For their wedding, Maureen and Daniel, who met on OK Cupid in 2011, let their venue, Point San Luis Lighthouse in Avila Beach, California, inspire the decor and day's events. "We loved the quaintness of the outdoor space and its proximity to the ocean," says the bride. Also a selling factor? The fact that it was reminiscent of an Edward Hopper painting or Hitchcock film set. Talk about a cool venue—and couple!
On September 17, 2016, the duo exchanged vows in front of 85 guests, then partied under bistro lights while taking in panoramic views of the coast. Check out Ashley Ludaescher's photos of the gorgeous event, and take inspiration from the bride's personal style. (We know we are!)
The bride went the nontraditional route with her wedding attire, pairing a Halston Heritage skirt with a custom-made top from Penny Babel, a tailor in New York City. "I discovered searching for bridal gowns outside of traditional bridal salons gave me the freedom and imagination to create a dress that was exciting and fresh," she says.
Maureen styled her skirt-and-top combo with a chic updo, a bold red lip, and a veil. She designed her own earrings for the big day, combining diamond studs and a long chain with a pearl on the end. (She's an artist!)
White pearl-studded heels by French Connection completed the bride's modern yet completely timeless look.
Daniel's tailored suit from Banana Republic was a perfect match for Maureen's standout dress. He topped his lapel with an orange ranunculus boutonniere that was tied together with a ribbon and grass.
The bride carried a large organic bouquet of pale-pink dahlias, orange ranunculus, and white anemones. Bundles of ferns and eucalyptus added texture to its already natural feel.
Before walking down the aisle, the soon-to-be newlyweds took advantage of "golden hour" and posed for pictures on the venue's grounds, which feature extreme cliffs, narrow roads, and panoramic views of the central coast.
Maureen walked down the aisle with her father to an acoustic version of "Dee-Randy Rhoads" before meeting Daniel under a large tree to exchange hand-written vows. The bride's best friend, Courtney, led the ceremony. "Choosing who would marry us was the easiest part of wedding planning," she says.
The party continued at the lighthouse, as guests moved over to an open-air reception under bistro lights.
The bride kept her color palette neutral (so it wouldn't compete with that pretty blue ocean view!), dressing tables in simple linens, flowers in low vessels and bud vases, and lots of candlelight. "We didn't create an overall aesthetic," she says. "We let the Pacific Ocean, the lighthouse, and surrounding landscape shape the theme of our wedding."
After passed apps at cocktail hour and a dinner of salmon and shepherd's pie, guests snacked on singled-tired cakes and more pies (this time sweet!) from a local bakery.
Maureen and David danced to "You're So Baby" by Donnie and Joe Emerson for their first dance, while the bride chose Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" for the father-daugher dance. A DJ was on hand to ensure that the dance floor was packed at all times—especially during the Horah!
While the bride counts herself lucky in planning, thanks to the many friends and family members who helped make decisions and solve problems, she does have this piece of (very smart!) advice: "Be patient, and make a list with your partner to decide what is most important before you even start the planning process," she says.