It might not be ideal beach weather yet in some parts of the country but here in California the sun and the thermostat are almost always agreeable.  Of course, once in a while mother nature gets a beef with us but even a little rain can’t stop the magic that happens at a California beach wedding.  This fun, modern fête by Michael L’Heureux Photography with its pops of aqua blue and sandy, neutral hues is full of perfect, nautical goodness despite the cloudy skies.  See it all in the full gallery!

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From the bride… Together with family and friends, we enjoy countless weekends and holidays at my parent’s beach home in Aptos, California. We love the casual, down-to-earth coastal community where days are spent running on the beach, stand-up paddle boarding, visiting local farmers markets, lounging in the sunshine and dining at quaint local restaurants. Ben and I desired that our wedding be a reflection of us as a couple as we shared our wedding vows in an intimate setting with immediate family. Our wish was for the focus to be on the commitment we were making to one another and the scriptures we selected. We chose to pour sand as an expression of our lives becoming one. Ben’s sand from his family’s farm in Ogallala, Nebraska, and I chose to use sand from the beach in Aptos.

One of our favorite pastimes is catching up during our walks along the shore while hunting for sea shells, which ultimately played a large part in our decorations and wedding cake theme. There are several key shells that carry memories from our visits. The first time Ben and I spent time at the coast for the weekend, we found dozens of silver dollars, only to discover there were still creatures inside the beautiful shells. We were also able to incorporate driftwood from our walks into some signage for our ceremony.

The colors were taken from the elements that surround us at the coast. A natural burlap tan and the ocean’s clear blue, along with the natural elements of shells and silver accents, created the backdrop for the wedding. Sharing very similar styles, my mom created the ambiance for the day that captured our vision. My dress, shoes and handmade flower hair accessory were a perfect reflection of the no frill, yet elegantly timeless style I had envisioned for my wedding day. It was an ideal ensemble to wear down to the beach. As coastal weather would have it in November, it began raining shortly before our beach wedding ceremony was set to begin. Thankfully, we had a backup plan of erecting a large tent spanning the dimensions of our beach home’s balcony, still capturing ocean views from the Monterey Peninsula to Santa Cruz. The moment my father and I began to walk down the aisle and my eyes met Ben’s, a sensation of such emotion welled up inside, it was as if we were the only ones in the room. Although we had envisioned getting married barefoot on the beach, no words can express how perfect our wedding day was.

Wedding Photography: Michael L’Heureux Photography / Wedding Venue: The Bride’s Family Beach Home in Aptos, California / Catering: Barbara & Company Catering / Floral Design: Boulder Creek Flowers / Officiant: Fred Leonard / Hair + Makeup: Valerie & Lauren of Last Resort Salon / Hairpiece: LeFlowers / Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo / Groom’s Suit: Macy’s / Musician: Ken Constable / Wedding Invitations: Scribbles / Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals