Bright Spring Blooms Inspired This Couple's Wedding Aesthetic and Custom Branding
After getting engaged in Quebec City in 2019, high school sweethearts Caroline and Jeremy planned their wedding for 2021—but eventually decided to push their 165-person celebration to March 26, 2022 to accommodate COVID-19 safety guidelines. "In the meantime, however, we decided on an intimate church ceremony in Kansas, where we currently reside, while waiting for our big wedding," says Caroline.
Though they had already said "I do" in advance of their celebration at La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif., they still wanted to create a warm and welcoming weekend for their guests. They chose the country club because of its ties to Caroline's family—the bride spent many childhood holidays there with her grandparents—and drew on the bride's family's hospitality background to make sure they attended to every detail for their guests. "We wanted our celebration to feel immersive, and like a weekend experience for our guests, so it felt inclusive and not 'just about us,'" she says.
The couple decided on a palette of bright shades—coral, yellow, pink, peach, lavender—that they used for their florals, and which also inspired custom watercolor designs on their paper goods. Bridesmaids wore mismatched off-the-rack gowns and carried a variety of single-bloom bouquets, while the couple's dog also joined the bridal party in a floral collar. Caroline, a private chef, approved a menu that focused on local, seasonal ingredients, and a live painter captured the air of energy and happiness at the reception. "For many of our guests, it was their first time coming to the desert," says Caroline. "Seeing it through their eyes was so special."
A Work of Art
Entirely custom papers from Julie King Studio were anchored by a one-of-a-kind floral watercolor design—identical to the blooms used in Caroline's bouquet—that surrounded the couple's monogram. "Our watercolor designs were done by hand on many pieces of the stationery," says Caroline. "It was a very personalized experience."
A Movie Moment
After visiting three different bridal boutiques on a marathon shopping trip with her mother and sister, Caroline planned to skip her fourth appointment. "I didn't want to take the time to go to the last one, thinking I'd likely found something I liked enough and would later decide," she says. "I ended up going at their urging, and fell in love." The Mira Zwillinger tulle and floral appliqué gown she chose was the first—and only—one she tried on at her final appointment. "I just fell in love with it," she says, "And I thought that only happened in movies."
Jeremy set the tone for the men's looks in a traditional black tuxedo from Michael's Clothing (he changed into a white dinner jacket during the reception); his groomsmen wore black tuxedos from Men's Wearhouse. "We wanted a classic and formal look overall," says Caroline.
The couple's first look—in 95 degree heat—included two unexpected (but welcome) spectators: the bride's and groom's mothers. "The first look with both of our moms was priceless!" says Caroline. "Though it wasn't planned, both our moms wanted to help me with my gown as we walked to where Jeremy was waiting. As they dropped my gown and I walked over to him, they ended up staying while our photographer caught them proudly watching with smiles. It made for an extra special moment when we turned and saw them gazing at us."
Bold and Beautiful
Caroline and Jeremy requested a vivid, colorful floral aesthetic from Luna Design Studios. "We really wanted something that felt whimsical and stood apart from what we typically see in weddings in terms of a color palette," says Caroline. "We're not afraid of injecting color. Spring flowers were super important, especially ones locally sourced when possible." Her bouquet of peach Juliet roses, sunset poppies, lavender sweet pea, peach ranunculus, yellow poppies, coral dahlias, and coral parrot tulips inspired the invitation watercolor, ceremony florals, and centerpieces. "The florist took it to a whole other level with a palette that Caroline wouldn't have considered, but loved when presented," says the couple.
Caroline also wanted a bright and colorful palette for her bridesmaids. "I really encouraged a whimsical look with prints and textures in spring tones," she says. "I wanted everyone to dress however they wanted and knew they would all look great knowing all my friends had great style."
Unique Bouquets for the 'Maids
Each bridesmaid carried a unique bouquet of parrot tulips, Free Spirit garden roses, yellow poppies, coral dahlias, or peach ranunculus.
