Julia and Robert’s dinner party wedding at Casa Romantica in beautiful San Clemente, California photographed by Lukas & Suzy VanDyke is so perfectly described by the couple, along with their relationship and how they came to create details of their wedding, I’m going to let them take it away.
“We knew we were crazy about one other the weekend that hurricane Irene hit New York City. The morning before the storm started, with confirmation that work was closed and there was nothing but sitting around ahead, we decided to drive until we could see sunshine. Fifteen hours, several Dunkin Donuts’ coffees, and a couple of tanks of gas later we found ourselves in the windy city. We spent our time enjoying Chicago deep dish pizza, bike riding, cupcake eating, and sightseeing. We realized, after driving across a third of the country in 36 hours that we had something special — a connection we had not yet experienced in our lives.”
Photographer: Lukas & Suzy VanDyke // Hair Stylist: Beauty and the Beach // Reception Venue: Casa Romantica // Event Planner: Chic Celebrations // Floral Designer: FiftyFlowers.com // Cake Designer: It’s All About The Cake // DJ: Moondance Mobile Music // Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Nordstrom // Submitted via Two Bright Lights
A year and a half later we made our vows to stay together for our lives, witnessed by our closest friends and family.
Our wedding planning was heavily influenced by the wedding planning book ‘A Practical Wedding.’ It suggests that you list your top three priorities for the wedding and allot your time, energy, and budget to those. We wanted to 1) be surrounded by those we love, 2) make sure the guests had a great time and 3) have great photos to look back on. With our top priorities in line, next we decided that we wanted our guests to feel as if they were coming to our home for a dinner party.
We knew we’d found the perfect venue when we came across Casa Romantica, which used to be a personal home. The courtyard had the backyard feel that we were searching for. In fact, the view from the Casa’s ocean terrace looks out onto the location of Bobby’s high school surf class!
We made the invitations ourselves. The white paper on the front required ten holes to be punched out, and there were many other pieces that were cut and folded. We endearingly called invitation-making time going to the “sweatshop.”
Julia’s dress was bought strapless, but a talented family friend made straps from the two inches of fabric that was cut out of the hem.
Our color scheme was “colors of the ocean”. It started out as “shades of blue,” but the bridesmaids dresses came in more green than they appeared online, so we tweaked the idea. The blue bottles on the tables with “Saratoga” written on them were from a water-bottling center near Julia’s hometown in upstate New York. We wanted the flowers to look as if we had picked whatever wildflowers happened to be in bloom out of a field. We chose Queen Anne’s lace for the bridesmaids bouquets because Julia used to actually pick it out of fields when she was growing up. We ordered the flowers online from Fifty Flowers, and the bridesmaids and mother of the bride cut and arranged them.
Our first dance was to “The Book of Love” covered by The Airborne Toxic Event. We chose this because the first outing we went on with just the two of us, before we started dating, was to an Airborne Toxic Event concert. Bobby told Julia he was a big fan of the band as part of his plan to convince her to go. Julia only knew two of their songs but wanted to spend time with Bobby, too, so she agreed to go. At the concert it became clear that Bobby only knew one of their songs and just used the concert as an excuse to spend time with Julia!
For the reception we arranged the tables in a big rectangle to help everyone feel that they were part of one family. Each table was designated with pictures of our shoes “stomping” on different places. This all started the time we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Julia wanted to see the new Islamic Art wing, but it started with rooms and rooms of boring rugs. To make the exhibit more exciting, we decided to pretend we were the royalty who were allowed to walk on the rugs thousands of years ago. So balancing on a museum bench, we tried to take a picture looking like we were walking on the rug. This was the first of many pictures documenting our adventures together! The table labeled “Avenue A” is Julia’s maternal grandparents’ house where her mother grew up. “Mercury Lounge” is the concert venue where we saw Airborne Toxic Event. “Stuart Moore” is the store where we purchased Julia’s engagement ring, etc. You get the idea!”
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