An Old-World Inspired California Wedding

Ginny and Andrew

Erich McVey

When Ginny and Andrew both relocated to Houston—she from Jackson Hole, he from Oklahoma City—mutual friends introduced them. They dated for five months until an Easter vacation to Ginny's parents' home in Carmel, California, when Andrew asked Ginny to marry him on the beach during a morning walk. "Walking the beach first thing in the morning is a daily ritual for my family while at our home there," Ginny explains. "It is one of my favorite things to do when visiting. That day my parents were making terrible excuses as to why they couldn't join us and my sister tried to go with us but my dad made up a reason why she shouldn't. I was annoyed, my sister was annoyed, and Andrew and my parents were annoyed that we weren't cooperating with the master plan." So Andrew and Ginny set off alone with plans to meet everyone for lunch—and of course celebrating, though at the time it was unbeknownst to Ginny.

Thirteen months later, and back in the area, it was time for another momentous occasion. On May 23, 2015, over Memorial Day weekend, Ginny and Andrew got to share another walk together—up the aisle as husband and wife after a late-afternoon ceremony in Pebble Beach at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. 250 guests joined in the festivities, which were bookended by other events in the Carmel area. The wedding itself took on a natural, rustic, elegant, and slightly European vibe. "I wanted it to feel like we were in another world in another time," the bride explains. So with old world touches, a dusky color palette, and plenty of flowers, the event was just that.

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The Stationery

Erich McVey

Lily Lasuzzo of Lavender & Mint designed all of the wedding's stationery, evoking the location of the big day's venue and environment—Northern California's misty mornings, old trees, and romantic atmosphere—and the bride's bohemian-style dress. Collaborating with Signora e Mare, whose calligraphy lent an old-world feeling, particularly when printed on soft, slightly textured Italian paper. A custom pen-and-ink tree illustration bled off the deckled edge cardstock, matte gold foil stamping and black letterpressing played off each other, and a moiré silk ribbon and skinnier velvet ribbon were layered to secure the suite together. The final touch? A custom gold wax seal with the couple's monogram.

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The Rings

Erich McVey

A pear-shaped raw diamond surrounded by diamond paves set in rose gold was what Andrew used to propose. He gave her two more on the wedding day—this rose gold band with various small white diamonds, and another platinum ring with square white diamonds inset that was given to Andrew by his mother.

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The Style

Erich McVey

Andrew wore a custom gray two-button, three-piece suit with a crisp white shirt and blue Hermès tie. He completed his ensemble with bulldog cufflinks that looked like Ginny's late dog, Kenny.

Ginny visited the Jenny Packham salon in London while on a trip to visit her sister, who lives there. After trying on quite a few dresses, she went for the one she thought was the most unique and that she'd be the most comfortable in. She customized the silk gown with beaded lace overlay by adding a bracelet from the designer's collection to the front to act as a medallion on the belt. A simple veil was chosen during the final fitting later paired with a headpiece from Bhldn.

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The Bride's Accessories

Erich McVey

Always one to pile on jewelry, Ginny did just that on her big day. She wrapped her grandmother's pearl necklace around her wrist as a bracelet and secured it with a gold and diamond pin in the form of a calla lily. Stacks of diamond and gold rings, and her grandma's sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring filled her fingers. And a small pearl bracelet she received from another grandmother as a young girl, and a hand chain bought on Shopbop dressed up her other hand and wrist. Not a huge fan of big earrings, Ginny opted for an ear cuff and multiple little earrings (all from Shopbop) instead.

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The Bridal Bouquet

Erich McVey

Sarah Winward used peonies, ranunculus, clematis recta, foxglove, acacia, cafe latte roses, and black elderberry foliage, to create Ginny's big, textured bouquet. Ginny's mom and sister surprised her by honoring her beloved, late pup in another way—having his dog tag tied to the ribbons of the bouquet. "It meant so much to have him there in spirit," Ginny recalls. "It was so thoughtful and special."

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The Brides' Shoes

Erich McVey

Ginny went with another British designer for her shoes, choosing a pair of Charlotte Olympia raw silk and gold rope wedges.

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The Ceremony Setup

Erich McVey

A table displaying an antique Spanish cross and candlesticks anchored the late-afternoon, outdoor ceremony. Vintage pews flanked the aisle, which was bordered with greenery and white flowers like spirea, dogwood, and foxglove to feel as if they were naturally growing from the ground.

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The Ceremony

Erich McVey

During the traditional Episcopalian service, the couple exchanged customary vows and three readings were shared, Colossians 3: 12-17, "The Great Story" by C.S. Lewis, and John 15: 9-17.