A Warm Welcome
As guests arrived at the ceremony, they were greeted by a custom watercolor-designed welcome sign that showcased the couple's monogram.
A Beautiful Overlook Framed with Flowers
The same flowers used in the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets covered a slim-frame arch that created the couple's altar overlooking the country club grounds. "It was so special getting to plan with my mom, in a place that meant so much to her parents," says Caroline. "Since they could not be here, it felt like a piece of them was with us all weekend."
A Picture-Perfect Setting
A string trio played "God Only Knows" as the bride and groom walked to the altar together. "Since we had our formal, intimate ceremony the year before with family, and chose the traditional methods of escorts then, we decided at last minute to make this time different and bucked tradition," says Caroline. Bishop Brian Delvaux led the couple through a shortened version of the traditional Catholic ceremony they had used during their smaller wedding.
Cue the Confetti
Family and friends congratulated the happy couple with a shower of metallic streamers.
The couple included their dog, Simon, in their wedding day both as part of the wedding party—the bride's sister led him down the aisle—and with an illustration of him on their cocktail napkins.
Custom bar signage featured a watercolor design that matched the invitations, and listed the couple's signature drinks: Scratch margaritas, Aperol spritzes, and Meyer lemon French 75s. (Caroline and Jeremy kept the energy high on their dance floor later with passed trays of late-night espresso martinis.)
Ready to Celebrate
Guest tables surrounded the dance floor, while a floral chandelier hung overhead. "The band led the guests from cocktail hour to the reception with a mini drum line, and when they entered the space, the band kicked off with a full-blown dance party, and everyone was on the dance floor before finding their seats," says Caroline. "We had no idea they would do this, but it was so cool to hear everyone having such a great time as we were waiting to enter. It really set the energy for the party."
Decorated chairs around square tables set with a floral tablescape provided an elegant reception setting.
Floral centerpieces on each table incorporated the rainbow of blooms used in the bouquets for a bright and colorful accent to the saffron tablecloths. Single blooms in individual holders added pinpoints of color throughout the room.
Going for Gold
Gold flatware and beaded-edge chargers were set at each place, drawing out the warm shimmer of the table linens. Candleholders in antique brass and sleek crystal were complemented by rose- and apricot-colored tapers.
Dinner Is Served
As a professional chef, Caroline wanted to emphasize a seasonal and local menu. After passing baby lamb chops, crab cakes, and dates during the cocktail hour, the couple chose a three-course menu of roasted lobster salad, horseradish-crusted beef tenderloin or pan-seared Chilean sea bass, and—instead of wedding cake—a table of Italian cookies "proudly imported from Kansas City, Mo."
An artist paints the reception's picturesque setting—creating a lasting memory for the guests and the wedding couple.
On the Dance Floor
De Bois Entertainment provided music for the couple's reception, including Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" for their first dance. "The band was really great at drawing the guests into the experience by pointing the mic into the crowd during dancing," says Caroline. "Everyone loved it and had the best time—and those late-night espresso martinis probably helped a little too!"
Photography, Beatrice Howell
Venue and Catering, La Quinta Country Club
Wedding Planning, COJ Events
Flowers, Luna Design Studios
Videography, Amari Productions
Officiant, Bishop Brian Delvaux
Stationery, Julie King Studio
Music, de Bois Entertainment
Rentals, Bright Event Rentals; Luna Design Studios; Trejo Dance Floors
Bride's Gown, Mira Zwillinger
Bride's Accessories, Mira Zwillinger veil; Loeffler Randall shoes; VanBrock Jewels earrings
Hair, Jen Martens
Makeup, Vivian Tran Artistry
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Anthropologie; Lulus; Nordstrom; Zara
Groom's Attire, Michael's Clothing
Menswear, Men's Wearhouse
Lighting, Perfect Touch Inc
Transportation, Lion Transportation Services
Live Painter, Jack Flanigan
Rings, VanBrock Jewels
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