When you’re a five-time gold medal Olympian, only the best will do for your big day. And let me assure you, this gorgeous Laguna Beach wedding is definitely the best of the best — a Monique Lhuillier gown, a seaside ceremony overflowing with white flowers and an al fresco reception under the stars. Head to The Vault to see it all captured by John Schnack Photography, who frankly deserves a medal of his own!
From Brian Dobbin…The Montage Laguna Beach’s classic style and location embodied the spirit of this couple and gave me a framework within which to style their day.
He, a 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist rower and she in 3rd-year med school, both are driven and disciplined but low-key and relaxed in their personal lives.
They met at UCLA. The Groom’s family is from a small midwest town, very conservative and reserved, and the Bride is a California girl from Emerald Bay whose mother is an advertising guru and father a famous painter. Quite a diverse group!
My goal was to make this quintessential California love story simple and elegant and understandable to everyone and allow these families to blend together easily. My mantra throughout the design process was “feel at home”.
The ceremony location was a no-brainer; the biggest greenest lawn with the biggest bluest ocean backdrop filled with hundreds of distressed French kitchen chairs, entrance and wedding arch made of rough-hewn trees and covered with two truckloads of pristine white flowers by Urban Gardener.
Simple piano music, bridesmaids in a blush dress of their own choice and bouquets of their own design. My Bride was looking statuesque at 6’ tall in the first dress I discovered at Erin Cole. I knew immediately that this Monique Lhuillier was meant for her.
The groomsmen, (ranging in height from 6’2”-6’5”), were elegant and handsome in navy blue suits and ties.
The best part of the event was The Montage allowing us to be the first client to buy-out studio, their famous fine-dining restaurant with the killer view.
I couldn’t imagine having this group dine anywhere else on property! The ballrooms are lovely but no view, and besides, I had other plans for those!
Once we secured studio and their amazing chef I began to re-design the restaurant into a “house on the Ocean”, removing every piece of furniture and installing antique furniture, carpets, flowers, books, (who’s titles all had something to do with love/marriage/family), cashmere throws, and personal items that make a house a home. Post-ceremony cocktails and jazz took place in the Studio herb garden with simple reclaimed wood bars and tables and the sun and fragrant plants and flowers. Guests lounged on garden walls and hung out in the “house” and the gorgeous bar.
The oceanfront terraces were cleared and we rolled in 22 real antique farm tables and mismatched chairs that carried the theme of “home”. Amazing flower groupings in antique vasesby Urban Gardener, many candles, and strings of Italian garden lights, (on dimmers), set the mood. Sunset on the terrace was spectacular, and a five course dinner was punctuated by traditional wedding shenanigans, moving speeches and wild dancing and much, much laughter.
Photography: John Schnack Photography | Event Planning: Brian Dobbin | Floral Design: Urban Gardener | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Montage Laguna Beach | Makeup: Trompe L'Oeil | Hair: Mars Salon | DJ: Dart DJs | Band: West Coast Music | Venue: Montage Laguna Beach | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals