Having an outdoor wedding just a few days before Christmas probably sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, but not if it’s held in Southern California! High-school sweethearts Kelly and Mark live in Manhattan but wanted to tie the knot in Southern California, where they both grew up. When they came across Verandas Beach House, a chic, split-level space located just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean, they knew it was the perfect place for their winter-solstice nuptials. Plus they fully enjoyed picturing their guests’ confusion upon learning that they’d be getting married in Manhattan Beach, California, not Manhattan Beach, New York!
Kelly slipped into her stunning, strapless beaded gown at the stylish Belamar Hotel, in a spacious room that boasted a giant portrait of a chihuahua and a bed that practically begged to be jumped on (her bridesmaids happily obliged). When we arrived at Verandas, twinkle lights, rose petals, and banners made by Kelly and maid-of-honor Kira adorned the lawn. We found Mark and his groomsmen soaking up the sun and enjoying the ocean views from the upper level of the house. Mark rocked a classic black tuxedo with bowtie and—initially—a corsage meant for his mother instead of a boutonniere (thankfully someone noticed!).
The whole day was a blur of nose-wrinkling grins, unstifled laughter, unbridled joy, and a bevy of wonderful moments. Kelly and Mark’s first look was positively gleeful and absolutely adorable. In the quiet moments before they were to make their way down the aisle together, Kelly and her dad nervously practiced their dance for the first time. Kelly’s exuberant reactions to the ring exchange and her mom signing the wedding license enlivened the already heartfelt ceremony. Everyone’s cheeks hurt during the hilarious toasts, and Mark laughed so hard he cried. The newlyweds’ partially botched cupcake feeding only added to the merriment, as did the four (!) tries it took for the single ladies to catch Kelly’s bouquet (which, unsurprisingly, was in pretty poor shape at the end).
If all the high fives, fist bumps, noogies, and hip shaking during the reception were any indication, the whiskey bar was a big hit. Other thoughtful touches included custom shortbread cookie favors and the penguin cake topper that Kelly’s little sister made.
Dress: Mon Cheri
Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s suit, tie & shoes: The Black Tux
Bride’s ring: Greenwich Jewelers (NYC)
Groom’s ring: Blue Nile (Seattle)
Flowers: Lupita’s Flowers (Los Angeles)
Hair & make-up: Jackie Su Artistry
Caterer: New York Food Company
Cupcakes: Frosted Cupcakery
Custom cookie favors: Katella Bakery
DJ: Casey Wixted (Vox DJs)
Officiant: Justice Robert Mallano
Wedding coordinator/planner: Lauren Harvey (Verandas Beach House)