A creative couple turns a fishing pier into one lively locale

A wedding on the water was the only way to go for Jamie Oberg and Evan Grobecker, whose courtship as UCLA students involved frequent drives along California's Pacific Coast Highway. “We both really loved the beach—it's our kind of thing,” says Jamie, who was happy to hit the road with fiancé Evan in search of a shoreside spot for their August celebration. They discovered the Malibu Sport Fishing Pier, which, while indeed on the water, wasn't exactly wedding-worthy. “It was just a very old, weathered pier, complete with fishermen casting their lines,” she recalls. “But in spite of that, there was something very quaint about it. I could see us having cocktails there and staring at the ocean.”

With that image—and help from their planner, Lisa Gorjestani—Jamie and Evan set about transforming the rustic locale into a natty nautical setting. After a church ceremony, 175 guests paraded up the pier to two giant tents dressed up in a coastal palette of blue and white and decorated with hurricane lamps, bushels of sunny yellow pavé roses, and benches lined with oversize canvas pillows done in stripes and dots, which gave the scene a beach club feel. Surf and turf served at a 180-foot feasting table that was almost as long as the pier. “It was actually very intimate,” reports the bride. “The table was narrow, so people were able to converse easily.” Talking, however, went by the wayside once The Heroes, a seven-piece San Diego band, started to pound out hits, from Bob Marley to Bon Jovi. “At one point the pier was shaking from all the dancing,” says Jamie. Now, that's what we call good vibrations. —Terrie Collymore

Our Favorite Things

Paper Power: As co-owner of Sugar­paper, a stationery store, Jamie happily created her own invitations, favor tags, place cards and coasters. “I was changing things constantly—right up to the week before the wedding,” she admits. “But you can do that when you're in control of your own printing schedule.”

A Time to Sew: “It was a great bonding experience,” says the bride of the evening she and her mom spent sewing the aisle runner and 175 napkin rings, and stitching yards and yards of striped grosgrain ribbon onto the lengthy table runner.

Thoughtful Treasure: Jamie gave her bridesmaids gold anchor necklaces in recognition of the support and stability they provided during the planning process.

Even the bar decor—custom polka-dot coasters and vases filled with starfish—was marvelously maritime.