A Glamorous Outdoor Destination Wedding in California
Kristen and Eliot
In high school, Eliot was the dreamy senior boy that, as a freshman, Kristen crushed on from afar. Ten years later, she was out with friends and caught the eye of a handsome man. She soon realized it was Eliot and worked up the nerve to approach him. They hit it off, but geography wasn't on their side—she was in Los Angeles, he was in San Francisco—so nothing came of that "magical night". Five years later Kristen moved to New York, and with some help from Facebook, she learned that Eliot was now also in the Big Apple. She messaged him and they've been together ever since. On June 16, 2012, with 135 of their nearest and dearest watching, they became husband and wife, back on the West Coast, not too far from that chance meeting.
A Warm Welcome
Tote bags added to the duo's bicoastal theme by sporting an illustration (by the bride, and printed by Wedding Chicks) of the States with pale pink hearts over both San Francisco and New York City. Inside, were favorites from each coast: Long Island potato chips, Ghirardelli chocolates, and mini bottles of Napa wines.
Beaulieu Garden provided all of the beautiful, diverse backdrops for the elegant celebration. "From the French rose garden to the sunken lily pond to the cocktail grove to the dining arbor, it felt like we hosted multiple events in one evening," Kristen said.
The Bridal Party
Kristen's bridesmaids each wore a different dress. The long gowns were various shades of peach, nude, blush, and ivory.
Each of Kristen's attendants carried a bouquet of cream-colored roses.
The Little Ones
The couple's niece and nephews donned formalwear of their own.
One Last Joke
A few years before the couple met, the groom was a contestant on The Bachelorette and ever since, friends and family like to tease him about it. Kristen couldn't resist poking one last bit of fun at him before exchanging their vows. The officiant told Eliot that Kristen had one more question for him, and thanks to a stealthy handoff among the bridesmaids, a single long-stemmed red rose made its way to the bride who asked the familiar question, "Will you accept this rose?" The gesture got a roar of laughter from all in attendance, and with a huge grin, he said yes.
During the ceremony a live music by a jazz trio played, Kristen presented her mom with a single white bloom bearing a note that read "I love you so" (a favorite message they've exchanged for many years), rose petals were strewn along the steps, and the bride's niece read 1st Corinthians.
The Sound of Music
A grand piano was brought in to add a touch of city chic to the country setting.
Guests were greeted by waiters carrying trays of celebratory Champagne as they exited the ceremony, and a full bar was set up in the cocktail grove.
The groom's favorite meal—tacos and Kristen's famous margaritas—were interpreted for the cocktail hour menu.
Fish 'n' chips and mini pints of beer were served as a nod to the first friends (who are British) Kristen and Eliot met as a couple.
A Touch of Glamour
Sequined chevron fabric covered the cocktail tables adding some glitz to the natural setting.
Braedon Photography snapped pics of the couple in various picturesque locations on the property following the ceremony.
The Escort Cards
Cards printed with different peach chevron stripes dictated guests' seating assignments. They were attached to thick peach ribbon hung from the eave of the cottage house stairs, which was on the way to the dining area.
The Table Names
Instead of numbers, tables were identified with the couple's favorite places in Manhattan—including the hotel where Eliot popped the question, their go-to bagel shop on Sunday mornings, and beloved bars and restaurants.
Kathleen Deery set the tables with pastel blooms, including cream-colored peonies and peach garden roses. Chandeliers sparkled overhead.
Mini ice cream cones were passed around during the dessert course. They were the perfect summer treat—particularly since the temperature topped out at 104 degrees that day.
A Delightful Duo
Sprinkled donut-holes were a childhood favorite of the bride. These grown-up versions were paired with coffee.
The couple danced nose-to-nose as "Try Me" by James Brown played. There were two surprise live performances too: the bride's mother and girlfriends lip-synced to The Chiffons' "He's So Fine" (wearing feather boas), and one of the bridesmaids and a friend performed Sam Cooke's "Cupid," one of Kristen's favorite songs.
A Touch of Home
As the couple made their grand exit, they "hailed" an old-fashioned taxicab. It was the perfect shout out to their hometown of New York City.
Photography: Braedon Photography
Location: Beaulieu Garden
Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Flowers: Kathleen Deery Design
Officiant: Larry Wilkerson of Heartfelt Weddings
Stationery: Dauphine Press
Coordination and Day-of Paper Goods: Enjoy Events Co.
Cake: Sweet on Cake
Hair and Makeup: Mimi & Taylor
Jazz Trio: Ever Music Group
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