It all started with post-game beers. "Nathan was on a recreational softball team with some of my friends, and we met when everyone went out together after a team victory," Kate remembers. "He faked me out when he went to shake my hand and pulled me in for a hug instead!" And he faked her out again on December 8, 2012 when a "surprise" day off (he arranged it with her boss!) led to a late morning walk on the beach, which led to a proposal in the sand. But Nathan wasn't done with surprises. "He'd had my two best friends set up a picnic nearby with a blanket, champagne, and my favorite flowers. Over the course of the day, friends appeared, resulting in an engagement party full of laughter — and lots more champagne!
Ten months later, on October 26th, 2013, they invited all those friends (and then some!) to celebrate at L'Auberge Del Mar, north of San Diego. Check out the beautiful photographs, captured by Clove & Kin.
"I had a clear focus when I was shopping for my wedding dress," says Kate. "I wanted to look beautiful, not sexy." Her Monique Lhuillier dress was the perfect fit, with a structured corset bodice, modified a-line tulle skirt, and delicate embellishments. She dressed the gown up with an all-white bouquet of hydrangeas, orchids, and gardenia.
Nathan took his inspiration from Sean Connery as James Bond, wearing a shawl collar tuxedo with a French-front shirt.
Kate's bridesmaids wore strapless chiffon dresses from J.Crew. "I wanted something elegant, but with a beach-y feel because of our venue." Nathan's groomsmen decided to take the plunge and also purchase Hugo Boss tuxedoes. "They promised they'd all wear them in each other's weddings," says Kate.
The flower girls, in white J.Crew dresses and crowns of baby's breath, performed splendidly. So well, in fact, that the ring bearers ended up tiptoeing down the aisle so they wouldn't mess up the petals!
The ceremony took place overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The aisle was decorated with arrangements of white hydrangeas, dahlias, and sweet peas.
Nathan and Kate were wed by the pastor who had led the groom's mission trip to Haiti. The couple said "I do" beneath an altar of white hydrangeas, roses, ranunculus, and dahlias and flowing chiffon.
The "Parisian Garden Party" reception took place under the stars on L'Auberge Del Mar's Pacific Terrace. Guests' escort cards were nestled into miniature topiaries, written with whimsical calligraphy.
Each table was topped with all-white arrangements of hydrangeas, tulips, freesia, garden roses, and dahlias. Round tables featured all-white linens, while rectangular tables were covered with graphic black and white linens.
Guests dined on short ribs, bacon-wrapped scallops, risotto, and butternut squash ravioli before hitting the dance floor. "Our friend DJ'd, and he was wonderful. We played classic wedding dance songs, as well as our Top 40 favorites," says Kate. A little something for everyone!
Kate and Nathan's cake, decorated with a tier accented with gilded flowers, featured four mouthwatering flavors: banana cake with chocolate-peanut butter frosting, lemon cake with vanilla bean buttercream, devil's food cake with salted caramel buttercream, and German chocolate cake.
When they weren't grooving, guests headed outside to the fire pit to roast marshmallows for s'mores.
"The best thing we did during our wedding planning was to go on dates where there was no wedding talk allowed," Kate says. "We needed the time to just have fun!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: L'Auberge Del Mar || Wedding Planner: Adele Meehan at L'Auberge Del Mar || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Shoes: Cole Haan || Hair & Makeup: Savanna Aragon of A Toast to Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Wedding Bands: Kay Jewelers, James Allen || Florist: Cherry Blossom Floral Designs || Invitations & Paper Goods: Bella Figura || Calligraphy: Jessica Albers || Topiaries: Beau-coup || Music: ceremony and dancing - Justin Wright, dinner - Rob Bondurant || Catering: L'Auberge Del Mar || Cake: Sweet Lydia's || Rentals: Concepts Event Design, La Tavola || Favors: Sweet Lydia's || Photography: Clove & Kin