When asked when she met her now-husband Kyle McDonald, Jennifer Ann Fiore has two answers. The first? April 2016, when the two first "matched" on the dating app Hinge. However, the second is more specific: May 8, 2016, the day of their first dinner date in Huntington Beach, California.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve in 2018. Kyle and Jennifer were vacationing in Fiji, and Jennifer says she was sure that Kyle would propose on the trip. And, for that reason, she wanted to be prepared. "I was determined to be prepared for this moment. This was a moment I have waited almost three years for Kyle to pop the question. I got my outfit ready, did my hair and makeup, made sure my nails were done—basically, all the key ingredients a woman can prepare for the picture-perfect proposal," she admits with a laugh. She later discovered that she was "half right": Kyle had been planning to propose at sunset, but it was overcast that night so he decided to wait. "He’s originally from California so he’s kind of picky when it comes to sunsets," she adds. Later that night, after taking her makeup off and throwing her hair in a bun, Kyle asked Jennifer to join him on the patio of their room to listen to the waves crashing and admire the stars. "While hearing the waves crashing, he started to chat as I dozed off," she recalls. "Then, Kyle went to open the wedding ring box and a loud snap woke me up. Immediately after, he asked me to marry him and I said 'yes!'"
After their perfect but not "picture-perfect" proposal, Jennifer and Kyle began planning an admittedly picturesque wedding in California. "We physically scouted almost all of the California area, from Palm Springs to Santa Ynez, until we finally found Klentner Ranch," She admits. "This was finally the one venue that we both thought was the one." From there, they called on Wild Heart Events to create an "out-of-this-world, one-of-a-kind, epic event." Keep reading to see exactly what Jennifer and Kyle created, as photographed by I Heart My Groom.
Jennifer describes her Galia Lahav wedding dress as "modern, romantic, and lace," saying she fell in love with it the moment she tried it on. "You just know when you know," she admits. "Your eyes open a little bigger, your mouth drops, you gasp for air, and you're speechless. You look in the mirror, and you're in awe of yourself feeling like, 'Holy cow! I’m getting married!'"
While Jennifer describes the wedding planning process as "intense and very detailed," she also says it was inspiring and creative. In fact, it made her want to become a wedding planner herself! "It's my passion to bring innovative creative beauty to groups of people to relax and have fun," she says.
In planning their own wedding, Jennifer admits that she and Kyle, who wore Hugo Boss on the big day, did not agree on everything. "You want the wedding planning process to be easy and effortless, but I came to realize that my fiancé and I were not going to just magically, instantly, and easily agree on any big or small decision," she admits. "That’s why I am me, and he is him. We are not the same person and that’s why we truly fell in love with each other."
Jennifer found their floral designer, Native Poppy, on Instagram. Together, they came up with a design filled with baby's breath, pampas grass, and roses—mostly in pink hues.
Notably, two design elements were not painted (or dyed!) pink: The bridal bouquet and the statement staircase at the ceremony entrance, which was decorated with natural pampas grass, baby's breath, and neutral hurricanes that were selected to match the stone below.
An assortment of pink-and-white rugs lined the aisle, ultimately leading to a heart-shaped altar (made of baby's breath dyed pink!) that was the star of the show. The bride actually found the altar on Instagram and rented it for the big day!
The couple's 60 guests sat on comfy white sofas accented with boho-style pillows.
The pink altar was surrounded by more pink accents in the form of pampas grass and more baby's breath.
The bride walked down the aisle with her parents. She and Kyle exchanged vows they'd written themselves, with Kyle promising to hug Jennifer every morning and Jennifer promising to always cherish and hold Kyle in the highest regard. After, they exited to Jack Johnson's "Better Together" for the recessional.
After the pink-accented ceremony, smoke bombs were a natural choice for Jennifer and Kyle's newlywed portraits.
Unsurprisingly, the couple's reception was just as personalized as their ceremony. In addition to comfy lounge areas and unique signage, the couple hand-selected a playlist of tunes from their home states: California and New Jersey!
The signature cocktails were also named "The California" and "The New Jersey." At cocktail hour, guests were asked to order cocktails from a mobile bar, then gather in another mobile trailer for photos!
Washed wood tables were decorated with white plates, flatware, pink runners, and bud vases of dried grasses such as bunny tail.
Jennifer and Kyle sat at a sweetheart table accented with pampas grass and baby's breath. Above, a neon sign read "All because two people fell in love." "We made a custom neon sign with a quote we saw when we went out to dinner when we were dating," Jennifer explains.
After a day of personalized touches and details, Jennifer had one final surprise for Kyle. "We did fireworks around the dance floor for our first dance because I love to surprise Kyle and I love fireworks," she says. Talk about a perfect end to a celebration of love!
Wedding Venue: Klentner Ranch
Wedding Planner: Jaime Kostechko of Wild Heart Events
Officiant: Jack Hawkins
Bride's Dress: Galia Lahav
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mishka
Hair: Paul Perez & Kelly Sharp of Sally Hershberger
Makeup: Kelsey Deenihan of The Wall Group
Bridesmaid Dresses: Shoshanna
Mother of the Bride Dress: Nordstrom
Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux
Flower Girl Dress: Isabel Garretón
Ring Bearer Attire: Macy's
Groom's Wedding Band: David Yurman
Floral Design: Native Poppy
Paper Products: Wild Heart Events
Paper Products & Guest Book: Midnight Confetti
Music: Dart Collective
Catering: Field-to-Table Catering & Events
Cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop
Lighting, Trussing & Production: Bella Vista Designs
Bar Service: Sidecar Cocktail Co.
Cold-Spark Sparklers: Socal Event Lighting
Marquee Letters: Charming Lights
Favors: West Elm
Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley
Accommodations: Kimpton Canary Hotel Santa Barbara
Photography & Videography: I Heart My Groom