The newly minted husband and wife sealed the deal with a kiss before recessing up the aisle to Rondeau from "Fanfares" by Jean-Joseph Mouret. "Andrew told me a millisecond before the kiss that he was going to dip me," Ginny says. "It was awesome."

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The Bridesmaids

Erich McVey

The bride only had one request when it came to the bridesmaids' dresses—that the colors be muted and dusky. "They all ended up picking somewhat flowy, long dresses," she says. "Some girls wore dresses they'd worn in other people's weddings and some bought new ones. I definitely didn't want them to look like typical bridesmaids. I wasn't concerned about it. All of my friends dress very stylishly!" Ginny also gave her girls the choice of flowers. They picked between flower crowns or smaller hair flowers, in addition to carrying bouquets that were all different and tied with trailing ribbons in the day's palette.

But since Carmel can be chilly, the bridal party needed to stay warm. A few wore vintage or faux fur and the rest wore pashminas.

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Cocktail Hour

Erich McVey

A rustic Italian cheese, fruit, nut, and charcuterie display was on offer during the cocktail hour on the patio. A selection of bruschettas and prosciutto-wrapped figs with honey chevre were also passed as a string quartet played modern love songs.

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Custom Napkins

Erich McVey

Dove gray napkins were foil-stamped with the duo's monogram.

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The Escort Cards

Erich McVey

Deckle-edged cards calligraphed with black ink were tacked on to satin ribbon, with the same raw velvet ribbon and vintage grosgrain from the invite reappearing in between. These were hung on branches with gilded gold flowers for added texture.

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The Reception

Erich McVey

Guests moved in to the ballroom for the reception, where they were seated at long tables holding about 80 people each—one with a gauzy gray runner and exposed wood top, and the other, a wider table covered with a gold lace linen layered over a linen brocade from La Tavola Fine Linen.

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The Tables

Erich McVey

Gold flatware, gold-rimmed glassware, and clear chargers set both tables. "Sarah Winward masterminded the tables," Ginny notes. "She saw the venue and the old world vibe with its antique wall tapestries and the exquisite wood and iron work and knew what to do." Lots of greenery and warm gray and persimmon-colored candles were used throughout.

As for the meal, it began with a radicchio cup with shaved celery and fennel salad, topped with Parmesan, candied pecans, and pear-honey vinaigrette. An entrée of beef tenderloin with caper anchovy butter followed before a third course of rustic braised artichoke and chevre tart, paired with wild arugula, toasted hazelnuts, charred baby tomatoes, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette.

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The Centerpieces

Erich McVey

The flowers incorporated the soft colors of spring with the contrast of rusty orange tones and deep colored foliage. Small groupings of figs, pomegranates, and unripe blueberries were interspersed among the larger arrangements.

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The First Dance Song

Erich McVey

"Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis was chosen for the first dance song. The bride and groom are big fans of '90s grunge music, so the song selection was a natural fit.

The bride followed with a dance with her father to "Take it Easy" by the Eagles, and Andrew joined his mother as "How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You" by James Taylor played.

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Four Cakes, Four Ways

Erich McVey

Edith Meyer created a foursome of cakes, all evoking an old world style and using lots of fruits. Each different in shape and flavor, there was a naked chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and fresh figs on top; a Meyer lemon cake with Meyer lemon curd and lavender buttercream; a yellow cake with chocolate ganache and vanilla bean buttercream; and a whipped cake with strawberry buttercream, fresh strawberries, and vanilla bean buttercream. "One had gold edible lace, some had fresh figs and sugared fruits, two had antique French crown toppers," Ginny says. "They were incredible."

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Sweet Things

Erich McVey

The couple cut into the five-tier lemon and lavender cake, saving the top tier for their anniversary.

The club brought out fresh doughnuts in wax bags printed with the pair's wedding seal as a nod to the groom's love of the holed snack. In addition to the apple cinnamon fritters and plain glazed treats, mini burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fries were served as a late-night snack.

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Erich McVey

Photography, Erich McVey

Location and Catering, Monterey Peninsula Country Club

Event planning and design, Coastside Couture

Flowers, Sarah Winward

Stationery, Lavender & Mint

Calligraphy, Signora e Mare

Cakes and jello shots, Edith Meyer Cakes

Music, Monterey String Quartet (ceremony and cocktail hour); The Cheeseballs (reception)

Rentals, Archive Rentals; Classic Party Rentals; La Tavola Fine Linen

Bride's gown, sash, and veil, Jenny Packham

Bride's accessories, Bhldn headpiece; Charlotte Olympia shoes

Bride's hair and makeup, The Hair + Make Up Co.

Bridal party hair and makeup, M.U.A.H.

Transportation, Main Event Transportation

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