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The day is finally here!! I can share the wonderfully exciting news that Martha Stewart Weddings published David’s and my Fairmont Grand Del Mar wedding. We had to wait until today to publicly share photos and I can barely contain myself. Since I’m sharing so many, I’ve split the wedding into part one and part two.
How We Met
For those who don’t know how we met: David and I met online through OkCupid in 2012. I was finishing up college in Alabama and was moving to the DC area for graduate school in International Relations. He and I chatted for a few weeks while I was in the process of moving. Our first date was the final of three online dates I went on in DC. We met in Dupont Circle for beer and pizza and the location served as one of our signature cocktail names at the wedding. David and I spent every weekend together afterwards and the rest is history.
How We Chose the Fairmont Grand Del Mar
David and I chose the Fairmont Grand Del Mar as it was the closest thing we could get to Europe in San Diego. The Fairmont has gorgeous Mediterranean pink walls, Cyprus trees, and exquisite architecture. As a photographer, a variety of portrait opportunities was hugely important to me in choosing our venue. We also wanted to pick a location that would truly wow our guests. Lastly, being entirely al-fresco topped our venue priorities list, as we wanted guests to experience the sunset and evening under the open skies.
How We Made Our Wedding Represent Our Values
Since I’ve photographed over 80 weddings and David has assisted me on many of those, we wanted a different experience for our own day that didn’t feel like a repeat of everything we’ve ever seen before. As we are not religious or sentimental and have spent enough time witnessing other people’s ceremonies, we opted to skip a public ceremony to have a private courthouse ceremony by ourselves prior to the wedding day. Guests honestly didn’t miss it at all and loved that they were able to get straight to celebrating our love and mingling with each other.
Additionally, I had always known I would not wear white on my wedding day. Although I adore my brides’ ivory gowns, I am more of a fan of either black or colorful frocks for myself. My colorful Marchesa gown was the perfect unique touch for our colorful day.
For my bridal party, I couldn’t have imagined it without including my best male friend. Chris made the perfect bridesman/man of honor and I am thoroughly a fan of breaking tradition of all female bridal parties to include a close guy friend. As a fan of non-matching bridesmaid gowns, I told my bridesmaids to choose any long gown they wanted. I showed them a visual representation of the color palette as well as a few suggested options and then they sent me their choices for me to review. It worked out so well and both ended up choosing two different blush gowns. For my bridesman, I chose a black tuxedo with a blush bowtie to distinguish him from David’s groomsmen, which was such a fun touch for his outfit! David’s groomsmen rented classic black tuxedos through the Black Tux for their outfits. For them, I selected the Davis outfit which had a peak lapel jacket.
The Guest Experience
Our cocktail hour took place on the Manchester Terrace. We requested this space since it overlooks the reception lawn, giving guests a peek of what was to come! Watermelon and feta cubes, strawberry and brie grilled cheese sandwiches, and short rib croquettes with truffle aioli were served along with a selection of wines and strawberry-mint water.
Part Two comes Thursday and will share all of the reception details and moments.