It took 10 years for Kori Collins and Brian Murphy to get from first meeting to their first date. "We went to the same high school and had lots of mutual friends," says Kori, "but when Brian asked me out the summer before I left for college, I was seeing someone else." The couple ended up at the same college before Brian transferred to play baseball, and lost touch until the summer of 2011. Brian asked Kori out again, but she wasn't single this time, either! But as soon as she was, Kori took it into her own hands and asked Brian on a date. This time, it worked, and the couple dated for a year and a half before Brian proposed on July 4th, 2013 — fittingly, after reciting the President's speech from Independence Day. "He changed the last line and said 'Today we celebrate the day I ask you to be my wife' and got down on one knee," Kori remembers.
The pair decided to keep their wedding local, exchanging vows on August 16th, 2014 at Kori's childhood church, then celebrating with an airy tented reception at San Diego's The Santaluz Club. Keep reading to see how the bride, her mother, and her sister created a celebration full of Southern charm, photographed by Birds of a Feather.
Minty-blue invitations with a touch of peach hinted at the event's comfortably classy feel. Kori and her bridesmaids, in monogrammed oxfords, kept the getting-ready process lighthearted and full of laughter!
The bride was surprised when she chose this two-piece lace and tulle gown by Monique Lhuillier. "My mother-in-law suggested that I try a tulle dress, which I wasn't originally looking at," Kori says. But the full skirt and lace bodice of this gown won her over quickly — she found it during her first day of shopping!
The romantic skirt perfectly complemented Kori's textured bouquet of ranunculus, roses, and ferns. Her flower girls wore crowns of baby's breath. "Our youngest flower girl sang 'Happy Birthday' on her way down the aisle. She thought it was my birthday because of all the attention I was getting!" she laughs.
Brian wore a navy suit from J.Crew, and his groomsmen paired khaki slacks with navy blazers. The boutonnieres featured a textured mix of white roses, astilbe, and greenery.
Kori's bridesmaids wore chiffon dresses in dove gray by Amsale. "My sister was my maid of honor, so she wore a darker shade of blue. The shape and fabric were perfect — especially because three of my bridesmaids were pregnant!"
The ceremony was traditionally Catholic, and took place in the church near Kori and Brian's parents' homes, where Kori went to church growing up.
After they said "I do," Brian and Kori took to the hills near the Santaluz Club for portraits. "We love being outdoors, and the secluded location of the club was exactly what we wanted," Kori says.
The reception took place beneath an artfully-draped tent. Long tables with light blue linens were decorated with a mix of high and low arrangements of blush and ivory roses and ferns. Trays of candles cast a warm glow as guests dined on salmon and filet mignon and sipped champagne-Chambord spritzers and Kentucky Mules.
Kori and Brian's seats were marked with oversized fern-covered letters that spelled out "Mr. & Mrs." "We decided to skip things like the garter toss and cake cutting, and had speeches during dinner, so that we could maximize the time we had to spend with our guests," says the bride.
Though cake was served after dinner, it wasn't on display. Instead, Brian and Kori offered guests a sumptuous spread of sweets, including blueberry donuts and mini cheesecake cups that had guests raving.
After the band wrapped up, guests got down to a playlist put together by the bride and groom. The newlyweds spent three weeks traveling through Greece and Croatia, and count their honeymoon as one of their best decisions. "Plan an amazing honeymoon, because you'll need it! And it's the only time no one at work will hassle you for taking such a long vacation. It's expensive, especially after planning a wedding, but you'll never regret it."
Ceremony Venue: St. Thérèse of Carmel || Reception Venue: The Santaluz Club || Day-of Coordinator: Before I Do Events || Bride's Wedding Dress & Veil: Monique Lhuillier, from MBride Salon || Shoes: Ann Taylor || Makeup: Paula Mayer || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale, from Bella Bridesmaids || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Banana Republic || Florist: Blush Botanicals || Invitations & Paper Goods: Ann Elizabeth Design || Music: The Heroes || Catering: The Santaluz Club || Cake: VG Donut & Bakery || Rentals: Raphael's Party Rentals || Linens: La Tavola || Favors: Elizabethan Desserts || Photo Booth: Vintage Vault || Videography: Red Carousel Films || Photography: Birds of a Feather