After Exchanging Vows in a Custom-Built Chapel, This Couple Made Their Reception All About Their Guests
Clark met Olivia through an uncanny series of events that began with one of Olivia's best friends, Halley; her father was on board Flight 93 on the morning of September 11, 2001, and saved hundreds of people inside the White House that morning, including Clark and his family. When Halley spoke at a memorial service at Pepperdine University years later, Clark, a student there, introduced himself, and the two became good friends. A few years after that, they caught up over dinner, and upon learning that Clark was single, Halley suggested he reach out to Olivia. But Clark already knew who she was; Olivia had been a freshman at Pepperdine when he was a senior, so he messaged her when he was headed to Arizona on a work trip and asked her to dinner. As they say, the rest was history, but their origin story had quite a bit of that, too.
On June 6, 2020, Olivia was visiting Newport Beach, California, with her family, and Clark asked to take her on a special date. On the way to dinner, two of Clark's friends called to ask if they would swing by the dock by his grandparent's house and wave to them as they passed by in their boat. Once they got there, Olivia noticed that Clark was nervous, and she began to get butterflies. As they walked towards the beach, Olivia noticed tables set up with flowers and decorations. Clark proposed near a flower arch on the beach, and as soon as Olivia said yes, the local sheriff's department shot water cannons up from the ocean. Friends and family had been waiting at Clark's grandparents' home and ran down to the beach to celebrate.
The couple's original wedding date was April 24, 2021, and they nearly kept it; due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, the pair moved up their event at the Newport Beach Country Club by one day, so they could hold the entire party—which took place on April 23—outdoors. The change allowed Olivia and Clark to keep their guest count at 225 loved ones. The party began with a ceremony in an open-air chapel, which was built just for them. They worked with planners from A Good Affair to pull off a secret garden-inspired celebration with a white, champagne, gold, and blush color palette.
Olivia and Clark's paper suite, executed by Natalie Good of A Good Affair, arrived in a white box tied with twine, which was held in place with a gold wax seal. The main invitation card was printed on torn white paper with gold-leaf edges and covered in white velum.
On the morning of the big day, Olivia and her attendants got ready in coordinating floral robes and fuzzy slippers; the bride wore white, differentiating herself from the crowd.
Olivia, a former pageant competitor, is no stranger to formal gowns; she wanted her wedding dress to align with her personality, but still feel bridal. Her search, however, was limited by COVID-19 restrictions; family members often weighed in over Zoom while she shopped. The very first garment she tried on was a Galia Lahav mermaid number with 3D appliqué details on the bodice, a detachable train and sleeves, and a low V-back. "I knew from the start that it was the one, but I did want to have the full experience, so I visited other stores," Olivia says. "However, no dress made me feel the way this design did. I got butterflies every time I saw it!"
She paired her wedding dress with a Cartier cross necklace, floral earrings by Untamed Petals, jeweled heels from Jimmy Choo, and a special aquamarine ring, which was a wedding gift from Clark and her "something blue." Her most special accessory, however, wasn't one you could see: When the pair got engaged, the bride's grandmother gifted her a heart-shaped cut-out from her late grandfather's favorite pink pocket square. It had been saved for Olivia's big day. She had the heart sewn into the back of her wedding dress, so that he would be with her as she walked down the aisle. "It made me feel so close to my grandfather during this monumental day, even though he was only there in spirit," she says.
The bride's veil featured appliqués that matched her gown, and featured custom stitching of Corinthians 13: 4-8.
She held a hand-tied bouquet with long-stem roses wrapped in a satin ribbon.
Clark donned a custom black tuxedo from B.Spoke Custom Clothing, paired with a bow tie and suspenders. He customized the liner of his tuxedo jacket with a repeating pattern of four photos, including the couple's first picture together, their first date, a picture from the proposal, and one from the engagement shoot.
Bridesmaids in Champagne
Olivia's bridesmaids wore floor-length Fame and Partners dresses in a champagne matte satin fabric. They each selected a silhouette and neckline they felt confident in, resulting in a cohesive range of looks.
Best Day Ever
As guests entered the ceremony space, they were greeted with a double floral arch and a sign that read, "Welcome to Our Best Day Ever."
Olivia's dream was to get married in an outdoor chapel, and because her dad is a custom home builder, she loved the idea of building the church from scratch. The couple worked with A Good Affair to manage the project and make Olivia's vision come alive.
Inside the Chapel
Ceremony décor included floral chandeliers, aisle arrangements, and white petals that blanketed the walkway. Guests were seated in vintage pews; the wooden structure was embellished with white drapery.
