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An Intimate Candlelit Wedding in Laguna Beach: Katie & Chris


from the bride, Katie… “Chris met Katie at a job interview. Katie strutted in to interview for a position at Chris’ design firm. ‘Needless to say I got the job,’ Katie recalled. ‘We couldn’t take our eyes off each other the entire day and we’ve been bonded ever since.’ That strut Katie does, is delicate and graceful. She’s a ballerina. Katie’s dance studio is the most sought after dance studio in the Washington D.C. area. ‘I love to teach, I love to dance truly,’ she smiled. ‘I’m just a dancer, through and through.’ Katie wanted to create a wedding day that was a true representation of both her and Chris. Instead of latching on to a trendy wedding theme, Chris and Katie wanted to BE the theme. ‘We wanted to make sure this day reflected us both, equally, and truly,’ she said during their pre-wedding interview. Katie loved the idea of weaving in more than a few non-traditional customs and in her words, ‘small snippets of our love for Game of Thrones.’ First up, the dress! Once Katie found a designer she loved, the dress design began. Inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (of HBO TV Series, Game of Thrones) the white long open-back gown was designed to flow and sway as Katie arabesque’d and pirouetted. She wore back jewelry that dangled down to her tail bone to accentuate her elegant physique.”



“With the dress in the works, she began to explore the ceremony and reception design. Katie settled on a clean crisp look with sage, gold, cream and ivory as her central colors. She brought in flecks of pale pink with her ballet slippers, and hints of warm neutral tones with the use of driftwood to bring out a subtle beach vibe. No flowers, they’d decided, to instead focus on bringing out the wood and neutral textures and tones of the ocean. They chose an ornate piece of driftwood art to serve as the centerpiece and surrounded it with candles and tea lights. The silk texture of their napkins gave a stunning textural contrast to the gold flatware and wooden table accents. Along with the twilight ceremony, Katie wanted to illuminate their private wedding ceremony with hundreds of lanterns and candles. ‘The candlelight is so enchanting and creates an atmosphere of ethereal solemnity that I wanted to feel in the ceremony,’ said Katie. ‘Set against the crashing waves and dark cliffs, I wanted our ceremony to be a little beacon of hope and love amidst the darkness. When you find the one you love and that can love you like no other, all those feelings of hopelessness are washed away and replaced with love. Our little ceremony site is like that little ember of love you feel burning bright.'”



“Each guest also received a paper lantern as their favor along with a little match box that read ‘the perfect match’. The music selection would be a classical guitarist because that’s a great reflection of who Chris is. Chris’ guitar is as much a part of him as Katie’s ballet slippers are a part of her. With the details slowly coming together, it was time to consider the guest list. They spent the first few months wedding planning attending numerous friends weddings and soaking in all the ideas and options. Until one evening they sat down to discuss their guest list. ‘We just really want to be able to spend time with each and every person there,’ Chris said. ‘This is the first time our family will be coming together from across the country.’ This love bird couple decided from that point forward that their wedding day would be a private affair. Only four exclusive invitations were extended. Katie planned a day full of pre-wedding activities and designed a ‘Day-Of’ itinerary to welcome each of their family members upon arriving. When choosing their bridesmaids and groomsmen, it wasn’t more than a split second choice. ‘Chris and his sister are literally best friends,’ said Katie. ‘It’s so sweet.’ Emily, Chris’ sister served as his ‘best-man’. She dutifully held his jacket during their First Look and gave him that sweet sisterly pep talk as they strode down the beach awaiting the First Look. Katie’s brother served as her ‘Maid of Honor’. ‘These are the most important people in our lives, and thats our focus,’ she smiled. “




“Katie and Chris were married at their family’s private oceanfront condo on Laguna Beach. Their twilight ceremony was intimate with only 8 chairs set out among hundreds of lanterns and candles. There the most important people in their lives sat, just a short few feet away to witness and hear them profess their life of love to one another under the moonlight. One seat though sat empty. Two weeks leading up to the wedding, Katie’s mother fell seriously ill and was no longer able to fly to the wedding. So there her mothers chair sat, still set out, but empty. Until, good ole Dad brought out his iPad for a full on viewing party. Mom was back home on the East coast dressed up in her evening finest and gathered around her computer to witness her daughter be married. Sniffles and crashing waves filled the cool night air as Chris sang the vows he’d rehearsed nervously pacing the floor earlier that day. The guitarist and his ballerina bride were finally wed! He whisked her over his tall stature and scurried from the altar for snuggles and kisses.”



“Katie and Chris celebrated after the ceremony with an intimate reception on the balcony of their family’s oceanfront home. The sound of ocean waves and crisp cool air filled the room as they soaked up long conversations and laughs with the people they love most. Their meal was prepared by a local private chef who tantalized their tastebuds with 5-jaw-dropping courses. When time came to cut the cake, they used their Game of Thrones mini replica swords to slice into their gelato cake. After a few sweet and delicate bites, Chris quickly took the opportunity to smear a little on Katie’s face. Katie, the ballerina and firecracker, smeared him back ten fold! The night ended with toasts and hugs, laughs, and lots and lots and lots of love. ‘The biggest piece of advice I would tell any bride is ‘Do what makes you happy’. This day should represent the two of you as a couple, no one else. There are a million traditions and customs to keep track of and these minute details can add so much stress to what should be a happy occasion. Don’t be afraid to say, no. Simplifying your wedding will not only minimize your stress, it will give you more time to enjoy and savor everything you’ve been looking forward to. Remember above all, the most important thing on that day will be the fact that you are marrying the love of your life.'”




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An Intimate Candlelit Wedding in Laguna Beach: Katie & Chris


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