This Wedding Was Inspired by Old Spanish Architecture and Classic Fall Colors

couple in white and blue at outdoor rehearsal dinner
Laura Gordon

When Campbell and John matched on Hinge in late 2016, they decided to grab coffee once John got off work and before Campbell had to head to a horseback riding lesson. The pair hit it off and two years later, in September of 2018, John planned to propose during a family vacation in Laguna Beach, California. After the pair enjoyed dinner together, John asked Campbell if she wanted to get a photo of the sunset. The couple headed to the cliffs below their hotel, and that's where John got down on one knee and popped the question. Johns' parents planned a surprise engagement party with both sides of the family back at their vacation rental.

Shortly after, Campbell and John began planning a ceremony at St. James by-the-Sea in La Jolla and reception at Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe for November 23, 2019. They wanted their wedding to feel warm and soft and give their 219 guests the time of their lives. "Guests were mostly from out of town, so I really wanted them to be able to relax and enjoy a piece of my heart in southern California," Campbell shares. The couple worked with Dani Blasena of HauteFetes to give their wedding weekend a cohesive vision.

For their rehearsal dinner—which preceded their whimsical outdoor welcome party—John and his mother drew inspiration from the Spanish colonial feel of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe when ideating the décor details. The couple invited 64 guests to the event—their immediate and extended family, plus their wedding party—before opening it up to guests later in the evening, when the welcome party began. "We wanted to share our last night before marriage with our closest family and friends," Campbell shares.

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Custom Suites

red, blue and white scripted wedding invitations
Laura Gordon

The couple's letterpress invitation suite was printed on cotton card stock with a beveled edge; letterpress wording and a monogram that combined both digital printing and letterpress finished off the informational notes. The suite included a hand-painted map of the area and spot hand calligraphy for titles. The suite was then wrapped in vellum and a torn velvet ribbon, and closed with an antique-inspired gold wax seal.

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Into the Cottage

spanish elegant indoor long table setting for rehearsal dinner
Laura Gordon

John and Campbell kicked off the wedding weekend with a rehearsal dinner with family and close friends, followed by a welcome party for all of their guests. Both events took place at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, a hotel that feels like home to Campbell. For dinner, two long tables were set up in the hotel's Croquet Cottage with 16 chairs per side to accommodate the pair's 64 attendees.

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Finely Dressed

couple walking down path hand in hand at rehearsal dinner
Laura Gordon

Campbell bought the Carolina Herrera dress she wore for the rehearsal dinner before she even found her wedding dress. "We saw it on the mannequin and my mom said 'I don't know when you're wearing that, but we have to get it!'" she says. The white knee-length pleated dress featured pearl detailing and blue bows on each shoulder. She paired the garment with Jimmy Choo slingbacks and pearl and diamond David Yurman studs, which were a gift from her mother.

John wore a Loro Piana navy plaid sport coat paired with a light blue Pauri & Casati dress shirt, Ted Baker navy dress pants, and Magnanni dress shoes. The finishing touch to his look? A Tag Heuer watch, which was a graduation gift from his parents.

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On the Table

neutral tones elegant rehearsal dinner place setting
Laura Gordon

"My mother-in-law's favorite color is green, so we used a lot of greenery as accents with woven textures," Campbell says of the rehearsal dinner décor. "We were looking for elegance, simplicity, and warmth with a southern California feel." Tables were dressed with patterned linens and topped with iron taper candle holders; stone urns, filled with herbs, foliage, and garden roses, grounded each centerpiece. Ruscus vine was added to the chandeliers to soften the space.

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To Us

wedding couple smiling at table during rehearsal dinner speech
Laura Gordon

Campbell and John asked their respective siblings to be their maid of honor and best man, so it was important to them to give their best friends a special role at the rehearsal dinner; they asked them to share speeches. "They took us down memory lane," the bride says. "It was a great way to kick off the weekend!"

During the event, the group was serenaded by the Lucky Devils Band Trio—they played piano, guitar, and saxophone throughout dinner.

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Welcome All

outdoor welcome party on lawn with wooden tables and metal chairs
Laura Gordon

The couple invited all of their guests to the welcome party, which took place after the rehearsal dinner on the hotel's lawn. Bar stool tables were flanked by two lounge areas with Adirondack chairs and clusters of lanterns. Guests mingled and enjoyed food stations, cocktails, and a table of desserts.