Here Comes the Bride
As guests watched on, Olivia was escorted down the aisle by her father as "The Blessing" by Elevation Worship and Kari Jobe played through speakers. The song holds a special meaning to the couple; it was one of their most cherished memories of the day. "It was truly an out-of-body and heavenly experience," Olivia says. "It felt so surreal and joyful."
Take a Look Around
Olivia and Clark attended pre-marital counseling with their officiant, who incorporated the stories the pair had shared into the service. "Our officiant had us turn around during the ceremony for a minute to soak in the moment and see all of our guests," Olivia says. "We will never forget having the opportunity to make eye contact with each person sitting in the pews."
The duo exchanged both personal and traditional vows before they were pronounced husband and wife.
The Signature Cocktails
Guests enjoyed live music, an open bar, and an array of hot and cold appetizers during the cocktail hour; the couple provided games like bocce ball and cornhole, too. The couple served two signature cocktails, Clark's "Huckleberry Mule" and Olivia's "Bee Positive," based on the bride's favorite cocktail from a nearby Newport Beach restaurant. As a play on the name, Olivia hand-wrote hundreds of positive affirmations and attached each note to a wooden honeycomb stirrer, which was placed into every drink.
Legacy of Love
The couple created a wall that featured photos of their loved ones on their wedding days to honor their love, as well as their own. To pull it off, Olivia asked all the married couples on their guest list for big-day photo ahead of the celebration.
Love and Support
"Overall, our goal was to make every person feel admired, loved, appreciated, and cherished," Olivia says. "We know that everyone at the wedding played a major role in supporting and shaping us to be prepared for this monumental day in our lives as we committed to our forever love."
A custom swing set was embellished with flowers and greenery, and showed off a sign that spelled out the couple's hashtag. It was the perfect photo backdrop for their celebrants.
The pair's Champagne bar was made entirely of ice, and featured their custom monogram and bottles of bubbly frozen in place.
Loved ones found their table assignments on a display table, where table numbers and names were printed on torn paper and displayed inside gold-bottomed cloches.
The reception took place on the lawn, where a mixture of round and long tables were set up around a monogrammed dance floor.
Twinkle lights, chandeliers, and floral installations were hung overhead the stations, creating a warm ambience when the sun went down.
Floral garlands spilled off the edges of rectangular guest tables; compotes anchored the round ones.
During the party, the newlyweds sat in the middle of the head table at a love seat—placed on a platform—decorated with a floral swag.
Gold-rimmed white plates were situated on vine chargers and paired with gilded cutlery with white handles. Blush napkins were held in place with translucent butterfly holders; menus were placed at each spot, along with a blessing hidden underneath each plate.
Olivia and Clark shared their first dance to "Forever" by Chase Rice; they both love country music and bonded over the song early on in their relationship. To prepare for the moment, they tapped Dancing with the Stars' Daniella Karagach and Pasha Pashkov for custom choreography.
The couple's five-tiered confection from Simply Sweet Cakery was displayed on the swing set, which reappeared during the party. The red velvet and cookies and cream dessert was embellished with white flowers and greenery, and featured the couple's custom logo front and center.
Guests took home custom candles as big-day favors; Olivia wrote special notes of gratitude and placed them inside the lid of each one.
Away They Go
At the end of the reception, the exited the space under a tunnel of sparklers, and took off into the night in a vintage car. To couple's knee-deep in the big-day preparation, Olivia has this advice: "During planning, take time to disconnect and just focus on the incredible chapter you are entering that is filled with love!" And Clark's advice? "Go with the flow—your original ideas or timeline will inevitably change. Take it all in because it truly does go by so fast," he says.
Photography, Jenny Quicksall
Videography, One Story Weddings
Venue and Catering, Newport Beach Country Club
Wedding Planning, Event Design, and Paper Products, Natalie Good, A Good Affair Wedding and Event Production
Flowers, Nisie's Enchanted Florist
Bride's Gown, Galia Lahav
Bride's Accessories, Cartier; Jimmy Choo; Untamed Petals
Bride's Hair and Makeup, Michael Franco
Bridesmaids' Hair and Makeup, Design Visage
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Fame and Partners
Menswear, B.Spoke Custom Clothing; Stance
Officiant, Clarke Brogger
Music, Zach Churchill; Elevated Pulse Productions
Cake, Simply Sweet Cakery
Rentals, Found Rental Co.; Theoni Collection; Modest Peach; Signature
Lighting, Premier Lighting
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