It seems that fate has been trying to bring Annie, 28, and Jeff, 30, together for 20 years now. They grew up in the same town, their parents were classmates in high school, and the couple even met for the first time in 1993, when Jeff's older sister was Annie's softball coach. In high school, they were in the same group of friends. Annie was a cheerleader and Jeff was on the soccer team, so it was only natural that she developed a crush on him over the years.
Through the powers of social media and annual Thanksgiving gatherings in their hometown, Jeff and Annie stayed in touch through college. But it wasn't until her brother's wedding that Jeff made a move and asked her out (with her brother's permission, of course). The two became inseparable, with Annie visiting Jeff in Lake Tahoe almost every weekend. In August of 2012, he got down on one knee, and Annie moved to Lake Tahoe permanently. The couple kept their wedding local, heading to a gorgeous golf club for a modern-meets-classic Cali celebration.
Jeff proposed to Annie during one of her regular weekend visits to Lake Tahoe. He set her up with 'the perfect day': coffee, lunch, a massage, and happy hour with wine and cheese. Why didn't Annie catch on to the impending question? "This was just another day in the life of dating Jeff," she says. Jeff orchestrated a ruse that resulted in the couple taking Jeff's client's boat out on the lake. He led Annie to the bow and got down on one knee. The entire marina cheered as Annie said "yes!"
Annie went classic white with her peep toe Badgley Mischka pumps. Her bridesmaids, on the other hand, paired their little black dresses with shoes in bright, fun colors.
When Annie began her wedding dress search, she knew she wanted something simple that wouldn't look dated when she looked back at the pictures. The one thing she did want? "A dramatic back!" says the bride. Her lace dress by Katie May was the first–and only–dress she tried on. The simple mermaid shape and scalloped neckline were perfect for the couple's California wedding.
Annie and her bridesmaids all carried bouquets of bright pink hydrangeas, roses, and peonies.
Because her bridesmaids all live in Southern California but Annie and Jeff live in the northern part of the state, it was much easier to ask them to each pick a flattering Little Black Dress, creating a unified but personalized look.
Jeff wore a Hugo Boss suit and a polka-dotted tie for his trip down the aisle.
The groom and groomsmen all wore colorful socks from Hook + Albert and Ralph Lauren ties. The socks and ties were a gift from the groom.
The ceremony was held outdoors at the PGA West golf course. Pomanders and hot pink flower petals edged the aisle, while the altar gave way to a dramatic mountain view.
Jeff's nephews served as the ring bearers. The youngest, only 6 months old at the time of the wedding, was pushed down the aisle in a wagon by his older brother and cousin. The ceremony was officiated by Jeff's cousin. The couple spent months prior to the wedding doing marriage counseling with him and personalizing their ceremony. Jeff and Annie wrote their own vows, and now have them framed in their home.
La Quinta, CA, was the ideal location for the couple's wedding. "We wanted a location that would guarantee good weather," says Annie. Additionally, they've been vacationing in the area their entire lives, giving the day an added layer of personal significance.
The couple came up with their black and pink color scheme together. Says Annie, "I always went to Jeff with 3 ideas and had him choose the one he liked best. This way, he would always be a part of the wedding planning."
Jeff and Annie paid for most of the wedding themselves, so the bride took on a number of DIY projects to help keep costs down. The dessert bar, however, was a labor of love that Jeff's sister tackled. It featured some of the couple's favorite treats, from gummies and chocolates to donuts.
The couple sliced into a simple black and white cake with a surprise inside: Instead of plain vanilla, the cake was Funfetti flavored!
After a night of dancing with their friends and family, a sparkler send-off was a fitting end. The couple chose a far-flung honeymoon destination, spending two weeks in Tahiti and Bora Bora.
Annie hopes couples planning their weddings will "remember why they're getting married in the first place." Even with all the stress, that's what will get you through. Her other tip is to "choose one thing you don't want to miss out on–whether it's dancing, eating dinner, drinking, talking to a certain guest, etc.–and make sure that happens! That way, you'll always have that memory."
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Club at PGA West || Day-Of Coordinator: Alex Hillier of Carter & Cook Co. || Bride's Wedding Dress: Katie May || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Makeup: Erin Perencevic || Hair: Nadia Draper of Panache Hair Studio || Jewelry: The Bride's Mother || Wedding Bands: Pepi Fine Jewelry || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Florist: Laura Kilts of Magnolia's Floral || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Cake: The Pastry Swan Bakery || Music: Luke Manthe of Vox DJs || Photography: Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography