Mark and I knew from the very beginning that we wanted a wedding on the beach, no matter how hard it would be to pull off! When we visited Levyland Estate for the first time, we knew we had found our complete and perfect venue. The house is situated on the only fresh water lagoon in San Diego and located few hundred yards from the beach with private beach access.

We envisioned our wedding to be a relaxed party on the beach with delicious food and dancing so we tried to exclude many of the formal and stuffy things that most weddings include. And since the ceremony was set to take place on the beach with the sparkling Pacific Ocean as the backdrop, I really wanted to avoid some of the traditional beach decorations such as shells and starfish and allow the beautiful, natural décor to speak for itself. As we exchanged vows, Mark and I stood in front of a simple arch of palm trees. Stripes were the prominent element in everything we chose, including the centerpieces, the bridesmaid dresses, and the paper goods. The navy and white stripes on the bridesmaid dresses really stood out on the beach! We also incorporated Mexican beach rocks into the décor as San Diego beaches are covered with them. Levyland Estate provided such natural beauty so we kept the flowers and other decorations to a minimum.

Our wedding was truly reflective of both our relationship and of our personalities. We gave our entire bridal party flip-flops from a local company, Cobian Sandals, to wear during the ceremony. I was barefoot for the majority of the wedding, even during our first dance! Guests sipped on our signature cocktail, Jalapeño Margaritas, as they wiped the sand off of their feed after the ceremony. The dinner menu included fish tacos, quesadillas, chip and guacamole, and other various tradition Mexican items. Our guests are still raving about the shrimp and scallop ceviche!

I decided early on that I could handle the wedding planning without a planner. As a graduate student in business school, I thought I could put everything I was learning to good use! (Side note: checking SMP quickly became one of my morning rituals.) Thankfully, my mom was also my partner in crime and the biggest help throughout the entire process. Further, Mark was the best groom I could ever ask for. He spent hours on the day of the wedding setting up the ceremony chairs and palm trees down on the beach.

Our wedding was also full of DIY details! I designed the menus, favor tags, escort cards, programs, and the Italian Jordan almond tags, while Mark cut and hand painted the wooden signs that were placed around the venue directing guests. In terms of favors, we wanted our guests to take something away with them that was not only representative of our personalities but also of our wedding day. All of our family and friends know that Mark is obsessed with hot sauce so we decided that it would be the perfect favor. The mini hot sauce bottles turned out to be a huge hit! Early on in our wedding planning, I came across a quote that I fell in love with: “If you want to know how great my love is, count the waves.” So, we found ways to integrate the quote in many aspects of the wedding including the save the dates, the napkins, and the wedding program.

Another fun aspect of our wedding was the custom invitation suite from Lori from Paper and Thread. Lori was really patient with all of my requests and the suite turned out perfect. It included stripes, of course, and small touches of nautical elements. The invitation, response card, and details card each had a hand stitched navy line to represent the curve of a wave.

One of my favorite parts of our wedding was our musician and DJ, Michael Tiernan. I had seen Michael perform two years before and never thought I would be able to have him play at our wedding. We had visited Michael at some of his shows throughout San Diego during our 16 month long engagement so it felt like our friend was playing for us. Among many others, Michael played a beautiful, acoustical version of “Hallelujah” as I walked down the aisle and sang “All You Need Is Love” as Mark and I retreated back down the aisle as husband and wife.

One of most memorable moments of our wedding day was around 10pm when was walked back down to the beach again and jumped in the water in our wedding clothes. It was the most relaxing moment of the day! Just a few of our close family members stood in the sand and cheered us on.

Wedding Photography: Greg Thompson Photography / Wedding Venue: Levyland Estate in Carlsbad, California / Officiant: Brook Daly, A Family Friend / Wedding Invitations: Paper and Thread / Save-the-Dates: Posh Paperie / Hair + Makeup: Corrie Ordille of Element Salon and Lounge / Wedding Dress: Mikaella Bridal / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Rings: Tiffany and Co. / Bridemaids’ Dresses: Banana Republic / Bridal Party Shoes: Cobian Sandals / Musician + DJ: Michael Tiernan of Still Listening Productions / Wedding Cake: VG’s Bakery / Catering: Isaac’s Catering / Rentals: Allie’s Party Rental