Jess and Clint’s Coastal California Wedding
This pair tied the knot in a fete inspired by the ocean and a certain love song.
Jess and Clint tied the knot on March 15, 2014, almost 10 years after the day they first met. It was on spring break in the Bahamas in 2004 when they first crossed paths. She was there with her Clemson University friends, and he with his Naval Academy buddies. One of the girls asked one of the guys to take a group photo of them, and then they all got to talking.
Jess and Clint exchanged numbers on the last day of the trip, keeping in touch as she returned to South Carolina and he to Maryland. When her sorority formal approached, she asked if Clint wanted to be her date. He made the eight-hour drive, took her to the dance, and the rest is history.
Jess (now an attorney) and Clint (an officer on a submarine in the United States Navy) celebrated their love, friendship, and time together at the Martin Johnson House in San Diego, where they now live. The coastal soiree paid homage to the water and took inspiration from the couple’s song, Jason Mraz’s “Lucky.”
The Groom Wore White
The Bridal Bouquet
Florist Twigg Botanicals assembled a bouquet of anemones, Juliet garden roses, peonies, Campanella roses, viburnum berries, sweet peas, umbrella fern, and lilac. Trailing coral ribbons bound the blooms.
All in the Navy
Bridesmaids wore a navy “Daylily” dress from Bhldn and gold shoes.
Vibrant bouquets of freesia, roses, and sweet peas were held by the bridal party.
The Bride’s Entrance
A Spanish guitarist played as Jess walked down the aisle on the arm of her father, Bob.
A wood structure was painted white and draped with thick rope picked up from a shipyard. Clusters of flowers were affixed to the top, with dainty blooms fastened to the asymmetrical rope.
“Our vows were the most special thing of all,” Jess says. “When you have been together as long as we have, it was really nice to have a moment to think and share with all of the people who are important in our lives how much we really love each other and how thankful we were that everyone was able to join us and celebrate our love.”
Clint’s friends from the naval academy and from his career in the Navy served as his attendants, standing by him at the ceremony.
Guests enjoyed the coastal views during cocktail hour. Passed appetizers included shot glasses of tomato bisque, spanakopita cigars, and smoked chicken-and-leek purses with sweet onion marmalade, prepared and served by Crown Point Catering.
The Escort Cards
In the weeks leading up to the wedding, mussel shells were collected from a local seafood restaurant. They were boiled and polished to restore their natural beauty and then used to hold the calligraphed escort cards. Guests were encouraged to “drift to their seat.”
The Escort Card Display
To play up the lyrics of Jess and Clint’s song, and the line “I feel your whisper across the sea,” a custom backdrop was erected behind the escort cards. Painted to resemble the ocean, the setup was flanked with large demijohns in the color of sea glass.
Signage with Sentiment
Cassie from Peanut Press created this hand-painted sign reading “A love so deep the ocean would be jealous,” which was placed on the seating display table.
One final oceanic touch? Small whales carved from wood.
The Reception Tables
One of Jessica’s favorite details, designed and executed by Heather Balliet and her team at Amorology Weddings, were the tables. “From the votives to the linens, to the flowers, to the table name signs, and to the overall layout under the market lighting, everything came together so beautifully and captured this feeling of an intimate family wedding without everyone being right on top of each other,” she says. “I wanted the wedding to be like the backyard wedding in Father of the Bride. Heather and her team managed to capture that feeling and translate it into something that was 100 percent Clint and I, but still felt like it could have been right out of a movie. It was truly magical.”
Long wooden tables (intended to evoke the notion of driftwood) were set with patterned linens, golden vessels and votives, and painted signs made by Peanut Press. Each table was named for a different island in the Bahamas.
A Watery Touch
The team at Amorology Weddings added a fun touch to the tables with a handful of glass votives that mimicked the ocean thanks to some acrylic paint and fancy brushwork.
In the Round
Round tables, with striped linens draped over them and navy pashminas on the ladies’ chairs, were also added to the floor plan.
Brass pedestal vessels of acacia, freesia, amaryllis, stock, spirea, roses, ranunculus, and ferns anchored the tables.
Menus tucked into patterned napkins at each place setting outlined the evening’s meal: bibb lettuce salad, pan-seared sea bass, chicken in champagne sauce, grilled filet of beef, roasted tomato Provencal, and a duo of potatoes au gratin and locally-grown oven-roasted vegetables.
Aquatic-themed matchboxes with tags inside that read, “We’ve found our perfect match,” were set at each place setting. These pulled double-duty as place cards and favors.
Say It in Writing
After finding some cards at Bhldn, Jess worked with Heather to customize a special station for guests to write their well wishes to the couple.
Found Vintage Rentals curated a seating area of indigo pieces that felt warm and inviting. The area included an old chicken coop, which looked similar to a crab trap, as a table.
A Naval Tradition
Clint’s fellow men of the military formed a sword arch for the newlyweds to walk through.
The Wedding Cake
The newlyweds cut into a tiered confection of lemon cake and blueberry curd filling from Hey There, Cupcake!
A Second Sweet
A smaller salted-caramel cake was also part of the dessert table. Like the main wedding cake, it boasted a hand-painted exterior and paper flower garnishes.
Mini sweets, like raspberry cupcakes, were also set out for dessert.
More the Merrier
Little salted caramel cupcakes also made an appearance.
The Love Boat
An ice cream and berry bar got a nautical touch with a little boat cutout donning lyrics to the duo’s beloved song: “I’m sailing through the sea to an island where we’ll meet.”
Dancing with Dad
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” played during the father/daughter dance.