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Catching on Like a Wildflower

white wildflowers in metal vase on spanish rug
Laura Gordon

Overgrown bowls of wildflowers defined the casual tabletops, set with rug-inspired linens.

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Merry to Mingle

guests milling around during outdoor welcome party under string lights
Laura Gordon

"We loved having the welcome party after the rehearsal dinner," Campbell says. "It was a great way for us to get to see everyone and welcome them to California, even though we couldn't host everyone for the intimate dinner."

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Clean and Simple

bride in elegant white v neck dress standing under palm trees
Laura Gordon

Campbell tried on over forty wedding dresses before finding the Lela Rose silk ivory faille gown she wore on her big day. "It was so different than what I thought I wanted—I went in thinking I wanted something ethereal, romantic, lacy, or embellished, and this was completely simple," she says. But when she tried on the ball gown, it made both Campbell and her mother cry. Adding a headpiece from Paris by Debra Moreland sealed the deal. "I felt like an absolute princess when I put it on and it made the dress look even more stunning," the bride says.

She also wore a Toni Federici veil, Monolo Blahnik pumps, a Paris by Debra Moreland belt, and a BHLDN faux fur wrap; she held an Edie Parker clutch come the reception. Her late great grandmother's sapphire and the diamond cocktail ring was the finishing touch.

  • Can You Ever Try on Too Many Wedding Dresses?
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Wine Gowns

bride with bridesmaids in maroon dresses
Laura Gordon

The bridesmaids wore BHLDN dresses in a deep wine color. "I wanted something classic yet still chic, an investment dress that you would see any wedding guest in potentially," Campbell says. "The beautiful silk drape gave the dress old Hollywood vibes and it felt very timeless to me." The ceremony readers and attendants wore the same boat neck dress in a champagne tone.

Campbell held an unstructured bouquet—by florist Plenty of Petals—with greenery, garden blooms, and textured foliage in tones of mauve, burgundy, and ivory. The florals included four types of roses, dahlias, hellebores, lisianthus, hydrangea, and jasmine vines; the arrangement was tied with a soft ivory silk chiffon ribbon.

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Dapper Groom

groom in black tux adjusting bowtie
Laura Gordon

John went with a black peak lapel tuxedo paired with a silk bow tie. He finished his big-day look with leather shoes and Salvatore Ferragamo cuff links—a wedding gift from his bride.

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The Gents

groom and groomsmen standing in tuxes at wedding ceremony
Laura Gordon

The groomsmen rented peak lapel tuxedos from The Black Tux to match the groom. With such a large wedding party, Campbell and John wanted everyone to have a cohesive look.

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Fall-Inspired Bouts

fall colored wedding boutonnières on silver tray
Laura Gordon

Their boutonnières referenced both the season and the florals used throughout the bride's bouquet.

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Let's Wed

spanish wedding church with floral arch
Laura Gordon

Campbell and John chose to have their ceremony at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church because of its connection with Campbell's high school. "The school held baccalaureate and other ceremonies at the church down the road, and my family attended it for some special services as well," the bride says. The historic church features Spanish style architecture—the couple lined the entrance with a broken arch, dotted with florals that referenced the pale pink exterior—and ocean views.

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Here Comes the Bride

bride and father entering church with sunlight spilling in behind
Laura Gordon

Inside, the ceremony altar was framed by two large arrangements in tall urns, and every other pew was embellished with cascading foliage. Campbell was accompanied by her father as she made her way down the aisle—and saw John for the first time that day.

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A Religious Service

bride and groom kneeling during religious wedding ceremony in church
Laura Gordon

The couple had two attendants read Colossians 3:12-17 and John 15:9-12 during the ceremony. As part of the ceremony, the couple took a private Eucharist with their parents in the small chapel.

  • How You Can Personalize a Wedding Held in a Place of Worship
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Seaside Portraits

wedding couple walking during the sunset
Laura Gordon

Campbell and John skipped their cocktail hour to take portraits with their photographer by the ocean (but made the last few moments to mingle with guests before the reception).

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Just-Married Glow

bride and groom posing for wedding portrait by the beach
Laura Gordon

They timed it just right—the golden hour sun sparkled off the water, casting the ultimate glow on the newlyweds.

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The Vintage Car

white vintage wedding car with just married sign
Laura Gordon

Post portraits, the pair hopped into a vintage Bentley adorned with a "Just Married" sign and greenery and made their way to the party venue.

