We are honored to share with you Cristina and Dan’s beautiful coral and grey wedding photographed by Jennifer Bowen at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Arizona. The couple did an incredible job bringing their two families together at they took the plunge together.
The Goals: Dan and I both agreed from the beginning that we wanted our wedding to feel like a big dinner party with dancing, cocktails and laughter. Aside from getting married, we were most excited for all of our families and friends to meet. We both have big families and friends who live all over the country so it was important to us that they all feel special and appreciated for traveling to Arizona for our big day. We worked with an artist we found on Etsy to create a map of our own journeys across the United States to meet each other in San Francisco for our save-the-date. We also had it blown up and framed above the escort card table so guests could pin where they travelled from – this is now hanging in our living room and is a constant reminder of the special people in our lives.
Getting married in Arizona in the spring definitely has perks. Our biggest, was dinner outside under a gorgeous, open, lighted tent (not something many of our friends have been able to pull off due to fear of rain). We had a modern acoustic guitar duo playing in the background that added to our large dinner party feel. After dinner and touching speeches the guests went inside for lots of dancing and dessert. The band was very important to both of us, especially Dan. The JJs Band played a great variety of oldies and pop hits that created a party atmosphere that ended with the bride and groom on stage…until the groom crowd surfed off during the last song of the night.
The Design: I would describe myself as a classic bride, but with a bit of a modern flair. My mom (the true wedding genius) and I worked closely with Denise from White House Flowers and our planner Rachel from Outstanding Occasions to bring my vision of a Ralph Lauren Home wedding to life with our new monogram accents. The main decor was loose flowers in shades of white and vibrant green in wrought iron and mercury glass vases with lots of pillar candles. We had occasional pops of coral (my favorite color) throughout the decor with the bridemaids’ and flower girls’ bouquets as well as around the escort card table. We kept the rest of the outside dinner decor simple to highlight the florals and amazing wrought iron and floral chandelier. We used the venue’s white tablecloths and rented grey napkins to add a pop of color. We used more coral for the florals inside the band room to further distinguish between dinner and dancing. Classic and clean outside vs. bright and vibrant for dancing. A huge thank you to Shannon at Paradise Valley Country Club for making all of the reception concepts come to life. The stationery was also a combination of modern and classic: the invitation had a letterpressed damask background while the envelope liner was a bold, coral graphic. The cake was also classic with a bit of flair – the outside was a ruffled cream cheese frosting while the inside was a dense red velvet cake with chocolate ganache.
The Look: After trying on about 100 plus dresses I stopped believing in dress “love at first sight.” Until, I met Anne Barge and my future dress. I had literally been everywhere you could go in San Francisco with my mom and Maid of Honor/sister, but could not find THE dress. A few weekends after they left I went back to Marina Morrison, coincidentally, during an Anne Barge trunk show. I tried on my dress and immediately knew it was the “one.” Meanwhile, while I was in the dressing room my best friend started talking to the designer, Anne Barge. She described her dresses as Audrey Hepburn classic with modern silhouettes. My friend knew I had found my dress before I even came out of the fitting room – we’ve always referred to her as the Marilyn and me as the Audrey. It was destiny.
I loved my dress, but I think the most special part of my look for the day was the bracelet my parents gave me as a gift for the wedding. They had my great grandmothers antique pearl-clasp with sapphires and a silver “K” (my great grandmothers initial) on the front restrung as a bracelet for my something old, new, borrowed, and blue. My new last name starts with a “K” so this is very special to me.
Bridesmaid dresses were not easy to find! I wanted something unique that the girls would all love. Lets just say this is much easier said than done. I spent weeks searching high and low for coral dresses and realized how much my future husband loved me when I found him also looking for coral dresses online. I finally took the less unique route and looked at J.Crew and found driftwood grey dresses I loved. To incorporate my original desire for color I found some chunky coral necklaces that looked great with the girls dresses.
My favorite part of the men’s outfits were their coral argyle socks. Dan loves bright, funky socks so my brother bought matching pairs for all of the guys from his home in London. By the end of the night they all had their tux pants tucked into their socks to show them off while dancing.
The Moments: It is hard to choose just one favorite moment, but several stand out as top contenders…
The entire week was a special occasion as we got to see our two families come together and truly bond. Perhaps the best example was during the family portraits when Daniels two-year-old cousin had a minor breakdown and wouldn’t smile for the pictures. To help cheer him up, my entire family sang his favorite song – The ABCs.
We wanted the ceremony to reflect who we are as a couple and to represent our merging families. We were married in a Catholic church, but also wanted Dan’s Jewish mother to feel comfortable and a part of the ceremony. We worked with our priest to add words of wisdom into the program. In the months leading up to the wedding both mothers solicited family and friends for marriage words of advice. They read them together during the ceremony and brought everyone to tears and laughter.
Immediately following the ceremony I think we both felt a combination of surreal shock and excitement that we were actually husband and wife. Jennifer Bowen captured the moments perfectly.
One special moment actually happened more recently when we were reading our guest book notes. Instead of a traditional guest book we had guests sign bottles of wine and write a note for us to open on our first, tenth or twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. We opened the first cards in May and had so much fun reading the notes. Our favorite was from my eleven-year-old cousin, Christopher. “Always stay true to your word,” he said. Pretty profound for eleven.
The Pros: Learn about all of the professionals involved in this wedding by visiting Cristina and Dan’s page in our Real Wedding Library!
Thank you Cristina and Dan for sharing your beautiful wedding with us!
Want to see more coral weddings? Check out our image gallery to be inspired!