A Garden-Inspired Outdoor Destination Wedding in California

Gabrielle and Tony

Christina Richards Weddings

If there is any day you deserve the best of both worlds it's your wedding day. With that in mind, Gabrielle Diclemente and Tony Eaton decided they didn't have to choose between a vineyard and a beach wedding -- all they had to do was find a spot that offered both. The prize-winning location? The groom's hometown on the Golden Coast.

On September 8, 2012, the Brooklyn-based pair said their "I dos" in the sand on Carmel Beach then celebrated in style with their closest friends and family at a nearby winery amidst garden-inspired DIY décor and vintage details.

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The Stationery

Christina Richards Weddings

"Since we are both designers, it was only natural for us to take on the design of the invites," Gabrielle said. The couple started by gathering lots of inspiration, then set out to create a multi-layered invitation that was both casual and simple. Many of the elements -- the typography, trailing vines, and color palette -- were carried through to the day-of paper elements, including the menus at the dessert and wine stations, the escort cards, and the place settings.

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The Itinerary

Christina Richards Weddings

Tony's side of the family resides in California, but the other half, like the newlyweds, had to hop on a plane to get to the ocean-front venue from their east coast homes. To keep everyone informed, a folded weekend itinerary outlining the important events to come, transportation, and timing details, was provided.

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The Scene

Christina Richards Weddings

"The Carmel area embodies the things we love – the ocean, beautiful landscapes, and dozens of great wineries," Gabrielle said. The bride fell for the "intimate but still earthy" feel of hosting the reception in the vineyards at Chateau Julien.

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The Wedding Dress

Christina Richards Weddings

The bride wore a classic Monique Lhuillier trumpet gown purchased at Mark Ingram Atelier. "I originally had mixed feelings about a formal wedding dress, but as soon as I put it on, my eyes lit up and there was no going back." The flowing layers were accented with two dazzling butterfly brooches that came with the gown.

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The Wedding Shoes

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Fitting their casual-chic theme to a tee, Gabrielle wore a nude pair of Christian Louboutin's while the groom stayed comfortable in Vans.

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The Bouquet

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For her bouquet, the bride provided Studio Choo with a list of her favorite flowers -- orchids, anemones, hydrangea -- then requested that they keep the look loose and natural, with lots of textures and unexpected elements, like succulents and moss.

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The Ceremony Spot

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After Tony proposed on the beach, tying the knot there was a must. At 4 p.m., when the lighting was just right, the two were married in the sand by friend Sebastien Derencourt (who just happened to also be there the night they met). "His address was sincere and beautiful, with two readings: the Blessing of the Apache and 'The Bridge Across Forever' by Richard Bach," the bride said.

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Christina Richards Weddings

Photographer Christina Richards captured the newlyweds before and after the ceremony.

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Cocktail Hour

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As guests arrived at the Chateau, they were greeted with butler-passed Oysters Rockefeller (the groom and his father's favorite); artichoke, spinach and Asiago cheese stuffed mushrooms; warm Brie and figs in phyllo-dough cups; and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with Parmesan, basil, and golden phyllo dough. There was also a cheese and fresh fruit display – the bride's favorite things to nosh on with wine. Classic Catering prepared the evening's cuisine.

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DIY Drink Extras

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Paper straws tagged with kraft paper flags were just one of the handmade touches the bride added to her big day.

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Reception Decor

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Gabrielle worked with One True Love Vintage Rentals' Amanda O'Shannessy on the layout and design of the spaces used at the reception venue. The "entryway" to the dining area consisted of an old door propped perfectly in position to hold escort cards.

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An Ethereal Accent

Christina Richards Weddings

Fitting the vineyard vibe, the bride thought up the idea of filling an old wagon with flowers to create a look similar to something you'd find in an outdoor market. It was topped off with a hand-painted "Yay" burlap flag that matched the rest of the flags at the wedding.

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Escort Cards

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Moss filled frames held escort cards.

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A Special Homage

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The duo made a special yet subtle vignette to honor Tony's mother, who passed away when he was a baby. "It was our way of including her in our special day," Gabrielle said.

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The Centerpieces

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The centerpieces sat on top of hand-sewn table runners created by Gabrielle. By mixing flowers, succulents, and driftwood, the dramatic floral display reflected the sense of movement and continuity that the bride was after.

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The Table Numbers

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Table numbers purchased on Etsy were placed inside each centerpiece.

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The Menu

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The night before the wedding, wedding guests dined on BBQ beachside, so for the wedding's formal plated dinner, the bride and groom opted for a slightly lighter fare. For the main course, guests chose from sea bass in a fire-roasted tomato cream sauce, Tuscan lemon chicken, or butternut squash ravioli in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. All dishes were served with grilled artichokes with a garlic citrus aioli.

DIY menus printed on kraft paper were used to hold together the napkin and silverware at each place setting. To make the white ink pop, Gabrielle embellished it with silver glitter. "Guests could not believe I hand painted each one, but it all comes down to the details," she said.

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Bride-and-Groom Chair Swag

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Sweet swags for the seats of honor were purchased from The McAvoy Roost.

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Alfresco Lighting

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Bistro lights lit the reception tables as the sun set during dinner.

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The Wedding Cake

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The cake designed by Parker Lusseau featured two tiers of yellow cake with chocolate mousse and a third layer of chocolate cake with chocolate mouse. The outside was assembled with panels of white chocolate and tons of fresh raspberries.

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The Wedding Favors

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Burnt caramel and cocoa dusted almonds and hazelnuts from Recchiuti's and Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans from Ghirardelli served as favors. The handmade boxes featured a mixture of burlap and scrap fabric from the table runners and custom stickers that matched the invites.

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Christina Richards Weddings

Photography: Christina Richards

Location: Chateau Julien

Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals

Styling: Amanda O'Shannessy Creative

Catering: Classic Catering

Flowers: Studio Choo

Officiant: Sebastien Derencourt

Cake: Parker Lusseau

Music: Proof Jazz

Hair: Seventy Arniotis

Makeup: Kim Larson

Brides' earrings: Ippolita

Groom's attire: Barney's tailored suit; Vans shoes

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