If you've been following the Brides Live Wedding buzz, you've probably already met the woman behind summer 2014's most anticipated wedding, Brooke Keegan. We couldn't resist the chance to show you more of her gorgeous work, and this beautiful bash in La Quinta, California, is just the tip of the iceberg.
Christina and Ryan McCarthy, 27 and 31, respectively, met during a high school retreat in 2001, and were reintroduced nearly ten years later while living in Santa Monica. "I was only 14 when we first met, but I may have had a small crush on him that whole time," laughs Christina. "We knew almost immediately that we were meant to be together."
In March of 2013, Ryan surprised Christina with a proposal after a horseback ride, then surprised her again as both of their families joined them to celebrate. The couple spent the next seven and a half months planning their November 2nd, 2013, wedding, where they combined their relaxed California attitude with breathtaking views and elegant details. Christianne Taylor Weddings caught all the beautiful details on film. Keep reading to see how the bride turned the desert into a lush, candlelit wedding dream.
Flowing calligraphy accented the otherwise simple invitations and paper goods. "They turned out so beautiful and elegant," says Christina.
The bride paired silver Jimmy Choo pumps with a tulle veil and embellished belt by Vera Wang. She kept her hair simple and side-swept to show off her shimmering accessories.
"I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted in a wedding dress," says Christina, "so I tried to keep an open mind." The bride visited Saks Fifth Avenue during a Vera Wang trunk show, and found her mermaid gown during her very first shopping trip. "I loved the layers of tulle and organza in the skirt. I wish I could wear the dress again!"
Christina carried a bouquet of white, ivory, and blush garden roses, peonies, lisianthus, and ranunculus, accented with succulents and lamb's ear.
Ryan donned a gray slim-cut suit from The Black Tux. He paired it with a monogrammed tie clip and cufflinks. Ryan's succulent boutonniere matched Christina's bouquet.
"I wanted my bridesmaids in long dresses for something a little more formal," says Christina. Her 'maids wore chiffon dresses from J.Crew and carried blush rose bouquets. The groomsmen wore the same gray suit that Ryan chose, and all received tie clips and cufflinks as gifts from the groom
A wooden sign and monogram let guests know that they'd come to the right place!
The outdoor ceremony took place overlooking the LA Quinta golf course and a mountain range. Arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, and greenery lined the aisle, flanked by white chairs.
A carpet of fresh white rosepetals awaited the bride, who made her way down the aisle to Train's "Marry Me."
The altar, covered in greenery and lush pink roses, was made of natural branches. Ryan's friend, Michael, is a pastor, and officiated the ceremony. "It felt so personal," remembers Christina, "since Michael really knows the two of us."
Tall arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, and dahlias in blush and cream were surrounded by glowing candles in mercury glass holders. "We used a little bit of jute and lace to make it feel slightly more casual," Christina says.
One of Christina's closest friends and bridesmaids is Lauren Parsekian, actress and director, as well as wife of Aaron Paul, who joined her to celebrate Ryan and Christina's "I dos."
Christina and Ryan's wedding cake featured five delicious layers of lemon cake with lemon curd filling and dark chocolate cake with espresso filling. Ruffled buttercream frosting was toped with a cascade of garden roses and dahlias. "I'm a dessert person, so this cake had to be good," says a very satisfied bride.
If cake wasn't enough guests were also served bite-sized sweets and an ice cream sundae bar. "Sadly, Ryan and I never got to enjoy the ice cream," says Christina, "but our guests loved it!"
After being serenaded by one of Christina's bridesmaids for their first dance, then getting down on the dance floor to a ten-piece band, Christina and Ryan made their exit beneath a wave of sparklers, then jetted off to Tahiti for their honeymoon. "I loved being a fiancée, but it was such a busy year," Christina says. "Now that we're married, we can relax and enjoy it!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: La Quinta Country Club || Wedding Coordinator: Brooke Keegan Weddings & Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Jewelry: Groom's late grandmother's ring, Bracelet & earrings by Nadri || Hair: Adeena and Lauren of KBGLAM || Makeup: Lettie Mix || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom & Groomsmen's Suits: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Belle Epoque Jewelers || Florist: Elegant by Design || Invitations & Paper Goods: Calligraphy Katrina || Guest Book: Mixbook || Music: Ceremony - Jon and Valerie Guerra, Reception - Jordan Music Entertainment || Catering: La Quinta Country Club || Cake: Exquisite Desserts || Rentals: Signature Party Rentals || Favors: T is for Toffee || Photo Booth: Events Department || Videography: 618 Studios || Photography: Christianne Taylor Weddings