San Diego-based Mandy Leasure always knew that her wedding day would be the picture of romance and style. “I've loved weddings ever since I was a little girl. When I was 12 years old, I even started reading through bridal magazines to get ideas for my own day,” she says. So when she became engaged to Michael Gasperson—her college sweetheart at the University of San Diego, and now a player for the Philadelphia Eagles—Mandy already had a clear idea in mind of what she envisioned for their big day: her own take on a romantic, vintage-inspired fete.
The couple decided to hold their summer celebration at Pebble Beach Resort—a scenic, oceanfront property that was also the perfect middle ground for Michael's Monterey-based family and Mandy's family in Portland, OR, to travel to. “We wanted to host our wedding at a location that was convenient yet also allowed our families to feel like they were able to get away for a bit,” says the bride. To plan the design for and organize the details of their party, the couple worked with Julie Bullas, the wedding coordinator for Pebble Beach Resort.
On July 8, 2006, 140 guests gathered at Santa Catalina, a scenic, Mediterranean-style church where the couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony. Afterward, as the group arrived at Pebble Beach for the reception, a harpist and violinist greeted them with peaceful songs. As the main room began to fill for dinner, the couple's family and friends saw Mandy's vintage theme come to life. Awash in shades of dusty rose and off white, each table was named after a favorite flower and adorned with small rose and sweet-pea arrangements. On every plate was a box of chocolates decorated by the bride with ribbon and buttons; just above, rose petals strung on clear wire dangled from the chandliers to give a floating effect.
During appetizers of scallops and caviar, guests viewed a slideshow containing photos ranging from Mandy's and Michael's childhoods to their college days. Then after a dinner of chicken with broccolini, the bride made sure to sample her cake—more than once: “Everyone kept saying that I'd be too busy to even try it, but I helped myself to several slices!” she says, laughing. The night shifted from sentimental to celebration mode, with DJ Allen of Kelly Productions filling the room with dance music. The party eventually ended, but the fun didn't. The group gathered again the next day for a modern post-wedding event: a dip in a friend's pool and a brick-oven pizza party. —Cristi L. Hansen
Learn From Mandy and Michael
Ride Retro-style: The couple went old-school all the way when they pulled up to their reception in a vintage Rolls Royce, which also gave them a once-in-a-lifetime photo op later on, when posing for pictures.
Glam up Your Guest Book: Mandy searched high and low to find a different way for guests to sign in. She discovered paper designed to look like old-fashioned scrolls and invited their crowd to write with feather pens.
Put Your Best Foot Forward: The bridesmaids loved their champagne-hued cocktail dresses, which were flattering to all. To play up the chic style, they wore brown-and-white-polka-dot shoes, which evoked the vintage theme and could later be worn to other parties or even to work.
Vera Wang, verwang.com
Calvin Klein, calvinklein.com
Kelly Productions, kellypro.com
Pebble Beach Resort, pebblebeach.com
Wendy Maclaurin Richardson, wmrphoto.com