This pretty little wedding from Esther Sun with florals by Pixie’s Petals is about to rock your world. It has elements of every lovable obsession from the beach, to just the right shade of mint, vintage details and an air of Frenchy goodness as a nod to the Bride and Groom’s current home (lucky ducks!). And I’m pretty positive you’re going to love it all as much as we do. Find even more right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride… Even though we are lucky enough to call Paris home, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to have our wedding in Southern California, where I grew up. The hardest part of planning a long-distance wedding was finding our ideal venue. We spent several fruitless months scouring the internet for a green, rustic, woodsy location with a barn (an image I was fixated on) until it became clear we were getting nowhere. We decided to fly out to California for the winter holidays and check out some venues in person. The day after we arrived, my brother drove us along the coastline and we stopped by Crystal Cove for lunch (a locale I’d already ruled out, because a) no woods and b) no barn) and the moment Benjamin and I stepped up onto the deck overlooking the sparkling ocean and huge blue sky, we both turned to each other and said “this feels right”. After that, everything else pretty much fell into place.
We let the atmosphere of the venue (ocean blue/beachy/vintage California) inspire all the design elements. My love for old blue Mason jars naturally led to the idea of having them line the table — I enlisted my cousins to thrift as many as they could find, and not only did they score gorgeous jars, but also dozens of vintage bottles of varying shapes and sizes in every hue of sea-green, turquoise, and cobalt. We asked our florist to intersperse bits of driftwood between the jars and bottles in keeping with our beachside locale, and our favors — chunks of amethyst, quartz, pyrite, and mint-green calcite were a nod to the ‘crystal’ in Crystal Cove. My dear friend, Hiroko, and I spent one rainy afternoon in a Paris cafe, brainstorming and sketching out ideas for the invitations, and she came up with the gorgeous seashell motif with Art Nouveau gold scrollwork (a bit of French flair I wanted to incorporate somehow).
I’d thought that since we were having a very intimate, tiny wedding with thirty guests, we’d be able to handle everything ourselves, but of course, we needed SO much help. Luckily our families and friends were amazing, and went above and beyond to do whatever they could to make our day all that we dreamed of. My brother (who is Scottish) was our officiant and humored our request that he don a kilt and accompanying traditional regalia for the ceremony. The groom’s mother saw me ogling a gold headpiece in a Paris boutique window and went in and bought it for me to wear with my wedding dress. My cousin, Lynn, caught a sneak peek at our wedding topper with it’s adorable mini fabric banner, and then secretly sewed a life-size one for us. My cousin, Kaelyn, also secretly hand-painted and crafted our bride and groom signs. The maid of honor did the lettering for our welcome chalkboard. Our guests flew in to be with us from every corner of the globe — France, Singapore, Texas, New York, Florida… I still get teary thinking about everyone’s generosity.
In retrospect, we are still incredulous at how well everything, every last little detail, came together to create one whole coherent, beautiful celebration. When we’d started planning, I’d received the same advice from every former bride I talked to: things will go wrong, so you just have to roll with it. But you know what? NOTHING went wrong. No, really. The food was excellent and we got to taste it all — we didn’t even miss out on the appetizers. We got to spend quality time with all of our guests (the benefits of a small wedding). The catering staff were impeccable, the florist outdid all my expectations, I had the world’s prettiest (and most well-prepared) maid of honor, many of the guests wore shades of blue (something I’d secretly hoped for but didn’t dream of demanding), and even the clouds that had hung around all day burned off just in time so we had brilliant, clear blue skies for the ceremony.
So my advice for others planning their own weddings would be: be clear with your vision, put as much of yourself into it as you can, ask for help from people who love you, and trust that it will all come together in the end.
Photography: Esther Sun | Flowers: Pixie's Petals | Wedding Dress: Micheline Lachet | Cake: Simply Sweet Cakery | Shoes: Annabel Winship | Caterer: The Beachcomber | Suit: Brooks Brothers | Wedding Venue: Crystal Cove State Park | Cake Topper: Lovebirds Goods | Ceremony Musician: Tini Grey | Menu Cards + Invites: Hiroko Furuichi | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother