Saturday, May 5, 2012


I always dreamed of a beach wedding. What’s more romantic, than walking down the aisle with sand beneath your toes, glimpses of sailboats bobbing in the background, and the gentle roar of crashing waves?

Santa Cruz, California was our destination of choice. The charming beach town had it all: a fun atmosphere and elegant resort called the Dream Inn, and it wasn’t too far from family and friends.The Dream Inn holds a very special place in my heart because I spent my childhood holidays in Santa Cruz and my grandmother often took me to the hotel restaurant for special occasions. Although the Dream Inn is newly renovated with a modern beach feel it still holds the old Santa Cruz beach town charm - especially in the Aquarius bar that has a ceiling made of surfboards.

Fourth of July weekend was a perfectly romantic fit for our event. Three years before our wedding Todd and I shared our first kiss under the Fourth of July fireworks. The holiday has held a special place in our hearts ever since. The sparkler sendoff was a perfect ending to our celebration.

Intertwining the themes of Fourth of July and beach wedding, which we referred to as “West Coast Nautical Elegance,” we used a lot of blues, whites and a hint of red. My first wedding theme purchase was blue and white striped ribbon I found on a website. It was simple, yet so clean and crisp. I used the ribbon on everything, the napkins, candy jars, flip-flop baskets, and birdcages for cards.

After a year and a half of planning, our wedding finally came, and it was everything we envisioned.The weather was incredible –almost too hot, which never happens on the coast in Northern California during the summer. The fog tends to linger over the water, making for cooler evenings. The weekend of the wedding, however, the fog burned off by 10 a.m. every day making for 80-degree beach weather! Our scheduled volleyball game on the beach the day before the wedding couldn’t have been more perfect with friends and family playing together under the sun, and then relaxing in the afternoon at the pool with cocktails in hand. The morning of the wedding the coordinator blocked off the wedding section on the beach, while hundreds of people dragged their coolers and umbrellas onto the sand for a holiday beach day. We expected people on the beach, but with the amazing weather came the masses. Our vendors did an incredible job of blocking the space and I have been told that hundreds of onlookers cheered as I walked down the aisle. I had tunnel vision and all I could see was my handsome husband standing under the beautifully draped Chuppa and the crashing waves in the background.

Jacqueline Plaza did an incredible job of capturing the moment (Jackie - thank you for letting me share your incredible photography). Check out Jackie's new photography website - In many of her ceremony pictures the beach looks as though it has been cleared for our wedding. Little does one know there were crowds of people in their bathing suits smiling as our guests yelled Mazel Tov!

© 2012 Jacqueline Plaza Photography
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