They Wed at the Place He Proposed + It’s Beautiful

On a family vacation at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Will proposed to Katie during a romantic walk on the beach, and then he surprised his bride-to-be again by flying her parents out to celebrate with them! With their fond memories of the trip, the couple couldn’t imagine a better venue than The Ritz for their wedding day, so they recruited the help of J Low Events to create a classic outdoor ceremony complementary to the beauty of the resort– think soft colors inspired by the sea infused with timeless elegance. Catherine Hall Studios, Julie Morgan Hair and Makeup, Lucky Devils Band, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, and so many more were on hand to make this gorgeous day a reality, and the result is one of those weddings that will never go out of style.

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As the old adage goes: When there’s a will, there’s a way. And for Will and Katie, this saying couldn’t have been truer. The couple, who are both lawyers, met as students at Baylor Law School. Will was in his second year when he spotted Katie during her first-year class orientation. He knew immediately that he had to meet her. When he saw Katie again just a few days later, he went up to introduce himself. The rest was history.

When it came to popping the question, Will was determined once again; this time, he wanted to sweep Katie off her feet. During a vacation with his family at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, Will suggested the two take a walk on the beach, but he had much more than just a stroll in mind. As they walked, Will suddenly stopped, pulled out a ring, and got down on one knee. Happily, Katie said, “Yes!” Little did she know, Will had one more surprise up his sleeve. He arranged for Katie’s parents to fly out to California so that they could celebrate with the newly engaged couple.

With all the special memories it held, it was only natural that the couple returned to The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay for their big day. Working with planner Jen Lowrance of J Low Events, they dreamt up a classic outdoor wedding that took inspiration from the serene, simplistic beauty of Half Moon Bay. Full blooms of white roses lined the aisle and anchored the tablescapes, while touches of gold and a hint of pale sea blue complemented the ocean backdrop and the verdant green golf course.

Katie walked down the aisle in a Monique Lhuillier dress, which she accessorized with her mother’s pearl and diamond earrings (her “something borrowed”) and a beautiful, sapphire ring, gifted from her mother. Katie’s bridesmaids wore floor length J. Crew dresses in the softest shade of blue. Will and his groomsmen sported classic black suits and bowties, plus white rose boutonnieres.

Beneath an archway of lush roses, Will and Katie exchanged vows in front of family and friends. The ceremony symbolized their new union, combining Will’s Catholic upbringing and Katie’s Methodist background. They had a Methodist-style ceremony and brought in Will’s godfather to officiate it, and they also invited Will’s family’s priest to stand at the altar and give a closing prayer. “It meant so much to our families that our cultures and traditions could collide in such an amazing way on our wedding day,” Katie said.

Playful, personalized details also made the special day all the more memorable. Inspired by The Ritz’s golf course, the duo served a spiked Arnold Palmer as their signature drink. In lieu of a traditional groom’s cake, they had a “Groom’s Sundae Bar,” featuring Will’s favorite dessert.

Amidst the excitement of the big day, Katie paused to take everything in — a thoughtful piece of advice that she shares with other brides-to-be. Her favorite memory? “Seeing Will smile at me as I was walking down the aisle.”

Photography: Catherine Hall Studios | Cinematography: Spencer Sarson | Coordination: J Low Events | Floral Design: Amy Burke Designs | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Studio Cake | Invitations: Invitation Solutions | Shoes: Prada | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: test | Hair + Makeup: Julie Morgan Hair + Makeup | Lighting: PSAV | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Venue: Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay | Ceremony + Reception Music: Lucky Devils Band | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Abbey Party Rents | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Wedding Paper Goods: Jen Loves Paper