Inspired by the beauty of Darlington House’s Rose Garden, this celebration incorporates alfresco dining, romantic pastels, hand-crafted details (made by the groom!) and, of course, garden roses. It’s a true beauty crafted at the hands of Before I Do Events, the Modern Bouquet and Carmen Santorelli. See the full open air affair right here.
From the Bride…Cory and I met in college eight years ago. We both felt a spark the first night we met, and we soon found ourselves spending most of our time together.
Six years later, after deciding to attend law school, Cory and I moved from San Diego to San Francisco. We got engaged in the middle of my second year. Cory proposed on Pier 7, a charming pier along San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Lined with traditional streetlights and with a breathtaking view of the cityscape, Cory chose Pier 7 because it overlooked the very city that we both took a chance on.
Despite our excitement, school made picking a wedding date a bit tricky. We knew that we wanted to get married in San Diego, Cory’s hometown and a destination favorite for my family in Arizona. I wanted to get married sometime after graduating, so we embraced the idea of a longer engagement. However, despite having 16 months to plan, our wedding date was only two weeks after taking the California bar exam! Despite the crazy timeline, with the right wedding vendors, Cory and I believed that we could pull it off.
With all of this in mind, wedding planning began! First, we booked our venue, The Darlington House. The Darlington House was a perfect fit. Not only do we enjoy La Jolla, but we also quickly fell in love with the venue’s historical charm, beautiful outside courtyards, and proximity to the ocean. I particularly loved their rose garden. It was the perfect blank canvas to plan a soft and romantic garden wedding.
With our venue selected, we focused on another big priority: photography. When gathering inspiration, I found myself gravitating towards photos emitting soft light and a natural, ethereal glow. When I came across Carmen Santorelli’s work, I grew obsessed with her photography and swooned at her ability to capture light on film. Further, Carmen’s attention to detail is unmatched! We were thrilled to hear that she was available to capture our special day.
Detail by detail, Cory and I pieced together our dream wedding. We wanted the ceremony and reception to feel light, airy, and effortless. Keeping the natural beauty of the venue in mind, I knew that incorporating garden roses was a must. I envisioned lush, sprawling, and organic floral arrangements. Focusing on a neutral color palette, we incorporated touches of gold, such as using antique, brass candlesticks at the family tables. We consulted our wonderful coordinator, Before I Do Events, on our design ideas, while Hannah from Modern Bouquet worked her magic to create jaw-dropping arrangements. Hannah’s florals brought our vision to life.
My favorite elements of the wedding comprise of personal touches handcrafted by my then husband-to-be. Cory enjoys woodworking as a hobby, so to contribute, he built our sweetheart table! It was so meaningful to use the table for the first time, eating our first meal together as husband and wife. We are also excited to be able to take it home with us, and to have it as a constant reminder of our special day.
Further, in addition to the sweetheart table, Cory built our wooden escort card holder and our wedding signs. As a joint effort, Cory cut, sanded, and stained each sign, while I hand-painted the lettering. Taken together, Cory’s overall work was, literally, a labor of love.
The ceremony was perfect, the speeches heart-filled, and the dance floor constantly overflowing with family and friends. There was so much love, laughter, and happy tears. Our vendors were unparalleled, and each one was an absolute joy to work with! I could have not asked for a more magical day.
Photography: Carmen Santorelli Photography | Floral Design: Modern Bouquet | Cake: Hey There, Cupcake! | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Personal Touch Dining | Lighting: Abbey Party Rents | DJ: Sage Productions | Officiant: Ceremonies By Bethel | Bridal Dress: Watters | Bridesmaids' Hair + Makeup: Jackie Blum | Groom + Groomsmen: Al Weiss | HMUA: Thorne Artistry | Print Work: Minted | Rentals: Platinum Party Rentals | Wedding: Darlington House | Wedding Coordination & Design: Before I Do Events