A jaw-dropping private estate overlooking the Pacific made for a magical backdrop for these two gorgeous women to marry. Alissa and Maria brought tons of amazing details and intention to their wedding in the hills of La Jolla, CA. From their creative spiral ceremony setup to their bold color palette to their literal tying of the knot, we couldn't love this one more.
We were especially floored by the outfit pairing of Alissa's strapless gown overflowing with ruffles and Maria's chic tailored cobalt blue suit embroidered with secret details for Alissa to find.
Their ceremony included rainbow strings for their knot-tying, and the spiral ceremony aisle allowed them to walk by every single guest. Their gold-adorned cake was surrounded by tons of flowers and sparkly details.
Don't miss the mariachi band that welcomed guests to the ceremony, and the giant garden property filled with hidden nooks and crannies from chicken coops to pools. Alissa and Maria spent a few moments alone glowing and snuggling on a hidden swing as the sun set, and later while the dance party raged on, they stole away for another quiet moment of gratitude under the stars.
As you're scrolling, don't miss some additional insight from Alissa about their amazing day…
When I showed pictures of the spiral aisle, I didn't know if we could make it happen. Our wedding seemed to flip flop from small (50 people) to something a little bigger (100-115), and we just weren't sure if it would work. I think this was one of the things that I was really vocal about, and in my mind, I felt bridezilla-ish about it! I REALLY wanted to do this. It was important to me because I wanted to feel connected to all the people at our wedding, and I even threatened to make everyone hold hands!
Our coordinator did an amazing job at making it come to fruition. Our guests were at the top level of the property, seated in the spiral aisle, probably very unsure of how we would make our entrance. We cut across the lower portion of the property, out of view of our guests, and ascended these grand steps up to the landing. As we entered the spiral aisle, I know it was such an intense feeling to make eye contact with every single one of our guests as we walked in, and we stood in the center of our families and loved ones. I swear I could feel their energy and outpouring of love onto us that special day. Leaving the spiral, also way fun — lots of high-fives and impromptu dancing. The spiral was everything I hoped it would be and more!
We had a group of about two dozen high school competition level mariachi provide some pre-ceremony entertainment who were amazing. At our reception we had a traditional cake, but we also had a churro station making fresh churros for our guests.
The outpouring of love we felt throughout our engagement was such an amazing feeling — from the kindness and generosity of the home owners (Charlie Grebing and Dawn Ducharme) of our wedding venue — they opened up their home and really their hearts to us to help make our day everything we hoped it would be — to meeting their neighbor, and good friend, Pat Lynch, who further provided our tableware and a gorgeous tree adornment of gold beaded strands that shimmered and glistened in the light. Our food caterer was a dear friend, Susana Aschenbrener, along with Jose Carrillo, Missy and Sefa Lepule, and other waitstaff prepared and served some amazing food stuffs.
Another unique thing we did was to have a “sisters dance.” I was planning on having a mother/daughter dance with my mom, but she very unexpectedly fell ill three months prior to our wedding, and passed away in late August. I made sure to keep my mom with me throughout the whole day: I wore small pendant with her photo pinned to the inside of my dress, next to my heart, and wore a simple necklace around my neck with her initial “D.” I love my mother so much, and seldom did a day pass that we would not at the very least have some sort of quick text conversation. I have peace knowing that she loved Maria, and was truly happy for us both.
Other than the spiral aisle of course, these were our priorities: making sure we were incorporating things into our wedding because it was what we wanted for our day. We didn't do many of the “traditional” things and we were okay with that — we chose not to have a bridal party, we had cake AND freshly made churros, and our vows were incorporated into a handfasting ceremony.
We wanted good food, not just good “wedding food.” We sat with our caterer and planned out every aspect of our meal from appetizers (gazpacho shrimp shooters and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with pecorino cheese) to a charcuterie board to our main dishes (prime rib and a pasta station with pesto/garlic shrimp and chicken and a creamy white wine Alfredo sauce).
Some of our favorite memories included the homeowners King Charles Cavalier named Robert who was an invited guest of the wedding, and made sure he looked the part in his tie. When we ascended up the walkway and began our walk into our wedding aisle, Robert was leading the way — I took a moment to stop and pet him!
Advice I would give, and was also given to me: take time to slow the day down, re-center yourselves together, and be present in the moment. Maria and I stole a moment towards the end of the evening to stop and look up at the stars in a quiet place and to just be thankful of the day.
Photography: Let’s Frolic Together • Venue: Private Estate • Coordinator: Ann's Plans • Floral: Event Supplier Inc. • Bakery: Cake Batter Batter • Band/DJ: Events by DJ Dave Cutler • Hair and makeup: Mobile Beauty Team – USA • Officiant: Ceremonies By Bethel • Photo Booth: Starlight Photo Booth • Rentals: San Diego Party Rentals and Patty's Linen Rentals • Outfits: Bustles on Wheels and JD Custom Clothier and David's Bridal • Rings: David Levi and Sons Jewelers & Jewelry Buyers • Lighting: Maria Harman of San Diego Events Lighting