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Signature Sips

apple cinnamon wedding cocktails
Laura Gordon

Guests enjoyed a full bar during cocktail hour, but the couple also served a signature drink called the "Weiss Wedding Bells-ini," which had Flor De Caña white rum, apple cider, Campo Viego Cava, garnished with a cinnamon stick. Campbell's mother's heirloom silver trays were used to serve glasses of wine and monogrammed hemstitch cocktail napkins. The Mighty Untouchables, a jazz trio, treated attendees to smooth melodies during the interlude.

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Get Cozy

wicker basket of tan blankets for guests
Laura Gordon

To help guests weather the evening temperature drop, the couple came prepared with neutral pashminas for all.

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Lucky You

horseshoe escort cards hanging on wall
Laura Gordon

As a nod to the bride's love of horseback riding, guests found their table numbers on horseshoe escort cards hung from burgundy silk ribbons; they featured a light blue scroll with each attendee's name. The horseshoes also doubled as Christmas tree ornament favors.

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Into the Tent

wedding tent with cotton candy sunset above
Laura Gordon

The couple's reception took place at Rancho Valencia, which the couple chose for its Spanish architecture, olive grove, delicious food, and on-site accommodations. The party unfolded inside a large sailcloth tent; the entrance was decorated with a large wooden arch, covered in roses and greenery.

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Classic Setup

elegant long neutral and fall tones tables inside wedding reception tent
Laura Gordon

Inside the tent, a mix of round and long rectangular tables were set up throughout the space, leaving plenty of room for the dance floor and 10-piece band. "We used textures in repetition, combining smooth and nubby fabrics with weathered wood, leather, decorative wrought iron, and ceramic surfaces to keep the design cohesive with surroundings," says the couple's wedding planner, Dani Blasena of HauteFetes. Overhead, they incorporated wrought iron chandeliers for some rustic charm.

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Neutrals Galore

wedding reception neutral and fall tones place setting
Laura Gordon

Table details included pewter rimmed chargers paired with white china with scalloped edges, Tuscan flatware, and etched glassware. Footed silver urns and julep cups held centerpieces with roses in various neutral tones. Beige pillar candles placed in glass holders and small tea candles in etched glass votives were the finishing touches.

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Let's Dance

wedding couple dancing at indoor reception
Laura Gordon

The couple shared their first dance to Elvis' "Can't Help Falling in Love." Instead of having the band play, the song was pre-recorded by John, who is a talented singer. "It literally had me crying because it was so special!" the bride says.

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Cut the Cake

bride and groom kissing by wedding cake
Laura Gordon

The couple's multi-tiered confection featured fresh flowers and accents reminiscent of impressionist paintings. Each tier included a different flavor, starting with vanilla cake with honey whiskey filling; then lemon-vanilla cake with almond, lemon curd, white chocolate mousse, and fresh berries; and finally, two layers of Sweet Cheeks Bakery's signature cake.

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couple driving away in white vintage car with just married sign
Laura Gordon

Photography, Laura Gordon
Rehearsal Dinner and Welcome Party Venue, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
Ceremony Venue,
St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
Reception Venue and Catering, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Dani Blasena of HauteFetes
Videography, Elysium Productions
Flowers, Plenty of Petals
Invitations, Monvoir; Whimsique
Paper Products, Custom Crafted; By Priscilla Lee
Bride's Rehearsal Dinner Dress, Carolina Herrera
Bride's Rehearsal Dinner Accessories, David Yurman
Bride's Gown, Lela Rose; Warren Barron Bridal
Bride's Veil, Toni Federici
Bride's Jewelry, Paris by Debra Moreland; Edie Parker; Warren Barron
Bride's Hairpiece, Paris by Debra Moreland
Bride's Shoes, Manolo Blahnik
Hair and Makeup, Beauty by Stacey
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groom's Rehearsal Dinner Attire, Loro Piana; Pauri & Casati
Groom's Rehearsal Dinner Accessories,
Ted Baker Magnanni; Tag Heuer
Groom's Attire,
Uncommon Man
Groom's Accessories, Salvator Ferragamo
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Music, St. James by-the-Sea; Mighty Untouchables; The Lucky Devils (rehearsal dinner)
Cake, Sweet Cheeks Baking Company
Rentals, Casa de Perrin; La Tavola Fine Linens; TBD San Diego; Bright Event Rentals
Lighting and Draping, Amber Event Production
Transportation, San Diego Charter
Tent, Zephyr Tents
Photo Booth, Pixster Photo Booth
Getaway Car, Rolls Livery

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