Oh, Esther Sun. You just get us. The way you capture a wedding like a work of art, and leave us with image after image of light-filled perfection. And while you’re certainly no stranger to the pages of SMP, this San Diego fête might just be my favorite. Readers, head on over to THE VAULT for all the images, and let’s thank our lucky stars for vendors like Très Chic Affairs and Moments In Bloom who make this kind of pretty happen.
From The Bride… Sam and I met through mutual friends at happy hour one night at TGI Friday’s. I had just started graduate school and wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. The night that we met, the chemistry was instant. There was just something about him that I instantly gravitated to; he was charming, driven, incredibly smart and full of life. It was in those first few weeks that we knew we had both found someone special; that person we both had been praying for. In our first month of dating, we adopted a Lab, met each other’s parents, booked a three-month Southeast Asia trip, and never looked back. Sam proposed on April 26, 2014 along Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara with a custom ring he had designed with my mother. I had just passed my thesis defense the day before and felt like THE happiest girl ever!
When we were engaged, we started looking high and low for the perfect venue – San Francisco and the Bay Area, Santa Barbara, LA, and even briefly considered a destination wedding in Mexico. Ultimately, we chose San Diego because this was the place where Sam and I went to college, where we met and where our relationship first started. We knew San Diego would eventually be home for us and what better place to get married than at the country club where Sam spent many of his weekends playing golf.
I instantly fell in love with the country club upon my first visit. The ornate gold chandeliers, large french windows and outdoor lush garden gazebo went with the romantic and cozy feel we wanted for our wedding and complimented our muted color palate of blush, greys and soft greens. We wanted our décor to be very personal and selected items we knew we’d eventually display in our home. Over the months, we made multiple trips to antique and thrift stores searching for vintage frames, trays and dishes. Our favorite find was the large antique gold frame we used as our escort card display. Backed in natural linen and paired with custom hand calligraphy signs, the frame was one of my favorite items from our wedding and now hangs in our home. We also spent months collecting candle pillars, votives and hurricanes and placed them all over the country club. We must have had hundreds of candles lining the entrance and in the reception!
We wanted our wedding day to be about our friends and family and wanted to honor and thank them for the roles that they have played in our lives. My three best friends and Sam’s sister and sister-in-law served as my bridesmaids, while Sam’s brother served as ‘best man,’ high school best friends served as groomsmen, and adorable six nieces and nephews served as flowers girls and ring bearers.
It was also important to us that the day be about our faith. We are honored to have Sam’s father Job, and brother-in-law, Pat, officiate and be an integral part of our wedding. Some of my fondest memories of wedding planning were those late night Skype calls with Pat where we spent our time together praying over scripture that we ultimately chose for our ceremony. Between the message, our personal vows, prayer of blessing from Sam’s father, and hilarious speeches from our closest friends and family, we truly could not have asked for a more perfect wedding day! All the planning and focusing on the details were absolutely worth it.
Photography: Esther Sun Photography | Cinematography: XOXO Wedding Studio | Event Planning: Très Chic Affairs | Floral Design: Moments In Bloom | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Edelweiss Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club | Hair And Makeup: Kelly Zhang Makeup Team | DJ: DJ Sota | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Groom's Shoes: John Varvatos | Venue: Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club | Calligraphy & Paper Goods: Written Word Calligraphy | Linen Rentals: APR Fine Linens | Photo Booth: Pixster Photo booth | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals - San Diego