Elegant Del Mar Garden Wedding
February 26, 2014
Del Mar
Classic WeddingsGarden WeddingsFall Weddings
We've been chomping at the bit to get this beauty on our screens, and today is finally the day. After fawning over both (yes, both) rounds of their stylish engagement session (see them here and here), we can finally soak in every gorgeous moment of their equally stunning wedding. Ok, it's even more stunning, and that's saying something. There simply aren't words that will do this wedding justice, but these images from Ashley Kelemen speak for themselves. See them all here.
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From Ashley Kelemen...From the first time I spoke with Allison (and she sent over the "creative brief" for their day), I knew that this wedding would be special. She and Justin have the most amazing love for each other and for life, and every moment of their day reflected that. It was an honor to be a part of their day, and I'm so happy to now call them friends.

From the Bride...Justin proposed exactly one year to the day we met at the very first place we had said "I love you" - at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. We knew we were going to have a relatively large wedding (around 200 people) but wanted the day to feel incredibly intimate and personal. I had always dreamed of getting married at home, and as Justin and I ate home-grown peaches under a floral arch in my parents garden, we immediately knew it was our perfect venue.

We were inspired by formal garden parties of the 1920's but also wanted a touch of elegant bohemian, so that became our inspiration. For the table decor I wanted something classic and elegant, so I decided on natural and white French linen textiles. I'm a designer for work so I sourced a batch of raw linen from France and had it shipped to one of my favorite sewing teams. We made all dining and bar tables in a raw natural colored linen and finished them with a scallop edge. We accented the natural color with white linen hemstitch napkins monogrammed with a script "B" in the corner. We then finished each napkin with a silk ribbon tie and a sprig of rosemary from the garden.

My favorite photo of my parents wedding is a candid shot of them toasting with vintage champagne coups so we spent the entire year before the wedding collecting over 300 antique gold-rimmed champagne coups to include in our wedding. We finished the tables with gold-detailed baroque style china, mercury glass votives, and silver footed pedestal centerpiece vessels. I absolutely love botanical prints and thought they would be a classic tie-in for a garden wedding, so we used them throughout the event. Our Save the Dates and Invites included botanical prints, our cones for our petal toss were made out of pages of a vintage botanical book, and our guest book used vintage floral post cards for guests to leave a note. Other decor details included ribbon-tied programs, calligraphy accents, vintage outdoor chandeliers, hundred of hurricane candles, and a 35 foot high by 30 foot wide light curtain that lit up the entire venue with twinkle lights.

I had spent endless hours searching for the perfect vendors. After an initial phone call with our photographer Ashley Kelemen I sent her the creative brief I had created for the wedding. Luckily, she didn't think I was crazy for making a creative brief and instead geeked out with us over our ideas and aesthetic, immediately making us feel like we were in the right hands. We did an engagement shoot in Venice Beach and a second one on the beach in Del Mar, after that Ashley was pretty much part of the family. I can't express how much I recommend doing an engagement shoot - it allowed us to get 100% comfortable with each other and hone in our vision for the wedding day. The engagement photos to this day are some of our favorite things we own. I had met Ashley through our incredible florist Alise of Sweet Marie Designs who I luckily found after searching 30 hours on google (literally). The flowers were the most beautiful floral arrangements I have ever seen in my entire life; my incredible bridal bouquet (it's still my screensaver), the centerpieces, the door wreaths, bridal party hair florals and bouquets - all of it, they were just breathtaking. The ceremony was brought to life by singer-songwriter Dawn Mitchele and her accompanied violinist. Her rendition of Darling Divine by Wild Child during my bridal processional literally sent chills down my spine. Wild Thyme deliciously catered the evening with choices of Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs, Herb Crusted Local Sea Bass, or Gnocchi with wild mushrooms and our 8 piece reception band JME rocked the night away with some of the best motown I've ever heard.

The day was truly incredible - from the ceremony (we were married by my parents best friend who is practically an uncle), the vows (we wrote our own), to the party (3 open bars - enough said;), but there are two words of advice I would give to brides planning their big day. 1 - Stop every 10 minutes to simply look around and take in that very moment as it really does go so much faster than you can imagine. 2 - Really invest time in finding the perfect team to collaborate with on your wedding. I honestly think the wedding industry is filled with some of the most passionate, kind-hearted, love-loving people in the world. I became incredibly close friends with some of our vendors just because of how much we loved working together and that allowed us to take comfort in our plans, let go, and enjoy the day.