It’s kind of no wonder La Jolla weddings tend to be my favorites. It’s a locale where the sun always shines and coastal beauty surrounds. So when you add in the design talents of Alchemy Fine Events, colorful bloomage from Isari Flower Studio and sun-drenched shots by Samuel Lippke, you’ve got wedding that’s bound for epic beauty. This day’s design will leave your jaw dropped and heart pounding faster, I promise. And the full gallery? It’s waiting right here.
From Alchemy Fine Events…When a Manhattan based client approached me for a four-day destination wedding weekend in San Diego, although she had never even visited America’s Finest City and basically gave me free reign design wise, I knew this would be fun! From an Old Town Mexican rehearsal fiesta, sailing day on a 150 ft antique sailboat, golf at Torrey Pines and a post-wedding brunch on the sand in La Jolla, this was quite an unforgettable affair! For this La Jolla Beach wedding I wanted to create a look that was still very chic and sophisticated with beachy and zen undertones, so with understated Asian and oceanic influences we did just that. I wanted to make these mainly East Coast based, out-of-town guests feel as if they were under the ocean in a not so classic California beach inspired seaside setting.
THE CEREMONY: As guests entered onto the seaside grassy setting they were offered guava cocktails in vintage champagne coupes sprinkled with flower petals as well as a tasty little chicken mousse cornetts. For the ceremony we wanted to create an organic, natural feeling beachy vibe so we designed a custom driftwood chuppah to be constructed, which we then layered on a ton of various shaped origami for a fun Asian element. In lieu of a traditional white aisle I wanted a more fluid, natural feel that would flow with the color of the grey sand on the beach so we constructed a custom grey-washed wood aisle built on site for the bride to walk down. Flanking the aisle was rustic wood podiums topped with seashell vases overflowing with big blooms and greenery to emulate the wildness of underwater plantlife on the seafloor. A pianist played Cannon in D on a white baby grand piano as the bride clad in Monique Lhullier was escorted down the aisle by her parents.
THE COCKTAIL HOUR: After the ceremony guests were treated to jazz music flowing through the air as they nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and relaxed in the outdoor living room style lounges which featured California modern style of furniture blended with modern marble pieces which made a recurring appearance throughout the food styling. The cozy upstairs lounge designed with white velvet couches, marble coffee tables and a modern mirrored bar to reflect the sunset behind them also featured a Japanese sun ice sculpture glowing among the raw bar stocked full with Dungeness crab, oysters and shrimp. Marble slabs featuring a variety of California cheeses greeted guests as they sipped on California wines paired with them.
THE FOOD: As a major foodie myself I always love working with Chefs to create custom menus for my brides and was delighted to work with Urban Kitchen Catering who worked with us to create a delectable custom Asian meets California style menu. For the tray passed hor d’oeuvres we offered guests such treats as fried shishito peppers with sea salt & sea bass street tacos with wasabi. To show tribute to the New England heritage of the couple we offered clam stuffies, bloody mary tomato soup shot and even created a raw bar with fresh oysters and dungeness crab legs served on a Japanese sun ice sculpture. Guests also snacked on California cheese plates served in the lounges for easy noshing. In addition to the amazing starters we paired mini-cocktails to go along with each item such as sake served in cucumber, mini bloody marys and mini avocado jalepeno gin cocktails to pair up to the asian meets Californian fare.
THE RECEPTION: As guests entered the reception they were greeted by oversized floating origami cranes that led them to a custom seating card table made out of rustic beachwood bases and layered lucite which housed hundreds of colorful flowers and succulents. Guests were escorted to their seats by a miniature origami cranes with purple calligraphy by Kathryn Murray. To completely transform the room from an auditorium to WOW we recarpeted the entire room in a soft gray and created a gray-washed wood dance floor to follow the curvature of the room which we draped in a custom designed grey and white drapery with a splash of silver sequins to create the ‘under the sea’ feeling. In lieu of traditional tables and linens we custom wrapped square tables in white canvas and grey silk bases for an ultra clean and zen vibe and then paired them with canvas benches and sleek leather chairs. For a completely unique centerpiece idea wanted to replicate the ocean floor by designing flowers that would emulate gorgeous coral and sea life on a reef. To do so and also stay in line with the recurring square theme (square table, plates, centerpiece, menus) on the table I custom designed square lucite trays which overlapped each other in a cantilever position which boasted the bright blooms and succulents Isari Flower Studio so impressively created. White matte sea urchin votives, white coral and nautilus shells created a textural ambiance and accented the purple coral napkins we also had custom designed which presented a polished abalone shell for each guest and a letterpressed menu. For just a touch of vintage guests dined on their 5 course meal including a bread cart, 2 salad choices, sorbet intermezzo served on Chinese soup spoons and cornish game hens on heritage silverware as well. Guests danced to the R&B sounds of Ground Control and then were surprised by the groom’s pick of Freeze Frame, an awesome 80’s band that took over later in the evening.
THE DESSERTS: The couple did not want a typical cake cutting ceremony, but the bride knowing of her husband’s sweet tooth, wanted to surprise him with amazing desserts. So to really knock it out of the ballpark, we didn’t just create one dessert table, but an entire secret dessert room. Closed off from all guests until later on in the evening, the grand revealing exposed a 16-foot dessert bar featuring five custom designed tiered cakes from Sweet and Saucy shop among an array of delicious miniature treats from puddings to custom cookies all arranged on lucite trays. This was just the beginning of the sugar rush. At one end of the room dozens of unexpected, but delectable flavored warm cookies from The Cravory tempted guests, while an old-fashioned copper cappuccino machine lured guests to the other end of the room for a hot beverage. Along the way, guests were greeted to bell jars filled with tons of Old-fashioned candies, from gummy bears to oversized gumballs. The sugar fix continued to the outdoor patio where Sweet Lucie’s ice cream cart dished out their best flavors and a warm donut station produced fresh pastries right in front of your eyes. Silver Chinese take out boxes allowed guests to take these tasty treats with them to nibble on until the wee hours of the night.
Wedding Photography: Photography: Samuel Lippke Studios | Wedding Venue: Scripps Forum | Event Design, Planning & Stationery: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations| Floral Design: Isari Flower Studio | Catering: Urban Kitchen Catering | Furniture & Production: Hire Elegance | Draping, Lighting & Chuppah Production: Your Bash! | Furniture & Decor Rentals: Revelry Event Design | Tabletop Rentals: Classic Party Rentals & Casa de Perrin | Calligraphy: Kathryn Murray | Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop, The Cravory, Sweet Lucies, Images Printed on Chocolate, Cappuccino on Call | Entertainment: Elan Artists & Freeze Frame | Dress & Bridesmaids: Monique Lhuillier |Beauty: Fiore Beauty